The internet has given support to a mum who wants to refocus on her career after initially agreeing to spend more time at home.
Managing child custody is one of the many tough decisions parents have to make when raising young children. This struggle sometimes leads a parent to work part-time to avoid paying high childcare costs.
Writing on the advice-centric forum Mumsnet, user Hollie93 explained that she first agreed to cut her working hours in order to take care of the children.
The Mumsnet user is not the only parent facing this dilemma. Understanding Society, a UK nationwide trend study, estimated in 2019 that fewer than one in five new mothers return to full-time work within the first three years after maternity leave.
But, Hollie93 later admitted that she began to feel “resentment” about her husband being able to pursue his career.
She said, “So, DH [dear husband] makes more money than me, so we decided to cut my hours to make childcare easier.
“However, I’m starting to resent that he’s able to do his career well and mine hasn’t even started. I think what I need is for other mums to tell me that ‘they also waited, at least until [the] the youngest child started school.
“I’m in my early thirties so not a spring chicken haha. I now have a much clearer idea of what my chosen career is and will be. [I] be able to do this by working part-time while the kids are in school because I will have to retrain? »
“I already prioritized the DH career because it was the only thing that made sense, but is it unreasonable to want to start mine now?” she said in a later post.
Her initial comment has attracted some 348 comments since it was posted on Sunday April 10, with many encouraging the mother to return to full-time work.
One Mumsnet user said, “They are his children too. Your career, earning potential and retirement have suffered (and are suffering) at the expense of his people. It’s grossly unfair.”
Another added: “OP [original poster], I regret having put my career in second place after my ex-DH. If I could go back in time, I would have made different decisions. My advice is to make your career [an] equal priority. »
A third commenter posted: “Me and my DH both work full time and pay for childcare. Surely you don’t have to work part time.”
But others have suggested that part-time work could prove beneficial in the long run and provide opportunities for career progression.
One of them says: “Working part-time has helped my career. I finally have time to do some internships and CPD without stressing. Currently on a level 6 leadership and management internship.
“Could you take online classes while you’re part-time, so when you can come back full-time, your options will be open?”
In an update, Hollie93 said she works 24 hours a week and her partner earns double her salary. She added that her salary would not be enough to pay for full-time childcare.
In the 2019 Understanding Society report, Professor Susan Harkness, University of Bristol, said: “The results of our study highlight how gendered employment patterns follow childbirth, with men typically remaining in full-time work and women leaving full-time work. .
“This loss of work experience, and in particular full-time work experience, is an important part of the explanation for the gender pay gap and suggests that women are still suffering economically because they have childcare responsibilities.
“Worryingly, it appears that women who return to work generally see their chances of moving up the professional ladder diminish. Women who return to the same employer risk being stuck in their jobs with limited career progression.”