To Return To Work Or Not To Return To Work, That Is The Question

To Return To Work Or Not To Return To Work, That Is The Question

I am halfway through my maternity leave and the time has come to decide what I want to do at the end of my leave.

I really am torn. I love my job and the small amount of independence it gives me but I am missing so much of my beautiful children’s first few years.

My job is quite complicated. I have been at the same company for a long time yet, as it is entirely male dominated (engineering), I have failed to progress. I’m sure the fact that I have a family has not helped matters either. I really love what I do. I just don’t enjoy the company! I have worked hard and racked up an awful lot of debt to get my job and feel incredibly proud that I have a career job.

At the end of my first maternity leave, I was devastated about going back to work. I’d spent every waking minute of the last 9 months with my little man and the thought of suddenly not having him was awful. I only went back to work part-time but I cried for the first few days as it felt like a piece of me was missing. After the first few days, I realised this wasn’t so bad. I suddenly had a new found sense of freedom. I could turn my music in the car up really loud, I could go to the toilet without being followed and I managed to drink hot cups of tea. My little man was also having a fantastic time with Nanna and Grandad doing things he wouldn’t normally do with me and being spoilt rotten!

The drawback to my return to work was that I missed my first born taking his first unaided steps. I was absolutely heartbroken and wish my parents hadn’t said anything but I can’t change that now.

I’m wondering if now is the time for a career break and change. I would get to see my children grow up through their baby years and be able to go and qualify in something I have always wanted to do.

When I left university, I had accepted a place on a teacher training course. When I went for my interview, I left feeling really worried that I wasn’t ready ‘life experience’ wise. I was at least 10 years younger than everybody else there and it frightened me. I turned down my place a week before term began and took my job instead. I think I credit this as one of my biggest mistakes in life.

Over the last 8 years, I have mentioned non-stop about going to do my teacher training and keep searching for courses but we have never been in the financial situation for me to be able to leave my job. I have channelled my inner frustrated teacher by volunteering with the Brownies and educating my children.

My Mum always stayed at home while we were young and I always felt so privileged that I got to stay home all the time with her and not sent off to a childminder like my friends. I loved my time with my Mum and it became even more special once I started school. She was always there for all our special assemblies and concerts throughout school. My return to work would mean I would miss a lot of these important events.

It’s such a massive decision to make and one I’m nervous about making. I’m worried I will lose a part of me and just be seen as a Mummy and nothing else. I’m worried about not having any time away from my children. I love them to pieces but I’ll admit that it can be suffocating at times. I’m also worried that if I go back to work, my children will grow up so quickly and I’ll miss it all. I just don’t know what to do for the best.


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9 thoughts on “To Return To Work Or Not To Return To Work, That Is The Question

  1. I absolutely empathise with all of this, I went back full time after my first but by that stage I was pregnant and I knew it wouldn’t be too long a wait before I was off again. I’m now on a career break but will go back to a job-share in September. The career break has been wonderful but yes it is draining. I fill up our days with lots of baby groups and visits. I don’t regret it at all but we just can’t manage any more time financially. I think if it is at all possible you should follow your dream of teaching (as a teacher I may be biased), if you have a vocation to do it teaching is an amazing job!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thinking of you and sending you positive thoughts. It is never an easy decision to make and whatever you end up doing you will feel like you are loosing out on something. I am in the fortunate position that I can work from home which comes with it’s own set of problems. In the end you will make the right choice for you. #TwinklyTuesday


    1. Thanks for your comment.
      You’re right. Whatever I decide it’ll never be perfect! I’d love the ability to work from home but I can imagine it’s hard. I bet you have to be really disciplined x


  3. Gosh I really feel this…I went back to work after 3 months! (about to publish something on that) as owned my own company at the time and had no choice – truly regretted it! It’s so hard to make the right decision for you and your kids but know you will be doing the best you can for the situation at the time. Good luck with that! x #twinklytuesday


  4. Aaah bless you pet. It’s a tough decision. The growing up years of a child are finite. Blink and you miss it. Although if I were you, I’d go with my gut instinct. And remember — your choice doesn’t have to be final. If you decide to retrain and work from home — in order to spend more time with your child — you can always go back to your career when he starts school. Thanks for linking up with #TwinklyTuesday

    Caro |


    1. It’s such a tough job being a Mum. It’s not just the bringing up the kids, it’s the decisions you have to make.
      I don’t want to miss a moment of their lives but I don’t want to feel like I’m not contributing to the household and lose my career. This is not going to be a quick decision to make!
      Thanks for hosting #twinklytuesday x


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