Partner saying no to me not returning to work to be a full time mum.

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mango sorbet
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Partner saying no to me not returning to work to be a full time mum.

Postby mango sorbet » Fri Nov 19, 2021 12:56 pm

My son will shortly be six months old and the publishing company that I work for are expecting me to return in the next month. I have a pretty senior role there and a lot of great colleagues and pre having my son I was very career orientated and loved it. But, having had this time at home with him and doing the whole mum thing I really feel differently.  The issue is that I am the main earner and my partner is point blank saying no, he is worried about how it will change our lifestyle. He thinks that I will be fine once I get back to work, and he could be right. I know that it is a massive ask of him but I have got it into my head that this is what I want to do.
Are there any mums out there who've been in my position ands did give up work? Did you regret it? I feel stuck between a rock an a hard place.
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Moonlightdawn
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Re: Partner saying no to me not returning to work to be a full time mum.

Postby Moonlightdawn » Sat Nov 20, 2021 11:40 am

Hi

I felt similarly to you after I had my first. After a lot of contemplation, I took 15-months off.

I ended up really regretting it. I missed my old life, earning my own money, using my brain, etc. I'd work so hard to reach my position in the corporate world. I also felt lonely.

Staying at home long-term with a baby wasn't for me. It also made me resentful of my husband and his career. I would see him go off to work, out in the evenings for work dinners, etc. I felt envious and jealous. It caused a lot of strife between us. Please do not underestimate the impact of having one parent stay at home whilst the other one works outside.

I did have help at home with a part-time nanny and was very grateful to have time to myself. On the flip side, I also found it hard to let go with someone else looking after my child whilst being home. Lots of complicated feelings of guilt. Motherhood is hard.

Everyone is different and for some parents quitting work and being at home long-term with their children is a huge source of happiness, contentment and joy.

Is there a way for you to extend your maternity leave by another couple months?

Sending you my best wishes.
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Hi1234
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Re: Partner saying no to me not returning to work to be a full time mum.

Postby Hi1234 » Sat Nov 20, 2021 5:45 pm

I agree with the above poster. I wanted to give up but thought best option was to go back and see how I got on rather than giving up and having regrets later. Needless to say I loved being back , the freedom, money etc and made our relationship more even in terms of sharing household duties!
Good luck with your decision..
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Soph6383846
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Re: Partner saying no to me not returning to work to be a full time mum.

Postby Soph6383846 » Mon Nov 22, 2021 6:45 am

Just reading your post made me think two things to share with you.

Firstly that at the moment your baby is 6 months old and quite easy to take around with you to lunches, coffee shops, mum gatherings, pop to the shops etc but it only gets tougher when they get a bit older. An 18 month old for example won't sit quite so happily so you find those nice lunches etc not happening and being stuck at home where they will have a proper length nap etc...

Also, from personal experience I found my maternity leave for my first kid great fun, but then most of my mum friends went back work after a year. When i had 2 days at home each week to fill as i was part time i had much fewer options and it did get rather lonely.

Im just not sure quitting is a decision to be made now whilst he is still an "easier" bundle of joy!!
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HelenET
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Re: Partner saying no to me not returning to work to be a full time mum.

Postby HelenET » Mon Nov 22, 2021 6:59 am

I was in a similar position with my first child. I had to go back to work when my daughter was 6 months old as I was the main breadwinner. I lasted 2 months before being signed off with post natal depression for 2 months. I found leaving my daughter too traumatic especially missing those first major events such as crawling.
I’m now pregnant with my second child and my partner is very supportive of me taking a year off, even though it’s going to mean our spending habits need to change for a short time.
Could you extend your maternity leave by a few months? Or go back to work part time?
Wishing you all the best
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Monion
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Re: Partner saying no to me not returning to work to be a full time mum.

Postby Monion » Mon Nov 22, 2021 7:12 am

My children are a lot older and I can look back over their upbringing, and their friends’. I was in the same position as you, I’d intended to go back but found it very hard to leave my baby. I gave up a good career and although we had to give up a few luxuries I haven’t regretted it for a minute, and neither have any of my friends who did the same.
It can be tough but also so rewarding and I was glad not to have the worry of finding and keeping the right childcare, which many friends really struggled with. It’s certainly not for everyone and it can be really hard work but if you enjoy being with your baby even when you’re on your own with them in my opinion it’s the most worthwhile thing you can do. You may be able to pick up part time and freelance work when your children go to nursery. I’ve restarted my career and it’s going well. The time goes so quickly, I only wish I had had more of it to spend with them.
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Sosso
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Re: Partner saying no to me not returning to work to be a full time mum.

Postby Sosso » Mon Nov 22, 2021 7:42 am

I think you have a few options before taking a radical solution:
-Extend your mat leave by a few months
- shared pat leave so you feel your baby is in safe pair of hands ( maybe!) and you can enjoy being back in adult life
- get some flex arrangement, a few days from home will be a nice transition

My kids are older now, and while going back to work is always an anxious moment, I have never regretted it. I am a better mum than if I wasn’t working.
I feel it’s made them more independant, I love their smile on their face when I open the door.

Finally, having moved abraod in a country where most women work, I found the peer pressure in the Nappy Valley tough, I have 3 children and could feel sometimes that look… whereas here people are admiring my carreer path while handling 3 kids - and a husband-
And remember, before you know it your baby will be in full time education, return to work then will be much harder… and in a few more years, your kids will not want to see you around, but would prefer that you are working and leaving them alone! Such is life!
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MummyontheGo
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Re: Partner saying no to me not returning to work to be a full time mum.

Postby MummyontheGo » Mon Nov 22, 2021 8:28 am

My son is now 3.5 and I am the main bread winner. Due to some issues with my role I ended up taking 14 months and I really dreaded going back as I loved being with my little one so much. Being a full time working mum is not easy. But having seen my son aged 2,2.5, 3 etc I’m so glad I went back. I know I could not offer him what he needed at those ages as much as I could definitely do it when I was off. Also I feel I can offer him so many experiences he loves thanks to my income (holidays, zoos, days out etc)
I think it’s super natural to have the urge to stay with them but might be worth trying going back. My son went to nursery and flourished in the environment with other children which helped me a lot
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Needcoffeenow
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Re: Partner saying no to me not returning to work to be a full time mum.

Postby Needcoffeenow » Mon Nov 22, 2021 8:48 am

I agree with MummyontheGo. It is completely natural to feel you want to stay at home permanently with your first baby. The advice I had at the time was to go back and try it for a reasonable length of time. That way you would have given it a proper try and would then know for sure if it was or wasn’t for you. I went back full time but I think now family-friendly legislation means your company has to offer you a flexible arrangement. Part-time also keeps a foot in the door. Salary aside, what if your partner lost their job or became too ill to work?
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SouthLondonDaddy
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Re: Partner saying no to me not returning to work to be a full time mum.

Postby SouthLondonDaddy » Mon Nov 22, 2021 8:58 am

I am going to get a lot of heat for this, but I must say I do not know many stay-at-home mums who have managed to keep their sanity.

Obviously if you must stay at home because you cannot afford childcare it's one thing, but, if you can, going back to work is an investment in yourself - and in your family, because a satisfied, balanced, reasonably happy mother is in the best interest of the whole family.

Also, do not underestimate that it is in human nature to seek reinforcements, so many stay at home mums are unlikely to admit, even to themselves, they are not happy with their choice - in other words, do take with a truckload of salt what people tell you (this applies to both stay at home and working parents, obviously).
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honor79
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Re: Partner saying no to me not returning to work to be a full time mum.

Postby honor79 » Mon Nov 22, 2021 10:00 am

Hi there - I really feel for you. I stopped work after my first child (we’ve since had two more) & I have adored being there for every milestone & every joy & every problem BUT I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it.

Firstly, the loss of my financial independence has placed a massive strain on my marriage. We had our first relatively young so I hadn’t really ascended the career ladder as much as I had planned to. And therefore I was never the main breadwinner, but as things have deteriorated between my husband & I, I hate having to ask him for money for everything. (I hasten to add that when my youngest started nursery, I went back to work, but it was in a much less well paid, part-time position.)

Secondly, I think mothers working is a good example for children: the cost of living will continue to rise, so it’s likely that our children we have will need to work as will their partners. That obviously doesn’t mean having the kind of job where the hours are so punishing you only see your children at the weekend but in principle I think it’s a good thing for children seeing their mothers professionally satisfied & financially independent.

My advice would be to take more maternity leave (can you take a year?) & see if your company can be more accommodating of your desire to be with your baby more (eg four days a week / working from home now / fixed hrs?)

I don’t for a second regret giving up work to be at home with my children but I’m not sure I’d do the same thing if I had my time over again.
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Ex Clapham resident
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Re: Partner saying no to me not returning to work to be a full time mum.

Postby Ex Clapham resident » Mon Nov 29, 2021 11:33 am

You have got some really good, balanced feedback above.

I had 13 months off which was great and went back 3 days a week to a senior finance role for both financial and personal reasons. I’ve always been very ambitious and get my self- validation from my work.

I always felt like I was resented by quite a lot of junior team members for not always being there, although I often checked and replied to emails on my days off. It caused me a lot of stress and because I was tired, having to get a challenging toddler to nursery at 7:30 on my days in , I almost had a breakdown. Looking back now, though, I think a lot was in my head from hormones and tiredness and the desperation to prove I could make it work.

However, things changed internally (toxic people left) and I then had a great team and was able to continue to work 3 days a week until my child was 7. I now work 4 days a week and am really happy with it. It’s flexible, so I pick my hours around school pick up and really don’t regret going back to work part-time and spending that time with her when she was younger.

Part time is the best balance for me- it’s hard often at work, but I think you have to work on not feeling guilty that you’re not always there and be kind to yourself. Also nowadays, remote working gives you back an additional 2 hours a day of not travelling and having to rush to/from nursery/school on when you’re working from home.

I’m really glad I didn’t go back full time- my friends who did that missed out on lots of time with their children and were often too tired at weekends to enjoy them. I also made friends with mums at school on my days off, which would have been harder had I never been there.

I’m also glad i didn’t stay at home full-time. I spent 2 years in a less pressured role and even in that time felt that I started to lose my brainpower and confidence.

I agree with the above- try and agree a year off, then work flexibly. If that really doesn’t work, then you can make a decision. You’ll always gain comfort from knowing you tried.

My only regret is that I allowed myself to get so stressed by the work, and I think this had contributed towards my child being stressed. The job has to be the right one.
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mangosorbet
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Re: Partner saying no to me not returning to work to be a full time mum.

Postby mangosorbet » Mon Nov 29, 2021 1:17 pm

A million thank yous for all of your wonderful replies. If anything this thread has made me realise that there isn't a quick fix to this. I think that I am going to ask to extend my leave for a few months with a goal of finding a smaller job within work for the next couple of years. Spending more time with my son is absolutely what I want to do but maybe keeping options open would be wise and less scary for my other half. Thanks again everyone.
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No_regrets
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Re: Partner saying no to me not returning to work to be a full time mum.

Postby No_regrets » Tue Nov 30, 2021 12:46 pm

Hi, I am glad to hear that you are extending your maternity and not rushing back to work. I would like to share my experience.

I went back to work when my daughter was 12 months old but I missed her so much and when my role was mas redundant 6 months later, I decided to stay at home instead. Being a stay at home mum is hard work, but I enjoyed being there for my daughter and seeing her learn and grow. She started reception in September, and I reached out to my ex-colleagues and will be going back to my career where I left off. I have a senior role in Finance.

It was a hard decision to make when I decided to stay at home as work defined me as a person, but I have no regrets.

I wish you all the best in your journey.
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