thread: Not sure about returning to work

  1. #1
    Debbie Lee Guest

    Not sure about returning to work

    I am sure you all get this from time to time but I always get people asking me when I will return to work.
    I am a Primary Teacher but I didn't get maternity leave because I didn't have a permanent position (they are really hard to get and I would have had to put of having kids for another couple of years if I wanted to get one).
    Anyway... I had a taste of doing emergency teaching and also working full time.
    I can safely say that I don't really enjoy the job as much as I thought I would.
    There's only casual or full time work for starter - no part time (which sux considering 90% of the teaching work force is female!). Teaching involves lonnnnng hours with lots of preparation at home. You are also expected to go to professional development and meetings after hours all the time. I found it all rather tedious even before I had Gabby. I can't imagine being able to do it AND be there for her.
    The casual work pays good money on the surface but it really isn't that great considering you can only work 6 hours a day on school days and you are not guaranteed work on all of those days (very rarely do you get work in the first couple of weeks back at school because most teachers are rested from holidays etc. etc.).
    Anyway.... I have decided I really don't like the job. The thought of going back makes me shudder yet, at the same time, it seems like such a waste of 5.5 years at Uni.
    I would much prefer to get some part time or go into a different field like child care or kinder teaching. I was even looking at doing family day care.
    Honestly tho, I would love to just stay at home. We could use some more money but we get by ok. It's all so hard to think about!!

    Does anyone else have similar issues about returning to work?

  2. #2
    Registered User

    Apr 2004
    Outer East, Melbourne

    Oh dear - don't say that - I'm studying to BE a teacher ! By the time I've finished, Cait will be in grade three and junior will be 4 years old. I'm only studying part time so it doesn't take over my life completely.

    Before applying for that, I looked at doing the cert 2 or 3 courses run at tafes for childcare, which I think are what childcare centres are looking for when they ask for 'qualified'. The ABC centres have been advertising in the local paper for the past coupla months for staff. I think the cert 2 was 6 months full time or 12 months part time.

    Our Kinda assistant has no qualifications - but the pay is only about $13 an hour. I think to be a kinda teacher you need some sort of early childhood development quals and she gets about $19 an hour. (i'm on the committee, I know these things !)

    What put me off family day care was you can have them from 6.30 in the morning to 6.30 at night, you pretty much surrender your home to children not related to you, with no break, no adult interaction (if thats what you need/like).

    I went to Uni for four years, but wondered during the fourth year what I was doing accounting for !!! I worked in banking and finance for ten years, had Cait and knew I would never go back full time, especially as all the work is in the city.

    Maybe it's a bit early for you to think about working ... I took about 18 months off and now just work in a petrol station two shifts a week for the moolah. We looked at me going back to work full time when Cait was 5 months old as Nick had been off work for three months with his back playing up and I cried, I couldn't do it. He got a job shortly after that. I know girls who do night fill in supermarkets and another couple have started working at the MCG during games as food people in the corporate boxes, another makes money out of Avon.

    I always wanted to stay home ! I thought when I got pregnant the first time, I had that 8 months and then maternity leave time to think of THE home based business/invention that would let me work from home and make a million or so !

    Let us know how you go.


  3. #3
    Registered User

    Mar 2005

    Debbie: is that in the government sector? I work in a Catholic school and have a lot of part-timers although they are on contracts because of it.

    I know what you mean about all the after-hours meetings, PD, functions, etc. If only it was a 9-3.15 job!

    Good luck with coming to a decision.

  4. #4
    Registered User

    Feb 2004

    Deb I did 4yrs of psychology & have yet to use either degree so far & I graduated in early 2001 8-[ I feel like I have wasted my time as well, but I really don't think being a psychologist is what I want to do anymore. Problem is I don't know what it is I do want!

  5. #5
    Registered User

    Feb 2004

    Yep, happens to alot of people, none of my friends are using their degrees. I can't believe that 13/14 year olds have to choose subjects to get marks to get into uni - how are they meant to know what they want to do?

    If only I could go shopping for a, I'd be right!

  6. #6
    Jen Schuster Guest

    I agree - if only we coud all be full time mothers and didnt have to worry about going back to work!!!

    Unfortuneately I wasnt in that position and I had to go back to work when joshua was only four months old (but DH is at home with him)

    I studied commerce and am working as an accountant and I love the work but... working full time and studing and the continuing professinal development and getting up to joshua during the night means that either Joshua misses out on my time or I get less sleep (I opted for less sleep but I dont think that is too healthy).

    It is really hard to to choose - but as long as you are happy with the choices you make and dont feel pressured by anyone you will make the right choice for you as a family IYKWIM!!!

    Love Jen

  7. #7
    Lucy in the sky with diamonds.

    Jan 2005
    Funky Town, Vic

    Why don't you use this time to visualise a job/career that you would LOVE to do forever, something that wouldn't really be like work. (Dig the shopping idea tho!)
    Really work it - shoot for the stars and all that! I have a rather high-pressure, sad sort of gov job that I only stay at for the money. I used to be able to really help people but not anymore.

    I decided on MAT leave that I wanted -
    part time or flexible hours,
    good pay,security
    no stupid, boring offices
    recognition for work well done,
    something to look forward to,
    be able to go on lots of holidays

    Idealistic, maybe, but realistic for me now - I held out for what I wanted and now I'm awake every morning at 6am, getting work done on the pc when it's quiet (very unusual for me!!), I love it and I wish I'd done it earlier.
    My dad is 80 this year and he is still working. He is a psychologist and loves it so much he would miss it, and it keeps his brain razor sharp. He still says he can't believe he is paid for doing what he loves.

    Lifes too short to be doing something you hate! Live the dream baby!

  8. #8
    Registered User

    Jul 2005
    Rural NSW

    I'm living the decision to stay at home with my baby and be there for my 10 y.o daughter each afternoon. We are really struggling on a single income but I'm confident that I won't have any regrets. We are renting and paying private school fees which is also financially scary!!! Our friends are enjoying new wide-screen TVs, holidays, fashionable clothes while we have to bash our little 48cm TV on the side to get it to work, stay with relatives on short trips away and wear Op Shop clothes... hehe. Y'know it sometimes gives me a sleepless night but I think we'll be okay. I'm looking forward to returning to my career when the time comes. My husband loves his job so doesn't feel overly pressured. The worst of it is how resentful I feel regarding the lack of recognition for the gruelling work of stay-at-home-Mums. It can be so demoralising. I totally understand the need for women to work... and it's not always financial even though it seems to be the only reason given. I just wish that some women would admit that they find staying at home to be too isolated, mundane, and just plain HARD. Anyhow.... *hats off* to all mums.... you all deserve a big hug, and a long quiet soak in a bath with a block of choc! (All very affordable luxuries).

  9. #9
    Registered User

    Feb 2005

    Yep I sure do know what you mean.

    Deb, I trained to be a teacher too and have never worked in the field. By the time I finished the course I realised I didn't want it but I wasn't sure what I DID want. I have spent most of my working life since in offices, doing jobs I hate. Luckily, I don't mind my current job and it's a public service gig so there are a few benefits to that too but I'm experiencing anxiety about returning to work and my baby isn't even born yet!

    I know that financially it will be a struggle but I really hope to stay home for at least a year if not longer. Ideally, if my husband was in some kind of job where he received a decent pay packet I would stay home with no qualms whatsoever. Like Bathsheba we also rent and try to keep our expenses to a minimum but it is still hard these days to make ends meet.

  10. #10
    Registered User

    Oct 2004
    Back in Brisvegas :)

    Wow, I love Belly Belly even more. I've realised from reading here that I am definately not alone in my situation. I graduated early 2001 with a BA majoring in Primary Education after deciding I actually really did not want to teach. I went on to work 3 years in a professional position at Zurich Insurance (NOTHING to do with my degree obviously).

    I had to leave in very early July due to severe M/S and now I'm wondering what I'll go and do IF I need to go back to work after bubs was born. I resigned as they wouldn't let me go on maternity leave early so it's not like I have a held position for me - although the Qld manager reassured me I was more than welcome back.

    I guess what I've realised is that from now on my family is my no. 1 priority. I could never work another professional job where I was expected to make my work my priority again.

    Currently we're struggling with me not working and DH on a graduate wage. Hopefully in the next fortnight he'll get his new pay offer and that will help.

  11. #11
    katanya Guest

    I am a WAHM I work for a disability organisation on weekend, on weekend I am a co-ordinator on-call amd just ahve to carry a mobile and folder around in case of problems with programs or staffing..and the other weekend I have a 12 year old Autistic girl for respite, both pay well and I earn a part time wage and get to be at home..I was really worried when I got pregnant as to what we'd do, but now DP earns more money and I earn enough to make things okay..

    Den I was thinking that maybe you could use your teaching skills in another way, like tutoring or in a role that allows you to be with Gabby tooo..what about teaching adults at TAFE at night? that way you cold have days free and Neil could spend nights with her?

  12. #12
    Registered User

    Aug 2004

    I'm not surprised that so many people have a tough time returning to their jobs.
    I would go back to work if I could do a couple of days a week. I've put in a request, but they are still getting back to me. There is a bit of stuff happening in the carpet industry at the mo, so no surprises I'm not top priority.

    I'm an engineer, and I really wasn't enjoying work before I got pregnant, so it surprises me I'm keen to go back. I think its purely due to the money. I'll do anythign to ensure we can stay afloat.

    I've just got a job teaching swimming lessons - I'm a trainee, and on $12.50/hr. Very well earned money!!! I'm also trying to get into netball umpiring which is $10-$20/game, and I'll hoping to do a party plan too.

    Eventually I'll go to teachers college and become a high school maths/physics/technology teacher, and I have to say - I can't wait!!!! I'm really looking forward to it. I knew it was something I wanted to do when I finished uni, and did apply, but only now (10 years later) am I getting a chance to go back and do it.

    Deb - there are heaps of things you can do with your qualifications, but you just have to put yourself out there! And sometimes ignoring your quals, and doing something just for the money, is enough to remember why you enjoyed teaching in the first place.

  13. #13
    Registered User

    Mar 2004

    I put in a request to work part-time and it has taken ages for them to get back to me. Little did I know that they were just checking whether legally they can refuse my request. So they have, it is full-time or nothing. I was really looking forward to going back to work and I thought that working four days was fair but it isn't good enough for them. So do I go back to work and miss out on my baby growing up or do I resign and stay at home and lose some of myself, not to mention the poverty of being a one income family? Oh, I don't know.

    You think that you are ready to make these big decisions about your family but I don't think that you ever are.

  14. #14
    Lucy in the sky with diamonds.

    Jan 2005
    Funky Town, Vic

    Deb, what about tutoring? It seems to be all the rage and you could do it from your place in the evenings maybe.