Deciding whether to work or stay at home

This past week I have been seriously lacking motivation with blogging. I write my posts when I go to bed as I don’t like spending the day on my iPad when it is just Lucas and I. When it has come to bed time, I’ve been too tired or just couldn’t be bothered going on my iPad so I’ve gone straight to sleep.

I think my lack of motivation has been down to deciding on what is best with work and childcare for us, whether to continue breastfeeding and how/when to transition from co-sleeping to cot. It really has been a week of me questioning myself and not knowing what to do for the best. Being due back to work on the 17th March that was obviously the priority to sort out.

I remember being in the queue at Aldi when I was 5 months pregnant, googling nurseries in our area. I wanted Lucas more than anything and I was really looking forward to him being in our life but I was determined that I would return to work full time so I could apply for the next available promotion. In my head I was going to be off work for 9 months then return. That changed when the little fella entered my life. Neither D or I liked the idea of him going off to the childminders 5 days a week before he was 1 so I extended my maternity leave to take the 3 months unpaid before using my annual leave which took me to the 17th March and Lucas being 13 months old.

I went into work about a month ago to say hi and have a catch up and I was told about the new shifts I would be expected to work. When I left on maternity, I was working 9-4 Monday to Friday with the occasional weekend. Now I would be expected to work evenings and every other full weekend. Being in care work, I’ve always done this, I’ve always enjoyed the shifts rather than the monotonous same routine day in, day out but working every other weekend now didn’t feel right. That is our family time, when all 3 of us can do something together, when I get to spend quality time with D. As for evenings now, I can’t imagine not putting Lucas to bed, for a start I still feed him to sleep but more than that, I want to be the one bathing him and lying with him until he drifts off.

I applied for a new job as a jewellery creator, a complete career change but one that excites me and has many other aspects to the job that I can’t wait to get my teeth into such as organising sales events in local play centres and shops. What made it an even better proposition is the hours, I won’t be rushing around in the morning to drop Lucas off and get to work for 8.15 and I will be able to pick him up before tea time. When I was accepted for the role (woohoo!) I was offered 2 days a week and considered working the other 3 days at my current workplace.

After weighing up the pros and cons off all the options I decided that it would be best for me to hand my notice in at my current employer. I didn’t want to pass on this new opportunity and I didn’t want to be paying a fortune in childcare to miss giving Lucas tea or his bath. I want to be the one that captures him taking his first steps, I don’t want to be at work watching it on a video sent to my phone.

People have said how much better it will be for Lucas when he goes to the childminder…why? Why will it be better for our child to go somewhere else? I’m not keeping him stuck in the house with me, I interact with him, I take him swimming, we go to visit family and friends, we go to baby groups where he can play and interact with other children. In no way is he deprived and surely the best place for a child is with their parent?

Others comment on going back to work, saying there’s no point with the amount that will go on childcare. Of course there is a point, it gives me a sense of self worth and achievement other than bringing up a baby. It gives Lucas time without us, gaining independence in a safe place. It shows Lucas that we both go out to work to buy the things we want and go away on holidays, it brings him up with a good work ethic.

So at the end of all the umming and arring, it was decided that I would work 2 days a week at the jewellery place and stay on the bank register at my care work so I can pick up shifts when I want. I don’t want to fully leave it, you can’t help but form close attachments to people you support and there are certain people I have truly missed whilst being off so at least I can pick up shifts with those.

I think this plan gives me the best of both worlds, I still have my independence of work but get to spend these precious times with Lucas because as everyone has said, before I know it he will be at school and I’ll be wondering where my baby boy went.

D, if you are reading this (very unlikely that anyone has manged to read my whittering for this long) I love you and feel so very lucky to have you supporting me and thank you for putting me in a position where I can take the time off to spend with our beautiful boy x



22 Comments on Deciding Whether To Return To Work

  1. It is important to do what is right for you and your family and ignore what anyone has to say about it. Not to be too vulgar but opinions are like a-holes. Everyone has one. Do what YOU think is best.

  2. I have been both the working mum and the SAHM mum. I loved going back to work and having some “me” time but it just was not possible when I had to afford two in childcare. I retrained as a childminder to keep an income coming in but I have to admit that it is a lot harder work than I envisioned. I do believe that kids do benefit from being with others and Sebby started Nursery for a couple of mornings a week when he turned two and I am now retraining as a teaching assistant as I want to work with children but have the company of adults too.
    It is a decision only you can make – good luck

  3. We get caught up in the work thing and think we will never leave it behind, but slaving away for someone else and never seeing our children isn’t a great prospect. I do not regret for a minute leaving my job. I wish you the best of luck in your lifestyle changes

  4. I think that sounds like a great compromise. I worked part time before I had my youngest, and that worked well with family life. Sadly it wasnt financially viable to carry on once my third had come along, but when I return to work I hope it will be on a similar basis again.

  5. You need to do what’s best for you and your family. My mummy went back to work on compressed hours working 4 days a week. Long weekends means she still gets to see me grow up and going to nursery gives me the chance to meet other little people and adults. The work life, blogging mix is tricky to balance! Hope your motivation comes back x

  6. It’s good that you’ve found a good solution that gives you what you want for you as well as for parenting responsibilities. Work / life balance is such an important thing for people nowadays, quite rightly.

  7. You absolutely have to do what’s best for your family. I handed my notice in to my full time work and now do a couple of days a week freelance social media management and copywriting. Like you, it’s a complete career change and the boost to confidence is so worthwhile! Best of luck in your new job zx

  8. Children grow so quickly and having tthe opportunity to spend quality time with them at this tender age is one of the best things in life. I must say, you are one of the lucky few to have such an awesome opportunity.

  9. I really enjoyed reading this as I can relate to so much of what you’ve said. Isn’t it amazing how plans we are so adamant about change once we become parents? I think you’ve definitely made the right decision, for all of you. Guilt is a feeling I have with every decision I make as a mother and I’m sure you’ve felt it in spades while deliberating over what to do career wise. Hope that’s eased now. Also, no one knows what’s best for your baby except you. Everyone has an opinion though… My 12 month old goes to nursery 2 mornings and is with me the rest of the week (activities galore, like you) and we are both very happy πŸ™‚ Thanks for sharing #bestandworst

  10. It sounds like you have forged a great balance there and made decisions that are right for you and your family. I returned to work when my son was 10 months old, in a brand new job. It was tough at first but now I love it, I work part time and am so glad to do what I do. Of course, the decision to return to work is a very personal one and I respect everyone’s decisions as they are what is right for them and theirs. Best of luck with your new job – it sounds so fun! #abitofeverything

  11. It’s hard to know what’s best, isn’t it? I’m currently trying to figure out what to do when I’m due back at work in June. I’m hoping to work three days a week, but I don’t know if that’s going to be financially doable – or if my employer will go for it.nChildcare is so expensive! #bestandworst

  12. I agree you have to do what is right for you. I didn’t want to return to work more than 2 days a week, and as 2 days wasn’t possible, I didn’t go back. I think it’s a nice amount of time, and like you wasn’t wanting to go back too early either, so I really understand everything you’ve written, it sounds like a great balance x #bestandworst

  13. It is completely a personal decision, I don’t want to return to work because I just feel like they are only little for such a short time and I want to be there for everything! But I am going to return part time as we do need the money

  14. I agree, don’t listen to other people you really have to do what’s right for you and your family. I didn’t return to work once my maternity was up and I thought that I would cope but I surprised myself! Lol. That sounds like the designing jewellery is the perfect job for you, good luck! #BestAndWorst!

  15. It is a hard one, isn’t it? I was exactly like this (still think about it sometimes) when my son was born. HAnded in my notice, in the end.

  16. I think it’s great you’re returning to work, as you said, it gives a sense a self worth. I hope it all works out.

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