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The end of work?

September 5, 2010

This will be my last week of work before I go on maternity leave and I have mixed feelings about it. One one hand I’m pretty disappointed that I won’t have a job to go back to – as it isn’t strictly ‘leave’, rather a ‘termination of my fixed-term contact’. But on the other hand, I can’t wait to leave, as my usual work ethic is now non-existent and I’m just over it all.

My intention was to return to work after a year, and as HR always referred to my request as maternity ‘leave’, I assumed I would return. Until, I asked a question to HR as to why I was getting a lump payment, in which they became confused and had to ring me 30 minutes later to tell me it wasn’t a leave payment after all but a termination payment!!!! What a great way to deliver a message! Seriously, does anyone here have any good experiences with HR because I certainly haven’t!

Being pregnant and finding out that I wasn’t coming back has consequently made me lose ‘my give a sh!t’ in a very big way -hence my motivation is at an all time low. I don’t feel valued anymore so I can’t wait to leave.

But I’m still scared of the thought of not working, not earning an income, and not having a job to go back to.

I feel secure with a job, I like earning my own money. This security probably stems back to when I was a teenager and how I loved the financial independence so I no longer had to beg from my parents. I don’t even ask my DH for money and this will certainly have to change and I’m not sure how I will deal with this.

And I’m sure it’s going to be pretty challenging adjusting to just one income.

Having a job to go back to would have made it a bit less scary about returning to work. I wouldn’t be in a drastically new environment as I doubt much would have changed in a year. Now, if I do decide to return to work, I have to go through the tedious and stressful process of applying for jobs, going through interviews, adapting to a new environment, and a new role after such a long break.

I’m also dreading the thought of staying at home. Now, I know I’ll be occupied with the baby and general housework…but how do you handle the isolation, the loneliness and the boredom?

And no, I’m not going to join my mum’s addiction to Daytime TV. She embarrassingly admits to buying the TV Soap magazine to keep up with gossip – about fictional characters! No, I certainly won’t be doing that.

So even though I’m looking forward to leaving my current job, I’m not sure if I’m looking forward to not working for at least a year. However, I’ve heard that even the most career ambitious money hungry women change to  love and enjoy being at home and consequently become full-time SAHMs (Stay-At-Home-Mum). So I’m not going to rule this out either as I bet most SAHMs are not like my mum and manage to avoid Daytime TV and enjoy the challenges and rewards of spending valuable time with their children.

So what were your feelings before your maternity leave? Did your initial feelings change? Did you end up enjoying and embracing being at home to look after your baby so you decided to not go back to work? Or did you end up missing work (or the income) anyway and returned after your leave?

Image courtesy of Disney

5 Comments leave one →
  1. September 6, 2010 8:24 am

    Doing my bit for procrastination this morning so i thought i would answer your questions :p

    My husband and I decided that once i had my son that i would become a SAHM. I actually ended up quitting my job and working for myself as a contractor (still in my industry) right up to when I had my son. I lasted about 7 months before i had to go back to work for my own sanity. I hated mother’s groups, very few people i knew actually kids in my circle of friends so while i was at work all my friends were working, and i missed the mental stimulation that came with my job. So no, i did not enjoy staying at home. I love my son to bits but I’m happier being a working Mum and being away from Bubba during the day means that I bend over backwards to make sure that the time i do have to spend with him is all quality time. And i know what you mean about earning my own money. I’m exactly the same. My husband has never seen our finances as his and mine it’s always been ours in his eyes, but I got used to taking care of myself for so long that i feel like i am making some kind of contribution. In the end all you can do is what is best for you, your little one and your family.

  2. September 6, 2010 7:19 pm

    What a bummber about your maternity leave that wasnt. Very disappointing!

    I also plan to take a year off work, with the intention of going back afterwards.

    I have mixed feeling about it.
    I only started this job this year and I hate it- so the thought of leaving at end of the year is actually really appealing.

    But I feel anxious about the money factor. Same as you, I am financially independent and have been for the last decade. I have always just bought what I wanted without having to ask for money or justify it to anyone.
    It will be disempowering relying on the Mister for money. And to be honest I wonder how he will feel ‘supporting’ me and our baby- it will be a new experience for him as we have always earnt about the same. But I guess that is something we will need to get used to now that we are a family.

    Also if Im honest my career is big part of my identity and I wouldnt like to ever describe myself as a ‘stay at home Mum’ Urgh. That just sounds horrible. Also we have just moved to an isoated country town and havent got many friends around, and no family so I wonder how I will go being at home by myself with just a baby day in day out.

    So my plan is after the first year to go back to work afterwards, at least on a part time basis.

  3. September 6, 2010 9:51 pm

    Leaving my job was really tough for me. I was convinced that no one could do it as well as me. I planned to take 6 months maternity leave and when I told other mom’s that they would sort of smile and say “we’ll see.” They also convinced me that I would totally forget about work once I had the baby.

    Of course they were totally right. I’ve barely given work a second thought and instead have thrown myself into being a mom. Now I’m considering extending my leave for the full year. I’m a researcher and so I find that I can still get that mental stimulation from doing research about all things baby.

    I’ll eventually have to go back because we need my income, but this time off has also allowed me to clean up my CV and look for that dream job…

  4. September 7, 2010 5:39 pm

    Oh and I just want to add (because I forgot to say it yesterday) that I have never had a single positive experience with HR, they are department that I try to have as little to do with as possible, even though they tend to walk around puffed up with their own importance like they run the show, but in my opinion its not even a real job!

  5. September 7, 2010 6:51 pm

    Morena – I don’t have many friends with kids either and do think I will miss the mental stimulation I get at work. It’s also hard to ignore the current contracting rates in Perth atm. $$$$ More Chanel.

    DesertDarling – The politics at work would be a reason why I would become a SAHM. It seriously p!sses me off that no matter where I work, HR are so bad with dealing with people.

    My mum was a SAHM in the Pilbara, and I do admit I have fond memories of my childhood as I remember her meeting other mums in the community and all the kids having a ball together. I think there would be other mums in your town thinking the same thing as you!

    It’s interesting that you say work is very much part of your identity and I used to be the same (along with what I studied, what I wore, where I lived, what my proporty portfolio looked like etc), but this has changed in the last few years as these things seem frivolous to me now. I must be getting old!

    Randalin – I get the smile and the “we’ll see” all the time! I guess I just have to see how I go…

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