Family and work

I’m not sure if anyone can actually give me any advice on this, but maybe I just need to vent.

I have four sons, the oldest is almost 6 (from my ex-husband), the second is 17 months old and the twins were born last [name_u]December[/name_u]. Ideally we’d have one or two more children in the next few years. But nobody can predict the future of course.
Before I had to stay home on sick leave while I was pregnant with the twins, I was working full-time as a psychologist in a hospital. I have three months left of maternity leave before I have to go back to work, so it’s not extremely urgent, but I’ve been thinking about what I’d want to do in the future. I don’t think I can go back to working full-time. [name_f]My[/name_f] SO is absolutely amazing, when it comes to raising the children and doing the housework we’re equals. I also have my twin brother who helps us out a lot, and we’ll practically be living together in a few months, so that’s very helpful. So it’s not just the practical things, but I want to spend more time with my children, I don’t want to be running around and hurrying from here to there all the time. I also struggle with anxiety, so I need time and space to think and stay sane. Financially working part-time would be possible, but difficult, since we’ve only just bought a new house.

I don’t know what to do. I love my job, and when I was pregnant with my first I swore I’d never be one of those women who gave up their job to take care of the children. But now my life is different, so many things about me are different. I don’t want to give up my job completely, but I’ve been thinking about starting my own practice as a psychologist, so I can decide for myself how much I want to work. But in that case I’d lose all financial certainty. [name_f]My[/name_f] SO would still have his job of course.
How do you decide what’s best for you and your family? This whole thing is giving me more anxiety than I already had :roll_eyes:


I’m not an adult so I don’t have any advice, but hugs!

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So, after I had my first I went back when she was 10 months old, 4 days a week at first, then full time when she was about 13 or 14 months old.

I’m a teacher, and while I love my job - it was too much. It’s not just the contact hours, but the planning, meetings, out of hours things like parent-teacher conferences, finding resources, worrying about the class - how to meet their various learning and social needs - and then on top of that the parents and their various complaints… [name_m]Just[/name_m] time-wise and emotionally it was exhausting, and felt so unfair to my baby who so badly still wanted/needed me.

Lockdown was one of the happiest times for me because I was actually there to see her growing up. After that I negotiated with my boss moving back to 4 days a week, and my partner and I also decided that I’d aim to spend more time at home so may as well add to our family while I’m home anyway, so expecting number 2. Am now doing 3 days a week this year up until maternity leave.

I’m really excited to spend more time with the kids, and even wondering about homeschooling them in the future, but also do love my job (just not the hours and personal investment) and know that when home is the ONLY thing in my life I go a bit crazy… [name_f]My[/name_f] children SHOULD feel like enough purpose for me maybe, but I really need a bit more intellectual stimulation and something outside the home to stay mentally well I think.

So I’ll possibly look at doing 2-3 days a week when this babe is 10 months old or so, or maybe see if I can do some private tutoring or something, or find something else even if it’s a hobby or local conservation project that I can somehow invest passion/energy/brain into despite still having young children.

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I’m also not an adult but my mum works part time and its brilliant. She’s one of those people who has to be doing things nearly all the time so it works perfectly she has time to be with us kids and also gets to have a job at the same time.

Good luck in making your decision.

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I’m in a very similar boat to Kiriko- I’m also a teacher and my DD is 3.5months old.

Last year I was relief teaching as I was really unwell during my pregnancy so that gave me the flexibility to take work on days I felt well and stay at home when I was sick.

Now I’ve been offered a few relief hours here and there and we’re lucky enough that may husbands work is flexible enough to allow him to work from home a few hours a week. It looks like there is a part time job coming up next term that the school has indicated they would like to offer me.

I’m torn because I love being home with my daughter and feel like she deserves her parents full attention but if I take this job my husband won’t be able to be with her all the time I’m away and she’ll need to go to childcare which breaks my heart- I don’t trust anyone else with her. I know the job will be good for my career but I’m not sure it’s worth it :woman_shrugging:t2: I like the relief work and the flexibility that affords me but at the same time when a lockdown comes along I suddenly have NO work whatsoever and financially that’s a bit rough since I’m not receiving maternity pay.

I would say though that both parents working full time is too much if you can possibly avoid it. If you feel like your husbands job is secure then if I was in your position I would definitely be looking into the option of setting up your own business and seeing if that looks feasible logistically and financially.

All the best from another torn mama and I hope you find a balance that works well for you and your family.

That’s one of my biggest concerns as well. I love spending time with my family, but I need something else as well. Being at home full-time just wouldn’t be enough for me. And I love my job so much, if I had to stop my work as a psychologist completely I’d miss the intellectual stimulation and my patients.

My oldest two went/are going to daycare, my second since he was 6 months old. And while I don’t exactly like leaving him there, it also isn’t a huge issue for me. [name_u]Ever[/name_u] since the start of the whole COVID situation my SO has been working from home most of the time, and I’ve been home a lot too, but we still chose to let [name_m]Barnabas[/name_m] go to daycare at least once a week as long as we weren’t/aren’t in lockdown and the daycares were/are open. We want him to be able to interact with children his own age before he goes to preschool.

First time mom here, due next month, so I don’t have any personal experience at this yet, but I find everyone’s responses so interesting!

I’m planning to only go back part-time after babe is born as well. We’re really lucky to be able to consider this, I know for many families it’s not a possibility, and it will make things a little tight for us, but doable.

I will get 8 weeks of short term disability (about 50% pay) from my full time job, and I have almost 3 weeks vacation time saved up that I can use as well. FMLA allows for up to 12 weeks off, and my state doesn’t have any additional protections. I think if I could take a longer leave, I would be more willing to consider going back full time. But I also have a 2nd job with flexible part time hours where I could go up to 20 hours/week.

Hubby’s job is very stable and has great health insurance so we should be in pretty good shape. Hopefully we can balance our schedules so that one of us can always be home with baby. Full time day care is crazy $$$ and we wouldn’t need that many hours anyway. I’m hoping that library playgroups and such will be able to meet again once baby is a little older and we can get socialization with other kids that way.

I don’t think there’s any right answers – every family just has to find the balance of time and money that they can live with.

I agree socialisation is really important! That’s why I like taking her to library groups, the museum, meeting mums with babies the same age but also spending lots of time with family friends who have kids of varying ages so she gets used to interacting with people of all ages :blush:

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I worked as an SLPA at an elementary school before I had my daughter, and planned on going back. But I would’ve had to return to work when she was 6 to 12 weeks old (my work didn’t offer maternity leave and that’s all the sick leave I had) and I decided that wasn’t fair to her and having her in childcare for that long while I went to work just didn’t feel safe or healthy (in our situation).
So I quit to stay home, which in some ways has been absolutely fantastic. I’ve gotten to be with her for every milestone every new experience, I get all the cuddles and kisses, get to rock her to sleep at night. But to be honest it’s been very very hard on me mentally, I enjoy getting up and going to work, talking to people and feeling like part of society. So I decided I needed a club or part time job to keep my sanity, so usually I teach dance twice a week when my husband is home in the evenings (even though with the pandemic that hasn’t been happening for awhile)


When I had my daughters, there was no such thing as childcare, as most mothers stayed at home with them. If there was a paid working mother, usually Grandma did the baby sitting.

My then husband and I made the decision to be a one income family when our first son was born with club feet. Before that I did a part time job in an office (8 year gap between DD3 and DS1). when I later tried to return to work after DS2 was about 2, I had a lot of problems. The whole world had changed because of computer technology. I had to go back studying, and after obtaining a Tafe diploma and a later Uni degree, I still had trouble finding work as I was now a mature worker and came up against age discrimination.

I would suggest to all young mothers, that you take maximum maternity leave, and then possibly consider part time work, job sharing or as one lady is thinking a part time professional business. Honestly, you need to keep up your job skills as you don’t know what the future holds, You could be widowed or divorced. Not nice to think about, but it does happen. [name_m]Even[/name_m] 1-2 days a week will keep up your job skills.

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That’s a great way of teaching your daughter to interact with other children (and adults). Unfortunately most of our friends don’t have children and we have almost no family close-by. The ones that do have children we haven’t been able to meet because of COVID, just once or twice last summer when we were in between lockdowns. [name_m]Barnabas[/name_m] is 17 months old, and 12 of those months were in “COVID-time”, so without daycare he’d hardly have seen anyone at all.

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