Preparing to go back to work

This week, I have been preparing to go back to work.  I have struggled to be able to get back into employment over the past few years due to Nursery costs, as well as before and after school costs, being equal to or more than the wage that I would get.  I am the only person responsible for sorting out child care in our household so staying at home was, in reality, the only option for me.

I have absolutely loved being at home with my children and I feel very lucky that I have had the opportunity to do this.  We have played everyday, had long walks, met up with friends and baked some lovely foods, as well as many, many other activities.  I have been there for all school drop-off and pick-ups for my son, which has made us both very happy.  I know not every parent gets to do these things as often as I have had chance to.  I do feel extremely fortunate that I have been able to do all of these things with both children so far.

There have been downsides though, including the fact that I have had to take a break from my career.  Teaching seems to be ever changing, with new expectations, policies and ideas being brought in regularly.  I have spent many hours trying to keep up with these new ideas, as well as trying to learn more about them in the evenings.  I have seen some friends drown in the pressure that they are faced with in their teaching jobs.  The idea of going back to teaching after a three year break seems quite daunting at the moment.

Although it really shouldn’t matter what people think about me, I have faced more than a few people that, as soon as I tell them that I am a Stay at Home Mum, they immediately disregard all the work that I had put in to my career.  I am now ‘just’ a Mum.  Several people regard me as ‘lazy’ due to my ‘playing all day,’ ‘only doing a bit of cleaning now and again’ and having very little money.  I must point out that not everyone I have met thinks this but a fair few have mentioned or insinuated that this is their belief.  I have been absolutely amazed at the lack of disrespect for parents that stay at home to care for their children for a few months or years.  To care for other people’s children and to be paid for it is much more acceptable to these people than caring for your own children.

I think that all parents should be able to decide what is best for their own family, with regards to work and child care, without being judged so harshly.   Even when I used to work when my son was little, I had equally hurtful comments made about me and my ability to parent.  I was told that, when I worked full time, that I was not being a ‘proper’ Mum and that there was no point me having a child as I didn’t get time to be his Mum.  I also stayed up most nights with him due to him crying as he had missed me all day.  When I worked part-time, my teaching was viewed as a ‘hobby.’  All the money I earned pretty much went on Nursery fees and if my son or I had a rare day ill, then I had to pay extra to the Nursery from my savings.  I was told that I was not allowed to claim child care vouchers as I did not work exactly the same amount of hours per week.

As a parent, I have found that the decision to work or not, seems to have quite a lot of people voicing their, quite negative opinions on how badly you are doing as a parent or a worker or both.  Disregarding what these people say is not always easy as it seems that these ideas are ingrained into society.  I truly believe that I have done what is best for my family and that it is nobody else’s business what decisions I make.  I accept that others make different decisions to me and I don’t really think much more about it.  I find it hard to understand why what I choose has such a big impact on others or why they need to tell me that I have, yet again, chosen the ‘wrong’ thing.

So, I am determined that from now on, I will ignore these people’s ideas about me.  I know that I am doing my best as a Mum and as a worker.  The steps that I am going to take to get back into work are:

  • Update my CV
  • Volunteer to work for a few hours per week in schools to get a better grasp of the new ideas, policies and to gain some confidence before finding paid work
  • Ring round Nurseries for my daughter and for Before/After School care for my son
  • Set up and implement a new daily routine for our whole family
  • Look into how to manage my time effectively with regards to work, maintaining our house, caring for my children and being able to sleep sometimes!

Overall, I really hope that going back to work will mean that I can actually earn some money.  It is disheartening to spend every penny you earn on Nursery fees.  It is also disheartening to have to rely on my partner or parents to help out, financially, rather than to pay my own way.  Either way, I am going to try to get back into work to see if I can earn any money.  My daughter has her free 15 hours of Nursery starting soon so I am hoping that this will help.  I am still totally responsible for getting both children cared for and to get to work on time.  I think getting my son to a Before School Club at 8am (the earliest they open round here) whilst also being at work before then seems like an impossible puzzle at the moment.  I am sure that I will work it out though.

Do you have any tips for starting work again after a bit of a break?  How do you manage child care?  I would love to hear your thoughts.

 

 

  • I never went back to work after my first as I knew the best person to look after my children was myself (and sending to nursery for their free hours has proved me right!). However, I have no money of my own, no status in society and it seems now no chance of ever being employed again.

    • It is awful how society puts us in this position. I believe parents are the best people to look after young children, just as you do. It is just a shame that we need to feel penalised for doing the best we can.

  • Nell@PigeonPairandMe

    I haven’t gone back to work, apart from the occasional bit of freelance consultancy work. It’s a tough decision to make, but only you know what’s right for you and your family. Don’t feel bad about not ‘paying your own way’ though. Your partner and family are helping you play a vital role within your family.

    • Thank you for your kind words. It is a really tough decision but hopefully it will all work out ok.

  • I don’t have any tips I’m afraid as I’ve never really been very career driven. When I did start work after being a sahm with my first 2 children, it was purely to get me out of the house because I was going stir crazy not seeing anyone from one day to the next. The husband worked long hours and I was stuck in with the kids. I don’t drive either which didn’t help I didn’t mind at all using just about all my wages to pay for child care because going to work kept me sane! When the place I worked was sold and I lost my job, I became a sahm again and decided to become self employed. I’ve been a sahm for 5 years now and I can’t imagine going out to work again. I love working from home and I don’t care what anyone else thinks about that! Good luck with getting back into work 🙂

    • I think it is great to have a balance, where you can take care of the children as well as have some time feeling like an adult by working. Sorry to hear that you lost your job. It sounds like it worked out well for you though. 🙂

  • You Baby Me Mummy

    I haven’t gone back to work either. I intended to but stuff happened! I want to stay with my daughter, rather than let someone else care for her. I do earn freelance money though around caring her her. Good luck x

    • Thank you. Staying at home to look after her is a fantastic thing. I’m glad to hear that you are able to do freelance work whilst looking after her. I would like to do some freelance writing but have no idea where to start with that. I’ve looked it up on the internet but I can’t figure out which companies are reputable and which ones are rubbish.

  • Agata Pokutycka

    I have no tips on going back to work, I am sorry but if you aren’t sure about it why not consider a home based job. Work from home and look after kids… for me it is a perfect combination.

    • I’d love to but I have no idea where to start with that. I can’t figure out what would actually make money. I have looked into having an ebay business and also starting a sewing business. I’m glad to hear that it is working well for you. It does sound ideal 🙂

      • Agata Pokutycka

        Try PR or Social Media jobs or something like a moderator or a community manager.
        Policing the net can be fun 🙂

  • Was a hard thing for me and for my own life and sanity I went back as just not me been at home all the time love working too much.x

    • I can understand that. Having a bit of your own life back feels fantastic. x

  • I have no tips, as I work at home around my girls, but hope that it works out ok for you x

  • Beautyqueenuk

    I hope you do find something, I have no tips whatsoever, having never been in your position x

  • Vaichin@RamblingThroughParenth

    I decided to be a SAHM out of choice, so cannot really help with the job hunt. But wishing you luck x

  • Kara

    I hope you find something, I couldn’t afford two in childcare so left my job with an investment bank. It is hard to find work that fit in with school hours so I became a childminder. It doesn’t earn me a great deal and is hard work but very rewarding. I have studied my NVQ3 now and intend on doing a bolt on course and becoming a teaching assistant once the baby is at school

  • Good luck missy, I’m sure your perfect role will come along soon enough!

  • mummyoftwo

    You can’t win whatever you do! I had comments from both sides – when I worked people told me I was missing out on my son, now I don’t I often get looked at like I am a second class citizen. Being a SAHM is THE hardest job anyone could ever have and I wish people respected this more. Good luck with getting back into work – I don’t know if I could do it now!

  • Globalmouse

    Good luck with all of your plans. I totally know where you are coming from – I am doing the opposite!! 2 weeks left until I “go freelance” as I am telling myself! The cost of childcare, especially in the holidays eats up all of my salary…not to mention the stress of getting everyone where they need to be and missed assemblies etc… Whichever you choose is hard I think but I really wish you the best of luck with your decision.

  • Good luck with getting back into work – I really hope it goes well for you 🙂 x

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