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Choosing between the 'Mum' Me and the 'Career' Me

By 20:34:00 , ,

What do you do when you have to choose between your dream job and your child?

I never expected to ever be in this position. I was content in my job, my routine worked, my hours were right for me and my family and everything was working at well. I was happy ticking along and I had no reason to want anything more. 

But then our manager emailed an internal vacancy to me and my team - a job as a training advisor training others in my (quite large) department. For years I've been interested in going in this direction but whenever the job had come up before I had never been in the right position, I either didn't have the appropriate experience/skills or I was about to go on maternity leave, the timing was never right.

Until now...

Before I go any further I just want to explain our current situation. I work Monday to Wednesday 9-5 (was formerly full time though) and have an hour commute each way. On Monday, Cotswold Kid (CK) goes to his granny's who lives 10 minutes up the road from me, on Tuesday Cotswold Dad (CD) looks after him and then on Wednesday my Mum who lives 10 minutes from my work place an hour south, looks after him.

I had some questions about the job, firstly whether flexitime was available, whether I could do it on a trial basis and return to my department if it didn't work out and lastly if I could work from my normal office on occasion (as the job would be based at our head office which is an hour north of me). Unfortunately the woman who was the contact was off for personal reasons so I didn't get a response to my email, and when I finally did on the closing date her answer was very vague. She would consider the points I raised. (very helpful!)

I went ahead and applied on the Friday via email and Monday lunchtime I got a phonecall inviting me to an interview. I used the opportunity to discuss my questions above, the most important was flexitime - but whilst I was told it was something they could look into I got the strong impression they were looking for someone full time. Regarding the trial basis - I was informed they wanted someone permanent, so that didn't sound too good. Also regarding the working from my own office - I was informed this would be possible but not on a regular basis. I accepted the interview invite but decided to have a proper think about it all.

My main issues:
1. My mum wouldn't be able to look after CK on a Wednesday and would not get to see him unless I took him to visit on a weekend.
2. I would have to get childcare 3 days a week
3. Where we live only has 1 nursery which is very expensive, if we could get him in
4. The job includes a payrise but the starting salary would not fully cover the cost of the childcare and I would also be worse off due to the fuel expenses for a further 2 days a week.

I had a chat with 'CD' but decided that at this time the job wasn't right for me. As I mentioned above the routine I have works and as my mother always said 'If it ain't broke don't fix it'. I emailed the contact the next day and withdrew my application and funnily enough I haven't regretted it at all, I don't feel any disappointment at all which only confirms that I made the right decision.

Maybe if the job comes up in the future when CK goes to school and if so I might apply for it then, but for now I'm happy as I am.

Have you ever been in this situation? What did you choose - please comment below.


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  1. Being a mum is really hard sometimes. Its not easy having to juggle work and home.

    I used to have to condense my hours down to 3 13 hour days so i could get the full time income (as i was a single parent) and yet still get time to see my son. I ended up driving myself into the ground and couldn't cope anymore.

    I agree with your mum, if the current situation is working then you made the right choice withdrawing.

    I always think about all the things i missed out on cause i was working non stop. You can always earn money, you only get one shot with your kids growing up.


    1. Getting that balance right is hard and I think parenting does involve sacrifices, but at the same time you have to think about what's right for you and your child, as you said you do 'only get the one shot' to see your kids grow up. Thank you for commenting #TwinklyTuesday

  2. Yeah i had this issue too. My dream job at work (a large marketing agency) came up two days before my mat leave was going to start. Mega pay rise but longer hours and while i was working part-time it would be full time with only a month of mat leave as they would need me back asap. I didn't even bother applying in the end. It was hinted that as i had kids i couldn't/wouldn't fully commit to the role. It annoys me that us mums aren't valued in the work place and something i plan on writing a lot more about too! Great post! #TwinklyTuesday

    1. Thanks for the comment - I agree with you about mums not being valued in the work place. At work whenever new roles come up at my pay grade or higher they are always full time and never a part time option so I feel stuck because I don't see why I should take an hourly pay cut in addition to the cut from already shortening my hours. It's not fair. #TwinklyTuesday

  3. It wasn’t my dream job but I was offered a job elsewhere after getting bored of my previous company. I jumped at it even though the commute would be harder and I’d see slightly less of Zach and would also be running round like a headless chicien. Safe to say I kind of regret the decision I made however I was also really unhappy at my previous company! I now have only 2 weeks until I finish work for maternity leave and I can’t blooming wait. I have no intentions of coming back here (unless something terrible happens with the other half’s job) and will definitely think a lot harder next time an opportunity comes up! I think right now, you very much did the right thing. Thanks for linking up with #TwinklyTuesday

  4. Thanks for commenting Mummascribbles - Its difficult isn't it trying to make a decision like this, I guess you just hope that things will just work themselves out. I hope you don't need to go back to work after your maternity leave #TwinklyTuesday