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Do I give it all up to stay at home for a few years??

Discussion in 'Parenting' started by ihatekids, Feb 20, 2019.

  1. ihatekids

    ihatekids New commenter

    Please share your experiences/advice!
    I have been a teacher for 9 years in a mixture of full time and part time roles. I now have a great job in a lovely school working 3 days a week. I have a 13 month old son and have been back at work since Sept 2018...it has all been going well...I enjoy my job...
    Yet I can't shake the feeling that I should stay at home until my son is a bit older/in school. We are also considering expanding our family so this would have a huge impact in terms of childcare fees/career progression. I feel like this is a huge dilemma.
    I often think I would love to be a SAHP and be there for everything my children do, but I also enjoy my job and have worked hard to be where I am. I don't think I could manage working with 2 children, it also wouldn't make sense financially.
    I am going around in circles considering the options so wanted some advice from people who have been there.
    What are your experiences?
    Would I be stupid to give up a part time role?
    Will my future prospects be affected?
    Will I regret not being at home with my child/ren?
    Thank you in advance :) Mimi
  2. eleanorms

    eleanorms Occasional commenter

    My children are now in Yrs 9 and 6. After the first one I did a mixture of full time and part time, then supply for a bit, returned f t class teaching when my youngest was 16 months. Did two years in ks1, then a big jump forward to Y6 when my oldest was about to start y2 and the youngest was still in nursery. I reckoned it was about mid afternoon on a Wednesday each week before I actually started making any money after tax and fees. And full time Year 6 with two under 7? It was a nightmare! But we got through it. It steadily got easier and easier. I was lucky in that my daughters' godmother was a very loving childminder to them, and we have my in-laws who helped - and still do - massively. You get long holidays, which I wouldn't have done if I was an accountant. I have missed hundreds of school plays and productions. Do I feel guilty? No, my husband went instead. You feel much more of a bad mother than either anybody else or your children think of you as one. And it is hard to get back into teaching after a family gap, although supply may help. Myself, I think part time roles are the ideal solution, and as schools are getting a bit funny about offering them, if you have one, hold on to it. But that's only my opinion. Good luck, whatever you decide.
  3. SammyBear2016

    SammyBear2016 Occasional commenter

    When i had my little boy i had no option to return to work as we needed my salary and although we are strating to think about number 2 we could not afford to have 2 in childcare as it would be pointless me working. We have made the decision to wait to have our second until by the point i would be returning to work after maternity our little boy would be at school. So you do have that option, to wait a little longer to make it more viable.

    I would also ask, even if you were a SAHP would you still want your child to go to nursery? If you do then surely it is worth working for those hours even if it just covers the cost of childcare as it would financially take the pressure off your partner.

    Did i feel guilty when i returned to work? Yes, for the first couple of weeks i spent my drive to work crying about leaving him. I have always been career orientated and didn't think i would ever want to give up work but that little boy changed me. Do i still feel guilty about going to work? Yes and no. He has a wonderful time at nurdery and at my parents. I work four days a week and really make the most of the 3 days we have together. I think working makes me appreciate and enjoy the time we have even more. I also think that returning to work was good for me. Whilst i was on maternity leave and even on my non-working days although we see people life revolves around our child (as it should) and for the days i work i am me again, not mummy.

    Yes there might some things you miss out on but its what you do with the time that you have that matters and if working actually helps with your own mental health then that is the best thing for your child. I have a colleague at the moment on maternity and they want to change to part time hours. Thier eldest child is in school and so the day they have asked to drop is the day that celebration assemblies take place so she knows she will always be able to attend.

    I know that teaching is not just 9 -3 but you will also get the holidays off (i know you may have to work for some) and you can really enjoy that time with your child. Also because of the holidays you could look for term time only childcare which will reduce your costs down.

    Out of all the questions you have asked there is only really one that you should take into account 'Will I regret not being at home with my child/ren?' and only you can answer that. The only thing that you should consider is the benefit to your child. Yes your career prospects may be affected, i don't know but to me if i was able to stay at home and felt it was best for me and my child i wouldn't care if my future prospects for progression were affected.

    Good luck with whatever you decide.
    dodie102 and meggyd like this.
  4. meggyd

    meggyd Lead commenter

    Having two kids under 3 or whatever is very different from having one. Really lovely but just totally exhausting. Everyone is different. You need to do what is right for you and you never be 100% sure it was the right thing. That's just life!
  5. dodie102

    dodie102 Occasional commenter

    I think sammybear2016 and I are on the same page here.

    Personally I would say if you have a job that you enjoy and an employer that values you I would think very hard before giving it up.

    I have two children and have always worked full time - secondary. Luckily my husband and I split the day: he sorts out the morning and I'm there to pick up at After School Club although now my older child sorts herself out as she is in Year 7 and gets home before me! Early on I remember working out during my commute the cost of childcare, fuel, running a second car and with two little ones in nursery. I was barely taking home anything! However, I loved my department if not always every aspect of teaching. I found it very stressful at times to keep my head above water but perhaps being part time might help in that respect?

    In essence I would would go with your gut!

    Good luck.
  6. Aquamarina1234

    Aquamarina1234 Star commenter

    Horses for courses. I was in effect a SAHM but did supply when it suited. I got a regular job when the youngest was in Y6.
    But I'm not any kind of career woman, so it was no hardship to me, even though we were pretty skint.

    SEBREGIS Lead commenter

    OK. Try it in simple, less emotive steps.

    Can you afford to return to work?
    Can you afford to stay at home?

    If the answer to one of those is No, you have your answer. If the answer to both of those is yes, then:

    Do I want to stay at home? Will I find that satisfying and fulfilling. Even as a mum you can say 'no'.

    Do I want to stay at work? Will I find that satisfying and fulfilling? Even as a mum you can say 'yes'.

    Personally, I was always family driven but when my wife and I divorced she got the kids and I ended up focusing more on my career anyway. Not sure that help you...
  8. ViolaClef

    ViolaClef Lead commenter

    You only have one opportunity to be with your children in their earliest years, see all the milestones, and lay all the foundations for future security and confidence. Raising children is a skilled and vital task which the child’s own parents do best. It deserves to be much more highly regarded.
    You can also never be certain that you will have another child, no matter how much you may like one. Enjoy your time with your little one. Good luck!
    Piscean1 and sparklepig2002 like this.
  9. lindenlea

    lindenlea Star commenter

    I gave up work altogether when I had my first child in 1978. I had his brother in 1981 then moved to another part of the country in 1983. By this time I was involved in the playgroup movement and very broke. I ran my own playgroup for two years then was very fed up with having no money so went back on supply in 1986 and got a permanent post in 86. Both children were at school by then and had before and after school care from a friend who I paid. I never regretted the time at home and got a lot from friendships I made then and the playgroup work I did. It cut down on stress for me as a mother and I guess the boys benefitted from that.Money is very important to me but I also returned to FT really well motivated at the age of 36 and ended up as a deputy. I now really appreciate my pension. I bought extra years and an AVC when I could afford it. I don't think I would have been so well motivated to work as hard as I did, if I hadn't had 8 years out.
    Make of that what you will. Its very very personal.
  10. sparklepig2002

    sparklepig2002 Star commenter

    Couldn't agree more. You can always get another job. You have one chance to bring up your child. If you can afford it, stay at home with your child and enjoy this very special phase of your life.You can't get that time back.
    ViolaClef likes this.
  11. Abitofeverything

    Abitofeverything Occasional commenter

    I took 2 years out after having my second child, largely because I knew I'd be exhausted trying to teach with two under 3 and also because 2 x nursery fees would exceed my salary! But after that, I found I needed to go back a couple of days a week for my own sanity. One thing I found helped was that as we only work 39 weeks a year, a 2 day a week job meant that technically I only worked 78 days out of 365 a year - the rest I could spend with my kids! (Although in reality, the 2 days a week spilled over into the others quite a lot.) I might be mad, but I'm considering number 3...
  12. foxtail3

    foxtail3 Star commenter

    I stayed at home until my children were 5and 7, but I did some tutoring in the evenings and then supply. I went back part time when they were 7 and 9 and full time a couple of years later.

    Like @lindenlea , I started up and ran playgroups, got involved in their school and so on. I didn’t think that I was particularly ambitious, but did get promoted and ended as an assistant head in a small secondary school.

    It is personal and it is what works for your family. I don’t regret the time spent at home though.

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