#whatwouldyoudo? To work or not work. ANSWERED

#whatwouldyoudo? To work or not work. ANSWERED

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.

Woman in heels

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.

Childcare

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.

Other opportunities

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.

Toby and Zara

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.

 

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56 Comments

  1. July 15, 2016 / 12:31 pm

    I went back after my first child and I found it so hard being away from her. I knew I would not be going back if we had another and, despite the 4 year gap, I haven’t. My problem is, it is almost a year since I handed my notice in and I still feel like I’m on maternity leave ha ha. Childcare is just unaffordable. Everyone makes the decision. It is hard having no me time but they are small for such a short time x

  2. July 16, 2016 / 7:28 am

    What a great and honest post. Well done on making a tough decision. Lots of us mummies are scared to let go of our busy careers. Whether we’re a working mum or SAHM our roles are super busy!! I know not everyone can choose to be a SAHM financially (and people don’t always realise it’s not always about having a partner as the main breadwinner but about saving on childcare fees!). There are also difficult choices for working mums such as whether to try working part-time or full-time. #forloveofblog

  3. July 16, 2016 / 7:32 am

    I stayed at home and have been a stay at home for 5 years now. I would have liked to work part time but I don’t have anyone to have the kids for me and the cost of childcare would have made it pointless for me. I plan to look at part time work when my youngest starts school x #fortheloveofBLOG

  4. July 16, 2016 / 8:19 am

    Such a difficult decision, especially when you had a successful career. But I think you made the right choice. I am due back to work in January 2017 and I already know it will be difficult .#fortheloveofBLOG

  5. July 16, 2016 / 10:19 am

    Ah Sarah I enjoyed reading this, I think you’ve summed up feelings that a lot of women have. You worked hard for your career so to walk away from that is always going to be difficult. I think its important to remember that it doesn’t have to be forever, too. Even if you weren’t embarking on your own venture (which is super exciting) you can re-enter your career or start a new one at any point, though I appreciate it isn’t always simple. I am at the end of my maternity leave now but as I work for B’s business I am able to essentially choose the role and hours that suit us and fit them around him and TM. I am very fortunate to be in that position although, to be honest, I’d happily not work for a while longer.

    I am sure you’ve made the right decision for this period in your little one’s lives. And hopefully you get to start something new which would be amazing! #fortheloveofBLOG

  6. aliduke79hotmailcom
    July 16, 2016 / 10:24 am

    It is a hard decision to make. I stayed at home with my daughter (and my son previously who is 7 years older) until she went to school. Then I sought out part – time work that I could do while she was at school. As I only worked a few hours it was easy to get someone to watch her in the holidays while I worked.
    #fortheloveofBLOG

  7. min1980
    July 16, 2016 / 9:02 pm

    It sounds like you’ve considered your options really carefully and made the decision that is right for you. Best of luck and let us know how it goes, especially with the new venture, which sounds very exciting! #fortheloveofBLOG

  8. July 16, 2016 / 9:21 pm

    Oh my word I have just written a very similar post having just turned in my notice after two back to back (almost) maternity leaves. I have to go back for two weeks in August but after that I’ll be a SAHM… Scary stuff! #KCACOLS

    • tammymum
      July 17, 2016 / 7:42 pm

      Aargh scary stuff! What a pain having to go back for a couple of weeks though. I’m off to go read your post xx

  9. July 16, 2016 / 11:20 pm

    I’ve gone back part time. I wish I could be a SAHM but at the minute I just cannot see where we can make savings in order to allow me to do this without having a negative impact on quality of life financially. I only have to work two long days a week but I’m working to pay nursery fees half of that time!
    Good luck in your new venture, I hope that it enables you to live a life you love! You sound like you have made the right choice for you! #fortheloveofBLOG

  10. July 17, 2016 / 2:33 am

    Some days I miss not being at work, I feel like my home had more structure then. Some days my heart melts in so many ways that I couldn’t ever imagine going back to work.. I guess I’m still undecided.. #KCALCOLS

    • tammymum
      July 17, 2016 / 7:37 pm

      Ooooh have you got the decision yet to make? Good luck. I think everyone struggles with finding the right balance and I was very much like you. When I thought about going back I didn’t want to leave my kids and then when I thought about staying home everyday I didn’t want to give up
      my career…couldn’t win! All the best with your decision xx

  11. July 17, 2016 / 5:50 am

    I go back to work in 4 days :-( unfortunately for me I had no choice as we can’t live without my wage (who ever thought I’d say the phrase “I earn too much money” so often!) But it’s not a decision I am entirely happy with as I’m going back full time. It’s not a happy time for me right now, especially when i get my first childcare bill, but ultimately I need to do it. I always thought I’d be a stay at home mummy like my mum was, but i have made peace with my decision (kind of…) #fortheloveofBLOG

    • tammymum
      July 17, 2016 / 7:34 pm

      Oh it’s so difficult isn’t it. I hope it works out well for you and your family and you do make peace with you decision ????. Thank you for your comment lovey, and all the best xx

  12. July 17, 2016 / 9:09 am

    I know what you mean; I had heard people lament about the cost of childcare but you never realise quite how staggering it is until you start looking!

    I think part time gives a nice work life balance x

    • tammymum
      July 17, 2016 / 7:31 pm

      Yes it is eye watering isn’t it, and when you have two to pay for it’s really quite painful! Thank you for your comment xx

  13. July 17, 2016 / 11:06 am

    Thank you for sharing. It’s an immensely difficult decision to make, especially when you have worked so hard to get where you are. But you will always have your education and experience behind you should you ever return to work in the future. It is lovely that you have the choice. And I completely understand what you mean about having time away from the children (and I only have one!!) Everyone needs that. I wish you all the best with your new venture. #KCACOLS

  14. July 17, 2016 / 6:50 pm

    it is a tough decision isn’t it. and it sounds like you really put a lot of thought into your final decision. I went back to work but even then I was umming and ahhing about if id miss my boy too much. im happy with our balance though :) Thanks so much for linking up at #KCACOLS. Hope you come back again next Sunday :)

  15. July 17, 2016 / 7:17 pm

    A tough decision I’m sure. I am desperate to be a SAHM (actually I’d rather be WAHM) but I know that sending that resignation letter would still make me very very nervous. Congrats on making your decision – in a way the hard part is done and you can move forward now with a new chapter of your life. Good luck lovely. Thanks for sharing with us on #fortheloveofBLOG x

    • tammymum
      July 17, 2016 / 7:27 pm

      Ah yes a WAHM would be the dream I feel. Here’s hoping eh. Thanks for your co me t lovey xx

  16. July 17, 2016 / 7:42 pm

    I loved reading this post. Such a hard decision to make. I have three kids 5 and under and returned to work full time after my third maternity leave, around 8 weeks ago. If I’m being honest I would have loved to give it up, change what I do or go part time but the financial side of things made our decision! Missing their first days at nursery and school will be hardest for me ???? Good luck in your new venture. Thanks for sharing x #KCACOLS

  17. July 17, 2016 / 8:46 pm

    It’s a tough decision – but one that has to be made! #KCACOLS

  18. alisonlonghurst
    July 18, 2016 / 7:55 am

    You’ve made the decision – that’s the hardest part, now move on to different, but no less exciting times. A new venture sounds interesting and will give you new challenges. I wish you the best of luck with everything – there is never a wrong decision made in these circumstances. No regrets :) Alison x #MarvMondays

  19. July 18, 2016 / 8:49 am

    well done you on making the decision! It’s such a difficult one when you decide to leave a career that you’ve worked so hard for. I did the same so I totally understand. But this is what is right for you now and doesn’t have to be the way forever and that was always how I coped best with the decision – I did what was right for my family at that particular time and that is the best feeling ever – gave me such freedom on the decision – I know you will feel the same too – enjoy it, lovely xx #BigPinkLink

  20. agentspitback
    July 18, 2016 / 11:47 am

    Good on you for making the decision. It is such a major decision. Childcare was such a huge factor for us as well and honestly does not make much financial sense and the stress of the rushing and running around as well. Good luck on your venture! Look forward to finding out what’s your next move. #bigpinklink

  21. July 18, 2016 / 12:16 pm

    Oh well done on making a decision, I hope it turns out to be one you are happy with for a while. It’s so difficult but you haven’t lost anything of what you’ve worked towards – you’ve still got all those skills and more. Also make sure you do get time for yourself…everyone needs it and you shouldn’t feel guilty for it just because your ‘me’ time isn’t work. Does that make sense!? How exciting, enjoy the adventure #bigpinklink

  22. July 18, 2016 / 8:23 pm

    Yeah I found this a hard one too. After having number1, there was no way I could go back I full time and afford to live, childcare and petrol so insert part time. After number2 it just didn’t make any sense to even do that. I miss it sometimes but I’ve gone self employed and it’s treated is a lot better. Good luck on your new venture! #KCACOLS

  23. July 18, 2016 / 11:25 pm

    Such a difficult and personal decision to make. One I was faced with last year as well so I can relate. Enjoy your new role and be prepared for the transition. I still have my days where I miss my career but to be honest I am so happy with the decision to stay at home with my kiddos :) I am sure you made the right choice for you and your family, congratulations!! #KCACOLS

  24. July 19, 2016 / 5:31 am

    I went back part time after my son was born and I quite like the balance now really. But I know if we have another that it probably will not be financially viable for me to keep working. I’ve always wanted to work for myself so I may try and use it as my opportunity as you are doing. #KCACOLS

  25. organisedjo
    July 19, 2016 / 5:57 am

    Well done for making such a hard decision but your next steps sound so exciting! Childcare is such a killer and I think the only way we could afford to have both of ours in childcare for a couple of days a week was that there is 3 years between them & we had grandparents to help out once a week. Looking forward to reading about where your next steps take you. #MarvMondays

  26. July 19, 2016 / 11:04 am

    It is one of the most difficult decisions we have to make. I’m lucky enough to be able to work around my little boy and I just about earn enough to have a little extra after the cost of childcare etc. but once he attends school, that possibility won’t be there so I’m also going to find myself in a tough position, but as you say, the positive is being able to see your little ones grow up in the most amazing years of their lives! Thanks for linking up to #MarvMondays. Kaye xo

  27. July 19, 2016 / 4:29 pm

    Good for you for making a difficult decision but in the end it comes down to whats best for you and your family and what works. I still miss my old job at times but i’ve chosen to stay at home and I have to stick to that for the time being, don’t forget nothing is forever and you can go back to work if you want to later on x #marvmondays Abby@peppermintcove.com

  28. July 19, 2016 / 4:44 pm

    It’s a tough one isn’t it? I have pretty much always been self employed, so with that comes lots of flexibility but no benefits in the form of holiday, maternity or sick pay. So you just get on with it and there is no choice not to stop. Everybody eventually finds a solution that’s right for their family. #KCACOLS

  29. July 19, 2016 / 7:15 pm

    Thank you for sharing that on #MarvMondays I enjoyed reading your valid points. When it was time to decide whether to go back after my first born I decided not to.

  30. July 19, 2016 / 10:36 pm

    It’s a huge decision and one I’ve thought about myself – I’ve also recently posted about the subject http://www.irishbabyfairy.com/238-2/ I have so much respect for all SAHMs and am so lucky that my own mother was one for me and my brother. I think if I had a second child I would seriously consider it. Best of luck to you.

  31. teacuptoria
    July 20, 2016 / 5:32 am

    wow that must have been such a tricky decision to make after all your training. If your job had completely changed though I can understand you not wanting to return. I believe in fate and new, often more flexible opportunities seem to present themselves after maternity to lots of women. Good luck, it sounds like you made the right choice and remember you can always dip your toe back in at any time in the future when the kids are older. Tor xx #bloggerclubuk

  32. July 20, 2016 / 6:42 am

    This is a hard decision. I’m going to return to work 4 days a week (1 day working from home) but I do want another child (our 2nd and last!) And I know once this happens I won’t return to work until they are old enough for school as the cost of childcare is just killer! I wish you well I know how hard this decision is to make #bloggerclubuk

  33. July 20, 2016 / 9:26 am

    I have two months of maternity leave left, and I have to back to work but I really don’t want to #bloggerclubuk

  34. July 20, 2016 / 11:53 am

    I think you are amazing, it is a hard decision but you have done whats best for little ones and as you say there are lots of opportunities for stay at home mums..You are a beautiful intelligent person and will stay that whether you are at home or work!xxx #KCACOLS

  35. July 20, 2016 / 3:14 pm

    Wow Sarah what an honest post. I can see that lots of time and emotional energy went into making that decision, it must have been really hard. However I hope you feel a little happier now about the decision. You are doing a fab thing looking after two little people, and remember that the world of work is always there. I’m intrigued by your venture…….looking forward to finding out more. Claire x #KCACOLS

  36. July 20, 2016 / 7:27 pm

    I think the voice at the back of your head is always right and it seems it was telling you to hand your notice in. It doesn’t have to be permanent though – if you find yourself missing work in a few months, a year or more you can find another job. Likewise, think how far you’ve come since leaving university – I obvs don’t know how old you are but I’m sure you’ll have at least that same amount of time when the kids have grown-up to refocus on your law career if you want to. #KCACOLS

  37. July 20, 2016 / 8:01 pm

    I love this post, so incredibly open and honest. I totally agree with all the points you made in coming to your decision – I am in the throes of that now and it is so hard. I think it’s brilliant that you’ve come to the decision that works for your family and it will be incredible to be with your little ones as they grow up x #fortheloveofBLOG

  38. July 20, 2016 / 8:48 pm

    Great post! It is such a difficult decision to make with so so so many factors involved. Ultimately you do what’s best for your family. I wish you the very very very best of luck. All i can see is, we only live once, Enjoy life! #KCACOLS

  39. July 20, 2016 / 8:54 pm

    Enjoy! In a way I’m glad the cost of childcare made the decision for me #bloggerclubuk

  40. July 21, 2016 / 6:02 am

    After the birth of my son I went part time and worked two days. It meant tuning down a full time contract and quickly finding a new job. It was the perfect choice for me at the time. Now the boys are older I work 3 days and keep saying every year I’ll do more but never do. I like 3 days now. Works for us! I hope your new venture works out Hun. I think you were very brave and wish you lots of luck. Thank you for linking up to #ablogginggoodtime ????

  41. rightroyalmother
    July 21, 2016 / 6:15 am

    After the birth of NG I went back to work in my London (high pressure) role. We now live 2hrs away from London and with both NW and me commuting, it was awful. I quit, found a job locally and had NC. Now, after 10 months’ maternity, I am back at work and loving it. It’s less ‘demanding’ but I now have two children so have demands from other corners! The cost of childcare is excruciating, I know, but we are biting the bullet and recognising that for a year, we will barely break even but then it should get better. For me, it’s worth it – I need to work as well as be a mother for my sanity. #coolmumclub

  42. July 21, 2016 / 8:45 am

    That is such a big decision for you and I can imagine that it wasn’t an easy one to make. I loved the job I did before I had my children but with hubby and me both working irregular hours, childcare was always going to be very difficult. That said though, I always knew I wanted to be a stay-at-home mum and we had planned for this before our children arrived so it wasn’t a difficult decision for me. I now work part-time from home for my husband’s company which works well and keeps my brain ticking over (but can be very challenging when I have to do some work and the kids need me!) Good luck with your new venture! #coolmumclub

  43. July 21, 2016 / 11:33 am

    Such a tough decision but bet you’re relieved that you made it. I was forced back to work after 3 months because I had my own business….shocker! Thanks for linking up to #coolmumclub lovely xx

  44. July 21, 2016 / 1:27 pm

    It’s such a hard decision isn’t it? I took voluntary redundancy when I was pregnant as it made the best financial option rather than spending a fortune on childcare. Instead I invested my redundancy on my business and have never looked back x #ablogginggoodtime

  45. July 21, 2016 / 9:30 pm

    Well done on making the decision. It’s so difficult but whatever decision you make is the right one. Don’t be feeling bad or guilty either, just enjoy every minute. x #KCACOLS

  46. July 22, 2016 / 12:18 pm

    Well done on making the decision. I didn’t get a maternity leave (went straight back to lectures when SB was born) and then as soon as uni finished I went from one full time job to another. I’m now burnt out, tired and missing my little girl, so I’m looking for a part time job. It’s such a tough, personal decision. #KCACOLS

  47. July 23, 2016 / 7:42 am

    If we could afford it I would just blog until they’re both at school and then return to work, but we can’t. That said, I do definitely need something for me that’s not child or mum related and my work does give me that #KCACOLS

  48. July 26, 2016 / 7:37 am

    I really relate to this as a lawyer who’s recently returned to work after my second child (but a 22 month gap rather than 11, don’t know how I’d have coped with that!). I’m working part-time and there’s not much left after childcare but so far I’m enjoying it. It’s “me time” (!) and keeping my hand in but on stressful days it is hard to be motivated when you know that financially it’s all a bit pointless so I totally understand your decision. Good luck with everything #coolmumclub

  49. July 26, 2016 / 4:54 pm

    It is such a hard decision and well done for finally having a resolution. I am very lucky as I’m able to work part time and that works out perfect for me (I even wrote a blog post – 6 Reasons To Love Working Part Time lol!). I work only Mondays and Tuesday and have a job share partner for the rest of the week, gives the perfect balance for us but if that hadn’t been an option heaven knows what we would have done xx #coolmumclub

  50. September 13, 2016 / 8:30 pm

    I go back to my very fancy job in the city next week after baby No2 and it’s going to be hard . I have to travel a lot and my 2 kids will be at totally different locations ( school & nursery 5 miles away from each other) so drop off & pick up will be a nightmare. I have to go back as we cant afford for me to SAH as i earn more than hubby and we need my wage to get a new house. It’s the hardest thing to leave the kids but needs must ! One day i will be rich from blogging (pray for me)