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Really worried about becoming a parent and being a teacher!

Discussion in 'Career clinic' started by JSE123, Dec 6, 2019.

  1. JSE123

    JSE123 New commenter

    Hi all,

    I’m really struggling with work/life balance as it is and now I’m expecting! My ultimate goal in life has always been to have children and I want to wholeheartedly focus on being a good mum. I just feel that being a good mum and being a good teacher at the same time is impossible!

    I’ve been thinking of leaving teaching for a good year or so...but I’m just so worried about what that would mean for me financially.

    My Mental Health is massively impacted by my job and I just don’t enjoy going to work.

    My dream is to have my own business, but I’m just so scared to take the leap and don’t know when the right time would be!!

    Has anybody else left teaching and started up their own business around the same time as having a baby? I guess a backup could always be tutoring and/or supply work? But I don’t want to be naive in thinking I would automatically get a job in those areas.

    Really stuck and would appreciate any advice!

    Thank you in advance
  2. lentils22

    lentils22 New commenter

    Hi there and congratulations on your pregnancy!

    You're absolutely right that achieving a reasonable work/life balance is always challenging in teaching and even more so once children are in the mix. In my case I was fortunate to be able to go part-time once my first child was born and then to take a long career break when number 2 came along (I had a third child a few years later). During the break from classroom teaching I had regular tutoring jobs which were always set up by word-of-mouth; I never had to advertise or anything, however it probably depends on your subject/context; I'm secondary MFL and live in a very affluent part of the country. I'm now back in a part-time classroom teaching role. Do you think you have any option financially to go down the part-time route, and is your area of expertise one which lends itself to private tuition?

    Others manage to juggle full-time work with parenting but often they have more support than I had (a partner who can work flexibly, or local grandparents). I'm sure others can comment on how they manage this - personally, I'm just in awe..! I also don't have any experience of supply but I'm sure it can work if you choose your posts carefully - again, some subjects have more scope to do this than others.

    As for setting up a business, I have no experience of that but I can only imagine that it's very full-on in the early stages. Having your first child is a huge adjustment as it is, so maybe not the best time to be introducing such a big change into your life...

    Hope that helps and all the best whatever you decide..!
    agathamorse and Curae like this.
  3. ViolaClef

    ViolaClef Lead commenter

    If that is what you want to do, then have the courage of your convictions and go for it! I don’t know your financial circumstances, but some people are prepared to put up with a leaner household income in order to remain at home with their children. Working parents can find that rather a lot of what they earn actually goes to fund childcare costs and some decide that they would rather bring up their children themselves instead of paying someone else to do this.
    Having a baby is a totally life-changing experience and the early days and months can be a mixture of joy and exhaustion. The early years of a child’s life are precious and you get one chance to see it all.
    Make your baby your priority. Look after yourself, too.
    agathamorse and Curae like this.
  4. JSE123

    JSE123 New commenter

    Thank you SO much...this has really got me thinking! There is high demand for Y6 SATs Tutoring in my area, so I’ve been told and feel that this would be my area of expertise, particularly Maths. I’d also be willing to tutor for verbal/non-verbal reasoning tests, which in my area, have to be passed to get into a school which is of preference to many.

    I totally agree that starting a business and having a baby would just be a massive, overwhelming, full-on experience, so thank you for reinforcing that. It’s definitely made me think twice.

    Maybe tutoring is something to look into. Did you do any online tutoring? Apparently, this is now also in high demand! But haven’t really looked into it properly.
    Also, what hours did you work when you were tutoring?

    Again, thank you for your help - I really appreciate it!
    agathamorse and Curae like this.
  5. JSE123

    JSE123 New commenter

    I am absolutely one of those people who would rather spend more time with my children! But it is difficult as I am quite driven and motivated in my career. I do find, however, that I’m even more driven and motivated when it comes to running my own business and I tend to enjoy this much, much more. At the moment, I absolutely hate work.
    I guess it’s just a matter of weighing the pros and cons and also the financial risks!

    Thank you for your help - definitely given me something to think about!
    agathamorse likes this.
  6. gergil4

    gergil4 New commenter

    The older I get, the more I realize I'm probably "on the spectrum" more than most. I hated the thought of being at the school gates talking to other parents, I didn't really get into a mother/toddler or mother/baby group either. Don't get me wrong, I love my children and I wanted the best I could do for them. So I worked full time for most of their school years. It was very hard, but it was right for keeping me sane. I also had to work as I was the main wage earner after my partner had a midlife crisis. It helped that my partner was then self-employed so could do any necessary daytime appointments (speech and language being some of those). I made sure that in every holiday, I spent time with my children. They could go to holiday clubs if they wanted, but generally I would do things with them - picnics, museums, train journeys etc.
    In term time, cleaning was often missed, loads of midweek meals were made in a slow cooker, Friday tea was a 'picky tea' - pizza/frozen party food etc. Saturday lunches were veg soup to make up for Friday night.
    If you go back, yes, it will be hard, but lots of us do/have done it. You find your own way through and you do have the advantage of the holidays to spend with your children. I HATE hearing people moan about having their children with them for the loooooong summer holidays - why did they have children then??
    You could try dabbling in an online buying/selling business whilst on maternity leave. Easier said than done, but worth a thought/try.
    Good luck with whatever you decide. Just make sure it's right for you, because if it works for you, it will invariably work for your children too.
  7. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    Could you do a bit of both?
    So continue to teach part time and do some tutoring on Saturdays or in the evenings?
    Some people I know have set up as a childminder when their own children came along. Very good pay if you can manage 4 or 5 children, and you really just need a bigger pram!
    Curae likes this.
  8. lentils22

    lentils22 New commenter

    I didn't do online tutoring (I'm a bit old skool..) and it's a good point you raise about hours.. the problem with tutoring school-age children is that they are obviously only free outside of school hours, which is a bit limiting. I tended to do my tutoring in the evenings after my husband was home, and managed a small amount in the 4-6pm slot at my house when my kids were a bit older as they were happy to occupy themselves upstairs. Weekends are obviously also a possibility. xx
    agathamorse likes this.
  9. JSE123

    JSE123 New commenter

    Definitely worth a thought, thank you!
    Oh my goodness, I can’t wait to have summer holidays with my child(ren) in future! That’ll be the best.
    I just really want to make the most of having children, as it really is my ultimate goal. I also want to have a good I come and feel that I CAN do that if I go self-employed. It’s just finding what’s right for me. I do totally get though that going self-employed is not all ‘easy’ and it often takes a few failed attempts to find ‘the one’ idea that really works...I guess I will just have to see where the path takes me in the future!

    Thank you for sharing your story though - definitely something to think about!
  10. JSE123

    JSE123 New commenter

    Yes I have done some tutoring in the past and hours would be the only thing, especially as my child gets older and will only be home out-of-school hours - it then kind of defeats the point of wanting to spend more time with them.
    But it could definitely work whilst on maternity or even whilst working part-time.
    It’s just such a tough decision!
    Thank you for your help though - really appreciate it xx
  11. JSE123

    JSE123 New commenter

    Childminding is a great idea! And definitely something to think about! Thank you.
    I just want to think of a successful business idea and get it up and running, but it’s really not that easy in any way, shape or form!
  12. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    One of the people who did childminding eventually expanded to running her own nursery/pre-school.

    Another friend runs activity camps in school holidays...an alternative to sports camps which are usually on offer.
  13. 85Teacher2010

    85Teacher2010 New commenter

    I have no experience of tutoring but if your ultimate goal is a family then do what's best for you, it would be a shame to let a job as stressful as teaching impact on your dream and your mental health. If you start up on your own and it doesn't work, you could always go back into teaching. & congratulations
    agathamorse likes this.
  14. Abitofeverything

    Abitofeverything Occasional commenter

    I have two young children and I have set up a tutoring business. I live in an 11+ area. I have 16 students a week - I do them after school between 4-7 and on Sat mornings. I am lucky in that my husband runs his own business so can look after the kids at these times, but if he didn't, I could pay for 3 hours of a childminder or get an au pair. I earn the same in 3 hours of tutoring as I would a full school day (albeit I don't get holiday pay or pension), I can spend the day with my little one and do the school run with the older one. I am also a million percent less stressed. I just wanted you to know it is an option. Best wishes
    agathamorse likes this.
  15. JSE123

    JSE123 New commenter

    Wow this sounds amazing! Thank you so much for letting me know. It is definitely something I’m looking into.
    There are also children in our area who do ‘flexi schooling’ and parents are looking for tutors for these children when they are at home in the afternoon, so this is also something I’m considering - would be worth it to get a few more hours.
    agathamorse likes this.

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