Are you going back to work?

What is your situation with your job?  Are you taking maternity leave?  For how long?  Do you plan to go back?


Here is the back-story for me, just wondered your thoughts, from a non-baised outsider...


I am a teacher (and I have been for 6 years).  I love the kids and so much about my job.  I helped design the curriculum for our program, created a high school credit class, and I earned teacher of the year last year which is a huge honor in my county.  I do what I do really, really well and I have invested so much time into all of this (including getting a Master's Degree in Education).  I have wanted to teach since I was a kid!


Here is the flip side of the coin.  My job is extremely difficult and physically taxing.  And I HATE all the politics and low pay of this profession.  I am so tired at the end of every day--I literally spend most of it running around like a chicken with my head cut off--and I have no idea how I will be a mom at the same time and balance all of this.  No idea.  And, while my husband works from home and can be with DS when he is born, he will still have to be in daycare for about 3 days week so he can get his work done, which I am really, really against.  I was a daycare kid and hated every second of it, and I don't want that for him.  I want to be a super invovled mom that is there for my son--and I don't want to miss all of those "firsts."


I know the role of mom is going to trump all, and it just makes me want to take a year leave (which I can do, although I'm not paid for it), and see what the next step will be and if I want to go back.


The problem?  Upon my return, I am not guaranteed my same job--in fact, I know it will be in a very challenging school and work environment--so much so that I probably won't go back. 


I feel so torn about this for so many reasons.  A really huge part of me is telling myself that I need to stay home with my son, and another part of me is saying "truck it out" and keep your job at your school: others have done it and you can, too.


 I just need to let my principal know my decision soon, and I have no idea how I'm supposed to decide this when I don't even have the baby, yet.


What are you doing?  What would you do?  Such hard decisions to make!!!! 

Posted on April 11, 2013 at 3:54 am
kblove
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(17) Comments

DansMrs
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06/23/2012
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What a tough situtation to be in. :( I can completely understand sympothize w/ your feelings of missing out on "firsts" and not being fully present. I'm afraid of the same things since I will be going back to work. 


I was a daycare kid and I have great memories of that time in my life. That may be in part because it was an in-home daycare, I had fun with the kids, and my Mom's office was close by. 


If I were you, I'd maybe consider going back on a temp basis kind of like a trial run. And then make your bigger decision at that point? I may not be a big help but I'm sending you *HUGS* to get through this. 

Posted on April 11, 2013 at 5:36 am
AuntTate
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09/10/2011
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I wish I had an option.............I dont, I'll be returning to work 6 weeks after our LO is born.  If me staying at home with our child wouldnt put us into major debt, I'd do it but I just dont see the point in putting us in a bad financial situation.

Posted on April 11, 2013 at 5:37 am
_MNM
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10/01/2010

_MNM

Comment has been removed by Project Wedding due to a violation of our Terms of Use
Posted on April 11, 2013 at 6:25 am
_MNM
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_MNM

Comment has been removed by Project Wedding due to a violation of our Terms of Use
Posted on April 11, 2013 at 6:26 am
futuremrsgamboa
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11/05/2011
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I would LOOOOOVE the opportunity to be a SAHM. It's what I always saw myself doing but it's just not really an option for us right now. Maybe someday, but California is so darn expensive it's really hard to get by on just one income. :(


I'm hoping I can at least cut my hours down a little though and that should be nice. My mom is free to watch the little guy on the days that we're both working so that's super helpful. I'm not sure if I'll be going back after 6 weeks or if we can afford to possibly extend my leave. We shall see though!

Posted on April 11, 2013 at 6:31 am
DansMrs
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Also - legentry may be a good person to ask. She's a teacher and new mom. 

Posted on April 11, 2013 at 6:35 am
jackieg
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04/17/2009
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Not going back...but will of course continue photography biz...I would have cried my eyes out if I had to go back in 6 weeks...it's not nearly enough time :( and daycare here would have cost as much as I make at my "day" job...so not worth it! I can't imagine leaving her at this early age!!
Posted on April 11, 2013 at 8:17 am
milkgal
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It sounds like in your heart would like to be at home with your LO. I know it may not be easy but you always have the option to go back in a few years when your kids are in school or of staying at home is not longer an option that works for you.


As for me, I will be going back to work. I've never had the desire to be a SAHM. My mom worked and I had a pretty good experience with going to daycare. My mom always made sure to be able to do the things that most SAHM's are able to do (volunteer in the class room, field trips, sporting events) and I hope to be able to provide that experience to my LO. 


Even if I wanted to stay home it wouldn't be feasible for us (also live in CA), we just wouldn't be able to cover current bills along with insurance for myself and LO. Luckily I receive 6 weeks disability and 6 weeks paid family leave and DH receives 6 weeks paid family leave so we are both able to spend some time with her in her early stages. 

Posted on April 11, 2013 at 8:47 am
Jenny521
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05/21/2010
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That's a really tough decision, kblove. To me, it sounds like your heart (and even your head in many ways) might be telling you to take the year. A year really does fly by, and that way you'll better know what you'd like to do, whether it be to go back to work or to stay at home. 


I'm admittedly extremely fortunate in that I work as a publicist for a firm that is very flexible (right now I'm full time), but once I have the baby my plan is to go freelance and be a WAHM, though with a lesser work/client load than I have now. I always knew that I wanted to be the one to raise my children, but at the same time, it's important to me to keep some tie to my profession. 

Posted on April 11, 2013 at 8:48 am
kristinkay
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04/05/2009
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I was a teacher (middle school science) before I had Ashlyn. I loved my job and I felt like I was really good at it - I knew a couple of moms that came back after having small kids and my district was really supportive of extended maternity leave (I had Ash in October and I could have taken the rest of the year off and still had my same job come Sept, or I could have taken another year off and possibly been moved to another school, but generally they put you back where you were). I didn't fully decide what I was going to to until I had her, but I pretty much knew I was taking the rest of the year off and then I decided to not go back at all. For me the decision came down to knowing that I wouldn't really be a great teacher, and I wouldn't feel like I was being a great mom either with that much time away so I decided to stick with just being a mom. When I was teaching I would often work until 7 or 8 at night and have kids in my room during lunch and after school and during break. I went to all of the performances and special events and went on all the outdoor education trips. I knew with pumping that I wouldn't be able to work with kids during lunch and with daycare I would have to leave almost immediately after school and that totally freaked me out. I would often grade all weekend or late at night and basically it was obvious to me that I wouldn't be able to put in the hours that being the type of teacher I wanted to be in and I knew I would be so frustrated with my work life if that was the case. In the end I am so happy I chose to stay home (and very blessed that my husband has the type of job that supports that) because my daughter didn't sleep well until she was close to two and I would have been exhausted. Plus she never took a bottle and that would have been a nightmare. Breastfeeding was super important to me and I'm not sure I would have been able to keep it up for as long as we did if I had worked so I am thankful for that as well. Good luck with your decision!

Posted on April 11, 2013 at 9:44 am
dorkmeetsnerd
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09/26/2009
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The way I see it, reading how dedicated and professional you are, you can find another job in a year.  It may not be the same one but when one chapter of your career closes, it opens up for new opportunities, perhaps something you may not realize might be better.  But your baby, well, he will only be a baby for a short time.  Now that is something you cannot come back to, his youth.   I say, if your family can afford it, take the year off and enjoy your son.  I know it's easier said than done, bc of the fear of having a smaller income and having uncertainty in your future career.  But if it means that much to you, you'll make it work. 


As for me, I'm with milkgal.  I never wanted to be a SAHM.  I'm also a slight workaholic.  Even at 39 weeks and with the option to have stayed at home prior to due date, I still chose to commute into the office and work a full day.  (But my job itself is not nearly as emotionally stressful or physically demanding as teachers, so kudos to you, kblove).  I have no idea how I will be after baby gets here but I don't think my work ethics will change. But that certainly doesn't mean I will not be active mom.  Again, my company is super supportive of working moms, by providing 16 weeks of full paid maternity leave, lactation rooms, emergency daycare services and monthly working moms support luncheons.  I also make the same as Dh and more than the cost of daycare so my extra income can be used for LO in the form of college savings for example.  It just doesn't make financial sense to quit my job when they offer all this support for me to be an active mom.  I wish all industries can provide such support to working moms. 

Posted on April 11, 2013 at 2:40 pm
dennys
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My job is extremely flexible and relatively stress free, so I do plan on continuing working after I have the baby. However, I will be starting graduate school part time in September so I will cut my work hours. If school gets too overwhelming I will stop working altogether and focus on baby and my classes. Even if I wasn't going back to school I would still work full time with a baby...I could never be a full time SAHM, it's just never been a desire of mine.

As far as daycare, I won't have much of an issue as my mother in law is permanently unemployed and will always be available to take care of my baby. She has already offered her services, haha. I have never seen a regular daycare or babysitter as a bad thing though.
Posted on April 11, 2013 at 5:21 pm
msdl
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This really is a tough decision :-(  I agree with the others that it sounds like your heart and mind are set on staying home for at least the first year. I think that is a great option, because (as DMN said) you will likely still have teaching options in a year if you decide that you do want to return to work and your current position is unavailable. A couple of the factors that you mentioned for going back to work -- that others have done it and you have invested so much into it -- will (I think) be quickly overwhelmed by some of your stronger desires -- to be an actively involved/present mom, not putting your baby in daycare, etc. I know your head is probably racing with thoughts of what you "should" do, but I think you will feel best about your decision if it is based on what is best for your family. 


I am extremely fortunate to work from home and give thanks for it literally every day. Like your situation with your DH, it doesn't mean that we won't still require help with childcare or other things, but it is wonderful to have the flexibility. So I will return to work after 10-12 weeks of maternity leave. From endless conversations with my working mom friends, I know the struggle to balance it all is CONSTANT. If only every company/situation was as amazing as Jenny's sounds!


I think it's interesting how, even while pregnant, your priorities and opinion on things like this can shift. You can start to imagine yourself in situations that you might not have ever considered.

Posted on April 12, 2013 at 6:07 pm
kblove
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Thank you so much ladies for all of your support and advice.  It really helped a lot.  I decided that I am going to take the first semester off for sure and then re-evaluate from there.  I know what my heart is telling me and I feel much more at peace about it! 

Posted on April 14, 2013 at 2:58 pm
msdl
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Oh good! So glad to hear that! :-)

Posted on April 14, 2013 at 3:10 pm
milkgal
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So glad you've made the decision with your heart! 

Posted on April 15, 2013 at 7:28 am
swissgirl
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@kblove: I think that's a good decision. It's very tough to know that to do when LO is not born yet and you don't know how everything will be. 


After Fabrice was born I went back to work after 5 months of leave (of which 14 weeks were paid at 80%). I'm working 50% (2.5 days). Now that we're expecting no.2 the whole discussion starts again and we are bit indecisive. For sure we can use the money but that's not the major point. It really depends if my mom will then still be able to look after the 2 LOs, cause if not, the daycare for 2 is much too expensive and I would work only to pay the daycare. So as my mom said she would do it, I plan to go back to work after a 6 months break. I will work 2 days. 

Posted on April 24, 2013 at 12:12 am

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