Advice on Going Part-time

Updated on April 13, 2010
N.S. asks from Los Angeles, CA
6 answers

Hi moms. I am looking for some advice and opinions from all of you.

My husband and I have talked a bit about my going part-time next school year. I am a teacher and have been working for the school district long enough that I can go part-time. We have an 11 month old son and currently my mom watches him 3x a week from 9:30 am to 2 pm and my husband then goes to her house to watch him until 4 pm when I get there to pick him up. The other two days a week my husband stays home with our son until noon when his sister comes over to watch our son until 3:30 when I get home.

Now I know we are lucky to have this help, but it is really taking a toll on my husband. He has his own business and is really taking a lot of time away from it in order to care for our son. Because of the bad economy business isn't booming so I am the primary earner for the family. He really gets frustrated at times because he just can't find enough time to work. Any time my mom or sister-in-law gets sick or has and appt., etc. it is my husband who usually has to take time away from work since he has a more flexible schedule. My going part-time would relieve my husband.

I also miss my son ALL the time, so it would be great to spend more time wth him. It seems like while at work I'm always counting down the days until my next vacation. I do like my job, my students, and colleagues so that's why I'm thinking part-time might help everyone out.

So here is the dilemna, if I go part-time next school year, my husband will be free to work more and hopefully increase the income from his business. My income will of course decrease by about half which will drastically change our lifestyle since I am the primary earner. We will have to move in with my parents and will have less income to use to pay down our debt.

Basically, I'm not really asking a question, but I would like some input from anyone who has possibly been in a similar situation. I'm worried about the income, how we'll get along with my parents, and the fact that I'm giving up a good job in this economy. By the way, if I'm going to apply for part-time I have to do it by the 15th (Thursday)! I've been delaying because there have been a lot of uncertainties in the school district this year. I thought I might even be getting a pink slip, but luckily I narrowly avoided that. Again, any advice, opinions, experiences would be appreciated. Thanks!!

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answers from Boston on

I am a teacher that has been part time (3/4 time) since my daughter was born. I am now looking to go up to full time, because my husband was laid off and, for a bit at least, I will need to be the primary earner.

My advice is not to give up a full time position with a steady income in this economy. Can you find a sitter (even a nanny-share) so that your husband has some more work time? Sure you'll have the added cost, but probably not as much as half your salary.

Finally, being a part time teacher does not actually cut your time by half. (I teach high school - are you the same?) Instead the grading, planning, etc swells to fill the time, it seems. Perhaps you are a better multi-tasker than I, but the mountains of time I imagined having being part-time just never materialized.

Good luck with your choice.

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answers from Raleigh on

Obviously this could go one of two ways, so here are my thoughts...

Option one would be to go part time. I completely understand why you would want to be able to spend more time with your son and why your husband needs more time to work on his business. If your parents have a large enough home, it may actually work out fine. We lived with my parents for 7 months, it was only supposed to be 4, but things worked out differently. Everything actually went much smoother than I could have expected, and now I would have no problems having to "briefly" live with them again if push came to shove. It is a great way to pay down debt, and it would give your husband the extra time that he needs to focus on your family's business. The downfall of this is that if they were going to possibly give you a pink slip as a full-timer, your chances have probably increased if you go to part-time. Could you live and continue to pay down your debt on your husband's salary alone if you lost your job? Is your health care through your job, and if it is, do you continue to get it if you go part-time?

Option 2 is to stay put. Personally, this is what I would do for the next year. Is there any way that your husband could take your son with him to the office? Maybe he would be able to get more work done there? Even if you don't go part-time, maybe you could move in with your parents. That would help financially (and with the baby-sitting), but not cause you to lose any sort of income. You could always try it out for awhile and if it doesn't work, make other arrangements. You are right that this is a bad economy, and if your husband's business doesn't take off like you are hoping, what happens then? One part-time income is definitely not going to cut it. Like I said, if it were me and my family, I would not rely almost entirely on a new business that has yet to really bring in the money needed. Good luck in whatever you decide, it will be life altering in whatever you do!

P.S. You could always go part-time next year when, hopefully, the economy has rebounded some!



answers from Pittsburgh on

Truthfully, it doesn't sound like this is the best plan for you right now. Especially if you have only a few days to reach your decision that is going to impact your life THAT much--moving in with the 'rents, still lots of debt to pay off (not down). Could you wait O. more school year?

I have switched from FT to PT and while it was over a 50% decrease in MY pay, we didn't have to make a lot of other sacrifices. It sounds like you're not just talking about eliminating pizza night here...just my opinion. Best of luck whatever you decide!



answers from Reno on

What a hard decision. Day care is so expensive, and your kids are only young once. That is why I decided to stay home. Many stay at home moms are finding creative ways to add to their families monthly income. Thats what I did with Scentsy wickless candles, and it has worked out so well. It is not like full time income for me yet. But it helps keep us afloat, and I don't miss out on anything my kids are involved in. I gladly give up full time income for that. Good luck with this decision, and if you would like more info on Scentsy and how it works I would be happy to get it to you.




answers from Columbia on

Wow, tough call for you to make. I would really think long and hard about giving up the job if it means you will need to move in with you parents. It is great that you have that option, but it will certainly be a major life change and seems as though it may bring a new set of challenges..... It would be great if your husband could concentrate more on his job AND you could spend more time with your child, but are there other options??

Could you rearrange schedule so one of the two mornings there was someone else to help? Could someone else watch your son for the couple of hours in afternoon until you get home? I am sure you have explored all of these options, but just throwing them out....

If you really feel strongly about going part time and your husband is confident he can build up the business, then have you explored other income options? I have a home business as a "safety net", among other reasons, and maybe something like this would allow you to go part time without having to move in with parents,would provide help with income, etc

Good luck with whatever you decide!!



answers from Houston on

I gave up a 6 figure job and a gorgeous house to become a SAHM.

I've never looked back (I do miss my old house :) and I've NEVER been happier as a mother and as a wife.

Kids are young only once. You will NEVER get those years back.
I applaud and respect ALL WORKING have the hardest job in the world. I've been there. For me, I gave up precious time I can't get back. For me, I wasn't happy and it took it's toll on my marriage.

But, I had the opportunity to downsize my home and become a SAHM. Not everyone has that opportunity.
Living with family....that's a different story. Only you can make that call. Try it.

For me, I feel like I have more time, more patience and more quality time for my kids. Almost feel like my oldest daughter was robbed bc I was a working Mom. I just didn't balance it well.

Some Mom's can do it all and do it well. I couldn't. I am a SAHM and have NEVER, EVER been happier.
At least give it a can always go back full time later.

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