To Work or Not to Work that is the Question - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 11 Old 04-20-2008, 01:08 AM - Thread Starter
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Ugh, I am in such a quandry. Sophia is 7 weeks this Sunday and I am due to return to work on May 15th. I am not ready to leave her to her Nana and be away from her 9/5. I don't want to miss her milestones, I don't want to have this anxiety, I don't want her to have anxiety and I am going to miss her terribly throughout the day. On the other hand, I don't want to burn my bridges at work by leaving. I really have enjoyed working there. I've tried to offer them creative solutions in allowing me more time to be with Sophia, such as job sharing, working part time or telecommuting, but they have not bought into any of those ideas. The thing I will miss most is the people I work with. I don't want to quit and not have the option of returning at a later time. I'm afraid I could be stuck at home without a job and become really bored and it has always been nice to make my own money. It wasn't my plan to be a stay at home mom, but I can't imagine not being with my daughter. What's a girl to do?
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#2 of 11 Old 04-20-2008, 04:18 AM
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If you did SAH for a year, and lost connection with this company, would there be another company you could apply to later where you can do similar work?

I really feel for you. I have a 5yo and a 3yo. When my 5yo was a baby, I was working and I have to say, it was very stressful at the time - the "wanting to work/wanting to be with her" thing. I wish now that I had just let go of the idea of working, and allowed myself to enjoy staying at home with her for a year. I'm working now - the work never went away - and I was able to pick back up and get to it later. I wish I had just realized that back then - that I *could* get back to the work later, KWIM? Life would have been so much easier and more relaxed that first year of her life if I had just understood that.
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#3 of 11 Old 04-20-2008, 08:56 PM
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Originally Posted by mamasaurus View Post
I wish I had just realized that back then - that I *could* get back to the work later, KWIM? Life would have been so much easier and more relaxed that first year of her life if I had just understood that.
Yes, I agree.

If it is such a great place and you are important to THEM, than you can go back.
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#4 of 11 Old 04-20-2008, 09:51 PM
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If you can afford it, I vote to quit and then spend some time looking for a part-time job elsewhere. Working full-time with a tiny baby is really hard - some people have to do it, and some people want to do it, but if you don't have to or want to, then I definitely think it's worth exploring other options.

I personally work 20 hours / week and it's really nice. I don't feel I'm getting behind, career-wise, and I get to eat lunch with my coworkers and talk about grown-up things 3 days a week. But I'm with my LO for the vast majority of her week too, so I don't really feel I'm missing out.
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#5 of 11 Old 04-20-2008, 10:11 PM
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I often explain to people that working motherhood does *not* mean missing milestones or causing your child anxiety. I also often explain to people that no one solution is right for everyone, and I think that's the speech you need.

I think you can leave without burning your bridges. I think you would do more damage to your career ultimately by going back, not being able to be in it, and doing a had, distracted job than you would by calling up your boss and saying you're sorry, you've been thinking about it, and you just don't think you're able to return to work as planned. It sounds like you have explored work-flex options and gotten nowhere. Explain what you think your plans are - do you hope to seek freelance work, to return to the job market in a year or two, wait until your daughter starts school full-time?

You have to do what's right for you, in your life, and for your family. *hugs* It will be okay.
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#6 of 11 Old 04-21-2008, 05:41 AM
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I think working part-time 16-20 max hours a week would be best for you and your daughter.
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#7 of 11 Old 04-21-2008, 09:53 AM
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As a mom who went back to when my DD was 6 weeks old, I can say that I would've given ANYTHING to have been able to stay home with her longer. I started off at 32 hours a week and then moved to 40 after a couple of months, which was still TOO much. My mom was watching her and I trusted that arrangement, but I missed her SO much (and still do - she's 13 months now!) I would've given up my job to stay home, but we needed my income because we didn't plan for me feeling that way!!

That said, I still didn't miss ANY of my DD's milestones! It was like she waited for me because she did all her new stuff when I was home. The first day she started to walk, she did it in the evening, when I got home from work.

Things will work out either way, but personally, it was heart-wrenching for me to be away. It's better now, but it took about 9 months.
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#8 of 11 Old 04-21-2008, 10:08 AM
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I hear your worries about burning bridges and stalling the career but I think you should try not to go back for the first year. Baby time is important time ! And if you can swing it financially it will be a great year for you. Can you take an extended leave?

They really shouldn't be angry with you at work, I think many people just assume that the mom won't come back after the leave anyway. You won't be burning your bridges, just moving on, eventually. There's always that chance that you will have a job there in a year or so if you don't take the leave, or that maybe if you present them with not having you at all they will wake up and take you back with a part-time or flex schedule.

I'm facing the same choice, I love my job. I'm a teacher so we work with yearly contracts (which is probably different from a regular full-time job) I asked them for part-time work next year and they are getting back to me. But I told them definitively that I'm not going back full-time and I'm comfortable with that. There are more jobs out there for me and I look forward to taking care of the babe and the DP for once instead of working all the time (which for me, is allll the time).
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#9 of 11 Old 04-21-2008, 10:47 AM
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If you can swing it, it would be great. If there is some way to keep your skills and connections current, that would be great. Or, you might want to just try going back and see how it works. You can always give it a try, and then resign if you really can't stand it.

I went back when my DD was 10 weeks. I sprinkled the remaining days of my leave through the summer so I was basically working a 3 and half day week for the first two months. It honestly was not terrible, but I would have loved to have stayed home with her. Then I went full time. My first year back was not bad, but the second year was very difficult as she became more of a toddler and I felt more actively needed at home. I ended up using that second year to network and plan starting my own business. I talked to everyone I knew about it, and by the time I gave notice, I had plenty of consulting work lined up. (I am in sales management) Now I work from home, she still goes to daycare but part-time, and we're all pretty happy.
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#10 of 11 Old 04-21-2008, 10:51 AM
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Oh, we have all been there! I went back to work full-time when DD was 10 weeks old and oh, it was HARD. So very hard. I cried. A lot. My return to work spun off some serious PPD that I'm still on meds for; but honestly, I don't think staying at home for the year would have avoided that.

What I did was I made myself give it one month back at work. If after one month, I felt that I couldn't be happy working or that my daughter NEEDED me there 100% of the time, I would have made a change. But at the one month mark, while I still wasn't in love with WOHM full-time, I could see that I needed the balance that work provided me.

Sometimes it's helpful to remember that you can change your mind at any point. Don't feel like you have to decide the next year, two years, etc. just this week!

Mi vida loca: full-time WOHM, frugalista, foodie wannabe, 10+ years of TCOYF 


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#11 of 11 Old 04-21-2008, 10:53 AM
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This is where I get so upset for Americans, and self-employed Canadians, and everyone who really can't afford to be on leave. I am American-Canadian and see both sides in my family.

I am very glad to still be in my career - but I was supported by a society that understands that a year's maternity leave is beneficial for families, for the people who get a full year's contract to fill in (well... if the dad doesn't take some of the leave, which is a great option too!). I wish that American society would get behind some of that.

Anyways that is probably not helpful to you. What I guess I think is important is to remember that there are risks and rewards BOTH ways. Yes if you go back full time you will miss SOME hours with your baby, in exchange for career and hopefully financial stability. If you stay home, you will have SOME risks around getting back into your profession. Nothing is all bad or all good.

~ Mum to Emily, March 12-16 2004, Noah, born Aug 2005, Liam, born January 2011, and wife to Carl since 1994. ~
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