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Going Back to Work after Time Off with Kids
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I'm sure many of you have been here, but I need to start looking for family-friendly, part-time work. We thought it would be when our second got a little older, but husband's work, economy is putting this front and center. Also, reading Getting To 50/50. Anyway, I feel immobilized - I don't know where to start. I don't want the 60 hour weeks I had pre-kids and I'm nervous about childcare. (I know, I know - my issue.) We have a 6 mos old and 3 year old. Would love advice, recommendations - and even literature/studies on benefits of having Mom work. I know it's My Issue, but I'm gettin gmet with ''do you want a nanny to raise your kids?''. Not trying to start Mommy Wars here, just need some counsel and a bit of a kick in the tail end to get me started. Also, have to justify the cost of childcare, etc., so my salary has to be ''enough''. Thanks immobilized and nervous
Good childcare is wonderful and critical. Don't think of it as a nanny raising your kid - it's more that your kid is getting and sharing love with another person. Love is not subtractable (did you love your first less when you had your second? answer-- i hope--: no) - it multiplies. seeing the love between my child and her nanny has been really rewwarding. does it mean i'm not occasionally jealous that i'm poring over a document while the nanny is at the park on a sunny day with my kid? no. but it does mean that i know my kid is not being short-changed in the love department. good luck
Just some thoughts - don't stress about Mommy wars. Anyone getting involved in that battle is just feeling guilty about their decision. Smart, beautiful, caring women stay home with their children for years and years and smart, beautiful, caring women go back to work as soon as they have children. You need SAHM and Work-away-from-home moms to make the world go round. I think of myself as a SAHM. But, I work 30 hours per week (20 from home - and usually after the kids go to bed). I am that Mom who picks up the kids of my working friends from the bus stop and shuttles them (along with my own kids, or I fit them into my route if their activities differ) to horseback riding or skating practice or just to my own house so they don't have to do every day in school aftercare. They worship the ground I walk on for making their lives easier and I worship them for inviting me to the odd movie premier or tossing pro sporting events tickets my way that they get through work.
About finding work...I am sort of useless on that front. What I did in my own job searches was I looked for things that would have great benefits -- I work two days a week as a waitress at a top-ranked ski resort...I make $25 to $60/hour and have no stress at the end of my day AND get free ski benefits for the family valued at $5,000, get discounts on summer camp, daycare & ski programs...also, I work on-call at a daycare and get a free family gym membership/daycare and can bring my kids to work with me for free....and, finally I work for a university where my hours are almost entirely from home at my leisure.
Good luck in your search! And remember...you work so tha tyou can live...not live to work... -a mom
I am also a SAHM and I totally feel your angst around leaving your babies with a care provider all day. My son is now 10 months and I've been working since he was about a month old. Luckily, I work from home and have a husband with a varied enough schedule that we are able to schedule most of my work at times when he can be with our son. I do bodywork and teach classes on bodywork. I personally found it very stressful to pump and be away from my son to work when he was 6 months and under and still do. But I do love that he is usually with his pappa rather than a hired caregiver when I am working.
Since I don't know your situation, I'm not sure if this will be helpful, but viable suggestions for flexible and well paid work are: personal assistant to one or more entreprenuers, professional organizing, consulting on a topic you are skilled at. All of the above, as I am suggesting them, would require a concerted effort on your part to market yourself to people in need of your services. I spent many years doing personal assistant work and professional organizing for artists, small business owners, and sometimes larger companies before transitioning to bodywork. It doesn't have the stability of an employee position, but it has the benefits of flexibility and the potential for great pay. If you only have to work part time and can overlap your schedule with your husbands so that he can watch your children in the evenings or on a weekend day while you work and then you are free some of the time he is at work, it can also cut back on your childcare expenses in the same way my situation does. wendy
Finally, I find that although I miss my children when I have to leave them, if we have to spend 24/7 together, we start getting on each others' nerves. It's more realistic to have a break. My daughter is proud of me.
I'm considering going back to work f/t after staying at home with my child for 4 years. I realize that many of you haven't had the option to stay at home as long as I have, and I don't mean to sound as if I'm complaining. In fact, I'd really like advice from those of you who have experience transitioning back to work and dealing with the complicated and confusing feelings about doing it; as well as practical advice about creating a work schedule that feels like a good fit.
Pretty much from the time my child was born, I knew that I would be happiest if I could go back to work, at least part time. But, my husband and I both felt that it was best for our child if I stayed home with him as long as possible. That was nearly 4 years ago.
While I feel that our son has benefitted from my being with him all the time (except one day of child care a week), I have been depressed, stressed about money, and generally unhappy in our current situation.
Furthermore, various family members are giving me guilt trips about what a ''terrible'' thing I'm doing to my child. ''You need to consider his feelings...'' (I think they're crazy but it still gets to me.)
I have been looking forward to the fall when he will go to preschool part-time. Then, out of the blue, a great job popped up and it's f/t. Ironically, I'm feeling very guilty about not being with my child f/t. I also feel very sad about missing so much of his day-to-day, should I return to work. I'm also really uncertain about how I will handle the logistics. Yet, when I think about turning down this job -- if it's offered to me -- I cringe. I think that in the longer term, me, my husband and child will be much happier (for many reasons) if I do it.
But, I just don't know how to handle the grief, the guilt, the sadness and the logistics, which are bogging me down when I would normally be feeling very excited (if I didn't have a child, I would accept this job w/out hesitation). And I feel ridiculous about all this since I've been fortunate enough to stay at home this long.
Any and all advice (not criticism) is most welcome. It would be helpful to know of people who've faced similar situations that worked out well. Thank you. want to work
The way I see it, there are two things that keep me from feeling guilty
1) My son is much happier with a happy mom than he would be with one feeling bored and restless. Going to work produces a happy mom, and I can come home and focus my entire attention on him, because I have the satisfaction I need.
2) My childcare providers, all of whom I've selected very carefully, are part of that ''village'' that raises my child. He has loved them very much, and they've given him things that maybe even I could not have.
Yes, the logistics can be annoying at times, but I've worked it out with my employers and my husband such that I can manage to do all that I need to. If your employers are going to be very inflexible about hours, vacation/sick leave, and such, that would be my only real concern. Karen
The transition back to working full time isn't easy, your son will probably have some angry feelings, though if he's happy in his childcare setting it'll be better. On the other hand, happy mom, happy child. In the long run, your son will do better if you have work you care about, and enough money so you don't feel worried. The other thing is, good jobs are hard to find -- if you wait until the perfect moment for the transition, it may be hard to find what you want.
In an ideal world, there'd be lots of well-paid, interesting 20-hour a week jobs, but I haven't had much luck finding one. anon
One last note from me that I thought was important to return back to work, was to get my independence back. Bringing in my own money again feels great. I'm sure your husband doesn't mind with helping out with money issues, but it just feels great to know that you have YOUR own money. Yes I'm sure what's his is yours & visa versa, but there's nothing like making your own money(you know what I mean?) Oh yeah, I'm sorry for rambling on, but I forgot one last thing. When I get off of work & pick up my kids, I just light up. They scream (a good scream) for missing me throughout the day. I miss them too & that just makes my day & lets me know that they are okay! Good Luck with whatever you decide to do, just remember, your son will not hate you for returning to work. Get up & get out, maybe even get some new work clothes & WORK IT GIRL!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Shelly
when Mama's happy, everyone is happy
happy to be a working mama
Happy working mom
I know the transition can be difficult. For my self I decided that I could work but only if I had the perfect nanny so that my kids could stay at home. When my oldest was ready for preschool we couldn't swing the preschool plus the nanny so one had to give. I ended up putting both of my kids at Chatham and have been very happy there. To be honest with you the transitions were much more difficult on me from a mental and emotional standpoint than they were on the kids.
I find different types of pleasure in my work that I don't get from staying home with my kids. I get praised for my creativity and efforts to make my clients happy. I have intellectual conversations on a regular basis and it makes me into a better spouse and mother. The time that I do spend with my kids 4:30/5:00 to bed time every day is special to me. I feel like I can focus on activities and engage with them. When I do spend full days with them- they are often pulled along with me as I run errands or play together while I clean the house or other.
Hopefully when you go back to work you can get a housekeeper. I have a good one to refer if you are interested. But that was the one thing that was very stressful for me. Wanting to have the perfect house as a full time working mother- that is hard to pull off. So don't spend your time scrubbing the bathroom. Enjoy your child. Enjoy your life.
You should also consider yourself lucky that you have a career that will allow for four years off and then you can jump back in. Several moms I know wish to get back in but don't have that window of opportunity so JUMP ON IT!!! beth
Does anyone have any advice about going back to work full time after their second child was born? What were some key elements in making it easier? What type of childcare worked for you? I have a preschooler and a 1 year old. Did you get a nanny at home who helped with housework? Is it easier to have one in preschool and one in a home day care? I'm thinking that one will be in preschool and the other will be home with a nanny and then the nanny can pick the preschooler up early a few days a week? Finally, am I crazy to want to go back full time? Financially we could really use the money, but we won't die without it. I've been doing the part time thing and I find it is so crazy because its like I am a %110 homemaker with a part time job on top of that. quitting work completely is not an option. I was hoping that full time in a job that I love will be somehow more sane than the full time mom, part time worker thing. Am I crazy? looking for a balance that doesn't exist?
I don't have the answer, but it seems that full time worker does not get rid of the full time mom!! Anon.
As far as the pull of the two worlds you're talking about, I'm not really sure that working full time is a panacea, compared to working part-time. I know that I'm continually frazzled. I have to stop work on the dot, or I won't get dinner done or the kids picked up on time. I have to get the kids out the door by a certain time in the morning or I won't start work on time. And time for exercise is nonexistent.
Personally, I feel as though I don't do either one well. I do like having an identity that is separate from just being a Mommy. And I definitely like having money, again. To go to the store and be able to buy my kids books or videos feels like a treat, compared to when I was based at home.
I have tried to carve out some Mommy areas: I volunteered to be a chaperone for my son's class's trip to the pumpkin patch. But I don't have time to do any extras. So my son has a huge scrapbook, and I haven't even done one page in my daughter's. I made my son homemade Halloween costumes, and my daughter's was storebought. I put up with a boss who can be very unpleasant at times but full of praise at others.
Frankly, if it weren't for the money, I would quit in a second. I think it takes a lot of work and help and understanding from your partner. Mine means well but just doesn't understand the concept of trading off the dinner chores. They, and other housework, fall disproportionately on my shoulders. It's tough. I wish you the best. Gwynne
I'm going back to work after almost 2 years of being home with my daughter. I have a great daycare for her, I found a great part time job... but I'm still terrified!! She's never been away from me, is she going to be okay? Will she think I abandoned her? Will she be terrified? How will she nap? And, on the other hand, I've been out of work for over 2 years, do I still remember how to do it? How am I going to juggle a job, a commute, an active toddler, a house, a husband.... ??? How am I supposed to make dinner when there's no ''naptime'' to get things done? What do I do when I'm up all night with her, and I CAN'T take a nap the next day? I'd appreciate any and all advice you can provide!! Eek!
Your house will be dirty, at least for a while, so don't worry. You might be a little slow at work in the beginning, so don't beat yourself up.
Ask your partner to help you around the house and with the children. You'll develop a new routine and things will begin to go more smoothly. Enjoy being able to have coffee with a co-worker and to eat lunch by yourself! (Maybe even sneak a little shopping in -- for yourself) You can do it! (and even like it) A mom who works outside the home with two Paula
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