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JoJo

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Saturday, July 7th 2007, 9:47pm

To work or not to work that is the question??

should parents work?

A total of 18 Votes have been submitted.

22%

Both should (4)

61%

1 should (11)

0%

no they should both stay at home

17%

not sure (3)

I just wondered what your thoughts were on this. Imagine that you dont have to work ie your bills would be paid by the government if you didnt. what would you do. i personally feel that at least one parent should work but both if possible. im not talking full time but even a few hours. i think it sets an example for our children and gives them a healthy role model.


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Saturday, July 7th 2007, 9:54pm

Mmmm i'm not sure on this one!! I think defo one parent should work, but i know if i could i would like to stay at home with s and b untill they start school, but then it is good for them and me working so we all get a break?? Hmmmmm xxx
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Saturday, July 7th 2007, 9:57pm

I agree with what you say Jo that at least one shld def to give a good example and say the other one say the mom work a few hours so they can have some time to themselves as Diddle said


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Saturday, July 7th 2007, 10:06pm

I agree aswell my DH works full time it goes without saying we have a house and cars and a child to support, I stayed at home for aslong as I could but have gone back one day a week.

The benefits are a bit of extra money for holidays, days out clothes ect, some me time and also M goes to my sisters so she spends all day with her cousin, I think it is healthy for her to spend time away from me.

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Saturday, July 7th 2007, 10:35pm

Certainly at least one parent should work. If both need to then there's no choice really is there?

If, like me, you are in the position where your other half earns enough for you to live comfortably then I certainly don't see the need for both parents to work.

I worked full time until DD1 came along, never spent a day out of work. I worked three days a week until DD2 came along and now I am lucky enough to be a stay at home parent.

It's easier to work with pre-school child as nurseries are flexible with start and pick up times, meaning that it's easier to fit in a working day. Having a child in school is more difficult with 13 weeks holiday per year, sports days, training days, random days off etc... Having one child in school and one pre-school is even harder to work around.

For me, working to fit into school hours along with paying for childcare is logistically very difficult, therefore I choose not to work for this period.

I do feel that working parents are a good role model for children, but also to choose to be a parent and then to work all the time and rarely see the children seems a pointless exercise... sure the bills need to be paid and needs must but there are those who choose to work long hours too.

A lot of people 'need' to get away from the home and therefore see their work as their identity. In my opinion, a hobby or interest outside the home is just as productive for the parent. Time away from the parent is also essential for a child's personal social skills but again, one does not have to work to take advantage of play groups and pre-schools.

It's all about balancing the need to work with the logistics of childcare, the importance of being a good role model and the desire to spend some quality time in the company of other adults. I don't think there's a right answer to this apart from to say that it's crucial that at least ONE parent demonstrates work ethic.





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Saturday, July 7th 2007, 10:41pm

Quoted

Originally posted by Bells



A lot of people 'need' to get away from the home and therefore see their work as their identity. In my opinion, a hobby or interest outside the home is just as productive for the parent. Time away from the parent is also essential for a child's personal social skills but again, one does not have to work to take advantage of play groups and pre-schools.






I agree with this!!! I go to work to pay the bills, its as simple as that, but if i didn't then i would defo, have some me time!! I wouldn't have said this 12 m onths ago but now that they are getting older they need to be away from me for their social skills as you say bells. xxx
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Saturday, July 7th 2007, 10:43pm

thats true atm we have everything balanced very well. but if i had more than 1 child or when she is a little older i could see this being a problem. i have to fit in uni from next september too. so will have to just have dp working then as i will be doing three days in uni so will want to spend the rest of the time with ella


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Saturday, July 7th 2007, 10:51pm

I think both, pretty much for the same reasons outlined. Although I do think that one parent should only work on a part time basis.

I think it is good for both parents to work because it gives independence with money for birthday pressie etc for there partner. From personal experience I find it hard as does my dh buying presents for each other as all money goes into one account and we can see whats been spent where and when on online banking. I find it hard to 'treat' my dh with a meal out etc.

It is a must that one must work to set standards.

Hopefully if I get my place at Uni for next year I will be studying full time 37.5 hrs a week and L will only be two and a half, and although I think this will be hard on both of us as Bells has said kids need time away from the parents too. Luckily DH is self employed so is flexable with pick ups and drops off's at nursary.

I do think that unless one parent earns stacks of dosh, both parenst should work to be able to afford the luxury of day trips to the zoo etc, without it being such a strain on the wallet.

Granted when there are more than one child both working becomes more difficult.

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Saturday, July 7th 2007, 11:15pm

I think this is a really interesting question, and one to which there is no right or wrong answer.

My DH works full time and when E was 11 months old I returned to work for 3 days a week. I hated it to start with, felt guilty, anxious all the time but slowly I enjoyed re-discovering the 'old' me!

However, I've got a few months off at the moment - left old job and new one starts in September, and I now I'm really enjoying being a stay at home Mum. I feel more relaxed, and its nice not to have to be constantly thinking about drop offs/pick ups etc and I'm loving the flexibility! I also feel less pressure to 'do' stuff - when I'm working I suppose I feel the need to be a bit of a supermum and in our time together 'do' fab things! At the moment, although we still do lovely things, I'm also quite happy to potter around more and I think E's enjoyed that.

After all the waffling I haven't really answered have I? I suppose, if we had more money than we knew what to do with, I would stay at home. Most of my friends, and certainly my colleagues, would laugh like drains if they could hear me say that as I suppose to some, I could appear the opposite. But I would quit my job, and finish my PhD, which I've had to put on hold because I couldn't juggle that, a job and being the Mum and wife (and also daughter, sister, friend etc) that I think I should be.

And as I do have to work I like to focus on the positives, and there are lots, so I think that's a sort of conclusion reached?! A difficult and emotive subject though.

And before I finish could I just add a pet peeve - I'm uncomfortable with Mums who stay at home being called 'full time mums'. We're all full time Mums; I'm always E's mum and she's always my priority. I'm therefore a working, full time Mum rather than a stay at home, full time Mum. Sorry, it may seem petty but I can't help it!

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Saturday, July 7th 2007, 11:32pm

very good point jodie, do you ever feel like people who dont work look down on you tho for working. I have a friend who is a single mum and has never worked since her child was born. her child is now 9 and has still not worked.. when i ask if she is gooing to get a job she answers with how will she manage to look after her child and work?

am i missing something or do children not go to school between 9 and 3 ish.. this might sound petty but its a pet hate of mine the same person and many others seem to have this answer as a way of justifying not working..


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Saturday, July 7th 2007, 11:38pm

Jo, I have a friend who has 2 kids - nearly 5 and just turned 2. We met recently and all she did was moan about how hard her life is (loaded husband, huge house, holiday home in Spain, the difficulties of raising 2 children etc etc). She then told me she missed working and so I asked her why she didn't.

Her answer? DD starts school in September and how would I manage? I was so cross by that point I asked how she thought other people did and she said she had no idea and couldn't imagine how they did. WTF??? X(

And she's always saying insensitive things - when I went back to work she used to say things about how awful nursery care was, and how she wouldn't let her kids eat anything she hadn't prepared for them etc. I think she looks down on me for working but resents the fact that I'm quite happy most of the time! I see as little of her as possible but am her DD's godmum so its hard to break the ties.

I think everyone has to do what's right for them and their family. But would like for other people not to judge what I do with my family's best interests at heart.

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Saturday, July 7th 2007, 11:43pm

Exactly!


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Saturday, July 7th 2007, 11:44pm

I feel looked down upon for not working.....

I continually justify myself by saying that I have always worked, my whole life, as has everyone in my family. I'm now in the position, after many years and after many sacrifices, where my husband can support us and we don't rely on state handouts for me to be able to stay at home ...... I can't help feeling inferior to working Mothers as they are 'setting a better example' than me.

I feel like I'm lumped together with the parents who stay at home through lack of motivation, skills or work ethic which is unfair. Even as a single parent I worked hard to pay the bills and never once expected the state to pay my way.....

It seems you can't win.....

I think I should perhaps have T Shirts printed that states "I am a non-working Mother who is fully supported by my husband's earnings that doesn't rely on benefits and doesn't leech the government's money so that I can sit on my 'arris all day long" .... Do you think that would fit onto TShirt?

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Saturday, July 7th 2007, 11:47pm

Or you could just get a T shirt printed with :raspberry: on it?! That should keep the 'judgers' talking for a bit!

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This post has been edited 1 times, last edit by "Pootle" (Jul 7th 2007, 11:47pm)


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Saturday, July 7th 2007, 11:47pm

My DH actually came across alot of bitterness as he had decided to take a year off to spend it with L to experience all of her first's although we used up all of our savings inorder to do it, it was great for all three of us to experience it.

I recently fell out with a friend as she constantly had sly digs at him for being off, almost brandishing him as a slob and lay about, couldn't be further from the truth as he had just got out the army after 14yrs service.

But he did seems to come across jelousy where ever we went. What i am trying to say is I think its easier to be a stay at home mum rather than a stay at home dad.

BUT I agree we are all FULL TIME parents until we die!

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Saturday, July 7th 2007, 11:48pm

lol you will have to have it as a spisal going around your body


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Saturday, July 7th 2007, 11:50pm

Bells the difference is your not sat on your arris watching Jeremy Kyle all day hun, your giving them other experiences like how hard it is to look after horses etc and how not to leech off the government!

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Saturday, July 7th 2007, 11:57pm

Yeah, we have busy days. Although I may be showing on here all day I'm not actually sat at the computer all day typing on here :D

We've usually been out for two hours in the morning, in all weathers, getting back at 10.30am to relax for a bit. Hard to be a lazy layabout when you're dragging wheelbarrows full of muck in the lashing rain while your pre-schooler is runing through the legs of half a ton of horse :D

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Saturday, July 7th 2007, 11:58pm

laugh1

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Sunday, July 8th 2007, 12:11am

Actually, another price to be paid for being a stay at home Mum....

My hubby works some pretty antisocial hours on a shift basis so I spend many days/nights/weeks/weekends alone. I can't rely on him at all for regular childcare so if I was to work I would have to juggle school hours, holidays and days off with a pre-school child.

If I had a husband who only worked mon-fri and reasonable hours it would be a lot easier.

I know that my situation is specific, the shift work and the different aged children make it hard for me to work anyway but HANG ON... why am I justifying it???? If we were benefit scroungers I would have to apologise but as a self sufficient family I think we're doing the right thing ;)

Hard isn't it but makes you think.....





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Sunday, July 8th 2007, 3:36am

I cant answer this. I feel very very sensitive about the fact that I am the main income earner, and basically our whole family situation and living overseas (with house, medical care, flights home, salary) are all dependant on me, and I get and got a lot of prejudiced comments either (a) assuming that DH is the main earner and therefore I am being selfish and a bad mum for working or (b) expressing shock that I am working.

For my first child, even my boss who knew our situation asked if I was coming back to work after DS was born!?!

Women tend to be worse than men, I have found. I have encountered many bitchy comments about working mums, even being told to my face that women who work after a child is born are horrible, and that my child is missing out by not having me around full time during the day. Men tend to make assumptions that DH is the main earner and once we both correct them they are more like "oh, ok, I understand why you have to go back to work then".

I do consider my situation lucky though for a full time worker as I live 10 mintues from work, work 8 hour days, and get to go back home for my lunch hour. We have a nanny who has two children of her own who play with DS in the afternoons.

DH works afternoons only. He finds this quite stressful at work because people cant get their heads around a man working part-time, but he enjoys playing with DS in the mornings. He doesnt need to work for the money (although he earns good money working part-time - about 1500 quid/month after tax!!!!) as my money pays what little bills we have, but he is scared that by not working for more than 6 months in his very technical field he would be out of date and unemployable when we move somewhere where I get paid less (eg UK) and we both would have to work.

I find working healthy for me - that sounds very selfish and it probably is, but it has made me a happier mummy. Being a stay-at-home mum overseas with PND and no family members within a 24 hour flight distance was extremely lonely. I hated leaving DS when returning to work (at 14 weeks - I only get 16 weeks leave) but at the same time I began to find myself again - I wasnt just a mobile feeding machine for the human slug (DS).

I do wonder if some of the women bitchy comments come from jealousy or ignorance? I dont know. I know I am envious of some of the expat wives here: having a nanny, a husband who earns enough money they dont have to work, being able to choose when to spend time at home, or at tennis classes, or at the gym/pool, or playing in the pool with their child, or shopping when their child is at creche... but at the same time a lot of them are bored sh1tless (how!?!) and whinge the whole time about how unhappy they are.... which is where my envy stops and sometimes I just want to slap them to wake & smell the coffee!!!! I also stopped going to baby groups because I got fed up listening to the women moan about how hard their husbands worked (I worked with their DHs and some of them were the laziest arsed slackers out!) and how terrible their husbands were for having to work late one evening (poor sods didnt exactly have a choice). I also really didnt have a lot in common with women who had worked until they married in their early 20s and never worked since - so I found conversations hard because there wasnt much we could talk about.

But ultimately I feel that as long as a stay-at-home mum is not leeching (ie her husband provides enough for her to stay at home without being reliant on government handouts) or a single mum is working as much as she can for her circumstances (ie there are available part-time jobs and affordable nursery care) or that a full-time working mum is not escaping from her family, I dont believe either side should criticise or be jealous - there are pros & cons to both situations.

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Sunday, July 8th 2007, 3:39am

wow - that was a rample wasnt it?!

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Sunday, July 8th 2007, 9:38am

but a very sensible one, Sunshine. My wages also go on the bills, etc and if I did not work we could not afford to stay in our house, in the town where we live. I work because I have to, having said that, I enjoy my job and do get Wednesday's off to do 'mummy' things, like taking ds to school, going food shopping and cleaning the toilets! (Although I'm having my hair done next Weds!!! yippee!!)

I think that as long as you are happy that you are doing the best juggling you can then most of us just have to put up with juggling!

Loved the idea earlier - we are all full time mums, yes.


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Sunday, July 8th 2007, 9:56am

Oh bells what you said about shift work and being a single mum when it comes to childcare is exactly what it is like for me. I work three days a week, out of the house for twelve hours on those days and then on top of that dh is practically never here when we are because of his ever changing shifts the childcare is totally my responsibility and anything he does is a bonus! Still I think in my case work is important- both for the money and the fact that I can be unmotivated and would hate to be the sort of parent sitting on my back side all day watching telly setting a bad example to dd- I want her to have the underlying understanding that women too are impotant in the wokforce and can do good jobs. I want her to know she can do that too. I don't care what or who she becomes as long as she is happy, loved and can be independent in her life- eg I want her to WANT to and be able to get a job.... sorry i am waffling now..... bottom line is I work part time dh woks full time and thats a good way for it to be... the only problem being at the moment its vey stressful for me as I am expected to do the same things I did as a stay at home mum as I do now, plus spend 36 hours a week travelling to work or at wok lol!
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Sunday, July 8th 2007, 10:17am

All I want to say it you are lovely yummy mommies whether you work or not, part time, full time, etc. blowkiss. Dont beat yourself up Sun - these people are just jealous at your success. I work in a firm where nearly everyone has children and have the top bosses have successful careers.

I do feel a bit guility that I am going back even on reduced hours - My DH is self employed and sometimes in quiet periods he earns less than me but when its busy he earns double and even treble. We cld look at him getting a permanent employed job somewhere but it would probably mean shift work etc. it wld be less worry knowing all bills will be covered with my money if you get what I mean and then what he earns is for every day life. If he stays with this job now, he be able to do school run in the morning and as he is his own boss say the child was sick one day or something and had to pick the child up from school he could just have the day off - wld put him behind but cld work on the night or the weekend. Having no real support (DH's parents and have died and my mom had died), dad works full time and brother etc does -I think it wld be good to have that flexibility or am I talking alot or rubbish lol - you do nedd that dont you. Also a quiet time for him is through the school holidays as he deals with schools quite alot so be good for holidays. We bought a house really that we did not need - we shld have gone for a smaller house instead oie i was thinking ie more children so that is someting we can do in the future move and down size and then i can drop my hours even more. Trouble is you have to be careful with an adoptive older child ie moving but we can manage as we are at the momemt,


Sorry for the waffle girls think sometimes I am justifying myself.


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Sunday, July 8th 2007, 10:27am

Parenting, almost every aspect, comes with some sort of guilt doesn't it, or does everything? Or is it just us? My life could be just one long guilt trip if I let it!
I am guilty of working away from home
I am guilty of working 4 days and not 5 so not earning as much for ds,s upbringing
I am guilty of needing 'me' time - usually on fz!

See, life could be one long guilt trip - don't get me started


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Sunday, July 8th 2007, 10:37am

LOl Spider

I read this article in paper today (Urika Johnson - News of World - yes I confess we read it) that woman take longer to get to sleep than men and these researchers cant understand why because if woman work so hard they should be tried!! as she said they have not took into account that they head is swimming with things that they have to do.

You know what the past couple of weeks I have been really thinking about being a parent like I think all my worries are going to be over with ie at last having my child but then my friend said you worry more than ever.


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Sunday, July 8th 2007, 11:00am

Yes, she's right! But the worries are worth it then!


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Sunday, July 8th 2007, 11:09am

I voted not sure, if it comes down to money and whether you are going to be in financial hardship and relying on the government then I think both parents should make the effort to work. I took my maternity leave early on the advice of my cons which meant having less time with Lolly once she was born. I was going to go back to work part time but after not being able to reach a suitable working pattern with my work I was made redundant. After this I was faced with either finding new employment or having some more time off with Lolly, after alot of number crunching we decided I would take another 6 months off to be with Lolly, I didn't want to hear her 'firsts' from a child minder or a nursery nurse. Now I work 20-25 hours a week, evenings and weekends, which means that we don't get much time together as a couple and sometimes our relationship suffers becuase of that, but at the end of the day it won't be forever like this, once Lolly is in childcare mornings or afternoons I will switch my shift to those hours so we will see more of each other.








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Sunday, July 8th 2007, 11:16am

ooooh this is veeeeeeeery interesting!

i was made redundant 2 days before i found out i was expecting spud, so i was out of work anyway....and my dh told me he wanted me to stay at home with spud till he went to school. we werent well off at the time, infact we were brasic at some times, but he was adiment that 'the mom should be at home' so i went with it and spud is now coming 5 and we are in a much better financial posision dh has his own business and we are having our second baby as spud goes into full time ed' and now he wants me to stay off again till this baby goes to school.....

mmmmmm i have had 5.5 yrs off work now, and tbh i am ready for some sort of mental stimulation lol! not sure i could do another 5 yrs at home....i will see how it goes when the baby gets here, but i think even if it is just a few hours a week we should do something other than be at home iykwim???
im not having a go at anyone cos i am here and being a 'home maker' but i have no hobbies as such...my interests have been ttc for the last 4 yrs...and after this baby comes i am not sure we will ttc ever again...so what will i do with my time??? ?(

AND i would love to have some cash in MY bank account that is mine... :]



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Sunday, July 8th 2007, 11:17am

No help with the cash idea Willow but have you thought about volunteering in school?


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Sunday, July 8th 2007, 11:22am

mmmmmm i think i might need some income to pay for who ever is having my new baby for a while iykwim??? dh wants me to be at home so he wouldnt be willing to pay for it i dont think.... :rolleyes: :D



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Sunday, July 8th 2007, 11:24am

oops, forgot about your new one on the way! Still, once lo is here you wont have many minutes to yourself anyway!! lol!


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Spider's Diary


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34

Sunday, July 8th 2007, 11:25am

true lol!



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35

Sunday, July 8th 2007, 11:58am

willow - but couldnt he get childcare vouchers from work?

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36

Sunday, July 8th 2007, 12:08pm

?( dunno hun, i know nothing about anything any more lol! :D

what are they then???



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38

Monday, July 9th 2007, 8:00am

This is soooo interesting. DH and I had the usual 'have we won the lottery' and 'what would we spend it on?' conversation at the weekend (no we didn't win!) and interestingly, we both said we would still work. I hadn't thought of it in a 'setting an example to DD' way, but you're right, I think if its possible, it does children good to know that their parents are separate beings from them and have other roles and responsibilities aside from being parents. I have to work, we couldn't afford the mortgage if I didn't, well we could but we would have to move to a different and not so nice area. But I'm lucky because I only have to work 2 days a week and I have very good childcare support from MIL and when she's a bit older (DD not MIL), there is an excellent local FREE preschool so I will be able to increase my hours a bit. However I am going to be negotiating increased hours in term time only because I've seen other mums at work really struggling with childcare in the holidays. I don't know how this works in other countries but the UK is rubbish at providing flexible working for mums. There should be more term time contracts or contracts that allow you to spread you hours over a month so you can do more one week and less the next.





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39

Monday, July 9th 2007, 8:44am

This is an interesting debate...

I didn't vote as I'm not sure how to - every household is differenet. Dh had a very good job, as do I - relatively speaking ( hate it but well paid ). We can afford for me to take the full year of and I'll be going back part-time, about 18 hours after baby is 1. I know both sets of parents would prefer me not to work, but I work for a company that pay a very good wage for what I do and if I left theres my pension etc to consider. I also wouldn't be able to get a job paying the same in Cardiff. I also think some time away from baby is a good thing for both of us ( ask me this later !! ). Baby will go to nursery 1/2 days a week and to my mum and dad for a day.My friend who's had 4 years off from work to raise her kids said that she needs to do some sort of course now to get her brain firing again.

We've recently remortgaged to get our house up to scratch and do the building work so we don't have to do it after baby is born, so that has to be paid back.

Dh did say that if there was a chance of redundancy in my job to take it so I could stay at home with baby. We will be a lot less well off now but my Dh is an accountant so deals with the money side and says he'll find money for treats etc..

My SIL is a stay at home mum and her daughter has thrived with the attention she's had, so I wholeheartedly agree it's best for the child. Basically with us to live where we live and have some sort of lifestyle I need to work part time.

Caz xxx


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40

Monday, July 9th 2007, 10:11am

My feelings echo many of those stated already. I certainly don’t think that both parents have to work in order to set the best example, I guess like many of us my views are shaped by own experiences. My mum was a stay at home mum. She is and was an important role model for me. Even though she didn't work I was always encouraged to take my education as far as I could, be independent and get a professional career.

At the moment I plan to stay at home for the pre school years – I don’t think we would be eligible for working tax credits so if I were to work nearly all I would earn would be used up paying for the child care (considering there will be two to pay for). I may well do this part time anyway if I need the stimulation or think the little ones aren’t seeing enough of other children. I definitely plan to work once they’re at school but only part time unless our financial situation changes.
Me 35, DH 31 [zx075]
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41

Monday, July 9th 2007, 11:30am

Sometimes I wonder why I bothered going back to work, but it's usually because of something that happens at work rather than with T ?(

It's really likely T will be an only child, so the stimulus of nursery is good. I'm glad I opted for part time work, though, because we enjoy our time together and it helps us to see as much of grandparents as we can too.

It's great if one is able to make choices because going back to work is not great for everyone.

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42

Tuesday, July 10th 2007, 6:24am

here's an example of why I think us working mums shouldnt feel guilty.... it's basically about best intentions not working out.... which is why I think that neither those that are employed and those that arent are doing the "right" thing.

there's a mum I know who came to visit me yesterday. her son is a year older than DS (so 2.5) and I have known her since before she was pregnant with her DS - in fact she was ttc around the same time as us (and had a "hard" time because it took them sooooo long - 6 months :rolleyes: ).

anyway, apart from the odd sanctimonious moment, she has her heart in the right place. but.... despite the easy accessibility of maids & nannies here in Asia, and that she had a full time satisfying paid employment she choose to stop work but also not have any home help. Now I understand the sentiments - as I said DH doesnt "have" to work either but chooses to. Her husband earns enough as a manager for her not to have to work and then some. But to choose not to have home help?! weird, but ok, her choice.

her DS though, is the most spoilt grabby jealous little bully I can imagine. he has the been the sole focus of his mother for his entire life. she does tell him "no" and he isnt a "bad" child, but he is just VERY attention seeking and jealous. you could say it is his age, but remember I knew him from before birth - a year ago (when he was DS' age) when I took DS to visit we encountered similar behaviour. so when they came to visit yesterday I had to get the nanny to help (as I cant do rough & tumble at the moment) and her child was pushy, grabby, and jealous of the attention that my DS was getting from the nanny!!! He's a big lad but luckily my DS is quite a placid child and didnt complain that all his toys were being grabbed away from him.

I actually feel sorry for her, because she is expecting #2 in September and I strongly suspect she is going to have a lot of problems because she still refuses to have anyone in to help do the housework or help look after her DS, never mind the jealousy issues. I kept my mouth shut but afterwards even my nanny said "ooooh, she's going to have problems with him when her second arrives".

I'm not trying to say her way is wrong, but it just goes to show that she had the best intentions to devote all her time to her DS and they seem to backfiring (at least from an outside perspective).

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43

Wednesday, July 11th 2007, 9:07pm

ideally, 1 should work and the other look after the children, trouble is we dont live in an ideal world.







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