Question for Career Moms Only

Updated on June 07, 2011
M.. asks from Anchorage, AK
18 answers

I am very torn and need advice. I have been with my company a total of 10 years now. When my 3 yr old DD was born I quit to be a sahm. 10 months ago my boss called & asked me to come back because she could not find a replacement for me that could do my job correctly. I was climbing the walls as a sahm so I accepted. I started back part time & really enjoyed the best of both worlds. A few weeks ago she told me business is booming & if I didn't come back full time she would have to hire another person to split my job. Well, my pride didn't want another person learning my job so I agreed to FT. Well, I hate FT! With the extra $ that I have to pay my nanny I am making the same amount of $ that I did as part time, and I hate getting home at 6pm, and I hate being away from my dd almost 10 hours a day. It is breaking my heart. But I am afraid that I will miss alot of opportunity if I go back to PT. As FT I know I would get promoted down the line, but as PT I doubt I will get a promotion above what I am now. So all you career moms out there, do I rough it out and suffer so that a year or two from now I am management? I am leaning toward telling my boss I want to go back to PT, but how do I go back on my agreement? I am so torn. All I know is I miss my little girl, and I liked things the way they were when I was PT. Anyone been in this position before?

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So What Happened?

Thank you all so much for your advice! It helped me a lot. I told my boss on Friday that I want to go back to part time and she was very understanding. I feel like a weight has been lifted. I smiled all weekend :)

Thanks again so much!

Featured Answers



answers from Phoenix on

Maybe you could work 4 10's or do a 60/40 share. Me personally, would go back to PT especially if the money is no different. I

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answers from Wichita on


4 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Well... I chose the path where I would be promoted down the line, and I have been promoted, again and again, but I do look back and wish that I'd chosen the path where I could be home more. Granted, my big income came in VERY handy when my husband was laid off. I was able to support our family single-handedly for several years. But there's a selfish part of me that wishes I'd insisted on being a SAHM from the start! I do miss being with my kids. It's hard.

I really have the sneaking suspicion that no matter what path we choose, we can always look back and feel guilty. Personally, I think PT is a good happy medium. You keep your foot in the door, keep your skills current, earn an income, yet also have time with your daughter. You can always go back to full time when she is in school (maybe 1st grade?) if you choose to. You won't have damaged your future earning potential because you'll have been in the job market the whole time.

Follow your heart. You can't go wrong doing that. Best of luck!

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

I went through a similar situation. When I came back from maternity leave I asked to work 32 hrs a week instead of 40. I would have done part time but I carry the health insurance for our family so I have to work a minimum of 32 hrs to get that benefit. Anyhoo... 32 hrs was MUCH better life/work balance for me, I spent the entire friday as a special day with my daughter. About a year into my new schedule, they fired my manager and my coworker quit. They offered me a 'senior' title and more pay, but told me I had to come back 5 days a week. I thought about it and agreed. And didn't sleep well for a week, knowing I had made the wrong decision. After much back and forth in my head, I went in to the boss-man and told him that I want my 32 hr work week back and if it meant giving up the promotion and raise, I would. I told him I had thought about it and realized that time with my family is a priority for me and I need to do what I have to do to keep that.

He let me keep the promotion and raise AND let me work 32 hrs a week. Every friday for 4 years and a half years was a VERY special 'Mom&Mya Day" and i wouldn't trade that time for the world. I am SO glad I reversed my decision!

fast forward a couple years.... and I just came back from maternity leave for the 2nd time. And THIS time, I requested to work one day from home (I can easily do my job from home, and my mom comes and 'nannies' my kids during the work from home day). They agreed. They know that I work my butt off to make sure I get my work done, and I probably get more done in my 32 hr work week with one day from home then most people do in a typical situation.

Just wanted to share my situation. Good luck with your decision!

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answers from Chicago on

Here's the problem with life....sometime choices are hard.

You have to figure out what is most important to you. What are your priorities then line up how you spend your time with your priorities.

Sounds like doesn't benefit you financially to work full time, you are miserable begin away from DD.

If this was my situation then I would likely opt to stay at home. Have time with your kids, have time to work, have less stress.

Right now my husband is out of work so I work FT,....but plan to work PT once he is back at work and stable.

Just tell your boss that you gave it try to be full time but it doesn't work for your family and you need to go back to PT.

You are lucky to have this option of PT - take it and don't look back. Trust me you won't ever look back on your life and wish that you would have put in more hours at the office. Spending time with your kids is precious time that you can't get back.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

If you become manager, the hours and not less and the stress definately is not less. I would just be honest with your boss and ask if they would still consider hiring someone part time so you can still enjoy your daughter while she is little. It was an option back then so hopefully it will be now. That's what I would do. Then when she's older and you maybe want/need full time then you can persue it then. Good luck!

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answers from Omaha on

I work FT but don't put in the kind of hours that it sounds like you have to, I also have a very flexible work arrangement that works well for me, and promotion potential. My daughter loves her child care provider and my husband is great about picking her up early at the end of his day so she doesn't have to spend a ton of time there.

Do what you love and love what you do! Life is too short not to be happy.

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answers from Lansing on

Your boss seems like the type that would totally understand you saying that you want to be part time. Yes, you could become management and that would help with bills, but nobody lies on their death bed and wishes they had spent more time at work. Financially it doesn't make sense. It's not going to make sense for years. I would count myself lucky that I have an awesome job and an awesome family. Having a job and having a career are different. It is difficult to have a career and feel like you are "being there" for your kids. Good luck!

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answers from St. Louis on

Granted my kids are older but flex hours works well for me. I figure whether I get home at 4 or 8 doesn't matter cause I am already tired so I work either four tens or three twelves. Then I get one or two days off with the kids. :)

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answers from New York on

I've worked 4 days/week since my kids were born (they are 3 & 5). I'm so glad I didn't quit to become at SAHM, because their father left me for another woman abruptly and totally unexpectedly after 21 years. So on the one hand you should think about your financial security.

On the other hand, you KNOW you would be happier if you worked PT, b/c you did it before. The things that MIGHT accrue if you stay FT are hypothetical, and also you could go back FT once she starts kindergarten and just delay becoming a manager for a couple years.

Tough decision, best of luck to you whatever you decide!

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answers from Dover on

Talk to your boss and tell her that you tried to do the FT route but really want/need to go back to PT. Ask her if PT is still an option if you are willing to remain FT until you have the new person trained. If I could work part time and pay my bills, I would so if working full time didn't equate to more money (beyond my extra expense), I would not be working full time either.

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answers from Sacramento on

What if you started working 6 hours each day - that would be 30 hours a week, I am not sure what you were working before. Or maybe you could talk to your boss and tell her that it is harder than you expected working full time with your little one at home and that you would like to stay PT til' she goes to school?? I don't know if that would work or not, but just a few suggestions.....

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answers from Hartford on

I've been in a similar position - in fact very recently. I have an executive job, managing a large project for our company and they too were concerned with my initial replacement. The agreement we came to was that I work from home Monday and Friday, and go into the office Tues-Wed. I also don't arrive at work until 9, taking any early meetings via conference call. Everyone was concerned at first, but we agreed to a trial period. For them, it was about knowing I was available - so I answer my cell, I'm on instant messaging, and everyone is more focused when they request a meeting for my time instead of random visits to my office. Perhaps work out a trial situation. I missed my daughter too, but to be honest, this all happened when she turned 2 and I fired my nanny and put her in a 4-child daycare and she's thriving - she loves it now and it allows me to completely focus when I'm working from home or when I have to go in. Hope this helps give you some ideas on how to find a compromise - remember they do go to school soon and then what will we do? ;-)

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answers from Boston on

Is there any way you can negotiate for some flexibility? It sounds as if you have a lot of experience, you are good at what you do, and your boss clearly values you. I was able to negotiate a 3x a week work at home/2x in the office 5 years ago and I don't think I'll ever go back to being in an office FT until the kids are grown. It's not a cure-all. I work more now because I feel like I have to be extra good at my job so that people don't think I'm slacking. I log in as early as 6 AM, frequently work at night (I've been working tonight while watching the Bruins game) and recently worked almost 75 hours from a Thursday - Monday (all weekend and many late nights) to finish an important project. But today I got to work while watching my kids swimming in the pool. Pretty sweet.

If flex time isn't an option, then I would give it a few months and see how things shake out. You may get into a good rhythm where the current situation starts to feel right, or you may end up continuing to feel really off balance and that the payoff isn't worth it. In that case, it may make sense to consider job sharing for another couple of years and then considering going back FT in a couple of years. Unless you're in a fast-track career (law, consulting, etc.) where the stars are picked early and the window of opportunity is short, I don't think that "mommy tracking" for 5 years will be a career killer. It will set you back 5 years, but it's not like you fell of the track completely. I know that when I'm ready to take on more responsibility and my company starts to grow again, there will be chances for me to take on a job with more responsibility and higher pay. But for now, things are well balanced between work and home.

I hope you find your equilibrium again - hang in there, and remember that what you decide today won't be the be-all, end-all decision of your career.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

Not exactly but I would love to have a PT opportunity. I agree with amber that ur not going back on your word really bc it was no effort for them to have you switch to full time. Another mom was right that management doesn't usually mean less stress etc. It sounds like your boss loves you and likely will want to keep you happy and work with you to do so. I'm not sure how old you are but likely you have plenty of years to work your way up the ladder. Keeping your foot in the door like you are even as pt won't stop you, it'll just slow you down but it seems like a very worthwhile sacrifice.

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answers from St. Louis on

I say tough it out. Save all of your PTO and use it when she gets into school to attend those events like field trips, plays and sporting events. It really does suck getting home at 6 p.m., but it gets better.

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answers from Tampa on

Is there nothing you can do from home on your computer or phones? So many businesses are doing this - allowing 1 or 2 days a week to work from home.


answers from Washington DC on

It's the hard choice between personal career and family....

I've been there. I chose I miss my paycheck? heck yea. Do I miss out on things with my kids? NO WAY!!! They are in school now so I could work PT and be OKAY - but I LOVE being able to show up at their school during the day to help out or have lunch with them....

Talk to your boss. Like with any relationship communication is key. Maybe you can work the other time from home - telecommute your job...I don't know what you do from home - but I can tell you that the worst that can happen is she'll say no....the best that can happen is she'll acknowledge your family life balance and want to work with you...


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