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Feeling so torn-career or cut hours and focus onfamily?

Discussion in 'Part-time and job share' started by b15b2y, Jan 20, 2018.

  1. b15b2y

    b15b2y New commenter

    Hi all
    So I'm due to go back to work soon after 9 months on maternity. I know that the right thing to do for our little one is to reduce my hours. She's very young still, and will be spending very long days at nursery. If I'm totally honest though, I'm finding the move away from concentrating on my career really difficult to get my head around. I've worked so hard for so many years, and still have/had big hopes for more in the future. I feel convinced that reducing my hours, as well as my TLR will effectively take me out of the game. I think I am going to really struggle when back at work to see people who are making their way up to management and know that can't be me for a now.
    Or am I wrong (hoping I am?!) Has anyone been in a similar position and then found they are actually exhausted and just so pleased to get home to baby at the end of the day. Once my TLR is permanently reduced will I get taken seriously if looking for a promotion again?
    I feel like its a bit of a false reality at the moment whilst still on maternity leave.
    I know that there is nothing more important that my daughter and her happiness...its just hard to change my mindset after 12/13 years of being career focused and I'm feeling really mentally drained from it all already. I'm also now going round in circles between 0.6, 0.7 and 0.8.
    Any feedback would be really appreciated.
     
  2. needabreak

    needabreak Star commenter

    Do you need the money to survive? If not I'd go with family first, you can pick up a career should you wish to later on but those years are precious in my view and cannot be replaced.
     
  3. What's your career about?
     
    1 person likes this.
  4. atwoodfan

    atwoodfan New commenter

    I currently work very part time partly because of my husband's long hours. Yes, in the short term it has stalled my career (although didn't when I still worked 4 days).
    I really value the time with my kids and seeing them after school.
    Also by working less I actually get some time for me: to exercise and see friends...
    I still work hard and am valued for what I do, and hope to increase work again soon. I think if a school knows you well and values you, being part-time for a period doesn't have to have a negative long-term impact. Good teachers are always in demand! I also make sure to keep my CV current in terms if training / projects / etc. so I look attractive to employ...
    It isn't for everyone though! I felt like you after my first, but after my second I was ready to enjoy more time for the kids and for me...
    Good luck!
     
  5. b15b2y

    b15b2y New commenter

    Thanks both for the replies. I know it’s a personal decision to make and everyone feels differently...which makes it all the more harder.
    I am in agreement though that you only get this time once but can apply for promotions/other roles again in the future.
    I keep thinking it’s just til little one is at school but the reality is they will need time and attention for many years after that.
    I will probably continue to go round in circles for a bit longer
     
  6. frustum

    frustum Star commenter

    "I feel convinced that reducing my hours, as well as my TLR will effectively take me out of the game."

    I doubt it very much. I know several teachers who have gone back after a few years out of teaching altogether when their children were small. Sure, it might take a little longer to get back to a TLR and then progress further, but you're probably in your thirties, early forties at worst, so you've got plenty of time before you retire. I know someone who went back part-time after number one, then stopped altogether because they moved, had number two, and returned part-time after that. She moved fairly swiftly from just-a-part-timer to part-time AH to head.

    Do what's best for your child, yourself and your family, and worry about the career path later.
     
  7. needabreak

    needabreak Star commenter

    Completely agree I didn't (at first) as I couldn't manage financially, but it took it's toll. I wouldn't say I regret the decision as I didn't have the choice, but given the benefit of hindsight if I didn't need the money I simply would not do it.

    There's more to life and despite what we tell ourselves in the profession, there are more important things in life.
     
  8. Mazod

    Mazod Occasional commenter

    It is really tough. I went back after Mat leave in June 2017 and decided to do 0.6. It gives me two lovely days a week with just me and my little girl and that time is very precious. However, I have experienced being told that I can't lead a particular project etc because I'm part time and I do feel undervalued even although I work hard and come into school on my days off for evening events I have been involved in.

    On balance, I think if you can afford it financially then the time with your child is worth it. On the days I am working I come home tired and so find everything harder instead of being able to just enjoy my time with her. The time for focusing on your career will come again- sooner than you think. As something I read the other day about life with young children said, 'the nights are long but the years are short'.
     
    sabrinakat likes this.
  9. SEBREGIS

    SEBREGIS Lead commenter

    I don't mean this in any judgemental way, but decide which is more important - your family or your career. Do not feel any shame in saying 'I love my job and I want to reach the top of my profession, even if that means not spending as much time with my children as I could.' It's a personal decision which really no one can make for you. But neither course is automatically 'better'
     
  10. JohnJCazorla

    JohnJCazorla Star commenter

    Not just threads here but newspaper articles are pointing out that teachers are leaving in droves and recruitment is nowhere near enough.
    It's quite likely that 'the game' will stall whilst you're away from the action and you can soar high again in 5 years time because it's...... you or nobody.
     
    pepper5 and tallpoppy71 like this.
  11. BarryIsland

    BarryIsland New commenter

    I think it is sensible to have this conversation with your school leadership.
    There are opportunities in schools for TLRs and part time work if you are valued and they want to use your skills.
    I'm 0.5 and have been for many years but have 2 full TLR points .
    The roles I do don't require me to be in every day but were gained from transparent discussions with leadership about what I had to offered and was willing to do.
    Also as a part timer I have been involved with educational research outside the school, with a university, and due to my flexibility this has been invaluable in getting seen as valuable.
    Go part time , see what other doors can be pushed due to a day not in school, you may be surprised what is out there.
     
  12. violingirl

    violingirl New commenter

    I chose family over career. It has totally stalled my career. As PT teacher, no chance of promotion or even a sideways move. Experience is now a hindrance and pay not portable. I am happy at my school though...just hadn't planned to stay in the same place for whole career without any promotion prospects. Would i change if i did it all again? No i wouldn't. I love my days off and time spent with little one! Tough decision and others will have different experiences to me! Good luck.
     
    Emmacl and cwilson1983 like this.
  13. carriecat10

    carriecat10 Established commenter Community helper

    The other point to consider (and I'm sure you have done so) is your support network. Do you have a partner or close family who can provide support and do some of the organising and care? Having children and managing a full-time teaching role is like juggling two careers at the same time and you will feel like you can't do either of them as well as you would like.
    Something has to give otherwise you will end up resenting both and feeling frustrated and worn out. It isn't enough to just go through the motions with either. I guess you have to weigh up all the options, include financial decisions and make it work for you.
    Stepping back for a few years isn't a bad thing and in the long run you can pick up your career when you have more time to focus on this. You only get one chance with your children.
     
  14. snowyhead

    snowyhead Lead commenter

    Once you have children priorities naturally change. Sometimes we wish we could 'have it all' but the reality is that something has to be sacrificed to secure the other: career or family. With the benefit of hindsight I would have spent more time nurturing my own children rather than other people's. Bearing in mind you'll probably be working until you are at least 65, putting your career on hold for ten years until your child is independent could be considered a sacrifice worth making. You can never get back your child's early years.
     
    saluki likes this.
  15. saluki

    saluki Lead commenter

    No-one on their death-bed wished that they had spent more time at work or more time climbing the career ladder.
    I know several teachers who have become TAs once they have had a family and then changed back to teaching. Also several who have gone part-time for a while and then back to full time. Several who only work part-time because of family - at least one of those has TLR. I have known part-time HODs. Teaching is very flexible with lots of opportunities to do all sorts of things. Whisper it....You may even decide to leave teaching and pursue a career elsewhere at a later date. Many do.
    Family First.
     

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