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Working post-baby

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Working post-baby

Postby VickySW18 » Thu Nov 30, 2017 6:57 pm

I wanted to add a conversation thread to see what mothers did after having a baby and progressing a career.

My husband and I are going to start trying for our first baby next year. I had always thought I wanted to be a full-time mum while my kids grow up, but recently my career has done so well, I can't even imagine taking time off to have a child. I just wanted to know what others on here thought before having a baby. Did it all change once you had your baby?

I have a few friends who took a year off and reluctantly went back to work, mainly for financial reasons. I'd love to hear about mothers who went back to work much earlier because they wanted to, how they managed and what they thought with hindsight?
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Re: Working post-baby

Postby szczepam » Fri Dec 01, 2017 7:17 am

I went back to work early after the birth of both my children. I always thought, like you, I would give up my job when I had children. However, after my first was born I realized I missed the office, the intellectual stimulation and the time to think. I realized that pre-baby I had been trained for a future and became ambitious to go and grab it.

I love my children and weekends are all about them but when I came back to work on that first day I bought a coffee and sat at my desk and read the headlines of a paper completely uninterrupted - an activity I had been unable to do for the last 12 weeks - it was joy.

We have a great nanny and my husband helps A LOT. It is very doable and rewarding.
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Re: Working post-baby

Postby NYE31 » Tue Dec 05, 2017 11:57 am

I went back to work after both of mine, I'm a SVP for a Global Company & my husband is a Regional Account Director, our children are 6 & 2. I took 7 months off with each of them & then my husband took 5 months off so neither of them went to Nursery before their 1st birthday. If you have a good Nursery or nanny, it's very doable, just requires being super organised & having a back up plan if one or both are them are ill & can't go to nursery or school.

Watch "I don't know how she does it" for further insight.

Good luck with whatever you decide :)
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Re: Working post-baby

Postby TCEarlsfield » Wed Dec 06, 2017 10:48 am

I took 9 mths off with my first and the full 12 mths off with my second, but went back to work both times. After my second mat leave I changed jobs, into a new company and with a promotion. It is definitely possible to progress your career while having children if you want to! I would say good childcare and a supportive husband are key for me though, it needs to be a team effort.
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Re: Working post-baby

Postby NYE31 » Wed Dec 06, 2017 10:56 am

It's def a team effort so my husband & I synchronise our work diaries for school, nursery events & when one of us is away or the other needs to pick up although I am very aware that there are single parents who do it all on their own & to them, I think you are amazing :)

And weekends, holidays etc are dedicated to the children, we make sure that one of us is always at a school or nursery event, I have a wonderful PA who blocks out time in my diary for school/nursery events.
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Re: Working post-baby

Postby AbbevilleMummy » Wed Dec 06, 2017 11:08 am

You will probably find that your perspective will change once you have had your baby as it’s so hard to judge how you will feel now.

I planned to take off 6months after my first but ended up taking off 12 months as really didn’t want to go back once I had her! Then after my second I couldn’t wait to go back as 2 kids under 2 was much harder than working!

Now, 8 years later i’m so glad that I persevered and went back to work as my career progressed rapidly and now i’m in the fortunate position to be independently financially secure and senior enough in my role to take time to be with my children during the week when I need to.

You think they need you when they are babies but I have found that they need you so much more as they get older.
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Re: Working post-baby

Postby amumtoo » Fri Dec 08, 2017 11:22 am

Such an interesting conversation, I would like to add to it too :D

It is definitely doable and it was for us as a family with the help of hubby as a team effort and a nanny/childminder.

We had a combination of childminders and nursery after I went back to work with my first (childminder) and second (nursery and childminder). But as the last person said here it is not only in the early years that the kids need us, it is also and more afterwards when they start school etc.

So making an effort to work and progress a career is great if that is what you enjoy and if you love your work. I have always worked and went back after my maternity leaves after 6 and 7 months (doing progressive days, i.e. used up all my accumulated leave to work initially a couple of days a week and progressively increased to 4 which is what I kept it at for the past 7 years).

However although I enjoyed my work it wasn't exactly the kind of dream job so at the moment I have started my own business (photography) and also doing freelance work (in marketing) which is all new and something I am building.
I would love for it to work but I also would like to be in a solid position for afterwards once my kids have grown. So its an ongoing effort but with a plan! :D
I believe everything is doable as long as really work on it and put in the effort!
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Re: Working post-baby

Postby Scandimamma2016 » Fri Dec 08, 2017 11:59 am

Very interesting thread and well known problem for most women.
Im a Mum with an 18 months old son, and with a successful career having worked more than 10 years in the City. During maternity leave I realised many mothers are faced with the dilemma of whether or not to go back to work. I know of female lawyers who never see their children during the week, for example.
I therefore set up my jobsite business Mothers & Careers Ltd, where we help companies promote their flexible job openings, whether full time or part time roles. Many mothers value a role with an element of flexibility, at least when your children are very little. I thought - there must be a way for women to both continue having an exciting career and be able to spend time with their children! It has now become a successful business with companies joining in and realising it is good for their business to retain and attract women. If you know of anyone looking for a flexible job, please forward them our website:
Sign up to our newsletter to get weekly updates on exciting new job opportunities.
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Re: Working post-baby

Postby firsttimerSW11 » Fri Dec 08, 2017 3:38 pm

I did after 2 year maternity sand it's pretty hard. I see my DC for max a half an hour in the week. On top you have to fit all the acticvities and admin/shopping etc in at the weekend.
I still maintain that it's easier than being a SAHM but I also took a 30% paycut to go back to work after having a child as I could no longer work quite the same hours as pre children. Websites such as 3to4days are a lovely idea but generally they have low paid roles. There are more returner programmes now than ever however, and I think employers are finally realising the untapped potential of women who want to go back to work but aren't necessarily sure how to do it or are perhaps lacking the confidence after some time out of the work place.

Slight digression there but yes it is doable and many do it.
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Re: Working post-baby

Postby HappyMum2016 » Tue Dec 12, 2017 11:29 am

Good that you are thinking about it in advance & trying to plan as best you can. While each woman’s circumstances are unique, we are all in the same boat in that we take time out from our careers in order to pursue a family, with varying degrees of success. I can recommend a book called “Babyproof your Career” by Caroline Flanagan. Some good tips and coaching techniques from someone who has been there.
(Full disclosure - I am not the author(!) but she is a good friend).

Good luck.
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Re: Working post-baby

Postby ZNW » Tue Dec 12, 2017 12:05 pm

Like most mums I would say family and partner support are key. My family were abroad but my husband does as much as me now that I am back to work! I went back after 9 months to a promotion so thankfully all worked out. I remember thinking my first week back at work was like a vacation! Good luck x
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Re: Working post-baby

Postby DietCokefan » Wed Dec 13, 2017 1:18 pm

It depends on lots of things. Some people go back to work for financial reasons (extra income), some stay at home for financial reasons (childcare is expensive). I'm now 10 years into being a parent, and it is very clear to me that there is a massive hassle-factor associated with work, which is really hard to put a number on, and therefore to fairly compare to other options.

Do not underestimate the value of maternity leave, and the value of having that time with your child, relatively guilt-free. Once they reach school age, the routine is fairly relentless!