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Change in career plan

22nd Jun 2014
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Up until now, all I have been thinking is that I need to work because it is what I have always done and I have worked and studied hard to get to where I am (until I went on maternity leave). I think if I stop, I won’t be able to get back into work or pick up from where I left. Now I am considering a scary question; why don’t I stop for a while? Not completely stop because I still have my subcontract work which isn’t bringing in loads but everything else about it is good for now. Instead, I stop looking for more work and then when I get more work worrying about having the time to fit it all in. Although when I do have the time to do it, I do enjoy it.

I just think that having a break from work and thinking about work all the time will give me more time to look after the girls. It will give me time to sort out their sleeping arrangement, toilet train the younger one, to visit and decide which schools I want to send them to and to stop shouting at them all the time and deal with their issues more calmly. I think if I could have just another year and a half, then the eldest will be at school and the younger one will be hopefully toilet trained and both will be sleeping better.

Financially, for about a year, we should be ok and if it means I can sort out all the above in that time, it would be a good thing although there is no guarantee that this will happen. At least I can say I gave it my best shot. But not working, not having a career, not having an income, not ‘doing it all’ is a scary thought when the only reason I’m at home is to be a mum, not because I got made redundant or because I’m on maternity leave. Especially when there are other mums out there who are doing it all. And then when I want to go to work or work more hours, what if I can’t get a job or any work? Although, as my husband said, I’m sure I’ll be able to get a job even if it’s not in accountancy or tax. It’s still a scary thought, especially as I’ve not worked full time since I went on maternity leave, almost four years ago.

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By Flash Gordon
22nd Jun 2014 15:15

More to life

There's more to life than working, or there should be. You only get one chance at life (unless you believe in reincarnation) so spend it doing what you want if you can. Bugger[***] what everyone else may be doing (if what they claim they're doing sounds too good to be true then it probably is - people are liable to say everything is fab just to keep up with the rest) - live your life your way. If you're in a position where you can afford not to work so much, great! Grab your opportunity with both hands and make the most of it. Plenty of time to work more when your kids are at school full-time. And if you can't then find a job go self-employed!

Enjoy :)

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By coolmanwithbeard
22nd Jun 2014 23:24

Agree with flash

Take the time - nothing much changes really - not fundamentally - however much we rant about this or that. In a couple of years we'll be the same saying this or that wasn't that bad but we don't like the look of FRS1506. If you have a referee that's prepared to say you were good before maternity then I'd take you on as would many of my esteemed colleagues on here.

When we started fostering I took a couple of years out - sold a share in the practice I was working in and 14 years later I'm OK. You don't have to be on maternity leave or redundant to be a mum. Just be a mum it's cool.

We've encouraged you in many ways to have a go but that's because it was your stated aim. Re aim that's fine and if you really miss accountancy then you can always become pta or playgroup treasurer as your contribution.

Just don't stop blogging on here. Feel free to drop the "and an accountant" and just share what life and the girls are doing to you :P

 

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Replying to atleastisoundknowledgable...:
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By StephBC
05th Sep 2014 14:04

Agree with flash and coolmanwithbeard

Absolutely take the time and don't worry about it.  If you can manage financially then enjoy every minute you can. 

 

When we started fostering I was running my own practice.  Circumstances changed (bad debtors) and the practice went.  It became just me and 2 clients.  I now work part time at home for myself and have emotional energy left to actually be a foster-mum as well.  I took me a very long time to get used to the fact that I didn't have to be busy working all the time and that it's OK not to be.   It's still  me and 2 clients, and I feel empowered to turn work down.  Will I ever be fully 'up to date' again to be able to get a full time accounts job?  No idea, but at this moment I'm loving the way life is - no work stress, and I want it to continue as long as I can.

 

It's very hard to be 'just a mum' when you have spent so long building a career, but I urge you to do it :)

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By rebtay
23rd Jun 2014 09:44

You won't regret time with the children

As the saying goes: You won't look back and wish you had spent more time at work!

The kids grow up so quickly once they are at school so enjoy the time you have with them now. Money isn't everything so if you can cope without the extra income don't pressurise yourself in to working especially if you have a little bit of work coming in to keep the sanity! I love my children but I couldn't have been a stay at home mum full time. I've worked part-time whilst youngest is at nursery so I can have the best of both worlds. Also I recommend looking up Jennie Harrison The Calm Mum's Coach - she has lots of tips for getting kids to sleep better. Everything seems better when everyone is getting a good night's sleep.

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By thomas
23rd Jun 2014 10:22

I would think carefully.  I'm

I would think carefully.  I'm a mum to two boys and run my own business from home.  Its take time to build but now nets me a reasonable income. I don't need any childcare as I can arrange work around school etc.

You could take this time to plan and slowly build so when the kids are at school, you are ready to go.

If you want employment it could be hard to get back in.  I don't think employers necessarily want mums who have been out of the workforce and who generally have primary responsibility for sick kids, school sports days, assemblies, school holiday cover, school strike days...School is harder to cover (as a parent) than nursery as its only open 9-3 while nurseries can provide care from 7.30 - 6pm.

I

 

 

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By tom123
25th Jun 2014 19:10

One of my blog posts was called 'if not now, when'

I am the main earner in our house, so, as such am a bit 'chained' to full time work for the foreseeable future. However, during the last year we both adopted a mantra of 'if not now when?'

In addition to my FC role:

I am a school governor, and charity trustee.

My wife and I have launched a greetings card business with a trade show booked at the NEC next February (scary..).

Oh - and I have driven a bus.

 

In the 21st century it is meant to be all about portfolio working. If the recession has taught us anything, it is that employers generally don't give too much of a stuff about their staff (with the honourable exception of the SME sector perhaps) - so don't worry too much on their behalf about keeping your CV in an HR standard format. Don't run your life to suit some future recruitment consultant who is currently still at school.

Embrace the opportunities presented - your subcontract work may expand, and include some 'direct' work as well - and before you know it you have no need to think about working for someone else.

Good luck.

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By HKE
30th Jun 2014 13:45

Only you know what would suit you

I too struggled with motherhood and work, but I stepped off the treadmill a bit later.  My children went to a wonderful nursery 3 days a week from 6 months till they started school and my company let me work part time, but without any promotion (they could get away with it then).  When they started school I had my epiphany - what would I do in the school holidays? I gave up accountancy and went to work in a shop one day a week, chaired the PTA, did direct selling in the evenings and kept myself busy.  Children grow up, things move on, I went back to work part time (as an accountant) when they started senior school, and have recently started full time now they are one at Uni and one in lower sixth.

Employers are more open than you may think to returning mums, and if you have kept up your skills in the meantime that all looks good on a CV.

Good luck - it is a tough decision!

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By Moo
30th Jun 2014 08:51

Cautionary tale

I was quite clear that I wanted to be around for my children when  they were small bacause my mother had worked and I still (50 years on) feel that I was deprived in many ways because of that.  I thought I had the perfect solution being able to work school hours in my husband's accountancy practice to keep my hand in but also being a pretty much full time mum.  One downside was that dear hubby seemed to think he was doing me a favour and didn't actually pay me anything.  However the major defect in my cunning plan was that when he decided to trade me in for a young, skinny blonde and I found myself an unemployed single parent needing to find work I had no CV to speak of as my last 'proper' job was in the distant past.  So my message to young mums facing the choice between being a full time mum and working is don't assume that you will always have the option of not needing to work.  It is worth doing something part time for a client or employer who will provide good references if ever they are needed for you to get back into the workplace to provide for your family - and no I could not rely on maintenance from my ex, he paid minimal child support and the courts took the view that as a highly qualified professional woman I could support myself so I got no maintenance at all !!

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