Viewing 39 posts - 1 through 39 (of 39 total)
  • Packing in job to be with newborn and wife
  • Premier Icon jlawie
    Free Member

    Evening all.

    My wife and I had our first child 8 weeks ago. I took 3 weeks of for paternity leave, but being back in a job I hate while my wife is at home with our daughter sucks!

    I’m contemplating holding out in my job till Christmas and packing it in for 6 months until my wife goes back to work.

    Holding out partly in order to save some additional funds, but also till shes a couple of months older and we can get out and about a bit more.

    Financially we are probably the best we’ve ever been. Decent amount of savings and a lowish monthly mortgage repayment.

    My line of work is pretty sought after, so finding another job in 6 months time should be easy enough.

    Gut feeling is that this will be the last time for a long long time that we’ll have the opportunity to have such a long time off as a family. But am I missing something?

    Anyone else been in a similar situation?

    Premier Icon funkmasterp
    Full Member

    Do it, I would if I was in your position and fairly confident I could get back in to work when the time comes.

    Premier Icon muddymole
    Free Member

    You won’t get the time back.

    You can earn the money back.

    It’s now much more socially acceptable for dads to be involved so prospective employers won’t view it negatively

    Premier Icon HoratioHufnagel
    Free Member

    It might be worth delaying until your wife is back at work and your child is a little older? You’ll save nursery fees plus (imo) children get a little more interesting as they get older and start to talk and walk and things. The early months are just putting stuff in one end and cleaning it up at the other.

    Premier Icon franksinatra
    Full Member

    Do you have a part time option? Best of both worlds.

    Premier Icon cynic-al
    Full Member

    How is this an opportunity?

    Sounds more like a justification.

    Premier Icon hot_fiat
    Full Member

    Do it!

    I’ve been lucky enough to mainly WFH since my eldest was born, nearly six years ago. Being around in those early stages is fantastic. Your plan to wait until they’re about 8 months old is ideal – they become so much more interactive around then. It’s also a really useful time to have someone around as they can escape at that age – they crawl all over and get into all sorts of mischief. If I wasn’t in the house then I’m not sure my wife would ever have been able to get to the loo when the kids were toddling.

    If you can, definitely do it.

    Premier Icon ransos
    Free Member

    Have you looked into shared parental leave?

    Premier Icon jlawie
    Free Member

    Opportunity. Justification. Call it what you will.

    Part time wouldn’t be an option unfortunately. But not sure I’d want that either.

    Shared parental leave wouldn’t work as well for us in this situation.

    Premier Icon outofbreath
    Free Member

    Sounds great to me. My only comment would be that kids are amazing as babies but they’re even more amazing at 2-4 when they are just starting to talk/walk/swim/cycle.

    So if this is a one off you could consider leaving it later when you’ll both get more out of it.

    …but either way you’ll never regret time off with your kid.

    Premier Icon cheekyboy
    Free Member

    Best of luck to you ! just one question, if you are financially able to take 6 months off why does your wife have to go back to work at all ?

    Premier Icon cynic-al
    Full Member

    I guess my point is why are looking at doing this now? Your child might benefit more from your time in years to come.

    You can quit a job any time and it sounds like you are using this an excuse to.

    Why not just get another job now?

    Premier Icon neilco
    Free Member

    I had my kid whilst living in Denmark. Great shared parental leave. I took the three months from when J was nine to 12 months old whilst my wife went back to work. Quite honestly, some of both the hardest and easiest days I have ever had. For me, it enabled me to bond with my daughter in a way that I hadn’t done previously – and also helped balance my marriage and keep some equality and shared responsibility which is a foundation or our relationship. BUT, I’d also say, my time with my kid just gets better as she gets older and there is more that she and I can do together. As others have said, do it, definitely, but is now the right time? What’s your wife’s situation with work?

    Premier Icon MrPottatoHead
    Free Member

    I’ve got to be honest and say…babies are pretty boring. Sure, there’s flashes of total brilliance which melt the heart, but the other 23hours of the day aren’t always that interesting. I’d try to delay and have that time off just before they get stuck into school-it’ll be a time you all remember.

    That said, if it really is the only opportunity to do this, then go for it.

    Premier Icon johnw1984
    Full Member

    If I had the money not to work, I’d never do it again! So much stuff to see and do instead of beavering away making someone else money 🙂

    Premier Icon olly2097
    Full Member

    If I could spend more time with my kids instead of working I would.
    Go for it. Build the bond, doesn’t matter if it’s a new born. Think of all the naps you can have together.

    My wife went part time after our first. Both gone part time after the second. Work/career is very much low on my list of priorities now we have a family.

    Premier Icon jlawie
    Free Member

    Thanks for all the feedback.

    I guess the main reason behind doing it now is the fact I can spend the time together as a family while my wife is on maternity leave. Get a few family trips in etc.

    My fear is that the inevitable upsizing in house and thus mortgage in a couple of years time is going to make it a no go. Especially if my wife does decide to stay off work longer than her maternity year.

    Premier Icon ransos
    Free Member

    I’ve got to be honest and say…babies are pretty boring

    The OP may feel differently. I did.

    Premier Icon frankconway
    Full Member

    Pottato – you are so wrong. Babies are anything but boring; sure, they sleep a lot but when they’re awake they’re endlessly fascinating/interesting/amusing.
    Father to 3 (now adult) children and grandad to two of 15 months and 3 weeks respectively so I can comment based on personal knowledge and experience.
    As for OP, do it – if you have clearly thought it through.

    Premier Icon deadlydarcy
    Free Member

    OP, maybe ask your employer if they’d consider reducing your hours for a 6-month period so you could go part time?

    If you can afford it, and you’ve thought it through, I’d say go for it. By fluke rather than design, I got to spend roughly 50% of non-childminder days with my little man after my wife went back to work – which, given she’s self-employed, was around when he was 5 months – and that went on till he started school. I loved it – yes, sometimes it was hard work and there were days I’d much rather have been at work but I don’t regret giving him that time for a second. You’ll never get these early months back to have another go. And face it, if you don’t enjoy it and it works better for you as a family, you can always go back to work. Best of luck with whatever path you choose anyway.

    Premier Icon longmover
    Full Member

    I did it when my eldest was 8 weeks old, we also moved country. I found work 4 months later. Those 4 months were the best thing I ever did and do not regret the extra time I got to spend with my boy. Would I do it again? Yes, without a doubt.

    Premier Icon edenvalleyboy
    Free Member

    I took the opportunity to be full time carer for two years when my kids were very young. So glad I did it and have memories and experiences that will last for ever. Having shared experiences with my other half of the early years childcare is pretty good too.

    I chose to complete my MA at the same time as a way to make sure I didn’t feel I was putting myself at a disadvantage on the work scene.

    Premier Icon curiousyellow
    Free Member

    You can take 18 weeks of unpaid parental leave.

    So that’s nearly 4 months.

    If you take your leave on top of that, the. You have near enough to 6 months.

    So you could do it without having to quit your job if you wanted to. Your employer needs to agree to it though.

    I went flexi time and took 2 months off when my eldest was born. Some of the best times of my life. Sure, we were a bit pinched for cash now and then, but I can always make more money.

    Premier Icon FunkyDunc
    Free Member

    Anytime you can manage to get off with family is great and should be cherished and jumped at if you can.

    However I’m not sure it would be the first 6 months I would choose, but on the flip side I couldn’t say which 6 months to choose as they are all so brilliant (and hard in there own way)

    Unfortunately you have to get used to the fact that you spend less time with your partner as the kid grows up as you have to use leave to look after your kid.

    If you can take it now then fair enough but if you can take it later and spread it out, that’s what I would do

    Premier Icon wrightyson
    Free Member

    May be a long way off but why upsize in house when you are clearly happy and content and have all you need in your little unit. So many people I know who’ve chased the big house spend or have spent their entire time at work paying for it rather than enjoying life. I genuinely think some people view me as a slack bastard because as a builder I should be living in a 5 bed detached house I built out of spare stuff from jobs over the weekends. You know what I’ve done instead, I’ve enjoyed every single moment with my wife and kids that has been possible. He/she will be grown up before you know it and I know this time next year I will be dreading my daughter getting ready to head off to uni. Get the family time while you can!

    Premier Icon unclesomebody
    Free Member

    Quite a few topics close to my heart here. I worked away 4 days a week after our first daughter was born, pretty much from when she was 4 weeks old. After our second daughter was born and was about 4 weeks old I quite my job and spent 7 months off having family time. Best decision I ever made. Yes it’s scary seeing savings going down but my relationship with my 2nd daughter is drastically different as a result. When I did go back to work I went back part time and work from home 2 days a week too. I’m very fortunate to be able to do this but at the end of the day it’s about making compromises. Losing 30% of your salary sucks but I’m not living to work… That was a general shift in mentality post kids.

    All the best with your decision. You won’t ever regret spending more family time.

    Premier Icon jlawie
    Free Member

    @curiousyellow – Correct, but that 18 weeks is to be used from birth to their 18th birthday. I think the max you can take in one hit is 2 weeks.

    @FunkyDunc – Not quite the first 6 months. She’ll be between 8 and 14months in the time I am planning.

    @wrightyson – Completely with you there mate. I have never been one for chasing the big house and big mortgage. I reckon we have until she is about 2/3 years old before we realistically need to upsize.

    @unclesomebody – Thanks for the inspired words.

    Premier Icon leffeboy
    Full Member

    I’ll add another +1 to finding a way of going part time.  My wife and I both went down to half time when our children were born and then slowly over the years increased it back up as the children grew up.  We’re still not quite back to full time but it meant that there was always someone home when they came back from school, neither of us was having the full burden of child care which is surprisingly tough if you are the one doing it all and they always managed to see us when we weren’t just back exhausted from work.  Like others I would say that if you only have the option of taking a block of time off you might be better waiting a bit as babies are ok but toddlers are fab.  Finding a way of going part time is the winner though

    Premier Icon Jon Taylor
    Full Member

    I took 6 weeks parental leave when my Wife was finished her mat leave but using the holiday accrued (so one of us was getting paid at a time!). We took our 10-11 month old little one to NZ to catch up with family and friends and hang out.

    It was great.

    So if you want to, at Whatever age you choose to take some time off with your little ones, just feel happy to go and do it.


    Premier Icon MrGrim
    Full Member

    I did something similar a couple of years ago, albeit before my daughter was born and only took three months off. I quit my job, handed in my notice (3 months) and left in September. Started a new job in the January. Some things I found:

    The first few weeks were great, but then I started to look at new jobs and was soon applying on the basis that it can take a while (months) to go through the recruitment process for a lot of companies. This meant that I was fairly regularly checking online job boards, replying to emails and then preparing for interviews which all detracted from the nice time off I was supposed to be having. It can start to get like squeaky bum time and it’s difficult to turn concrete job offers down if they are not 100% right fit when you don’t know when the next offer is going to come

    Although I had savings and could have stayed off work for about six months, any new job I started would then have to wait a while for the first pay.

    At the time of year you are looking at, most companies in my industry (IT) shut down recruitment in the lead up to the holidays and don’t start again till mid January. I’m lucky enough to work in an area in demand, but regardless there was definitely a downturn in available jobs from mid November onwards.

    Premier Icon jlawie
    Free Member

    Been a few months now since I started this topic and I’ve been meaning to update this for a while.

    A couple of weeks after posting this, the company I worked for announced they were having financial issues and the future looked bleak.

    A number of days after, I was made redundant. Given a months notice to leave, but I pushed to leave the same week. Result.

    Anyway, I took all of July and August off to be with the family and hammer in some amazing trips and memories.

    In September I started back at my previous company (not the one I had been made redundant from). I was able to agree with them working on a part time basis from September to Januany. So since then I’ve been on 3 day weeks. Albeit with a 40% paycut.

    In January I pick my hours up and start working a 9 day fortnight. With every other Friday off.

    So…it all panned out better than I could have hoped. While some might have seen the redundancy as a big blow, it was the best outcome I could have hoped for!

    I’m in no doubt that the bond I have with my now 7 month old daughter is largely due to the time I’ve had with her.

    Cheers for all the advice you chaps gave

    Premier Icon MoreCashThanDash
    Full Member

    Excellent – I did a nine day fortnight when youngest was a toddler, both got great memories of Daddy Days

    Now she’s about to become a teenager, I do a 4 day week to fit round all the activities the kids are involved in as MrsMC is the main earner.

    No regrets about doing it, but now facing the dilemma of wanting more hours to top up pensions and savings just as my parents are reaching their 80s and needing my time.

    Any dad’s thinking of doing it, definitely give it a go. It’s a real test for an employer though, mine was happy to make arrangements for working mum’s, I had to battle to get the same deal – this is in the civil service, with the union threatening to bring a case for discrimination and/or constructive dismissal

    Premier Icon matt_outandabout
    Full Member

    Happy days

    Premier Icon epicyclo
    Full Member

    You’ll never get your time with your kids again. Each stage cannot be repeated.

    Money and possessions are less important.

    Grab what time you can.

    Premier Icon fasthaggis
    Free Member

    Well done OP

    Because,sometimes you just have to go for it*.
    Your world may change to a total shitstorm or it could be the best move (leading to other great changes) that you ever made,but there is only one way to find out.
    The only losers in life are the ditherers and what if brigade.

    *Always good to have a halfbaked back up plan on the side mind

    Premier Icon jimmy
    Full Member

    Well played. I’ve been on a 4 day week since taking 3 months parental leave (from 9-12months). Some days I feel like a glorified cleaner or babysitter, but when those days are good they’re golden. Aiming for a 9 day fortnight from schooltime next year.

    Premier Icon TiRed
    Full Member

    Great outcome. 21 years ago I worked four days a week and looked after my son on Wednesdays. Teletubbies, music with the mums, and general house duties. Was great. It also saved the significant childcare costs when my wife went back to work part time. It was great. When the second came along I swapped to industry from academia and she could give up work. I enjoyed every minute. You won’t get it back. You’ll now find they are a bit more rewarding from 6 to 18 months too.

    Premier Icon shermer75
    Free Member

    Great story, sounds like you’ve got your priorities sorted! 🙂

    Premier Icon frankconway
    Full Member

    Seems like a great result; enjoy every moment.

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