To think that returning to work after three months is not that unusual?

(65 Posts)
Caff2 Mon 19-Aug-13 22:39:41

I did with both of mine, because I couldn't afford not to after the maternity pay went down a lot. A friend of mine seems to have forgotten I did this, and has just had her first, and is slagging off a member of her ante natal group with phrases like, "Why did she even have a child if she couldn't wait to get rid of him to a childminder?"

I love my children, I do my best for them, but both were in childcare whilst I worked full time from 10 weeks and fourteen weeks respectively.

LondonMother Tue 20-Aug-13 09:54:19

My daughter was born in 92. I got higher rate SMP (90% of salary) for the first six weeks, which could start at 30 weeks of pregnancy, I think, and then a much lower flat rate (a pitiful amount, IIRC) until she was about 7 months old. I think my job was held open until that point. I knew a woman who returned to work when her baby was 2 weeks old but this was extremely unusual. Most women I knew who returned to work after having a baby took as much leave as they could afford. It's always varied a great deal by the sector you work in - as well as by financial circumstances, obviously. My employer didn't offer any enhancement over the basic state provision but that was a smallish private sector firm. If I'd been in a public sector job or working for a very large private sector firm I'd have a lot more maternity pay but I'd have had an obligation to go back for at least three months.

Pigsmummy Tue 20-Aug-13 09:51:03

I don't know anyone who has returned so soon nor do any of my childminding friends (we were discussing this recently in terms of the youngest children that they have cared for).

Your friend was discussing someone else not you, did she know you when you had DC? If so a gentle reminder might be a good thing? But really how she feels about someone else returning to work shouldn't really upset you. Maybe the Mum in question can't wait to get back to work?

forevergreek Tue 20-Aug-13 09:41:17

I think it's more normal now to have shorter leave tbh.

Most places don't offer full pay for 9 months and many can't afford the drop in pay or just smp. Especially if you live in expensive areas.

I had 4 months and 3 months and we saved beforehand to cover all of that time

Caff2 Tue 20-Aug-13 09:32:33

Thanks for all replies - it seems it is more or less unusual depending on who you know, but I don't feel bad anymore - she was indeed being a thoughtless sod smile

jammiedonut Tue 20-Aug-13 08:56:30

When is the appropriate time to return in her eyes then? In the US certainly maternity leave is 12 weeks, and unpaid in many cases. A cousin of mine is in SA and had to return to work 8 weeks post c-section! If you need to go at 3 months, don't feel bad. I'd gently remind her of the position you are in and congratulate her that she isn't in the same position.

samandi Tue 20-Aug-13 08:51:24

Why did she even have a child if she couldn't wait to get rid of him to a childminder

Does she think that most men shouldn't have kids, then?

wigglesrock Tue 20-Aug-13 08:46:12

Dd1 was born in 2005 and I was back when she was 4.5 months, I took 9 months with dd3. My sister was back when her baby was 4.5 months, that was last year.

SprinkleLiberally Tue 20-Aug-13 08:25:31

I know mostly teachers. They tend to be back about 7 months these days. A few years back it was about 5 months.

sonlypuppyfat Tue 20-Aug-13 07:58:09

I've not gone back to work after 14 years!

I went back full time when ds1 was 4 months old.

Financially, we would have been screwed if I hadn't.

MrsMook Tue 20-Aug-13 07:45:52

It's not something many people would do voluntarily, but it does happen. My friend's husband was made redundant 3 days after they fund out about her pregnancy, and her income just about keeps them surviving. They couldn't afford to survive on SMP so she was facing a very early return to work. Fortunately he's just got a permanent job which takes them out of that position.

Another friend is self employed and RTW very early, but managed to care for DD while working in the early months, and meetings were topped up with care from GPs.

My mother RTW when I was 3 weeks. She still lived with parents so I stayed at home where my GM was a full-time carer for another family member.

LittleFriendSusan Tue 20-Aug-13 07:31:16

Perhaps more unusual now that SML is longer, but when DD was born in 2002 it was definitely the norm in my circle. I took additional leave so had 6 months off but IIRC the last 3 months were unpaid? Couldn't afford any longer than that, and it took us a long time to recover financially. I think by the time DS was born in 2004 SML had increased to 6m.

Quite surprised at some of the replies here actually (not knowing anyone who returned to work after less than 1 year in particular!), but on reflection I suppose a lot of it comes down to the age of your children... If you and all of your friends have younger children I guess 12m (paid) leave is more usual.

peteypiranha Tue 20-Aug-13 07:10:53

I did and Im proud of it. It meant a total equal marriage with my husband sharing childcare and chores. I did it and it wasnt even that bad and still kept a solid marriage with my dh even though we were both in early 20s. It was our first and I did it and managed to get a 2.1 degree, still work etc and I only had 2 weeks off. I know loads a lot older than me at the time that couldnt manage that.

Dd is very confident and social now shes older.

PollyIndia Tue 20-Aug-13 07:05:54

I went back when baby was 2 months for 2 days a week. I am self employed, needed to keep the contract (and they weren't prepared to even wait a month). And as for pp saying you just spend less, well I am single, so not about spending, about paying the mortgage.
I carried on breastfeeding until he was 8 months old though and exclusively for 6 months (well with some expressing obviously).
One thing I have realised about this parenting malarkey is people love to judge others. You have to do what works for you.

Altinkum Tue 20-Aug-13 06:59:35

I went back when ds was 15 weeks, had no choice too.

Freind is a twunt!!

waltzingmathilda Tue 20-Aug-13 06:49:22

I went back after 6 weeks, my best mate after 2. MN would have had a field day with her - she took a 6 month secondment abroad when her baby was 3 months old, long before skype etc. Perfectly well adjusted adult FWIW, no attachment/separation issues either.

Todays new mother is lucky in the respect she can be paid for so much time off. It certainly wasn't the case 20 odd years ago.

Being 'sneery' towards people who have to work is pointless. It is an extension of that NCT competitive mother shite that will haunt you until the end of schooling.

megsmouse Tue 20-Aug-13 01:13:34

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

StupidFlanders Tue 20-Aug-13 00:55:06

Unusual? Seriously? I only know one person who wasn't back to work at 3 months (most go back part time) and we're all professionals.

kiwik Tue 20-Aug-13 00:47:56

Paid maternity is only 14 weeks here, so I went back after that each time. DH is self employed, and is ploughing money into expanding his business, so it made sense for me to get back to work and earning as soon as possible after the first couple of DCs.

NatashaBee Tue 20-Aug-13 00:28:10

She is lucky to have the choice. I know of several people in the UK who went back within 3 months due to finances. In the US where I live now, 3 months is considered a good deal and is the maximum time your job will be protected for, I know it's similar for other European countries. I think the UK is the exception rather than the norm.

madamginger Tue 20-Aug-13 00:07:06

When DD was born in 2006 I went back when she was 5 months old, as mat leave was only 6 months. Having a year off is a very recent thing.

2rebecca Mon 19-Aug-13 23:42:55

I did but am self employed in a small business. Long maty leave is a luxury. It also makes small businesses less inclined to take on women of child rearing age. I think we've shot ourselves in the feet with prolonged maty leave. Working part time and just having a few weeks off is much better for small businesses, especially if you're going to have 2 or 3 kids.

Blondeshavemorefun Mon 19-Aug-13 23:39:23

I'm a nanny and many of my jobs have been when the mum returned to work after having bubs and they've been 3/4mths old

Your friend is an arse to make you feel bad

Snazzyenjoyingsummer Mon 19-Aug-13 23:38:36

I don't know anyone who has done that. However, your friend was rude and thoughtless.

chickensaladagain Mon 19-Aug-13 23:34:59

Dd2 is 9 and I only took 12 weeks mat leave because that's all that was paid and if I remember right, I got 6 weeks at 90% and 6 weeks SMP which was under £100 a week -after 12 weeks it was unpaid

My mat leave was triggered at 33 weeks due to SPD and she was a week late so I returned at 4 weeks

I was a zombie but my partner was made redundant with no redundancy a week before she was born so needs must

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