Myself Back to Work?

Updated on November 15, 2009
M.T. asks from Sacramento, CA
10 answers

I'm hoping for some advice on whether or not to return to work part time, and how to go about doing that...
Here's a brief run-down of our current situation:
I have been staying home with my 2 year old son, and my 7mo old daughter while my husband works very hard to support us all! Over the last couple months, either because of a special project, or need for extra money, my husband has needed to work many extra hours (sometimes up to 15 hours a day!) While I truly want to be home to raise my children full time, I don't feel it's fair that they don't get to see as much of their father as they deserve to. ALSO, after a LONG day without another adult around, and two little ones, I'm stressed and exhausted - I just want a little break. BUT by the time my husband gets home from his long day, HE's also stressed and exhausted. The last thing he wants to do is deal with two cranky babies and a cranky mommy. He does help as much as he can, but we're both really wiped out.
I'm considering returning to work part time so that my husband won't have to work AS much, and also so that I can get a little time outside of the house. I'm struggling with feeling guilty - with putting the burden of income entirely on my husband, and with the idea of leaving my kids with someone else!
Before I do return to work (if I do return), I'll be sure I've secured care for my children either with family or a close, trusted friend. I don't even want to consider childcare right now...
At this point I'm rambling - I just need some advice, or shared experience, or anything else along those lines.

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So What Happened?

First of all: Thanks to EVERYONE who replied - I considered all your suggestions and appreciated all the shared experiences. More than anything, I no longer feel alone in this situation, and that helps a great deal.
I contacted my previous place of employment, and they offered me a part-time position. Unfortunately, I was not able to find an available close friend or family member to help with childcare at this time. I'm not considering outside childcare right now - especially if I'm only working part-time. I don't think I could afford to pay for quality care on part-time wages.
For now, I'm enrolled in a Medical Transcription course which, when I complete the coursework, will allow me to work part or full time from home. For now, we don't have any extra income, but if I buckle down and finish this work, I'll soon be able to contribute to our family financially - and if I choose to work part-time outside of the home later, I still can.
Thanks again to everyone!
P.S. I'm still open to advice/suggestions/shared experiences...

More Answers



answers from Bakersfield on

I don't have any advice as I am currently on a leave of absence from teaching, but I want to thank you for sharing about your situation. I feel as though it's not one discussed openly very much even though so many of us struggle with it. I feel for you and often feel guilty for staying home while my husband works hard to support us. I know it's a constant struggle for many families in terms of being parents and wanting the best for our children. I know you will get wonderful feedback, but once you guys make the decision either way don't allow yourself to have regrets and feel guilty all over again. Personally, I am hoping to get a part-time position when my leave is over. If the school can't work that out, I'm honestly not sure what will happen.

Know you are not alone and it is hard to work through feeling so torn. Thank you again for your honesty, I so appreciate it. I hope everything works out well whichever direction you go.
Best Wishes,



answers from San Francisco on

I'm sure you'll get a ton of responses on this one. Returning to work is ultimately your choice, my comment is this:

Don't ever feel guilty about having your husband be the only wage-earner. Raising children is a full-time job, and kids thrive on having a parent present. Being exhausted and cranky all the time because you are effectively doing two full-time jobs is not good for anyone. And at a certain level of income, taxes and the cost of working (gas, clothing, take-outs, etc.) is so high that unless you make a lot of money per hour it is barely worth it.

Guilt is not ever appropriate, although I think it's built into women's genes. Which of you makes the most money? If your husband does, then maybe he should be the one to work more right now.

Maybe you can work two days a week? That seems to me to be the perfect amount, allowing you enough time to be an adult and be fulfilled, yet not be away from the little ones too much.

However, don't feel bad about your husband having to work -- remember, he signed on for fatherhood and all that it entails. And if it gets to the point where you need to remind him of that (I had to), don't hesitate to do it.



answers from Sacramento on


It's really hard to leave your children and return to work. Have you thought of a home business? I've been doing a business where I don't stock anything, do orders, deliver anything or collect money. You will set your own hours and can work totally from home.

I can give you more info. Either give me a call or visit my website below. I think this would be perfect for you with just minimal effort!

M. ###-###-####



answers from San Francisco on

Hi Melanie - I hope you have had success finding part time employment that works well with your family life. The medical transcription field is going to be GR8 for you. I am in my 19th year as a transcriptionist, and I am so grateful I got into the medical field, especially now with the economy being what it is currently. I just wanted to update my reply to you to let you know that I met 10-15 people at the Holiday Boutique yesterday who are looking for ways to earn extra money and to have a "Plan B" just in case something happens with their jobs. I am inviting people to come to my home for my Referral Co-op "Coffee Breaks". Over a cup of coffee or tea (cookies will be served! :o), I can explain how with very little out of pocket expense, you can learn to maximize/leverage the very generous compensation plan of XanGo to build a profitable home-based businessand help others to do so as well. It is not a big time commitment for you because I have the meetings in my home, and you simply "refer" others looking for additional income for a "Plan B" to me. If you love to help people, now is the time to find out how you can do that as a XanGo authorized distributor. With the job market being what it is currently, many more people are looking at network marketing as a risk-free and recession-proof way to supplement income and qualify for other rewards that XanGo offers. I would like to invite you to come to my home in San Jose (or I can come to yours if more convenient) to go over this easy to learn system to improve your life as well as the lives of others! Sincerely, V. Garnese XanGo 1K
Mom-owned businesses - www.valleytravelconnections
I look foward to hearing from you hopefully in the near future! V.



answers from San Francisco on

I actually found it a wonderful relief to go back to work part time where I got to interact with other adults and feel like a "grown up." I also had the privilege of wonderful daycare providers (very close family friends) so I didn't have any concern while I was at work. My girls got some social interaction and stimulation that they would have otherwise missed out on. The only challenge I can see is you would have to find daycare that would be inexpensive enough to make it worth you leaving the home to go to work.

The other reality check is you have two very young children. No matter what you do, you and your hubby are more than likely going to be stressed and cranky unless you can get some help occasionally to relieve some of that and maybe go out on a date or just have some quiet intimate time to refuel your jets. I honestly am of the mindset that it takes a village to raise a child and have surrounded myself with some really great "villagers" to give my girls many perspectives and give my hubby and I regular quality time to be just "us."

Follow your heart and talk with your husband. I'm sure you can find a solution for stress relief as well as the financial challenges. Hope all turns out well on your journey...



answers from Los Angeles on

Hello there conflicted mom,

I would love to hear your thoughts on my website, I created it because I was in your situation each time I went back to work with two children. I was frustrated, bitter, etc. I would love to get your feedback at the site if it is something you find useful and also if you have any info you would like included.

Kind Regards,



answers from Sacramento on

Hello Melanie,

I feel for you. My daughter is turning 5 this month and the time has gone by so quickly. I was very fortunate to be able to go back to work part-time. It has been a very nice balance and when I did go back I was able to leave her with a family member. She is now in school while I am at work. Maybe you could ease your way back by going part-time, if that's what you decide. I hope you will find the balance that works for you and your family.



answers from Salinas on

I can't advise as to your situation, but it sounds similar to mine. When my son was born in 2005, I quit my 40 hr a week job, and with it our health insurance. My husband began working 50-60 hrs a week to, in part, pay for a self-employed insurance policy. I was alone all day, 6 days a week, except for a once a week, one hour baby class. I was attachment parenting all by myself, 24 hrs a day. No breaks because my son was so unfamiliar with his papa, I couldn't leave them for long. We couldn't afford to pay anyone to watch him. Finally, I was so worn out, I couldn't take it anymore. My son was almost 2 and hadn't spend more than a few minutes with anyone else. When my daughter was born in Feb., I stayed home for 4 months and then went to work (at my old job) 20 hrs per week. I feel good that I am providing health insurance and paying for the childcare. My husband now works 32 hours a week and spends a whole day with both kids. We have a nanny one day a week, and I am home 3 days and work 2 10 hour days. I thought it would be such a hard transition, but it's really working so well for all 4 of us!! We are so much happier with some balance. Sorry so long, but you have to think about all four of you, not just the kids. Your spouse is missing so much precious time...
Good luck.



answers from San Francisco on

Oh Melanie,

I was in your same shoes about 5 months agos. My husband, bless his heart allowed me to stay home with my daughter until she was 14 months! We had agreed that I would stay at least a year and then take it from there..either go back part time or wing it a bit longer. My poor hubby worked his butt off for that first year, working 10 plus hours a day just to meet ends. He was very stressed taking upon the whole financial burden on himself but wanted me to be able to stay with our baby. He usually would not get home until 8PM or much later, he would be stressed out and cranky, usually didn't see our daughter. He even started working Saturdays just for the extra income, leaving only Sundays for us. Although he never approached me about it, I knew he was getting more and more resentful (he never has admitted it but I felt it!) Our relationship as a married couple was falling throught the cracks...he never had time for me or our baby so I knew that if I wanted us to work out I would need to get a job to help him out. It was so many mixed feelings...sad to have to leave my daughter with childcare (she stays with family!) wanting to help hubby to save family and just the overall feeling of guilt. Well I am now working Full was really supposed to be Part Time but somehow I got mislead into it which still make me mad but oh well for now it seems to be working! Right now my hubby gets off work at 4PM, is closer to baby and me, and we are now going to take advantage of the housing market, buy a house, have a mortgage lower than our rent currently and eventually I will get my part time job, hopefully in a year!. I guess what I'm saying is that if you are feeling like there is no quality time between you and hub, its not a bad idea to work only part time, it certainly took off tremendous amounts of pressure and we are so much happier now! Good Luck and please email me if you want to talk more!



answers from Sacramento on

Hi, Melanie~

I was in the same boat just 6 months ago! My hubby has to travel a lot for work and with all that driving, he too has 15 hour days sometimes. He needs unwinding time when he gets home, so he doesn't immediately jump in and help out around the house. (Which I can understand, it's just not easy for me!) So, 6 months ago, I started working from home as an independent marketing executive. I've gotten all the training free from our amazing team of moms, Freedom United. I have the opportunity to be with my son and also get the comraderie of talking with other moms each day. If you're interested in learning more, please feel free to contact me.


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