Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Flexible Working



Today was an ordinary day in the office. The same familiar faces going about their duties and the same people dunking biscuits in their tea. 

However today was also the day that I informed my boss that I would like to consider flexible working. I read up all I could on the Direct Gov website while I awaited an email back from the Confidential Secretary. By the time she had replied I had already compiled my case and she quickly gave my letter a proof read, and advised me to talk with my line manager.

I sat there glancing up over my computer screen at him, wondering whether I should whisper over to him that I needed a word, or to send him a email, despite the fact he sits right next to me. I bide my time and awaited him to walk away from his desk. I did not want to say anything in full ear shot of the all the ears listening around me. 

I hovered over the send button for a good few minutes before letting the email float those few feet away from me to sit waiting in my boss's inbox. It brought back memories of when I informed him I was pregnant, I was terrified at the prospect. In fact that is why I went into a little more detail in the email I sent him this time around, I did not want him getting the wrong idea and thinking that I was bringing another baby into the world just yet.

He began walking back to his desk, followed closely by the Operations Director. They both gathered around his computer and I began to feel like they were both reading my email. I felt incredibly paranoid. However when the big boss walked away and I was left with just my line manager, I mentioned that I had sent him a email that he would most likely wish to discuss with me.

The email told him all about my plans to work flexibly and that I felt I was missing out on Leo's day to day life and development. I told him that I wanted the best of both worlds and that I had composed a letter with my hopeful working hours in. 

I also said I had made no decision on what I intended to do quite yet, and that I wanted to know what my salary would be and basically just have all the information so I could make a informed decision.

All he said was 'ok, no problem'.

I had hyped myself up, I could feel my pulse racing like it may just pop out of my chest and greet everyone around it. Of course this didn't happen, but the calm collected response, had me suddenly at ease.

It looks as though I will be granted my wish of Monday - Wednesday in the office. There is one other hurdle that I will need to cross, and I think this may be even harder than informing work. Luke want's me to stay in full time employment. He wants me to save hard so we can finally get out and live our lives.

Each time I have raised the subject of working part time with him, I am met with no enthusiasm and also what feels like a lack of understanding. I don't think he quite understands my need to be with Leo. He often says 'Think how I feel' in reference to his full time job, but the difference in my eyes is that I have spent every day for 13 months with him, there have been very few occasions that I have left him.

Luke will come home from work and happily retreat to the gym, and he will also see friends socially more than I do and go out on a more regular basis. So it is his choice to be away from Leo as much as he is. I on the other hand will finish work and come straight home to see him. I rarely go out, out of personal choice. Especially these days as every moment with Leo is like gold. 

Precious.

I can completely see where he is coming from, but at this moment in time. I just want to be with Leo. I would quite happily rent a home and finally relax. 

Of course I am pretty sure my wages will drop substantially. In fact I know this to be true. I think I may even fall below the income tax threshold which in a way would be good. 

What I have to ask is, does this mean my little family would qualify for the housing benefit? 

This would really help us out, and may also get Luke around to my way of thinking, as deep down I know he is just thinking of the financial aspects. But there has to be away around it as so many Mummy's do it. 

Does anyone know what the income threshold is for being in receipt of the housing benefit? 

I have to ask you, what would you do? Am I asking to much in requesting part time work? Or is Luke being un-reasonable by not being open to a compromise? 

There has to be some way that I can enjoy the best of both worlds. 

Somehow...


11 comments:

  1. Awwwwwwww bless you! I know the feeling, they are people you would normally talk to about anything and then when it is something like felixible hours you worry!!
    I work part time now, 2 days a week and i love the 3 days I get with Alfie xx

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  2. For me returning to a job full time was never an option and I was lucky that my partner was happy with that. I had amde it clear when we found out that we were pregnant that being a parent would be my main job at least until the children were all at school.

    I think you need to do what is right for you as a family and what is right for you as a mother. Maybe you should sit down with luke and discuss the financial side - set goals and research any help you may get? I don't know what the answer is for you but I hope you find it

    xx

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    1. I think it is great that your partner understood how important it was for you to stay home. I knew staying home with Leo full time would never be an option for me as I do need to work (want to work) but I do need more time with my little man! xx

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  3. It is so difficult. I gave up and became a SAHM because I didn't want to miss out. Financially it has been really tough and now I am going to have to work for a couple days a week from September as we really need the money. I hate the thought of A going to a childminder but some money is better than nothing! You are so right though that these years are precious and so if you can find a balance you should as you can never get them back x

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    1. Thanks Nicola. I think it is great you got to stay with them full time. It is such a hard decision but one worth making. The thought of missing out scares me so much but I am optimistic that I can sort something out xx

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  4. Have you thought about child tax vouchers from his employer. It pays for registered childcare before he gets taxed (it might effect your working tax credit so check it out)
    I worked part time when the children were little and loved it, I now work full time and it's a struggle to fit everything in.

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    1. I am not 100% sure how this works. However Leo is with his Granny and we are paying her. She is a retired child minder who is currently still registered, however when we looked into paying her with the childcare scheme, we were not able to do so due to her being related. Or at least that was the impression we got. So we now pay her ourselves xx

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  5. Have you thought about child tax vouchers from his employer. It pays for registered childcare before he gets taxed (it might effect your working tax credit so check it out)
    I worked part time when the children were little and loved it, I now work full time and it's a struggle to fit everything in.

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  6. It's such a difficult situation as your head says one thing but your heart tells you another. At the end of the day, you have to do what feels right for you and you family although i do think Luke's being a little unreasonable about it all. I'm so lucky in the sense that the OH earns enough to support us both and i don't have the stress of worrying about returning to work or not so i can't imagine what it must feel like to be in your shoes. If work are prepared to let you go flexible then i say go for it xxx

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    1. It is hard and my heart is screaming at me to stay home more. With Leo. I can see Luke's point of view as he is just wanting to get out and just as fed up as I am at still being at home, living under everything and everyone. I think work are going to be flexible but I will find out more tomorrow! Wish me luck xx

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