Back in the early days of my blogging life I wrote a post about whether or not to return to work, following the birth of our second child (second in a 11 months that is) it was part of my #whatwouldyoudo? Series. Incidentally it was a very popular post and remains that way. Well after putting it off until the 11th hour (and 59th minute) the time has come to make a decision.
In my previous post I described the turmoil my brain was in in deciding whether or not to return to work. I had never pictured myself as a stay at home mum growing up. I went on to spend many a year at university studying exceptionally hard to obtain a first class law degree and continue to train as a lawyer, my eventual career choice.
August 2014 saw the arrival of our first baby, which was quickly followed by the arrival of our second in July 2015. It is now July 2016 and I was due to return to work on the 4th July 2016, although I had accumulated some 40 odd days holiday which would take me until mid September.
Whilst on maternity leave the working world I left changed somewhat. My entire team up and left the firm I worked for and as such my job no longer exists. Not ideal. There is however an alternative position being offered.
So here we are, decision time. Mr Tammy and I have spent a long time not discussing the decision, for a long time we have been unable to find common ground. However being out of time and unable to put it off anymore a decision has been made.
I handed in my notice.
I will not be returning to work.
I would be lying if I said it was an easy decision to come to. It was not. My first post listed my fears of not returning to work so I will no reiterate them, but they are still very prevalent. I will instead attempt to explain why leaving my job was the right decision for our family.
Just how expensive is it? My goodness, I had heard the horror stories but I must admit I didn’t quite believe the rumours. I confess my naive self thought the whole ‘it doesn’t make financial sense to return to work’ was a line. But hand me the biggest slice of humble pie you have. By time we have paid for childcare, I have done the two hour round trip commute, fuel, car maintenance etc, it didn’t leave us with a great deal of change.
The day to day
I used to leave the house at 7, so this would be an early start and long day for our two under two, a long days work, difficult work at that, and rushing back to make sure the babies are picked up on time, to come home to do bath and bed time and spend an hour or so with the little ones. It also wasn’t uncommon that I brought work home or had to travel for court cases, settlement meetings, counsel meetings etc, which inevitably meant a longer than average day. Meaning either the babies stay later at nurser, at a cost, or Mr Tammy has to alter his company hours, which isn’t always easy or indeed possible. It feels like an awful lot of sacrifice for everyone to financially be no better off.
The job change
This was a biggy I admit. As I said my role no longer exists, I did enjoy my previous role but I know I would not enjoy the role I would be returning to. I do not wish to go into detail but suffice to say my working days would have been far from enjoyable. So again, a lot of time away from home, for a job that was not the one I left or choice for little financial gain.
Whilst I may not be returning to the work I once knew, it is not the end of my working life. Mr Tammy and I have decided to put our heads together and work on our own venture. We have a few things in the pipeline so to speak and intend to put them into action with the hope of generating some income in a time and manor that suit us and our children. Wish us luck.
Am I happy with the decision?
It truly was one of the hardest decisions I have ever had to make. I have spent years religiously revising and taking pain staking exams, working hard to carve out a future. My finger hovered over the send button of my resignation email for a worryingly long time. I went to bed that night feeling sad and a little lost. I am one of those who does need some me time away from the everyday of raising babies (don’t hate me) and I am a little apprehensive now I know I won’t be having a few days out of the house following the end of my maternity leave. But I know how incredibly lucky I am to get to spend everyday watching my little ones grow, helping them evolve and hopefully flourish. I know many would love to be in my position and I don’t wish to sound ungrateful or take it for granted. I intend to make the very most of being able to spend this time, that I won’t get back, with my two and try my best not to swear under my breath or storm upstairs in a exasperated huff when Mr Tammy walks through the door. I also know how lucky I am to be afforded the opportunity to try and embark on our own flexible working and be my own boss, an opportunity I will grab with both hands as I certainly do not intend this to be the end of my working life… as soon as the babies allow. Ultimately though I am happy wit’s the decision, one made for everyone, including myself.
So there you have it. #whatwouldyoudo? Work or not work answered
what did you do following the end of your maternity leave? Or are you yet to make a decision? Was it an easy decision? The right one? I’d love to hear from you.