any fulltime working mothers out there?

(37 Posts)
LauraMysak Wed 27-Mar-13 22:41:25

Would like to know if there are any other fulltime working mothers like me out there, especially in the Cambridge area because I don't know of any and I feel that maybe if I did, and I could connect with them and chat about what it's like to be a fulltime working mother, I wouldn't feel so guilty all the time about leaving my 15 month old at a childminders 5 days a week. I would prefer to not have to do this but, the area of work I'm, means that parttime isn't really something that's acceptable. I know I could break away from my specialist area and take a generic parttime job but I don't want to do this because it would most likely not pay as well as my current job and I wouldn't be as happy as I am in my current job (although I want to work parttime I do actually enjoy my everyday work) and I wouldn't want to sacrifice the training I've had to go through to get this job. There are very few jobs in my field and I do feel like I have to hang on to this one. I'll maybe appeal against the decision to not let me go parttime, but I think the only way they'd listen would be if I threatened to leave if they didn't let me go parttime and, without any job lined up to go to, I don't feel I can make this appeal. I'd just like to connect with another fulltime working mother who's maybe had to work fulltime for financial reasons (that's partly why I can't consider parttime, because we need the fulltime salary) or other. Cheers

toosoppyforwords Thu 28-Mar-13 11:32:10

I'm a full time working mum (not in Cambridge though)

My children are now 5 and 6. I returned to work when they were both 6 months old (so had the first, went back to work, then went on maternity again then back to work!)

It's hard. No doubt about it. I remember crying my eyes out the first day back at work as i was distraught about leaving him in a nursery. (even though he loved it and settled in well!)

Its bloody exhausting, and if you're like me you are guilty that you dont spend enough time with your child, and then guilty when you are with them as you aren't giving enough to your job.

The only thing i can say is, go easy on yourself. Do not expect to be perfect at everything. Accept limitations, prioritise everything, and dont beat yourself up.

Also, for me, my sense of guilt re the children eased a little as i can see them growing into very happy, secure, settled, independent people who are doing very well at school.

x

LauraMysak Thu 28-Mar-13 13:06:48

thank you toosoppyforwords. Just to hear that someone else has done it makes me feel better. And your children are happy and well-adjusted so the fulltime care hasn't had an adverse affect on them. My DH actually says he thinks it's having a really positive effect on our son. Did you go back fulltime for financial reasons? Or because you really loved your job?

DeafLeopard Thu 28-Mar-13 13:21:16

I did it when DS was little - was back at work well before he was 6 months old.

It was hard, physically, mentally and the guilt...so much guilt.

I'll give you the flip side too - I got made redundant shortly after returning from mat leave with DD, and we decided that I would be a SAHM.

My DCs are now much older and my career prospects have dwindled to nothing. Our finances have been obliterated by me not working, so everything at the mo is a considered purchase and we often have to say no to stuff the DCs would like. My pension has been at a standstill and DHs is crap, we lost the private healthcare and other benefits and my professional subscriptions have long lapsed. There are so many benefits to working and a lot of downsides that are not immediately obvious.

Nothing more miserable than weeks on end of this horrible weather, stuck at home full time and unable to afford to go anywhere.

tugamommy Thu 28-Mar-13 13:23:48

I work full time and I'm in Cambridge.
I love to work and have my own money and wouldn't have it any other way (well maybe part-time if that was an option). Dd went to nursery full time and Ds is now in nurswry also full time.They're happy and settled and the little guilt I had at the beginning is long gone! smile

tugamommy Thu 28-Mar-13 13:24:21

It's really hard work, and I'm exhausted most of the time, I should add! grin

CMOTDibbler Thu 28-Mar-13 13:35:50

I work FT, and always have. My ds is nearly 7 now, and although it was physically hard when he was under 2 or so, its not nearly so bad now.

Ds seems well adjusted and happy smile

My job isn't the sort that works PT, and I'd have never got it back again if I'd stopped (v specialised). So not much of a choice as I love my job

LauraMysak Thu 28-Mar-13 17:24:27

Thank you for all your responses. I know working fulltime is not ideal for me but it's real life unfortunately and, in order to survive and continue to live in the house we do, I have to continue fulltime. I am trying to do a bit of freelancing on the side with the view that some day I'll be able to make enough from that to work from home so fingers crossed. I do have it good at the mo because at least I have enough money coming in to support the things we need as a family and if anything comes in out of the blue, like car insurance!!! it's not too much of a struggle.

LauraMysak Thu 28-Mar-13 17:27:10

thank you DeafLeopard for sharing with me your situation because you have obviously seen both sides and your insight into how things can turn out has made me realise that jobs can be hard to come by and there are many people struggling to make ends meet because they can't get jobs, so thank you

sauvignonismydrug Thu 28-Mar-13 17:32:24

I work full time, although as a teacher I do get good holidays. The flip side is I usually put in around 50 hours per working week. I've worked since my girls were 5 months, they're now 8 and 3. I love it and wouldn't have it any other way. I have my career and my children, I love picking them up and spending the evening with them but I don't miss them during the day as I am too busy at work.
The benefits for me are that I have maintained my career and that will continue when the girls have left home. I am fulfilled as I do a job I love. The girls love being at their child minders and enjoy the time we spend together. And, of course, with 2 full time wages coming in, we have a good standard of living (which includes being able to provide for my 3 step kids when they come to stay too!)

Mbear Fri 29-Mar-13 19:08:04

I work full time and have 3 yo ds. I'm in the no guilt camp I'm afraid! We need two wages to survive and I felt that x number of years out of work would stand me in no stead for future career prospects.

Also referring back to DeafLeopard's post - another unforeseen aspect is if something were to happen to dh (illness, redundancy, death, affair, leaving etc) I would have nothing, and I don't want that.

Snog Fri 29-Mar-13 19:14:45

I live in Cambridge and work FT, as does my dp. It's a very expensive area to live in.
I have previously worked PT - FT is much much better ime. FT work for me means that I can (finally) start to get ahead financially, but more importantly it allows me to have a fantastic job and to be able to progress my career in a way that just wasn't possible as a part timer.
Embrace your opportunities OP.

nenevomito Fri 29-Mar-13 19:24:16

I'm not in Cambs, but I am a FT working mother. I went back to work when DC1 was 5 months old and when DC2 was 9 months old. We could survive on just my salary, but DH doesn't want to be a SAHD and we couldn't survive on his. I don't feel guilty for working as if either of us should give up, its not me!

Besides, I want my own pension and financial security.

toosoppyforwords Sat 30-Mar-13 22:08:51

I went back in part for financial reasons, in part because i'm professionally educated as and didn't want to feel I had 'wasted' that, in part because I enjoy the independence it provides and also because as much as I love my kids didn't think being a sahm was for me. There are times I wish I was and then times i,'m glad I'm not.
Many children thrive with both parents who work. For me having routine and consistency is key for them, and they dont feel they are missing out as they never known anything different. I genuinely do not feel being in full time nursery has 'harmed' them - quite the reverse actually but of course that only becomes apparent when you are further down the line.
Don't feel as if you are letting them down, more that you are providing for their future.

drjohnsonscat Sat 30-Mar-13 22:20:24

I am a single parent of two young primary age Dcs and I work FT. I love working. Too many reasons to list but I am also at an age where people are facing bereavement, divorce, redundancy. Those of my friends who stopped work are totally stuffed. No one thinks these things will happen to them but they do.

Also guilt. Don't bother with it. I hate hearing "all working mothers feel guilty". Nope. Not at all. My children are loved and cared for and see that work matters. What on earth should I feel guilty about? Not enough time at Tumble Tots?

ratflavouredjelly Sat 30-Mar-13 23:36:04

I work full time - not in Cambs OP. but I identify with all the points you raised. I was 4 days then 3 days when my DS & DD were babes. I took as long as I could mat leave.

I find it really insulting when people question my decision to work full time or insinuate they feel sorry for me. I have no choice - my husband has fucked up majorly on the work front, and is unable to support us. He got into shed loads of debt without telling me & we nearly lost our home due to mortgage arrears.

I took the bull by the horns and thought, "I am going to sort this for the sake of my children's future and my own sanity." I work in education in HE and have pretty good prospects and am turning things around. I think many women are so much more dynamic than people give us credit for. At the moment my OH is doing primary school drop offs/pick ups etc. I wish we could afford a cleaner as he doesn't seem to get the concept of cleaning a house.

He has been out of wrk for nearly a year now and it's been hard but it could b much worse. I consider myself lucky to have a reasonably good job, enjoy challenges it brings. If I stepped off the career ladder I would end up with a gap on my cv and don't ever want to be in a position where I have to work for minimum wage. I feel lucky my children are happy and healthy. I need to be in control of my own money and value my independence. I adore my kids but also need adult conversation and enjoy work challenges. I would prefer to work 4 days but financially that is impossible.

Don't beat yourself up. I think children should see women as role models and bread winners as well. smile

ratflavouredjelly Sat 30-Mar-13 23:38:56

Good shout drjohnsonscat

LauraMysak Sun 31-Mar-13 20:49:05

great replies! I'm soooo glad there are loads of us out there! It gives me great confidence to think that there are plenty of fulltime working mums and it's working for you.
I just read that perhaps children should grow up alongside other children their own age and older and not just in the company of one parent at home because this is how it used to be, ages ago, when children were brought up in the community by other kids and neighbours. So maybe it's not bad my son is going to childminders with lots of other kids. He gets to learn and develop with them and often I think he plays up with me because I'm his mum and he's better with CM.
I feel if I were a SAHM maybe it would be more for my benefit, that I wouldn't miss him so much. I know he needs his mummy but he also needs stimulation from other kids and things outside the home.
I'm working towards getting a balance as I'd love to be able to pick him up from school in the future.

neriberi Tue 02-Apr-13 14:23:15

I'm a full-time working mum to a 2.5 year old boy, I live in Reading and commute to London everyday for work. I applied for flexitime last year and had it refused so I started to look for work locally and even though I had interviews and got offered 2 jobs I declined the offers because the grass is not always greener (as I discovered). Both jobs meant longer hours for less money, even though I would be working nearer home I wouldn't have been home any earlier than I am now. I've considered looking for part time work to fit around motherhood, but because of financial constraints its just not viable so its a case of plodding along and making the most of a naf situation.

I had a hellish year workwise and on a personal level in 2012, after my job hunting experiences I decided that rather than moving from a job I hate to another job I would potentially hate that I should bide my time and really explore my options, so after lots of soul searching, I've decided that ultimately, I want to move out the profession I'm in and re-train but I realise that this is a long term goal so to keep the faith and my sanity I've adopted the mentality that my job is just that, a job, nothing more and nothing less, it pays the bills, its a job that has good points and bad points so I ignore the bad points and focus on the good points. Its a means to an end kinda thing and if I can keep my chin up and grit my teeth a bit longer that I will reap the rewards and be able to re-train!

Being a full-time working mum is exhausting, I'm a terrible sleeper and can never switch my brain off, I'm a natural worrier so I try and plan my life with military precision, I do everything the night before, lunches, clothes out, bag packed etc and make sure my DH does his share. There are jobs I refuse to do like bath my DS (this is DH job) so that I get a magic 5 mins to have a cuppa before I have to read a bedtime story and I always make sure I have a plan B if plan A doesn't work. But if plan A doesn't always work I've learned to accept my limitations and laugh them off, I can't do everything all of the time and will let things like the housework slide, the house won't fall down if I don't bleach the toilet.

But biggest coping mechanism I have is to not think about my DS when I'm at work, which is hard confused I try not to talk about him and instead just focus on doing my job to the best of my abilities otherwise I think I will just crack up! Then 5:30 arrives and I look forward to seeing my excitable toddler and hearing all about his day.

Thurlow Tue 02-Apr-13 21:28:27

Another f/t working mum here to a 15mo. And near you - Cambridgeshire side of Herts. We manage at the moment because DP works shifts - also f/t, but he can do childcare around it so DD is at the CM's about 25 hours a week. Which kind of sucks for DP, really, it's such a long week for him.

Like a lot of mums on here I want to work, I worked hard for my qualifications and I don't want to throw them away. I'm not cut out to be a SAHM. However, I'll be honest and say that working f/t, with a commute in to London, isn't exactly what I want right now. I'd rather do a 4-day week, or be f/t but locally. But my sector has been badly hit by the recession and I'm lucky to still have a job, though they won't even discuss p/t or flexible working. It's also a sector which is based in London, so it was either the commute and a house with a garden in a nice town, or a 2-bed flat with no outside space somewhere miles away from their family. Jobs that I could do with my current qualifications are as rare as hen's teeth around here. So that's it. I know it is the right choice, but I get tired of defending it to some people. Everyone I know around here seems to be a teacher and they've all managed to go p/t grin But it's preferable, financially and for my sanity, to not working, and one day something more convenient will come up.

What I really struggle with, and I'd love to know if other mum's do, is the social aspect of working f/t. It's more complicated by the fact that DP's shifts include weekends, so most weekends he is at work. This is obviously lovely for me and DD (quality time) but I would love to meet up with other mums, have someone to go swimming or to soft play with. We only moved to this area when I was pg so while I have made quite a lot of friends, they all have young DC - and they all have husbands who are off work at the weekend. So they want to do family things. When we do arrange meet-ups, all the DH's come too, which I'll selfishly admit I find a bit tough - the conversation is never as honest as it is when it's just the mums, and I don't have anyone to keep an eye on DD while I gossip. I know that sounds petty but after 6 months back at work I am missing this. It's so difficult to schedule drinks after work with childless friends. It gets a bit lonely, sometimes...

On the plus side, DD absolutely adores her CM and the other mindees, and she has come on leaps and bounds since she started going. And in the long run I know it is right for our family that DP and I both work.

neriberi Wed 03-Apr-13 13:41:17

I moved out of London and back to my home town when I found out I was pregnant, I've been in Reading 2 years now and have really struggled to re-connect with old friends, it doesn't help that I'm so exhausted from my working week that by the time I've caught up with everything house wise (washing / ironing etc) that I haven't got the energy to socialise.

I've tried my hardest to make some new friends and have managed to strike up a couple of friendships with some lovely mums who's DCs get on well with my DS, but I m struggling to find the time to see them because my weekend is spent playing catch-up and they're weekends are the same because they both work too, so everything is scheduled weeks in advance blush but that leaves the time between meet-ups empty so I get lonely, actually I find life as a working mum really lonely.

MortifiedAdams Wed 03-Apr-13 13:47:21

I work FT, in a Hotel so pretty manic shiftwork, but I like to work (although I am ready to look for a new job). DH does office hours so between us she only needs to go a CMs for 3 days or so a week.

It is tiring, but I couldnt be a SAHM. I found that harder. DD is very chatty and sociable (15mo), and I am astounded at what she learns every day, in no small.part due to a fab CM and DH amd I both devoting the hours we can to her. I dont feel guilt at leaving her to go to work - I work to pay the mortgage, give her treats, and to show her that she can have a job and a family if she wants.

We are currently TTC #2 and I will be back at work 8/9months after #2 is born. I may look for a new job once that happens, but wont before then.

tomverlaine Thu 04-Apr-13 15:30:50

Am FT WOHM. Although DP has DS two days a week.
For me it has got easier as DS has got older - he is now nearly three and clearly loves nursery and gets a lot out of it-so now i feel he is benefitting/not suffering.

Xenia Sat 06-Apr-13 16:20:08

Yes, always and with 5 children. Part time can be the worst of all worlds and means you get treated in a sexist way at home, end up a virtual servant and on very little pay. Full time work rules in every sense. Keep at it. You will thank me when you are in your late 50s and still enjoying full time work and on higher pay.

pointythings Sat 06-Apr-13 18:06:02

I've always worked, had to go back when my DDs were just 6 months as mat leave wasn't as long then. And frankly I was grateful, I started getting cabin fever by about 4 months. My DDs are now 10 and 12 and they are sociable, high-achieving, well-behaved girls with no problems whatsoever. If you put them first and put the time in with them at home (bedtime, reading to them, cuddles), your children will do fine and you will have a fulfilling career.

And I think Cherie Blair got a lot of unwarranted flak for saying that it isn't safe to rely on someone else to provide for you - it's a fact. Illness, redundancy and the younger, sexier version of yourself can all happen, you need to be able to fend for yourself.

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