It’s been six and a half years since I left work to look after my daughter.
That feels like a long time now.
By the time the kids return to school after the summer holidays it will almost be seven years.
And I will be contemplating the idea of returning to work.
I’m not convinced I like the idea of giving up being a stay at home dad.
Although I can see there are many benefits of finding work again, I don’t feel ready.
But I’m not sure I ever will be.
The Kids Are Getting Older
Since my kids are getting older, the need to be at home is dwindling.
They’re at school most of the day.
At the moment, they finish at different times, which complicates things.
But from September, they’ll both start and finish school at the same time.
That means there’s an opportunity for me to return to full or part time work.
It would mean a long school day for them if I went back full time.
The option’s there though if I choose to take it.
An Injection Of Cash
Returning to work would bring in a welcome injection of cash to our household finances.
But we have a dwindling savings account since we bought a new car.
We no longer own a property and a deposit for another one would be a fair way off.
Putting the kids through the school where my wife works is a big expense.
It’s similar to what we used to pay for our mortgage.
The opportunity is well worth it though and the alternatives don’t bode well.
Thinking About The Longer Term
I’m not getting any younger so returning to work before I’m written off as too old would be a good idea.
It’s particularly important when it comes to pension provision.
Whilst I’m registered as self employed I can pay class 2 National Insurance contributions – until they get abolished next year.
That means I still get qualifying years to the State Pension.
After 5 April 2019, it will be too costly to pay voluntary contributions.
All is not lost though because I can transfer child allowance credits from my wife to cover any shortfall.
When I do go back to work, I’ll then start paying National Insurance again and it won’t be an issue.
Returning To Work Is A Scary Prospect
I’ve come to terms with being at home alone a lot of the time.
I’ve almost become institutionalised and the big bad world of employment out there seems a little scary.
The thought of working in an office full of teenagers and twenty-somethings fills me with dread.
I’m hoping I can find something where the average age is a little closer to mine.
Interacting with lots of people was something I once enjoyed and craved.
Now all I want to do is go to work, get on with it, earn some money then come home.
I’ve toyed with the idea of doing some temping work to get back into it.
Even that comes with its own anxiety because I could be sent anywhere and everywhere.
It Limits Our Family Time
One of the huge benefits of being at home is the family time we have together.
With my wife being off work in the school holidays with the kids, it means we get to see a lot of each other.
When I was employed before, I had 25 days holidays plus bank holidays.
As it stands, if we want to go anywhere and do anything, half of the year we get to do just that.
By me returning to work we will lose that opportunity and family time will be diminished.
It’s particularly relevant as relatives get older and we may be needed at the drop of a hat.
Employers are only sympathetic for a while.
A Return To Work Is Inevitable
Depending on what happens in relation to my wife’s work ambitions, it’s almost inevitable I’ll need to go back to work.
I’m in two minds about it but I’ll be fine when it happens, I’m sure.
Have you recently returned to work after looking after your family or after an illness?
How did you cope with the change of pace?
Was it easy to find employment after a lengthy time at home?