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Thinking of Going Back to Work?

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      26.01.2009 17:46
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      Thinking of returning to work, its a thumbs up from me !!

      I think that going back to work after having a baby is a hard decision to make. I personally would not have survived if it wasn't for returning to work. You see , after my first baby at around 8 months I got post natal depression, and going back to work was the only thing that kept me sane !!! I am not lucky enough to have anyone to look after my little boy, so he had to go to nursery. As it turned out he loved it, and so we were both getting alot out of me returning to work. I enjoy my job, and am glad I returned, but it was hard leaving him at first. I haven't missed out on any of those special moments , as I only work part time, and I have been there to see all of his mile stones along the way. I think that if you can return to work, it definately helps to keep you in the adult world and not in the night garden!!

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        10.11.2008 15:03
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        I quite nejoy working 3 days and spending 2 with my little girl

        I didn't even really get chance to think about whether I wanted to go back or not....I had to for financial reasons. I was due 10th Feb, and finished work 31st Jan, and my little girl finally arrived 21st Feb. I returned back to work the start of May when she was just 10 weeks old. Maybe thats why I found it easier returning than some as I had only been with her for 10 weeks? I started back 3 days a week, and my mum has her for the 3 days, then in Sept I was supposed to go back full time, but managed to have enough savings to top up my wage, so at present I am still on 3 days a week. I think if my mum couldn't look after her I would have looked for another job and worked nights, as it wouldn't have been worht going to work if we would have had to have paid nursery fees. I actually enjoyed going back to work, talking to other adults, feeling like me again, the person I was before my little girl came along. Don't get me wrong I love her to bits, but once you are married and have a child, I still feel you are 3 different people, a mother, a wife and yourself....and thats exactly what work did for me, made me myself again. It then meant that the 2 days I had off with her I cherished more, and I looked forward to having the two days off with her. It was also special when I would pick her up after work and she would get so excited to see me, thats something I will always remember...her excited little face. It also give me a confindence boost *Going back to work isn't that bad, I think if you get more worked up on it while on maternity leave, the worse you will make it. Try not to think about it too much while enjoying the time with your little baby, otherwise you will waste that presious little time you have left in total worry. *You need to think about who is going to look after your little one, I am so glad my mum has her, she has learnt to be quite independant now, and I know she will get a lot of care and attention. If you do need to put them into nursey, research them well, and do a trial run a week before you go back so you can see how you both get on. *work out if you have to put them in nursery is it worth the cost for what you would get in wages, I know child tax credits give about 30-40% of the costs back, but sometimes it isn't worth working *start off really slowly, maybe go back for an afternoon and see if its what you want to do, or half a day and see how you feel.

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          07.10.2008 10:52
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          hopefully our middle of the road compromise will work

          I have just completed two application forms for jobs for when my maternity leave finishes. No doubt I'll complete many more before January comes and I actually return. It's been a time of very mixed emotions. I don't want to leave my son and go back to work, but part of me is quite excited at the prospect of going out, doing something challenging and thinking a bit more. I'm not returning to my previous job for a number of reasons:- - it involved a one hour commute each way, and that's too much wasted time - it wasn't worth it after paying for childcare and travel - it was a term time only job and as my son gets older, I don't want to miss out on school assemblies, plays and sports days I am returning to work because:- - I've always had separate finances from my husband and wouldn't like to have no spending money myself - I would feel guilty if I wasn't contributing towards the house with interest rates rising so quickly - I miss interacting with people and the challenge of thinking up groupwork and activity ideas What is (hopefully) going to work for us is me working some evenings and part of each weekend while my husband gets to spend some quality time with my son. I am worried that it will cut into our time as a whole family together, but I think it's the best compromise for now.

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            10.09.2008 11:39
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            Needs must for us.

            Like all maternity leave it has to end at some point, some women will become stay at home mums while others will return to work. I am in the latter category and return to work this coming Saturday. For us it is a necessity that I return as we can't afford the mortgage, bills etc on just my husbands wage. These past 9 months have been the best 9 months of my life, after a painful start to maternity leave I finally got to meet my son 2 months in. Spending 7 months watching and enjoying every moment of my sons development has been amazing. I still cannot believe how quickly he has grown and that each day he seems to do something new, or a little better than the day before. To say I am dreading it is an understatement. I am upset at the fact someone else will be watching all these new things and not his mummy. My boss has been fantastic with my return and I have been allowed to choose my working hours, even down to the days I will work and what time I will start and finish. I really think having an understanding boss is essential in mums returning to work, it can be a stressful and worrying time (as I'm finding out as the day draws nearer). I currently work in a care home where staff are needed 24 hours a day, this I think has made it easier in choosing my hours as the working hours are more flexible anyway than the typical 9-5 jobs. I have chosen to work three 2pm-10pm's a week, including one day of a weekend. While I am work my son will either be with my mother in law or my husband with my mum as a back-up. Having people I know and trust makes me feel slightly at ease but I still feel upset that my mother in law or mum might see my son crawl for the first time or watch him take his first steps. I am lucky we have family close by to care for my son as there would be no chance of us affording nurseries. I would be paying more out than I would be earning. If you are thinking of returning to work after maternity leave, here are things you might want to consider; Child care options- Nanny, childminder, nursery, friend/relative. Considering costs, OFSTED reports for nurseries and making sure the childminder/nanny is registered. Flexible job- Can you work part-time or possibly working the same hours in fewer days? Is your boss supportive? Can you work from home? Breastfeeding- If you are still breastfeeding like I am you can either decide to mix-feed with formula or express whilst at work. There is an obligation, under health and safety law, on employers to provide breastfeeding workers with rest facilities. The European Commission has also published guidelines which recommend that employers provide access to a private room, a fridge for storing milk and time off to breastfeed. However although the latter is not law, it could be worth bringing up with your employer before you return to work.

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              09.09.2008 11:31
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              This is personal choice

              Ive recently read a couple of reviews about how Mothers feel about returning to work once they have had a baby, so I thought I would give my opinion on the subject. Firstly, I will say that there is no right or wrong answer to this question; it is all about firstly whether you can afford not to go back to work and secondly what you would like to do. Most of my friends have children and some couldn't wait to get back to work and 'normality' as they call it! Others can't think of anything worse than leaving their children to return to work. I fall into the second category and am dreading the thought of returning to work and leaving my precious son at nursery, but unfortunately myself and my husband couldn't afford to live if I didn't go back as I earn more money than my husband does. Don't get me wrong, ever since Rhys was born I have found myself trying to work out whether or not me staying at home would be a feasible option, but there is no way made that it would be, unless we won the lottery! Plus we currently live a very comfortable life and can afford to go on holiday twice a year and afford many luxuries, if I didn't return to work then we would have no spare cash to afford anything like this, so I think this would probably make us more miserable in the long run. So I have now resigned myself to the fact that I have to go back to work and that I need to get my head around the fact so that when the time comes to leave Rhys I will be able to accept this without being a nervous wreck!! I am hoping that I can go back to work for four days a week rather than five, if I can this will mean that Rhys will only have to be in nursery 2 days a week as my Mum is having him one day and my mother in law is having him another. The nursery I chose is one that all my friends' children are in, I know this has a very good reputation and after we looked around decided that this was the best place for Rhys. It costs £36 per day, which is quite expensive but they will have Rhys from 8am till 5pm, so it isnt too bad really. I do think that Rhys going to nursery will be a good thing for him, as he will be mixing with other children his age and will teach him how to be around other children before he starts school. I can imagine starting school when a child has had no experience of being around other children must be a terrifying experience for them, so at least Rhys being in nursery will have started him off on the right foot. The nursery is very good in the way that they introduce Rhys to them. Rather than me just dumping him there on the day I return to work, they let me take him a few days before that. Firstly I will go with him and stay there with him for an hour, then I will go there and stay for a couple of hours and then on the final day I will go there and leave him for a couple of hours so he can get used to being there without me. I do also think that returning to work will be good for me, in a strange kind of way. It will be nice to go to work and have 'adult' conversation for a change rather than talking to a baby!! Plus being at home with a child all day is a very difficult job sometimes, so I think returning to work will be much easier!! I make myself think of the above positives but deep down in my heart I do really wish that I could afford to stay at home with Rhys, I just know that when I first return to work it is going to break my heart leaving him at nursery and that the first few days without him are just going to be a nightmare. I can imagine that Rhys will be one of those children that will start to play with his friends without a glance back at me, I don't know if this would upset me more than him crying about me leaving him?!! Every Saturday I check my lottery numbers in the vain hope that it has been our lucky day!!

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                09.09.2008 09:40
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                Discovering your options after maternity leave

                Maternity leave in the UK is currently nine months (39 weeks) paid leave from your current job. If you weren't entitled to the maternity pay from your employer for whatever reason, you will probably have received it in the form of maternity allowance from the Government. So what happens when this period of time is near to running out, and you are considering what to do once it has ended? Are you thinking of going back to work? There may be many reasons why you would consider returning to your previous job or even a new role somewhere else. I think the primary role for not staying at home with your new baby would have to be money. However there are other reasons such as career, independence, etc. Whatever your reasons, you have to do the best for you and your family regardless of what other people say and think. I was lucky enough to gain the 39 weeks maternity leave as the extra time has just come into place when I was pregnant. I was off work from May 07 right through to February 08. This was bliss for me as my job was wearing me down at the time. I was also lucky enough to only be working part time, and found that my maternity pay was almost spot on to what my wages were before I left. This won't be the same for a lot of people, especially if you were full time before you left. You would have noticed a bit drop in pay f this were the case as maternity pay is £112 ish per week or 90% of your wages. This figure is dependent on what your earning were whilst at work as well. I stayed in touch with work throughout my maternity leave, still unsure as to what I would be doing once my leave had ended. I couldn't imagine leaving my daughter with a stranger when and if the time came. Whilst I think I was in slight denial and thought the time would never come, my OH and I did visit a nursery open day when our daughter was about three months old. This was to get a feel for what could happen in the future. We had to sit down and work out our finances when our daughter was a few months older. We had decided if we could afford for me to stay at home then I probably would. I did worry slightly about losing my independence, and I did enjoy working, but at the same time I didn't want to leave my baby either. As it turned out we were slightly short without my wages. There was always the possibility of help from places such as tax credits, however after completing an online calculator with them it appeared we would manage but only just. I didn't want to struggle, we didn't have a baby to struggle through, and even though we knew we would never be very well off. The next avenue to look down was nursery fees. You could always opt for a childminder or even family if you are lucky enough to get free childcare this way. This wasn't an option for me and after a lot of thought we chose a nursery for a few reasons. Mainly because a nursery wouldn't want a holiday in the year, or wouldn't phone me one morning because they were ill. I didn't have the support of any back up childcare to be able to deal with this if it happened. I also wanted my daughter to interact with other children her age, and with a childminder this might not happen. As the scary part was over we re visited the nursery and found out about fees and asked all the questions we wanted to ask. Armed with their ofsted number I then phone the tax credits helpline again to find out what we would be entitled to help towards the nursery fees. It turned out by doing this we would be slightly better off with me working and our daughter in nursery. I felt both deflated and excited when I realised I would be returning to work. It would be nice to be a person as well as a "mummy"; however it would be a wrench leaving her. Talking to work about the possibility of returning, I realised as a parent of a child under six years old you are entitled to a lot more flexibility within your working hours. If you are in any doubt about your working rights, visit a great website called acas.com. I negotiated completely new working hours with my boss and she was very flexible with me. We worked out a new rota that meant I would only have to use a nursery for two half days and one full day per week. This was better than my daughter going for a lot of long days. With me working a lot of evenings and weekends as well, it looked like this situation could work out for all parties. I could still spend most of the week with my daughter, and still work and contribute to the home as well. I chose to return to the same employer because it was convenient for me and the hours were right. You have to look at a lot of different options and find one that will suit you. If you are returning to work with the same employer after maternity leave it is wise to have regular chats with your boss, and possibly even do some "keeping in touch" days as well. These are available for anyone on maternity leave, and it means you can go to work for up to ten days and get paid for it whilst still on maternity leave. It's worth noting however that even if you work for two hours in one day and go home, this is classed as one day overall. You will also need to let your employer know in writing of you proposed date to return to work. This will more than likely have been done whilst you were still pregnant, however I let my boss know again just out of courtesy. If you are returning at the end of your leave you are not obliged to inform anyone, you can just turn up, however this isn't always practical. Think about the times in the future when you may need their support so start off on the right foot. However if you plan to return to work early before your leave finishes, you must give two months written notice. I returned to work without too much fuss. Our daughter took to nursery really well, and I managed a couple of "keeping in touch" days with them as well to ease back into it. Since returning I have had to up and leave at short notice a couple of times when my daughter was ill at nursery. This wasn't always the best situation but family comes first. For me it was the right decision to return to work as my daughter is thriving at nursery and even though I may not always want to go into work, I know it's best for me to keep my identity as a person as well. There is only so much housework and meeting friends for coffee I can do. Weigh up all the options and research them before making the right decision for you.

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                  31.01.2004 17:22
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                  • "Liable for the tax man to grab your money"

                  Last year, my friend and I were talking about childminding. She told me she was attending an introduction meeting and would I like to attend with her. I thought it might be a good way of increasing our household income so decided to go along. Ofsted and The Early Years were holding the talk and I was expecting it to be a real friendly and laid back chat, detailing us prospective child minders on how to start up. Infact when we got there, it was the complete opposite, cold and scarey is how my friend described it and she wasn't wrong. My friend decided there and then she did not want to pursue it any further. I went home and thought it can't get any worse, after all it was a meeting and perhaps it was late in the day for the people from Ofsted and they were just tired and not in the mood to talk to a bunch of women in the evening. I registered myself to become a childminder and had my initial inspection before my registration certificate was sent. All went well and my house and myslef passed without any worries. So far so good. I then enrolled on the Introduction to Childminding course. This was a 12 hour course stretched over a few weeks . Our tutor turned up at only three of the evening sessions, then did a runner! We were left with various tutors after that until finally we were given a lady who knew exactley what she was talking about and gave us the information we needed to complete our course work. To be honest, I found it a waste of time, we were taught only things that were already common sense. The one thing they wanted to instill on us was the importance of equal opportunities and respecting ethnic minorities was paramount ........ enough said! So after gaining my A4 certificate I waitied a few months ( I had just had a baby myself) before I advertised my services as a child minder. I was contacted in October last year and have sinced looked after a little girl. Its only a few days a week which suits me. The little girl fits in very well with my family and she enjoys the company of my children and is settled with me. Then just before Christmas I received a letter from Oftsed saying they wanted to do my inspection. It was arranged for january and they give you three possible dates on when they just turn up. I heard stories from fellow childminders that Ofsted were like the Gustapo (forgive my spelling on that) but I thought they were winding me up, knowing I was new to all this. Actually they weren't far wrong and it was the most ridiculous grilling session I have ever had to endure. I sat back and thought "no wonder they are trying to encourage women into child care careers, the remaining must have resigned after their inspections" . For just 3.00 an hour (and I'm taxed on that), it really isn't worth it. I have my own family and my child care was rated first class, as I knew it would be. After having three kiddies of my own, I should know what to do by now. The inspector from oftsed by the way, only had one child, enough said there too!! My paperwork let me down. I have to have paperwork on everything, basically granting me permission to do anything from putting another child into my car seat to giving it a plaster. If it has a cut, it has to bleed to death before I can put a band aid on it. I have to have a book detailing any slight injuries the child has before it reached me and any it obtains whilst here in my care and so it goes on and on and on and on. I was also told that I do not have enough Ethnic toys and should do Ethnic activities. I'm a true Brit, a rare thing in Great Britain. That is what I want to promote before we English become an extinct breed. I'm only a child minder, not a primary school. I know in this day and age there are a lot of sick and twisted "people" out there who prey on children, these perverts are responsible for all these rules and regulat ions that now have to be inplace. Years ago, my aunt was a child minder and she said she never had to endure half of these rules and guidelines that I have to do. But I suppose then, the word "peodo" was not even in the Oxford dictionary. I'm really not sure if I will continue childminding, the money isn't brilliant unless you have three plus children in your care. I am only allowed two because of the size of my family, but one is enough when you have your own kiddies. It's hard work but yet rewarding. There's pros and cons like there is with every career. But if Ofsted don't change the ridiculous rules, they will loose even more child carer's. We provide care which is first rate, we dont want to have to keep log books on everything.

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                    16.01.2003 07:56
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                    • "Less time to watch Trisha"

                    This is just an account of how I found the experience of getting a job after being a stay at home mum. Every mother should have the right to choose whatever suits her situation best, this is just the tale of what worked for me. :) I was never really ambitious. I didn't care about having a career, or even a job. I didn't need the stress of worrying about work, I had my job - Mother. And frankly, at 22 years old, without the support of a partner, I found it very tough. As my daughter grew, I realised I seemed to be drifting away from all of my old friends, and settled into the role of being a housewife, with my lovely toddler and new fella. We made a very happy family, the 3 of us, hubby at work, my daughter and I at home doing those many jobs that keep a housewife busy. I married my new fella, Our daughter started school. We realised how tight our budget was, and how we needed more money if we were to afford any luxuries. We sat and chatted about money saving ideas, when it hit me. Get a job, Tray! And that's how it all started. My hubby and I discussed the idea alot, and at first it seemed quite funny - the idea of me working. You see, I went from ' time out finding myself ' ( too many parties, too small a giro lol ) to being a uni student, to falling preggers. I'd never had a ' proper ' job, I had only a handful of G.C.S.Es, and when I looked at it rationally one day, I realised how seriously terrified I was at the idea of trying to find a job. I did not feel that I had any real skills to offer an employer. Friends suggested I write a list of things I could do because of my experiences running our home, and I decided to apply as an evening cleaner in a factory near our home. Perfect, as hubby could look after the monster while I was at work. I looked in the employment section of our local paper, and saw loads of ads for cleaners, so I picked the one most local to where I live, and rang the number . A very short phone conversation later ( You a student? N I number? Work Permit? Can you come by at 6 tonight, see what you think? ) I had an interview!!!!! I leapt on my hubby when he got in from work at 4, shouting out my great news ( he didn't know I'd started looking! ) He was really impressed....and I felt GOOD! And I realised that I was very nervous, but at the same time highly excited, about the idea of me ( yes, ME, not mum, or wife ) having an area of my life that was my own again. Luckily, the factory was desperate, the pay was cr*p, I have a work permit so I got the job. I won't try to tell you that the work was in any way mentally taxing, but I was knackered every night because it's damn hard work ( much respect to all factory cleaners out there - I salute you! ) and after 6 weeks I'd lost a stone, and realised I needed another job. A less physical job. I'd discovered I liked talking to people about stuff, not child or decorating related, I realised I had become much more confident. So I wrote another list... This time, I looked at the big box ads in the paper. I began attempting to match the skills I realised I had gained from being a mother to the job requirements. Good communication skills - Yup, I'm a master in negotiation ( painful toddler lol ) Ability to cope in a crisis - Hmmm...my 5 year old had one every day at this point, so yep! Enthusiasm - ( brought on by my desperation to shop at Next for kids clothes! ) Experience of money handling - Duh! I persuaded myself to apply for a part time position working with adults with learning disabilities. I managed to offset my total lack of qualifications and a work history against my wealth of ' Practical Experience ' that I had gained from generally living my life, keeping my house and raising my child. When I went for the interview ( a 3 person ' panel ' style interview ) I wasn't at all nervous beforehand, as I was confident that I couldn't possibly get this job. Therefore, the interview was a practise really. I freaked out a little on entering the interview...3 really smart looking women, in thier office, doing thier jobs, and me, housewife! Afew deep breaths later, some mentally uplifting thoughts( I managed to keep the baby alive and well, and it has grown lol, I raised LIFE dammit ) I manged to smile, and I gave it all I had! I left feeling really proud, as I knew I'd given a good interview. A long 3 weeks passed, when they rang to tell me I was being offered the job, and a letter was on it's way. It was very scary and exciting for the first few months in my new job as I was being trained for a very responsible job, where the choices I make effect the people that I work with. I also had to arrange a childminder to have the monster from 7am till school, which was very taxing ( another review to come lol ) Sorted now though. 16 months have now passed, and the novelty factor has worn off, but I can honestly tell you going to work when my daughter went to school was the best descision I ever made. I get grumpy at times when I'm tired, I keep my daughter up far too late playing monopoly on my weekends off, I get emotional when I'm working full shifts and I've got PMT, I feel jealous when I hear about the fantastic things that happened at the childminders this morning. I've been on loads of courses, and have a folder full of lovely qualifications, paid for by my employer. I go to work, where I do my job, I communicate with other departments, chat with my collegues ( my friends ) solve problems, and feel that what I do truly can make a difference. My confidence has risen, I feel better, look better and I'm even eating more healthily ( blinkin' dieting women collegues! ) My daughter no longer tells people mummy spends her day watching Trisha and Maury Pooovich. We will be going on holida y in the summer, my daughter wearing the Next holiday outfit I was aiming for ;) I get paid!!!!!! I feel alive :)

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                      06.05.2002 16:34
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                      • "Can go wrong"

                      It took me almost seven years to decide to become a working mum, so it wasn?t a snap decision, or one that was made for me for economic reasons, or out of a ?need? to have another income. Let me explain. I had my first child in July 1994 at the age of 20, the second was born in May 1996 and the third February 1998. My husband was working as a chef in a hotel in Blackpool working from about 7am til 10am and then 4pm til 10pm which meant that family life was non existent but at least we had a house and an income. Whilst I was at home with the children, I took a home study course in Book-Keeping with the plan of starting my own business offering secretarial services to small businesses, this never took off, but in 2000 we decided that the time was right for a change in family life. By this time my husband saw very little of our eldest as he was in full time school and the middle one was about to start. We decided that I would try and get a job, and then once I had settled in my husband would leave work and stay home with the children, taking time out to decide what he wanted to do. Life has changed so much since I started working, my husband stays home with the children and has now been a house husband for almost 18 months. The house is always tidy(ish), I come home to dinner on the table, the kids are all clean and angelic all the time, and my husband is so stress free it is unbelievable. Well OK I lied about the last two, but I feel that although I am at work all day, I have more time for the children, and my husband has seen why I felt I needed to get out of the house a bit more. Working when you have children is hard work, not that staying at home is any easier, but there are things to think about when you are at home all the time. What happens if one of the children is ill? What about if the Carer is ill? Can I get time off for emergencies? Will I still get paid for the time off? Whatever the setup, you will have someone to look after the child/children, whether it is your partner, a grandparent or a paid childminder or friend, what happens if they are ill or unable to look after the child/children for you? There is a need for a great support network when you are a working parent, not just working mothers, but fathers too. There are some things that you are legally entitled to, time off for emergencies is one of them, but there is no legal entitlement to pay for the time off, this entitlement is the same for working mothers and fathers. The main things to think about before deciding if you will return to work are: 1) Do I need to work? Either for money, in which case am I going to earn enough for it to be worth loosing any benefits I can claim. Or for Sanity, in which case have I got a good support network if the childcare arrangements temporarily break down! 2) Who will have care for my children? Can I trust them to be reliable? Are they registered (if appropriate)? How much is it going to cost? What if they are ill? 3) Is it right for me and my family? The most important question and one that only you and your family can answer. What ever you decide, good luck!

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                        01.10.2001 18:31
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                        • "time without the children"

                        A fair topic for debate if I do say so myself. As finances dwindle and stereotypical roles in employment become less commonplace, it is not uncommon to see women in ?men?s? jobs and vice versa. But is it a realistic choice? As somebody who has recently taken on a full time position there were many reasons for doing so. Not only was I forced into a job by the system; my benefits were stopped until employment was found. Initially, my first job was as an icecream seller on a part-time basis, which did have it?s perks. It was a practice run for the future, giving hubby the chance to try out being a househusband. To begin with, there are factors that often make the choice to go out to work a difficult one, of course money is always a prime reason, but do children benefit from their parents going out to work?. Through health reasons my hubby was unable to work in his field of employment, he is a time served degree qualified engineer by trade who contracted industrial dermatitis at his last place of work, who conveniently stashed the offending substances when questioned by health and safety officials, consequently the offer of £4.00 an hour for cleaning floors was deemed as an insult. He is considerably older than me and set in his ways, learning a new trade would not only be impossible, it was highly impractical as he is an ADHD adult who cannot take instruction well. Our organic farming enterprise went well until things went beyond our control and we were forced to stop, he was happy in his field LOL. He is however brilliant with the children (4 of the little darlings). We had agreed that he would support me in any choice of career that I had chosen, and was a little amused, but very supportive when I told him of my dream job, driving a bus. Realising the true potential of holding PSV license it was a position of responsibility and of security. The rate of pay, together with other state benefits would not only make the move a viable one, it would open many doors and provide a stable future with dreams of Councils ?Right to buy? actually becoming a reality. I was fortunate that there was no training fees to consider, in fact it was the opposite, they would pay me to train at a healthy above minimum wage rate, increasing as I qualified and became a driver full time. He actively and positively encouraged me to fulfil my dream and stepped in to play the ?mother ?figure. Realising that childcare charges would cripple us the decision was really taken from our hands, however we had always agreed that one of us should stay at home with the littlest child until they were ready to go to nursery school. There were many things to consider before taking the big step back into real bona fide employment after a break of over 11 years. Factors to consider:- Childcare, who will look after your children if you have any, are they reputable, are they flexible, can you afford it, and most importantly do you feel secure with your child there and does your child like being there. Many 3 and 4 year olds are entitled to free nursery places relieving a little strain from babysitters. If in doubt as to eligibility ASK!!!! As I have already said ?sorted? Financial There are benefits to working on a low wage, which are available from the state. These include Working Families Tax Credit, Based on income an amount is awarded and reviewed every six months, this benefit is paid by the inland revenue and can be paid in with wages or in an order book. Further benefits could include childcare allowance if both you and your partner work over 16 hours a week. Housing benefit, council tax rebate, reduced or free prescriptions/dentists/ opticians. Contact your local office or benefit agency/jobcentre for further details Childrens Tax credits, Reductions in the amount of tax that you pay di rect into your wages if you have a child under 16, ask at the tax office, you have to apply for this one, you will not get it automatically Again if in doubt ASK!!!!!then apply, you might be entitled to some financial assistance. If you have been long tern unemployed, there may be a weekly allowance payable to you, or a lump sum which you may be entitled to, some thing like a back to work bonus. Other key considerations to take into account:- Transport:- In my case was not a problem, buses are frequent LOL, sometimes I take the car sometime I ride my bike. How will you get there? Can you drive, is it near enough to walk, do you borrow the lad next doors bike until you find your feet, what are the buses like, what is the most convenient and economical way of getting there? Time without the children, I know sounds callous doesn?t it, but wait.. You?d be amazed what a bit of time away from the children does for your self esteem, you have a life again, but you really can?t wait to see those grubby cheeks smiling at you on your return as well as a real feel good factor about improving yourself. You?ve thought about all of the options now the real work. Are you qualified, or could you get on the job training? Carefully think about what you write on your application form, you have to sell yourself to get them to write back to you, focus on your good points and take your time. Prepare for the interview; be at least clean and tidy, carry a pen, you might need it, be on time maybe even a little early. And relax and be you. Now wait for the letter????. It did come, and hubby had to adjust to his new capacity as househusband, he copes well, the children are fed and clothed, in fact I think that they like daddy being at home, he doesn?t shout as much !!! <br> The housework is okay, and the washing is under control. The kids get to school on time, and he gets up with them in the mornings. He even managed to deck an entire garden in the summer. He says that he likes the system and the extra money comes in handy too!!! In conclusion, although this might sound perfect it is not without it?s pitfalls. Lack of time to get much done other than work, sleep, eat and play with the kids. It could be shift work. It might not have been the perfect job Relationships are occasionally strained. Currently the advantages certainly outweigh the disadvantages. More money, less stress, time without children, getting a life, enjoying what I do well. Personally I think taking the job is probably the best thing that I ever did, I wish I had done it years ago. My confidence has been boosted and my self esteem has risen So if you think it?s the job for you,and it works well with your circumstances then you should go for it.

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                          24.08.2001 22:29
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                          Most of you know that I have four children with the latest addition being nearly 6 months old. Well a couple of months ago I had a serious notion to return to work, my main reason sad to say was the finance aspect. After living in a three bed roomed maisonette for almost 3 years that would soon be unsuitable given the sexes and ages of our children. The idea would be that if I were to return to work then we could sort out any debts or late payments be in the clear for at least six months and get a mortgage for something more suited for our needs. The question was what job? What could I do? Who would be likely to employ me? And what hours would suit given my husband works full time and we have our four children? So several weeks ago I spotted some in store advertising for full time night workers and cashiers part time and full time. It sounded ideal, in many ways it was similar to previous work and night shift, which was what I had been used to in the past. As the store had not been opened long they were crying out for staff. I was with my friend at the time and she said about looking after the children while I got a few hours sleep during the day. That day I went to the information desk and asked for an application form, something that I would never have done unless childcare was arranged and guaranteed had the offer of a job came up. That night while it was all quite, I sat up filling in my application form, making sure all relevant spaces were filled in, and the double checking it once again. The next day I had to pop up the store, so I thought that now was as good a time as any to hand in my application form. A few days later I had a letter back, saying that they think they have a position ideal for me and invited me to come along to an interview. Well the morning of the day of the interview arrives, clothes have been sorted but I still had to get a sensible pair of shoes that were both tidy yet flat and comfortable. Hunting around town I managed to find a pair but with the children getting fed up with the site of shoes I never got the chance to try them on. Back home, I jump in the bath and then get ready for my interview. On arrival, after finally find where exactly I had to go for my interview I had found out that the lady who was to interview me had gone so I had to wait for someone else to grill me, add that to the pain and blisters of new shoes the day was not going as planned. After waiting a good half hour past my interview time I was approached by a lady who said that she would be conducting my interview. Despite all problems and niggles the interview went pretty well, but on the other hand it could have gone better if I had done a bit of preparation. To cut a long story short, I never did get the job, but then it all kind of went down hill went she asked the ages of my children, despite the fact that I had child care pre-planned I could see and still do see this to be a disadvantage and one of the main factors to not getting the job. My advice ---------- Think long and hard into getting a job, but most of all one that is suitable for your needs and requirements when you feel physically, emotionally and mentally able. There are many things that would need to be looked into and discussed to make sure that each person in your family would be able to cope with the demands of a new job. You need to work out how much time you would be able to devote to a new job, bearing in mind the extra stress, pressure, on your mind and body. It would have to be financially viable after any additional cost have been accounted for, travel expenses, child care cost, rent, council tax, baby milk, prescription charges, dental treatment, opticians and food allowances during lunch breaks. Lets face it there are some jobs around that will after all additional cost have recurred because of a new job that can leave you out of pocket. Children in my opinion need at least one parent around them, but failing that when it is not possible due to other demands or commitments, they then need to be with someone that they feel safe, secure and comfortable with and at the same time you are happy and content to have that person looking after your baby/s, child or children. Childcare would ideally be needed to be arranged well in advance and at least something else or someone else to fall back on just in case it conflicts with being able to attend work on the appropriate days. I have found that friends or family are the best to approach, as your child will probably all ready feel comfortable staying with them. Failing that there are plenty of reasonable nurseries around that will enable your child/children to mix, play and communicate with others (makes the first day of school easier). Saying all that at the end of the day your child/children will need, demand or require some of your attention and involvement. So allow some together time to do things together as a family or a one to one basis and above all make it as special as possible, your child will appreciate you and your valued time, the bond will be maintained and your child will always have something to look forward to. When I went for a job I went into it blind, sure I had child care covered but didn't have anything to fall back on. The interview was a flop from the start although going fairly well I was unprepared for the questions that were asked and just wanted to curl up in a ball and go home. I wish you all the best, just do what feels right for you all at the end of the day.

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