Should I go for a 'career' or stick with my flexible P/T from home role?

(24 Posts)
teaandchocolate Wed 05-Dec-12 19:02:31

Yes I'm sure there are options for mums that work and I know it probably seems more complicated to me because I don't have to deal with it all yet. I think whatever I do I might end up regretting it. Chucking in a job as flexible and laid back as mine could end up being a regret too!! So hard all these decisions and it really didn't occur to me before DD!

janey68 Wed 05-Dec-12 06:52:38

Can I just throw into the mix that a childminder is often the best solution once the kids are in school. Many of them are very happy to do The morning and afternoon wrap around care.

My childrens school does have an after school club; my two go 3 times a week but we use a childminder for the other 2 days as they do get tired at the club whereas the cm is more like coming home and chilling out with a bit of tv and wind down. Also, I needed to keep a cm on as she has them in the morning from 7.45 and drops them at school.

So- although it all seems a lot more complicated than nursery, there are solutions once the kids are in school. You are lucky having a mum and mil local but as you rightly say, it would be a big ask for them to fit their life around the school day

teaandchocolate Tue 04-Dec-12 23:11:20

Theoriginal grin it is a bit ridiculous isn't it?!

I know I'm very lucky to have help with childcare. However I've just always felt they shouldn't be obliged to help, particularly once dd is at school as its for such a long time. Argh i appear to generally have a guilt complex about all aspects of my life!!

theoriginalandbestrookie Tue 04-Dec-12 21:32:51

Must be the first time I have rooted for someone not to be successful at job interview ! Your current job sounds perfect.

However I feel duty bound to say that you are very lucky to have both DM and DMIL living locally and able to support with child care.

teaandchocolate Tue 04-Dec-12 19:27:24

Hi makingitup. Thank you for your post, really fills me with hope that I might be lucky next time, pregnancy-wise. I also had a mc before DD so our situation seems very similar. Congratulations to you!

The job I am in now would be perfect to fit around school as I could just work during school hours and would need no extra childcare. It must be so hard fitting a 'proper job' around school hours and sorting drop offs and picking up. I guess I would have to rely on my mum and mother in law as they're both local. It's just a big commitment for them.

I will have to see how the interview goes I guess but I'm kind of hoping I hate the sound of it and don't get the job!! Nothing like a good attitude....!!

makingitupasigo Mon 03-Dec-12 11:58:28

Hi there. If I'm not too late good luck with the interview. So sorry to hear about your mc's - I also had 2 since my DD was born (as well as 2 before) but am finally very pregnant due in Jan, so don't give up hope, some of us just get rough luck when it comes to these things!

But I totally understand how this can affect your view of your career - although I went back to work 3-days-a-week after maternity leave ended, it has still effectively put any career advancement on hold (or at least major slow-down), which I accepted because I thought I'd be off on maternity again pretty quickly. When that didn't happen I started to wonder if I was wasting time. Luckily I am pregnant now so it's delayed my decision another year or so, but I will have to face up to it eventually.

What I would just add to the mix is to think about what you will do when your DD goes to school. Whilst 3 days a week works just fine while I have an amazing nursery to send my DD to between 8 and 6 (I need an hour to get from nursery into central London), I have no idea what will happen when she goes to schoool and they finish at 3.30pm. At open days I've often asked about after school clubs but I generally get a horrified "how could you make your poor young child stay late" look and the answer that no, there is nothing until they get older.

So I guess what I'm saying is firstly, part time may not actually put your career "back on track" as you think (although I'm sure the legal profession is different - I'm just in telecoms strategy), and secondly, make sure you think about the slightly longer term as well.

Good luck with everything anyway.

teaandchocolate Fri 30-Nov-12 18:28:46

Thank you everyone. I think you're right that I can't really make a proper decision unless I actually go. It's just annoying its so expensive to get there!!

I hope it clarifies things for me...I just have a feeling I'll be back on here if they do offer me something dithering about whether or not to take it!!

Thank you so much for all your advice though I really appreciate it.

NuclearStandoff Fri 30-Nov-12 15:07:21

Good luck with the interview. It's as much about you finding out if the job's right for you as it is about the employer finding out if you are right for the job.

Hopefully the experience of having the interview will help you to decide what is going to be best for you and that can only be a good thing.

theoriginalandbestrookie Fri 30-Nov-12 11:08:07

Oh well good luck (I think) for the interview.

I guess the reality is that you don't need to make a decision until you are offered the position and you will have a lot more knowledge then about what the role entails and the actual hours.

teaandchocolate Thu 29-Nov-12 19:59:15

Yes possibly. The business is really dependent on my 'boss' but he seems keen for me to stay for a while and has been talking of bonuses. There is probably more I could do with it. I guess it's just if I want to actually practice law again its probably now or never. Maybe talking about law at the interview will help me decide.

ISingSoprano Thu 29-Nov-12 19:36:57

Is there any way you can build up your consultancy to give yourself more stimulation and more challenge while retaining the control?

teaandchocolate Thu 29-Nov-12 19:31:56

Thank you for your post. You're right, stress probably isn't what I need now. I think I must be mental but I've said I'll go for the interview and have booked (an extortionate) train!! I really don't know why but then I'm not sure why I spent days doing an application form for a job I wasn't sure I wanted! I think I feel I should see if I can get it and then I'm hoping I will feel more sure one way or the other. A big part of this is the fact that I tell everyone there are no part time jobs around and so when one actually came up I felt obliged to apply...and now I appear to feel compelled to see it through!!!

I'm hoping the interview will quell some of my doubts and worries once an for all and let me feel content in what I'm doing. I just feel very out of sorts at the moment so I thought maybe a new challenge would help. But I think maybe its because I was supposed to be on maternity leave or at least pregnant & I'm terrified of trying again. . Not sure really. Maybe I should have just taken up a hobby!!!

theoriginalandbestrookie Thu 29-Nov-12 16:29:04

Looks like you have your answer then OP as it sounds like you really don't want to go for it, which is just as right a decision as applying for it.

You have a job at the minute which means that you won't have a gap on your CV. If your DH works long hours it will be hard to juggle child care if you are working out of home and expected to do long hours yourself - note I am saying hard, this does not mean its impossible.

I'm sorry to hear about your miscarriages. I wouldn't worry so much about appearing unprofessional in a new job, but I would think about your stress levels and how easy it would be to manage them in a new position.

If it were me, and its not, I would look at the other options people have suggested such as night time lecturing to supplement your existing role.

teaandchocolate Wed 28-Nov-12 17:20:07

Thanks for the responses. Janey I know what you mean about working from home and I'm not sure I could do it full time but because I only work 2 days its working fine at the moment and I like not having to make an effort or commute. I do miss my old work life and the people but there's no guarantee that I'll like anyone in this new job!! I do know what you mean. Although I am saving a fortune in travel and work clothes (as I have a bit of a shopping habit!).

Bearcat that's exactly what I'd love to do - forget about a career for now, have loads of children and then do something more exciting when they're older. Just not sure how easy it is to get back into law. I definitely think the stress of my previous job wasn't conducive to conception - although I've had 2 miscarriages this year when my work life has been totally stress free! I would really like to just plod along for a few more years & then maybe get a 'proper job' (or do a phd!) just not sure how realistic that is!

Bearcat Wed 28-Nov-12 16:21:21

I know it's a long time ago now, about 25 years in fact but I had a friend who actually gave up being a lawyer in London whilst she was trying to conceive. I think her work was so stressful that it wasn't happening. She did conceive and went on to have 4 children altogether.
The family moved out of London and moved to the North East. She was a stay at home mum for many years.
But what she eventually started to do was to lecture in law at night school and some time after this started to work as a lawyer in the public sector somewhere.
Just another thought for you and the fact that it is possible after many years to go back to what you trained for.

janey68 Wed 28-Nov-12 16:03:40

Good money so it'll be a case of looking at nurseries or childminders or other options

Good luck

janey68 Wed 28-Nov-12 16:02:59

The money is only part of it though. A good career path is also about the stimulation and satisfaction you get from the work.

I'm sure working at home suits some, but I think you have to be the right sort of person to cope with the lack of social interaction and 'buzz' you get from being in a different environment. I couldn't do it- or not as a permanent thing anyway; I would miss that buzz and I like the fact that going to work means putting on different clothes, going somewhere different etc

I would think about how much all these aspects matter and whether you are keeping your prospects good in the long term. Don't Worry about the childcare issue because of course if you get the Job and need proper childcare you'll manage- you say you'll earn good m

teaandchocolate Wed 28-Nov-12 14:18:45

Just logging off for a bit but would welcome any other views as I am incapable of making decisions about my own life!!

teaandchocolate Wed 28-Nov-12 14:10:11

I don't think I do really want the job I just feel like I'm letting myself down by 'throwing away' all my training/qualifications and if I change my mind in 5/10 years it'll be too late. Although you're right in that there might be scope to enhance my current role or even find something else. My current job is quite insecure as I'm self employed and its a small business but you never know what's around the corner, I guess, good and bad.

My mum is amazing and will always help as much as she can but I've always felt that DD is my child and I don't like feeling that I'm not the one looking after her as its not really my mum's responsibility. DH can't help as he works really long hours (also a lawyer) and we both want him to be able to push forward with his career - he is much better suited to it than me as deals with stress much better than I do!!

In an ideal world, if money was no object, I would LOVE to study but I just don't think we could afford it and I can't justify the extra childcare. Having the mc has made me so grateful for DD and I don't want to see less of her.

I also don't think I made it clear that the new job is part time but I have no idea of hours so that could mean 4 days although the max I want to do is 3. I know I sound pathetic as 3 days isn't much but its just that what I do now is so easy with a child. I kind of wish I'd not got the interview, which says a lot I suppose....

NatashaBee Wed 28-Nov-12 13:54:32

Other than the money, do you actually want the job? It seems like the money is the only thing driving you... but you seem to be in a good place with your current role. Will your mum be able to help with emergency childcare if your child gets sick, or in the holidays? Will your DH be able to help out and share the burden? it is a bit of a juggling act with full time work.

If you want to challenge yourself a bit more, can you study or branch out a bit with your freelance work rather than looking for a new job?

teaandchocolate Wed 28-Nov-12 13:50:39

Thanks and thank you for sharing your experience.

I'm almost hoping I don't get it....so not sure what that says about the situation!! Its just annoying the interview is so far away as I'll have to tell everyone about it in order to find someone to look after DD!

NuclearStandoff Wed 28-Nov-12 13:45:08

Oh, and good luck with the interview!

NuclearStandoff Wed 28-Nov-12 13:44:25

No question, go for the money/career option.

If you don't, you may well regret it in five years' time.

I made the mistake of taking the easy, work-from-home option for seven years, and when I was ready for a challenging career again, I found I'd missed the boat.

Go for it, the childcare etc will be simple enough to figure out.

teaandchocolate Wed 28-Nov-12 13:39:52

Until I was pregnant with my DD (now 2) and we moved cities I worked as lawyer. Since then I've been working part time from home in a legal consultant-type role. Its really flexible as I can basically work when I want, its very relaxed and non-stressful and its all from home. I enjoy the work and the fact I'm not stressed anymore although I don't feel hugely challenged. I found working as a lawyer very stressful and it didn't seem conducive to family life but it was something I had wanted to do for years and I trained hard to get where I was...plus I earnt really good money!!

However, I've recently applied for a new role, as a lawyer but in the public sector so hopefully less stressful (although I'm not sure!). The money is twice what I'm on now which to be honest is my main motivating factor. I also always have in the back of my head (and there've been a few threads on here recently on this subject) that I shouldn't throw away my training and should 'keep up' with my DH as far as possilbe in terms of careers and earnings. However, at this precise moment the thought of going back to an office, to a 'proper job' really scares me. I'd need to sort out proper childcare for DD who at the moment goes to pre-school 2 mornings and to my mum. I have no idea how it would all work and what I'd do when she's ill. Although I appreciate most working mums figure this out!!

We are also trying for number 2 but are struggling and have had 2 miscarriages this year. I'm not sure if that was partly why I applied for another job as I feel like I'll never have another child and I need to stop putting my life on hold. BUT if I do get pregnant/am trying is it very unprofessional and foolish to apply for a new job and potentially take on the stress of a new role/colleagues/long hours etc?!

I just wanted to get views of other mums as to whether I'd be an idiot to chuck in what is a pretty perfect job, the kind which I often see people on here asking how they can find, in order to go for the money/career option. Its come to a head now as the interview is in London and it will cost me over £100 to get there and I will also need extra childcare so I need to decide if I actually want the job!!

Sorr this is long, didn't want to drip feed and thanks for reading!

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