Returning to work or not? (Long sorry)

(38 Posts)
ZogandMog Tue 27-Nov-12 09:43:31

Hi mumsnetters

I am in a bit of a dilemma and need some words of wisdom before I make a decision. Have name changed for this and will not be going into much detail to avoid being recognised.

I am currently on maternity leave and due to go back in 3 months. I do not know what decision to make regarding returning to work or quitting job and finding a new one. (well I do know the decision I want to make but I am under a lot of pressure to decide the other option).

Pro's of returning to work

-Will provide financial security (although high risk of redundancy)
-My OH wants me to go back
-I'm scared of not finding work and us struggling etc

Cons of returning to work

-I hate my job
-I hate my work place (bullying of most staff memebers; underhand tactics)
-I have worked in this job for 5 years and feel like it has a negative impact on my life
-This job makes me physically unwell (with the stress) and has had a negative impact on my mental health (When the stress becomes too much at work, I have bouts of depression)
-I commute a long way to/from work on public transport (2 hrs each way)
-I travel on public transport for hours each day as part of my job
-I am physically unwell (recovering from surgery and worried that returning to work place would cause me to have another bout of depression (I am coming to terms with a traumatic birth where my baby and I nearly died)
-I have stopped sleeping properly (finding it hard to get off to sleep/waking lots throughout the night since thinking about going back to work)
- I have a constant feeling of dread in my belly (like a knot) since thinking about going back to work
-Despite promises around help with housework when I go back this will not happen (I do mostly everything whether working fulltime/part time or sahm)

I work with vulnerable people so I have to be on the ball and provide a high standard of care. The decisions which I make can be extremely tough and I am dealing with people's problems on a daily basis. The job is emotionally demanding and can be heart breaking. I feel that now would be a good time to hand in my notice as they have a replacement for me and I feel trapped in the job (I do not want this to have an impact on the people I work with). If I go back then my OH says I will have to stay a year and I dont think I will be able to. Obviously financial security is a big factor (I have 3 young children).

What would you do? TIA

MamaMary Mon 03-Dec-12 12:59:16

I hope you can come to a satisfactory agreement with your OH, Zog. Take care. xx

ZogandMog Mon 03-Dec-12 12:01:04

Thank you for everyone's replies and advice. I have taken everything on board and appreciate all comments as they have helped me to think about my options. I have asked MNHQ to delete the thread as I have spoken about these issues in too much detail. Thanks once again

nkf Thu 29-Nov-12 16:52:13

Seriously? With a husband with those sort of pressuring ways, I'd be looking for promotion.

Letsmakecookies Thu 29-Nov-12 16:42:53

My advice to a younger me would be never ever to give up work for family life, or to help your partner's career.

By all means to look for a new job that suits you better, but stick to a constant career path. Because if the relationship doesn't work out, you are so much better off with your own income & savings. I will be drumming this into my daughter when she is old enough, that and having her own savings, and lots of other bits of worldly advice that does against the 'happy ever after fairy-tale'.

sweetkitty Wed 28-Nov-12 16:47:06

My DP came I to our relationship knowing nothing about how to keep a home, his own mother martyred herself in that she did everything for him (whilst complaining), he once told her he would do the hoovering to be told no you will only break it hmm. She even did things like his car tax etc. well I'm not his mother, he soon learned to iron, do washings etc. I don't get why having a penis means you can't work a washing machine. I simply refused to do it for him, we were both working FT at this point.

I'm a SAHM now and once he's home it's 50/50, I'll cook tonight hell clean up, well do a pick up each etc.

In getting back to your original post. I think you have to really sit own and work out the figures. When DD1 was born, I would have had a 14 hour day, 90 min commute each way and loads of overnight travel, I just didn't want her in nursery that amount of time, neither did DP. We moved from the SE to Scotland to afford to live on one salary. I've never regretted becoming a SAHM, I'm retraining next year though.

Personally I would give up work but look for something closer to home as soon as you can.

Xenia Wed 28-Nov-12 15:55:12

But we dont' all marry the awful sexist men like the Zog and Artful husbands;/ Thousands of men do as much if not more washing, shopping cooking and chilcdcare as full time working wives. I had a stage of not knowing how the washing machine worked as their father did all the washing. Why do some of these men not do as much as women and others do?

lookingfoxy Wed 28-Nov-12 14:02:40

Your OH sounds very controlling and as if he is lying about the finances.
Have you checked out the link I posted yourself and put the figures in?
There is no way I would go back to a job that made me feel like that.
He says your going to lose the house but wants a new computer????

ZogandMog Wed 28-Nov-12 13:57:29

MamaMary- You are right. I definetly have to gain some more financial control and Independence. I think I just feel so overwhelmed by everything at the moment. I really thought I was escaping this situation but like you also said my OH is controlling and unreasonable at times.

ArtfulAardvark - I'm skeptical too but I guess this is where I have to make decisions. If he doesnt support me with these things then I will have to leave. I am definetly going to be applying for jobs continually to make sure that I am not in this position forever. I have also been planning to save when I can as a back up plan (I feel quite vulnerable at the moment and want to always be able to provide for the children).

ArtfulAardvark Wed 28-Nov-12 13:30:15

Bearing in mind your DH has a history of not pulling his weight what makes you think he is going to now, personally I am skeptical he is going to be quite as helpful as he says. My H ofen says "why shouldnt I be the one who stays at home, a valid point but would he do the cleaning, washing, help with homework? I am fairly sure not. I work at home so have some money coming in, I do in retrospect respect giving up my part time job but then my travel was 10 minutes and I liked my co-workers.

I think you need to sit down with pen and paper, work out your finances and decide where to go from there. Another thing to discuss is that if you are working and the children are ill it should not be expected that you are the one to let your employer down to care for them it will have to be a 50/50 split (again an area where I knew DH would not pull his weight)

The best scenario would be for you to find something closer to home then even if you were not majorly enamoured of your co-workers at least it is not taking over your whole life.

MamaMary Wed 28-Nov-12 13:17:31

Xenia I think your posts are unhelpful and the OP has already said more than once that you don't seem to understand her situation.

MamaMary Wed 28-Nov-12 13:15:56

oh, Zog, I think the real problem here is your OH. He sounds very controlling and unreasonable. There is no reason why you should put your health at risk again. That will be so detrimental to your family life and your relationship - and could eventually (or sooner) actually have an adverse effect on your job prospects if you get so run down/ depressed that you can't work at all.

A 3 hour commute sounds horrendous as well. And I doubt your OH will suddenly start to pull his weight with the housework.

OP, you need to get in control of your finances. Don't just take your OH's word for it that 'you will lose the house' or 'you will have to pay back maternity pay'. From what you have posted, I suspect both are untrue. If you were getting SMP, you don't have to pay that back. Please find out these things yourself and get some financial control and independence back.

Xenia Wed 28-Nov-12 13:02:23

Why did you marry a sexist man? Why tolerate even for a day a man who doesn't pull his weight?

If you earned double what he does you could pay for a housekeeper anyway I suppose or at least a cleaner a few days a week.

ZogandMog Wed 28-Nov-12 11:37:51

Also Xenia I used to earn way more than my OH when working full time but was unable to sustain working those many hours with all the pressures which I was under (including an OH who did nothing around the house at all/no childcare). He suggested he would become a SAHD but he was unable to as he was not willing to do the housework or childcare so there would have been even more pressure on me than usual. Lets just face it. Im in a tough position but Im gonna suck it up and get on with things. Thanks for all replies

ZogandMog Wed 28-Nov-12 11:33:42

Lovestosing- Thank you for your reply. My OH's attitude bothers me too. If he does not fulfill his promises then I am likely to be taking me and my children out of this situation completely.

I put my foot down this morning when he announced that hes getting a new computer at Christmas (he has had 2 already in the last 2 years) with our money and before anyone says he works fulltime and he should have nice stuff. Yes this is true but I dont buy myself much I make do and I think if I am sacrificing my health to return to a job because I would be putting my family in financial difficulty (as he is saying) then I will n0ot tolerate him buying loads of unneeded stuff.

Xenia- Thank you for your reply. Unfortunetly there are a few issues with me working full time. My current job is part time. I was originally full time years ago but I had to reduce hours because I was struggling with working full time/commuting for hours and doing all housework. I became very depressed and was in bad health. I was later redeployed (part time position still)- massive cuts to my work place. If my OH had been more supportive and also pulled his weight then I probably would have been in much better health now to be honest. Also working full time I barely saw my child ( I now have 3) and was ill every weekend with the stress so had no quality of life (apart from being ok for money- ok not rich). In regards to cheering up. I am not unhappy being on maternity leave as my daughter and I nearly died 5 months ago I am grateful that we are alive and spend every day enjoying being around to see my children grow up. I don't think you fully understand my posts or the situation which I am in. I do agree that it is easier to find work when you are in work- that's one point which we agree on.

Lovestosing Wed 28-Nov-12 10:44:32

OP your OH's attitude really, really bothers me. He says now he will do housework, I very much doubt he will as he will be the one working full time so that will be a perfect excuse for him to do nothing, like you said he never has before. He doesn't seem to care about your happiness at all. I just hope you're able to find another job, your life is going to be incredibly stressful otherwise.

Xenia Wed 28-Nov-12 10:43:29

It sounds as though he is going to be more helpful as he should be if you return full time. Most couples where both work full time are happier than where one is overly burdened at home. Also if you get back to the job you hate you can immediately look for another full time job from a position of strength and in employment - much harder to find work when not working.

My points were valid. Women at home have much worse mental health than working women. If you go back to work you might well cheer up and it sounds as if it will keep your husband happy too and there is nothing wrong with that in relationships. The more women we gvet in the workplace and in due course earning more and indeed on the board and outearning their men the better. See if you can set yourself a task to earn 2x your husband's earnings.

ZogandMog Wed 28-Nov-12 10:10:22

Rockchick- I have spoken to him about what is going to change. He has agreed that he will take the eldest to breakfast club and help with picking him up on days where I am working long hours. I am in the middle of arranging a childminder who will pick the babies up/return them from my house so these are massive positives. Ive told him Im starting driving lessons again straight after Christmas and Ive told him he will have to pull his weight around the house. We have spoken about the finances and our figures differ considerably. I think he is saying we would loose the house as a way of controlling my decision to be honest as he knows that I would not jeopardise things for my children.

Katisha- 1/2 day at the nans (2 children); 2 full days at childminders (2 children) and 1 child at after school club/breakfast club 2 days a week. Going back we will be £350 a month better off. We are eligible for help with the paid childcare from tax credits. With the childminder picking and returning my kids up from my home and help from OH/nan around childcare I will be able to get the commute to about 3 hours as I was previously doing lots of dropping off and picking up which was making my hours ridiculously long. Voluntary redundancy may be an option although I wanted to put myself forward for this previously and I wasnt able to as my OH felt that it would put us in trouble.

Inclusionist- Luckily I am only part time and 1 child is at school. I would also have 1/2 a week childcare from the children's nan/childcare support from tax credits which will help us so much. £350 a month better off. The original plan was always that I would get evening work/weekend work instead of returning to this job as my OH would be able to cover all childcare while I was working but for want of a better word my OH has said no to that now.

Torres10- That's what I am going to do. I think its the only way Im going to manage.

deXavia- I am planning to look at all the figures again today by myself as he was quite secretive when we were working out the figures (he was working out childcare help on the computer but I never saw the screen). He is controlling thats for sure. I deliberately didnt take enhancement pay as it was always the plan that I wasnt leaving. Yesterday my OH said that he found out I would end up paying maternity pay back but I dont trust him on that one. Need to find out more info. OH is supportive of me finding a new job whilst in this one although I have to find a job that is exactly the same money or more. If the salary was less then I cant go for it. I have been told by my manager that the cases I work with are becoming more challenging so I am going to have to think of strategies and stress relievers to help me. Appropriate childcare arrangements and driving lessons would make my life very different to the way it was before maternity leave. I need to look after myself better and not put my needs at the bottom of the pile, Im bad at this but know I have to improve. My relationship at the moment is very difficult. He does not understand my work role at all and it is a constant strain between us.

Thanks for your replies

deXavia Wed 28-Nov-12 09:20:03

God so many questions here
Have you seen the figures that say you'd lose the house? It sounds very strange and IMO controlling of your DH to claim this? Obviously if you've done the maths and that's the case them yes I guess there is little choice.
What is your contract with your employer re return to work? Some employers pay more that statutory maternity leave which you have to pay back if you don't return - is this the case and what are the terms?
Can you start back and look for another role - why would your DH be unsupportive of this? If the issue is financial then as long as money comes in who cares where it's from?
What can you do at your current job to make changes - can you do reduced hours, one day at home to do paperwork (but also reduce stress) - any sideways shifts/redeployment?
And - frankly for me the biggest - exactly what is going in in your relationship? Sorry this is personal and beyond the scope of your OP so feel free to ignore. But seriously a DH this unsupportive and controlling is very worrying - unless there are contributing factors ie he is highly likely up be made redundant/comes from a particular difficult background regarding money ... but whilst that may excuse his worries it doesn't excuse the attitude and way he is treating your concerns.

Torres10 Wed 28-Nov-12 08:59:12

Personally, I would go back and start looking and applying for something more suitable now. It is always easier to find another job when you are in one and if you quit you don't know how long it will take to find another job and you could end up financially stretched.

Inclusionist Wed 28-Nov-12 08:51:13

Surely £650pm does not cover 3 childrens' full time nursery fees?? That would not come close to covering one set of full time nursery fees where I live!

How much money will you actually keep after sorting the children out? Would it be possible to earn the same amount doing evening/ weekend shifts somewhere?

Katisha Wed 28-Nov-12 08:36:46

What are the sums in terms of paying for childcare? Will pretty much all your salary go on that or not?

A four hour commute does sound rather counter-productive on top of everything else.

IF there is a high risk of redundancy is there any chance of volunteering and getting a pay off?

Rockchick1984 Wed 28-Nov-12 08:28:17

You need to ask him what measures he will help you to put in place then for coping - cleaner, him taking on more responsibility around the house, driving lessons so at least it's a shorter day for you.

Why does he think you will lose the house? Have u sat down and gone through the finances together?

I really feel for you, I had a horrible experience at work while pregnant and ended up with anxiety and depression. There's no way I could have gone back to work there after having my son (I was incredibly lucky that my DH agreed, and supported me becoming a SAHM even though at times its horrible being skint). Does he really understand what he's expecting of you?

ZogandMog Wed 28-Nov-12 08:10:42

Just wanted to say thanks again for the advice. Had a talk with OH and I'm going back. He has said we will loose the house if I dont go back. So I have no choice.

lookingfoxy Tue 27-Nov-12 21:51:24

As far as I know you will not need to pay anything back to your employer, you are entitled to your maternity pay.

As for losing tax credits, put your details in here and that will tell you exactly what you will get.

ZogandMog Tue 27-Nov-12 18:39:04

MamaMary-thank you for your reply. my oh isnt supportive where my work is concerned.He has just got home& said I will have to pay money back to the employer and we will loose tax credits. I feel so trapped:-( . Nothing is going to change

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