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working vs stay at home

  1. #1
    hkmom1 is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    causeway bay

    working vs stay at home


    I'm currently working full time and I have a 6 months old son. I'm considering quitting and staying at home as my job situation is not great and I'd like to spend more time with him. I wanted to hear from other moms who's left the work force to see if you had regrets? Or if you've since returned back to work if that was difficult?

  2. #2
    aussie mum is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    I returned to work at a global investment bank from maternity leave when my son was 8 months old. it didn't work out for me. I felt like a failure at everything. I wasn't doing my job as well as I used to and I wasn't spending enough time with my son. I lasted 4 months and then quit. I have no regrets. to me these early years in my childrens' lives is much more important than my career. I look forward to going back to work one day but it won't be at an investment bank and it won't be any time soon.

    good luck. its a tough decision and the right decision is different for everybody.

  3. #3
    HK2008 is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    I'm also struggling a lot lately as working in HK in particular is so tough. My collegues sometimes don't leave work till 3:30am. I used to do part time in Aussie and loved it(I called it a balanced life). However part time jobs here are hard to come by.

    I really want to spend more time with my kids, especially their education now calls for more attention. However, I took almost a year off when we first moved here and I was extremely bored...I needed to keep my mind active, which can only be fulfilled by working alongside other people. I think it's the companionship that I'm in desperate need of.

    Working full time with two young kids in a most tough working environment is an enormous amount of challenge to me. However, I've decided to take it up; and will try to squeeze as much time as I can to be with my children...

    I really, really need a part time job!

  4. #4
    Little bird is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Jardine's Lookout
    i returned to work when my son was 4 months old. Now he is almost turning 9 months. I struggle almost everyday. Every morning I had to do this "self talk" to uplift my spirit (or brain wash myself if you wish to call it this way). I even told my boss about it. He is in need of me cos I am here to replace his "right hand" who will leave the post in June. But I am really struggling everyday, esp when my viewcam on my iphone isn't working and the weather fluctuates so much lately... Physically i find it hard to cope too. My face is pale all the time, and I feel lack of energy to have to hold my giant baby. I took almost 2 years off until returning to work, and enjoyed every moment. Unlike some ladies I actually is the lazy type - I enjoy off work a lot! I do classes before returning to work. Guess I am just too greedy, want the best of both worlds. Or too coward to quit job, fearing I may never be able to enter the workforce again. Also may felt like a loser, having to quit, unable to manage only one baby.

    Aussie mom, how did you do it - quit job after 4 months - what happened and what gave you the courage?

  5. #5
    woodstock07 is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Hong Kong
    I returned to work when my baby was 3 months (he's 7 months now). I work in a high adrenalin and intensive investment job that also requires travelling overseas. It's been tough and I'm certain I'm not as good as I used to be at my job because I'm not 100% into it and I'm not as willing as before to put in the hours. Everyday I try to rush home by 730pm (which is considered early in my job) and spend about 30 minutes to an hour with my baby. Nobody understands my disappointment when I reach home to find him already asleep.

    If you have the choice and since your job "is not great" as you described, why not?

    Or you can take 1 or 2 weeks off to do a "SAHM trial". I did that for 10 days (no helper, only me, my baby and my husband sometimes helping). At least I'm convinced that I'm able to handle it. I only have to convince myself about losing the security of my income and the possibility of never earning this level of income in the future should I stop work for 2 to 3 years. For me, I wanted to be sure this decision is for me as I do not want to blame it my child should I regret the decision for whatever reason in the future. So I'm still hanging on for now.

    Good luck in your decision-making process. It's certainly a tough one.

  6. #6
    OX Jess is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Tuen Mun, Hong Kong
    I have just made my decision - a difficult decision: quit a promising job with bright prospect and more money and returned to work for my previous employer (Thanks God my previous employer is willing to take me back!!!) The decision was really hard to make because the job with my previous employer (well, they are my current employer again!) is quite a dead-end job, i.e. steady income, hardly any pressure, very loose boss which means I can come late and leave early or even 'home-office' when I need it. Career prospect is not much, or even none. The reason I chose to accept a more promising job is because I think I should make a go at my career while I am still young (I am 34, which is the age I think I should really be serious about building my career before it is really too late). OK, I went to work at the new office for few days and I realised something wrong there - nothing wrong with the company, problem with myself not being able to accommodate to the situation. For the new job, I need to leave house an hour earlier than before, i.e. by 7:30am and get home, the earliest, 7:30pm (if I am not required to work overtime. But the fact is that I will be required to work overtime). Then, the new office does not allow any "flexibility". They don't allow you to be late for 2 hours because simply you need to take your sick baby to see a doctor; they don't allow an afternoon off because for some reason nobody can look after your kid for a half day (unless you formally apply for an annual leave). When you are unwell and need to pop out to see a doctor, you need to submit a form to the HR department for approval...etc. I know thousands of people work under this kind of environment, but sorry, I can't, not when I become a mother having a little baby at home. The fact that I leave home in the morning so early that I can't even see my baby waving goodbye to me hurt me enough; the thought of not being able to 'fly' home to see him when he is sick and in need of me; and the thought of not being to take him to see a doctor and give him lots of hugs before I leave him for work really 'freaks me out'. Struggle is there: Do I need a job with good prospect and good money but sacrifice my time with my baby? NO NO NO. My baby was sick for nearly two weeks during the CNY holidays and I have 'home-office' for 3 days. My previous employer has no problem with it, as I am still working but only not in the office. He understands my son needs me and he understands how worrying I would be. This is the boss / the company I need.

    And, I am planning on a baby No 2 in 1~2 years. With TWO little babies at home, I know I have made the right decision to move back to my previous company working for a boss with flexibility.

    Some women are very career-minded and ambitious and they chose to leave their kids with helper ALL DAY and feel alright. When I decided to resign from the new company, I told the Head of HR (a woman) the reason. She said, "be a working woman, you have to be cruel with your kids. You can leave him with your helper all day so it should be ok as at least you know your kid has someone to look after him." Well, having someone to look after my baby is one thing; being able to be with him when he needs me is another thing.

    I don't think some women can be a full-time mum; but I think the best situation would be either 'work part-time' or find a company/a boss who can offer some flexibility.
    Last edited by OX Jess; 03-08-2010 at 11:58 PM.

  7. #7
    baffelly is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    I left my banking job when we moved to hk before my baby was born. I have been thinking about going back to work but I know I do not want the same job I had before with the long hours. On the other hand, I will not take a job that is too easy and pays too little as the opportunnity cost is spending time with my son so it gotta be worth it. That said, maybe I will never find a suitable job here! Making a change requires courage and support from you husband would help a lot!

  8. #8
    gladyswly's Avatar
    gladyswly is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Tung Chung, Hong Kong
    What I think is, the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.

    I returned work from maternity leave when my baby is 2months old. I then quit work when the baby was 6months old. Not because I wanted to be a SAHM (I never wanted to be a SAHM, I love my job), it was because we had to fire our helper who lied to us immediately, thus I had to quit my job immediately and even had to pay the company 2 months salary (!!!) in lieu of 2months notice. We cannot find a suitable helper since then.

    I cried most of the days after I quit my job. I don't like staying at home. It makes me feel like a failure cuz I am not supporting my family financially. I have no satisfaction here, days are boring, same routine day after day. My brain is stiff, I am losing my professional knowledge as well as my social skills. I want to go back to work so desperately but just noone take care of the baby.

    It's really difficult to me, because I am young (27), I have just finished my master degree education a year before I quit my job (feels like a waste now that I cannot use what I learnt), and my job's (I think in any job) prospect grows and your salary increases with your experiences. I work in the medical field, and we all know medical technology advances everyday, if you are out of the field for 1 year, it feels like you are left behind for 10 years.

    I think what's the most difficult for me is that I have no SAHM friends, basically my friends are either single, or newly wed with no kids, or have kids but working full time. I have noone in the same boat with me that can share with me and understand me. So, hkmom1, before you quit your job, please think carefully and make sure you have a support network to help you go thru the transition period and adjusting your new life.

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