What is the best age to return to work?

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-01-2003
What is the best age to return to work?
1
Mon, 04-07-2003 - 10:54am
I have two boys, one is 7 in June and the other turned 5 in January. In the fall, the oldest will be starting 2nd grade, and my youngest will be starting kindergarten (all day kindergarten). I volunteer 15 hours a week in a pediatric clinic. I began doing it in order to get free training, feel I was doing something other than clean house and cook and do laundry all day, get out of the house, and to broaden my future career opportunities when my youngest began school. Well as luck turns out, my supervisor left this past week and the clinic wants me to take his position. I have an associates degree as well as enough experience to allow me to get another job somewhere else, or even somewhere else in the hospital when a position opens up (we are in the military and people move all the time). I don't need the money from the job and actually could probably get an even better paying job if I just waited awhile to actually find one. The pay of the job offered isn't bad but not great either. I do enjoy the majority of the people in the clinic, and I already know how to do my supervisors job. I am having the hardest time deciding if I should take the position or do what my original plan was (which was to volunteer until my youngest entered school full time, and then at that point to begin seriously searching for a job that pays well enough to warrant me being away from the house and children 40 hours a week). For me, I want everything, a good paying job, coworkers I like, and a job that will further me career-wise. Everyone I know can't believe I am even questioning taking the position, but most of those people either don't have children or have always worked away from their children from the beginning. It doesn't help that my youngest is very shy and sensitive, and through worse and worse fits progressively through a 2 month stint at a home daycare. There are no full time positions open here either, although once the youngest entered school there are plenty of openings at the local youth center where my oldest would be going. (the youth center only accepts children who are actually enrolled in school). Maybe I'm just scaring myself and being too sensitive or maybe I am just being picky (which I think is good when it comes to your kids). I know for certain my husband doesn't do anything around the home or for the children unless I specifically ask and I do worry about working all day and having to come home and work all night with no time to sit and enjoy w/my kids. It seems so much goes into this, but regardless of right now, sooner or later I will be working.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-28-2003
Mon, 04-07-2003 - 5:49pm
I don't think there is any one right answer for this question. It really depends on the children involved. I always figured that I would go back to work when my kids went to school (when I have kids, and if I stay home with them) because they'll be more independant then. You're almost at that point.

Think about your youngest honestly. Would daycare be a good option to help with socialization skills before they go to school? Is there family that can lend a hand until school starts while you take the job? How much will daycare cost opposed how much you earn? Is it possible to take on the job in a part time capacity until school starts?

Sorry I couldn't give you a concrete answer. Myself, I would consider taking the job just because it's so close to your youngest going to school and you never know if something will come up when you are ready to go back to work.