What shall I do?


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Well-Known Member
Aug 13, 2003
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Penryn, Cornwall
I really need to know what you all think. Lots of you are in this business beacuse a) you are passionate about nails, b) you have small children and have to work around family commitments. You will imagine how my heart feels about this so I am asking for your thoughts to help me make a decision.

I have the opportunity to work for a large international (non beauty/nail) organisation in a very responsible and extremely well paid position. This is a very rare thing because jobs in Cornwall tend to be quite poorly paid or require you to travel away frequently. This job would have brilliant oportunities, amazingly secure and the pay is so good I thought that they had made a mistake. I asked them to confirm the pay and they said they had made a mistake - it was in fact more than they had originally outlined. It comes with all the usual perks you would expect from a position like this BUT to do it I would have to have a nanny. I can't figure any way round this and as I have only worked for myself since I had children, I have never had to be away from them full time 5 days a week.

The way it works is I can either take the job, only see the kids at weekends and maybe for an hour or two in the evenings and miss out on their school holidays, rely on a nanny to care for the children (3 and 5) BUT they get to go on great holidays, private school, probably long term live in a bigger house too and most importantly to my son - he gets to go and see his grandad a couple of times a year (USA).


Stay as I am, doing nails at convenient times (which I love) and being a full time mum aswell, going camping at weekends, being there for my children when they are ill or school is over. The kids will not see their grandad because it is too expensive to go in school holidays. We are not poor, the sale of my last business meant we have no debts, but sometimes I look at friends jetting off to Antigua or driving their lovely top of the range cars, going out to dinner all the time and having lovely clothes and I think - if I go back to work I can do that too.

Come on everyone - all your comments are welcome. What would you do? have any of you left your children with nannies?
Hi ella

Oh my word you brought tears to my eyes. What a hard descision for you to make. You have weighed up your pros and cons, i work near enough full time and both my children are in private school (no offence meant here i have nothing against other schools) and i think that is the best start i can give them.
However nothing can replace their mom, but i am a better mother through working as the time we spend together is quality time.
At the end of the day if your happy, then they are happy. Do what will make you the happiest.

I hope you make the desicsion that is right for you. Good luck.
Tough one and believe me I know. Haydn had me full time until he started school; Dexter from 6 mths had a combination of my sister and then a daily non-live in nanny until he was 15mths and he has been at nursery Mon-Fri ever since. I have punished myself over this many times but then I have to remember that I am there for breakfast and I am there for school pick-ups (thank God for After-School Club) - plus I love cooking so they eat well too + Dexter LOVES nursery and all the things they do togther!!

From reading your post Ella, you lean towards not wanting to do this because you love things as they are right now - but I also appreciate longing for certain things that we could have with a bit more dosh. I have always admired your posts and it is obvious that you are a very intelligent woman! You will make a success of whatever you do and your children would cope and be just fine because they have to fit in with our lives and kids are resilient. You would make it as easy for them as you could - what you may not be able to handle is your own sense of guilt on what you think the children are thinking about 'mummy not being there as much' - that has always been my cross to bear but I handle it better now (I think):rolleyes: I couldn't tell you which way to go but I can tell you that a very serious, professional and decent nail tek who could have further opportunities within the industry - would be sorely missed!!:cry:
Thankyou both for your kindness and honesty - Mrs Geek I am flattered :o . I'd like to know what you both do about school holidays. Even in the state school system there are only 33 weeks of school a year, less if they go private. So what about the others?

I am very lucky my mum will look after them for me. You would have to take your hols when they do, how many will you get 5-6 weeks?
Year before last my mum went away during the half term (most inconsiderate i know!!!!!!!! lol) so i put them in a kids club and they loved it. Had a great time came home with projects, went on trips ect. Had loads of fun. I have a cleaner now who is great so i spend my time with my kids, not busting my butt trying to do everything, I have found that works well for me.
Well, nursery is open always apart from Christmas and the usual so I haven't had to worry about Dexter! But Haydn, well he flies to Spain to see Honey and Grampy for the week in Feb; I have a lot of holiday that I never use so I made the decision this year to take some time off so at Easter, I will be off for a week and he will go to my father's for a few days. Summer, 1 week will be with his other grandparents for a week (everyones married and divorced and married again so Haydn has A LOT of grandparents:eek: )and to be honest I haven't figured out the other 6 weeks yet:rolleyes: - Spain and 2 weeks in Florida - so excited to go home (kind of)!! The real tough time will be when Dexter starts big school in September and Haydn moves to 'even bigger' school in September (there's excatly 7yrs between them) - no after-school club then - when I figure it out, I'll let you know!!!:o
Oh Ella, I feel for you this is such a hard decision. Motherhood is just packed with guilt which I think we all feel which ever decision we make with our careers.

My children are now 19, 11 and 8. They were all privately educated until eighteen months ago when I quit the high powered, high paid job.

Last year we went on holiday in Europe rather than the Carribean, US etc. and I now drive my first privately owned car.

I enjoyed my years high flying but now I look at my "babies", all grown up, and I realise that I missed so much. They have been all around the world, had the best of everything but all they really wanted in the end was me!!! But did they want me as a "stop at home mum" or are they benefitting from the fact that I now appreciate them so much more? Who knows? Perhaps my previous career has made me a better mother now than I would have been.

Fortunately for me, my business is successful, and we are back on track with the exotic holidays this year!

The school thing is interesting. My eldest is now away at University and the two younger ones are in a good local school. The private school they went to was 15 miles from where we live, and I hadn't realised at the time, but they therefore didn't have local friends like they do now. They are excelling in the State system and I am pleased with their progress. Time will tell on this one. We originally chose a private school that offered 8am-5.30pm and out of term care. They could not have been in the state sector while I was working away from home so much.

I have no regrets about quitting my previous job. I do have regrets about missing my babies. But and it is a big and confusing "But" I don't regret having had the chance to fulfil my own potential with my career when I did - I loved it and proved to myself that I could do it. I'm not sure how I would feel now if I'd never done it. Would I have had the chance if I'd left if till later? I doubt it.

I've been of absolutely no help at all :o Obviously only you can make the decision. As mothers we usually put ourselves in second or third place, but our happiness and fulfilment is important too. I am sure you will make the right decision for you and your family.

Love and Hugs Ella
Hi Ella,
I don't envy you at all. It is such a hard decision. When I first got married I decided with my husband that if we had children I would stay at home with them. If I was going to have children I would'nt miss a day in their lives. So we waited a few years until we were more settled financially. Having said that my husband was made redundant 3 months after our 1st child was born. Things were hard, but I still did'nt leave my baby with anyone, to go out to work. Being a hairdresser I did mobile for a while, until my husband started work again. 12 years later after a second child I am still at home. That's why I decided to become a nail tech, so that when my daughter starts school full time in Sept., I'll be able to work in my own time and still be home in time for my kids.
But all of this was a personal choice. I just did'nt feel I could trust any1 with my children, or that they would bring them up the way I would. Another person might feel completely different though, and go out to work from day one. We're all different and have diff. thoughts on things, and sometimes we might just not have a choice.
It would be nice for you to get a good job like this so you and the children can afford the things you enjoy. Maybe if there's grandparents you could leave the kids with them. If you spend quality time with them when you can, I am sure the kids will be fine.
Weigh up all the pros and cons and make sure you're really comfortable with the decision you make, if you go to work it's gotta be because you want to, not need to. Otherwise you'll be at work, but your mind will be at home with the kids. I hope I have'nt confused you anymore. Think it through thoroughly and I am sure you'll come to a right decision. Whatever you decide good luck with it. AND don't take any pressures from any1 it has to be your decision. let us know what you decide.
I may not be the best person to give my advice; but... in my very humble opinion, if your living situation is comfortable (meaning- you're not destitute) why change it just so that you can have extra money. To me, the extra money just isn't worth letting a nanny raise my children. You really only get a limited time to spend with them before they mature. This is the time to be their mother not the woman they rarely see that is able to pay for private school. It's so common to hear about chilldren who rarely see either parent that later in life always wish that parent could have spent more time with them. I do truly hope I have not offended anyone by my opinion and I appologize if I have; I only have the best intentions for the children in mind.
AYLIN said:
Weigh up all the pros and cons and make sure you're really comfortable with the decision you make, if you go to work it's gotta be because you want to, not need to.

I think this is such an important point.

You are comfortable and you do not need to take this job.

You are a smart girl Ella, you will excell at any job you do in any position. You have already proved that by owning and selling a successful business and starting another one. You should feel proud and flattered by the offer but ...

Your children are very young still. Is the money and are the prospects of more swanky holidays worth it? Kids don't need swanky holidays or grand houses (and whose to say you won't provide them with these anyway?) . They do need their mum and it sounds to me as if the Nanny will have much more contact than you will. For what? Their youth goes so quickly and with the dangers children face all around them (particularly as they get older) for myself, I would want more control. And I am speaking for myself.

I have 5 children ... all grown now and married except for Christian (28). I am proud to say that I like all of them as people and I enjoy a good and friendly relationship with them all. So much so that WE buggered off and left them 2 years ago!! It was really hard for Samantha and Christian even then!! They will tell you so. BUT they all love the time we share now when they or we come/go to visit and it hasn't estranged us because our base is SO strong from the early years. they don't need me now ... they needed me then.

I wish you well in your decision .... very tempting.
Write all the pros and cons down on a sheet of paper and see which carries the most weight.

By the way, you have had some wonderful replies here, Ella. Really well thought out and from the heart replies. I'll tell you what ladies ... I really love US and women supporting women ... there is nothing like US and I am proud to be one.
You have a huge decision to make, personally I dont have any little ones yet but I think you should take the job it means a better future for yourself and your children, it will be hard at first but in the long run your kids will thank you for it when they are older and have a great education to get the job they want, when they are visiting the USA, they will also apprechate you more because they see you less

Its NOT going to be easy but best of luck what ever you do. Let us all know your decision
lindag said:
it will be hard at first but in the long run your kids will thank you for it when they are older and have a great education to get the job they want, when they are visiting the USA, they will also apprechate you more because they see you less

Its NOT going to be easy but best of luck what ever you do. Let us all know your decision
sorry lindag, but I don't agree with you on this point. Money does'nt make you a better educated person. Private schools may help, but if a child's got it in them, they'll do good whatever school they go to. And sure the children will love the holidays in USA, but they still need their mum more than holidays (at this age anyway).
But sorry ella, not trying to pressure on you, just wanted to get a point accross. This is my opinion anyway. Good luck ella.
Hi Ella...
I think it is great that everyone is giving you thier opinions to what THEY would do and i realise that it is a realy hard decision for YOU to make but it has to be YOUR decision based on how YOU feel.
Food for thought...why not leave the children in the schools/nursery that they are in now and get a childminder that other mums use so good 'word of mouth' reccomendation or a private before/after school nursery so that the change would not be so harsh to start with and give the job a go!
IF the job works out and the children seem happy and contented then you could consider a long term plan...if you don't think it is working then you can give up the job and return to as you are now without to much disturbance to the children.
My humble opinion...
Hiya Ella,
In my opinion what ever decision you make, You will always incur guilt, Either guilt that you take the job and have to leave the children, Or the guilt that you dont take it and dont have the fiancal benefits to give your family a more comfortable live.
I feel has mothers we always have this guilt feeling no matter what we do for our children, I stayed home with my children, But have many friends who work and have nannys for their children, Its a personal choice but dont regret letting this pass you by,because if your children are 3 & 5 they will soon both be in full time school then. So dont be a home wishing you had taken that well paid job.
AYLIN said:
sorry lindag, but I don't agree with you on this point. Money does'nt make you a better educated person. Private schools may help, but if a child's got it in them, they'll do good whatever school they go to. And sure the children will love the holidays in USA, but they still need their mum more than holidays (at this age anyway).
But sorry ella, not trying to pressure on you, just wanted to get a point accross. This is my opinion anyway. Good luck ella.

Hear hear!

It is the relationship with and the confidence one gets from ones parents that largely determines a childs personality and sometimes their whole future - not holidays and a material lifestyle.

My guess is that Ella already provides a 'rich' lifestyle for her children (meaning rich in warmth and affection) and those are the riches that count.

My guess is that the children also have everything they need materially.
Ella has already proved that she is a success and is still proving it. I'm guesing that her asking our opinions is to help her to solidify her own and to draw on the experience of others.

She has got some great material to read.
This story has really touched me, I’m only 22 but I have seen friends whose parents have worked and some that haven't.

I personally think as long as weekends and evenings are set aside to make the children know they are special and loved, wont hurt.

Personally I was lucky when I was younger, my dad worked in London so didn’t get in till 7 but my mum worked up the road for the government, which meant she got flexi-time and lots of holidays. Also my Nan and granddad lived round the corner and if we were ill at school she could come and get us and take us to my grandparents. I think it gave us the independence we needed and helped us realize how hard our parents worked to spend nice times with us.

I had friends whose parents worked all the time and thought by buying them things it would show they cared, this didn’t work, these children were very insecure and I think they felt isolated. I remember one day we were staying away for the first time with the school (we were 11) everyone was waving at there parents from the coach and I remember my friends dad was too busy on the phone dealing with something to do with work that he didn’t wave to her and she cried every night we were away.

But I have seen families when one of the parents is always at home and these children are so mothered and everything is done for them that they never learn and expect things all the time.

So you cant really win, I’d weigh up all the options and pick which ever you feel is best, remember you wont be tided to this job for life and if you feels its not for you then you and go back to what you enjoy. I think getting a cleaner is a brilliant idea to free some time. As long as you enjoy time with your kids and let them be kids and not make them grow up too quick I think they will appreciate your decision when they are older and understand whatever you choose was with there best intensions at heart.

Just my opinions to try and help you decide.


what ever you and your family decide to do, will be the right thing to do as has been said. All I wish to say is whatever you decide, grab it with both hands and don't spend a minute wondering what if.

Good luck with whatever you decide.
I agree Alyin money doesn't make better schools, I went to a public school and I turned out fine, the point I was trying to make (failing to make) is that when the kids get older they will see that the job was taken for them so they could get the best their mother could give, I hope I didnt cause any offence
Thankyou all so much for your replies. I have read every one over and over.

The one thing you all don't know is that I myself had nannies & then went to boarding school from 8 years old. I really loved it, and whilst I don't think the education was any better or worse than the education in a state school, I had the opportunity to try so many things that would not otherwise have been available. Every single girl from my class has acheived what they want to acheive, some are doctors, teachers, a TV presenter, in local government, 2 girls representing the UK at triathlon, and many have their own businesses. I gained tremendous confidence, and believed that I could be whatever I wanted to be. I would love for my children to have the wonderful opportunity that I had. This makes me want to go back to work so that I can give them this (not to board though).

Life completely changed when at 15 the relationship with my mother totally broke down and my dad lived thousands of miles away and I found myself homeless. Back then the care system did not make provision for 15 year olds so it was all up to me. I put myself through the rest of my schooling, working 3 jobs ( and did nails!!) and studying too. By the time I was 18 I owned my first flat, had a car and still did not speak to my mother. This is something that I really do not want to repeat for my children, this makes me nervous about doing anything that makes them think they are not right at the top of my list of priorities. This makes me want to stay at home until they are about 15!!!

The other thing is I do like doing nails - come on - you all must understand that??

Right now I'm swaying towards not taking the job and really getting into teaching nails - it is a safer bet on my children's futures. I have moments of swaying towards taking it and negotiating flexible working now that the law has been brought in about that. Maybe I should just say to them - this is what I want or I'm not interested. I have nothing to lose do I?
Go with your heart Ella. Your last post (and your others I have read) show what an amazing person you are. You can achieve whatever you want and you have nothing to prove to anyone.

Someone earlier rightly said that motherhood is filled with guilt whatever route you choose.

The happiness and security (in all ways) of you and your family are obviously the most important things in life, and I'm sure you will make the right decisions to achieve this.

I recommend coming back as a man or a tree next time - they don't seem to have such guilt ridden decisions to make (only joking all you Geekmen out there!)
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