To ask if it is foolish to think a career doesn't have to stop if you have a baby?

(61 Posts)
Workworkwork1 Mon 05-Sep-16 19:00:40

Been trying to get our ducks in a row. Qualifications tied up, house bought, wedding approaching. We are 24 and 27.

Work is currently holding me back. I work in the NHS and there is this ethos among those who talk about it that you should hit band x before you TTC. Seemingly they think everything will stop and you'll settle there forever.

My background/quals means I am capable of getting to director level (one day!) if I graft. Part of me doesn't want to wait what I think will be 3-4 years from now to hit that band. I'd rather just start TTC sooner and carry on the career battle alongside having a baby or two. I know it might not happen straight off the bat or at all, which is another reason I don't want to hold off...

I know priorities would change/our lives would flip on their head, but am I being completely foolish to think I can still climb the ladder if we TTC in more like 1-2 years, when I am about 4 years in to this career?

Crisscrosscranky Mon 05-Sep-16 19:04:31

I had DD at 19 and I am now 27. I'm a band 8a so I'd say so long as you don't mind sacrificing being able to pick your kids up from school and you don't mind working in the evenings having a baby doesn't mean the end of your career by any means.

That being said, I've made a conscious decision not to move any further up until DD is at senior school.

scurryfunge Mon 05-Sep-16 19:05:28

If child care and support is in place it should not matter. Go for it. I changed career from a child friendly career (teaching) to shift work when DS was 18 months. Your career progression is important.

NerrSnerr Mon 05-Sep-16 19:15:22

I don't think there's any reason why you shouldn't remain climbing the career ladder. I have chosen not to and am staying a band 6 for foreseeable future as I have found a majorly flexible job which works brilliantly with family life. It's a job which means I can work school hours in a few years and chop and change my hours. If I wanted to go for a band 7 now I would and don't think I'd be discriminated against. I just don't want to.

CosyCoupe88 Mon 05-Sep-16 19:17:09

I was in my third year of teaching when I got pregnant. Is a pay scale thing too. I was on a leadership course and had a responsibility point. I had a lot of discrimination at the school I was at. They managed to take away my leadership point as it was only temporary for first year of it as was a new scheme but gave it to someone else. They then tried to stop me going up the pay scale for the most ridiculous reasons. I fought them on appeal and won but It was a lot of stress and I just fell out of love wth my job as I had been treated so badly after being so dedicated to it. Maybe that paired with being a new mum but I just took a massive step back amd went part time and got a new job at a new school. Much happier for it. Have now gone up pay scale successfully and backdated for the year my old school tried to stop me. Now little one is 2 I am back on the career band wagon but definitely more on the slow burner. I am happy with that though and think that I may have burnt out anyway without that reality check that my job was taking over my life have a much more healthy work life balance now and although my career has slowed down I think that's mostly because I've chosen to slow it down. I have decades and decades to get to where I want to be in my career and am enjoying the journey getting there a lot more now too.

I never in a million years thought I would choose to go part time but when little one came along my priorities just turned upside down and I was able to get used to less income after the year of maternity pay slowly decreasing anyway! Love being a mum and glad I had him when I did (I was 26)

I still rememebr when I told my school the first thing they said was "oh no.. but your career? Was it an accident?" Haha

CosyCoupe88 Mon 05-Sep-16 19:18:52

Am still a teacher by the way just a much better school in terms of management and my department smile

GruffaloPants Mon 05-Sep-16 19:19:07

What NHS job can you get to 8d/9 in your twenties?!

I'd TTC when you are ready. There's never a right time, and it is possible to progress at work after kids. Having a supportive, hands on partner helps a lot.

CosyCoupe88 Mon 05-Sep-16 19:22:29

You could end up waiting for 4 years then and up waiting many years to fall pregnant . If you can afford little ones now then i would go for it. You'll still keep progressing.. You'll find your feet and not come to a standstill for the rest of your career smile

welshweasel Mon 05-Sep-16 19:22:59

There's no reason why you can't have both. But be prepared for feeling differently about your career after having a baby. I'm a surgeon, always been very career focussed, went back after 3 months maternity. I love my job but I don't have the same drive as I did before and I'll always choose time at home over extra sessions at work.
I've moved into a slightly easier, less competitive sub specialty to reduce the time I have to spend at work and also my stress levels. If you'd told me a few years ago that I'd be in the job I'm in and very happy with my lot I would never have believed you.

CosyCoupe88 Mon 05-Sep-16 19:23:51

If it feels right now to ttc that meant to say too.! My 2 year old is slapping my phone so sending before have finished haha

Diddlydokey Mon 05-Sep-16 19:24:36

In my experience there is very much a glass ceiling. It is the expectation that you will be part time and not interested once you have kids. I always have it noted that I want to progress and develop where possible but recently there was a potential promotion and there was the assumption by my colleagues that another childless woman would get it, despite my experience and I think that is because I'm just a mum.

CosyCoupe88 Mon 05-Sep-16 19:26:50

Welshweasel s comment sums up my feelings perfectly!

hazelnutlatte Mon 05-Sep-16 19:29:12

There is nothing to stop you going for promotions when you have small dc - but many people (including me) choose not to because when you are settled in a job with a reasonable work life balance there is a lot of incentive to stay! More senior jobs might expect you to work late regularly and this is difficult when you have childcare to arrange. If you have a supportive partner who is able to do lots of the childcare pick ups and or work part time then it makes life a lot easier.

hazelnutlatte Mon 05-Sep-16 19:30:34

I'd also like to know what profession you are - I don't think I know anyone in their mid twenties above a band 6

Workworkwork1 Mon 05-Sep-16 19:32:40

Thanks all, interesting to hear experiences and opinions. Sad that some of you have had rotten treatment or been viewed differently on the basis of having children. Work isn't everything to me already. It's a means to a (hopefully) relatively comfortable life, which is why I've tried so hard to sculpt a decent career. DP has a good job but his prospects to go up are not great. I like my career path but it's not my life.

GruffaloPants where have you read 8d/9 whilst in twenties?

IPityThePontipines Mon 05-Sep-16 19:33:28

I'm wondering about the Band 8a at 27 too.

If you want to have a baby now, have a baby now. Jobs and careers may change and fertility isn't infinite.

It's a very dodgy assumption that you won't progress if you have children, especially considering that we are all meant to have very long careers ahead of us.

NerrSnerr Mon 05-Sep-16 19:36:05

OP, I think it's because you said you can hit director level and it will take 3/4 years to get to the band.

absolutelynotfabulous Mon 05-Sep-16 19:37:12

I was 42 when I had dd. Very career focused, very driven.

As soon as I had her, I did a very swift about turn and I have not given a shiny shit about work since! Mind you, I was heading for an ulcer heart attack or something...

Like a pp said, be prepared for a change in priorities.

hippydippybaloney Mon 05-Sep-16 19:37:15

I think OP is meaning 'band X' that she mentions people say she should get to first before ttc, not that she would be at director level on 3-4 years.

Workworkwork1 Mon 05-Sep-16 19:37:16

hazelnutlatte I am a chartered accountant.

Workworkwork1 Mon 05-Sep-16 19:39:26

hippydippybaloney you are right. I didn't want to say the band as I know people have different expectations and views on what is good and what isn't.

kateyjane Mon 05-Sep-16 19:47:24

I turned up at my very first teaching post (23)
and said "Sorry, I'm two months pregnant!" It wasn't meant to happen then - but it did and she's now a fabulous 14 year old - followed by another 3 (11,9,6). It meant I could only have 8 weeks off with my first DD, and the longest maternity leave I had was 4 months. However, I am now on the senior leadership team (worked in 4 schools - promotion each time - supportive each time). I have 4 wonderful DCs and a career that I love (most of the time). I've definitely missed out on things, but it has just about all worked out! Good luck - there is no doubting that it is incredibly hard work!

Houseconfusion Mon 05-Sep-16 19:56:07

If you and partner have a good salary, that pays childcare preferably with the vouchers as well, if you have clear ambitions and are already performing well and if you don't take too long a break no reason for career to suffer or have a break.

DS is ten months old.we use a childminder. Flexible hours to mirrors the flexibility that comes with academia at a respectable lecturer grade. I work very hard and productively including on my research evenings and weekends as that's my passion and drives me.

Nothing has suffered. We have no family help either. Two good salaries a very hands on DH who doesn't have career goals but rather a hard worker at his well paying 9-5 and an ambitious and hard working me plus a blessing of a flexible and affordable childminder has meant neither of us has had a career break at all.&! Fact this past year has been my professionally best year yet :-)

Squeegle Mon 05-Sep-16 19:56:13

I think what happens is that in general priorities do change. Looking after children takes time on your day, it requires juggling and you get tired! Your life becomes a series of things that need to be done. So you start to get reluctant to add to the list by taking on more responsibility at work. It's not like this for everyone, and it depends on your partner. Trouble is for most of us we women do tend to do the lion's share- and that does change your whole attitude to work. There's only so much that can be done in a day.

Houseconfusion Mon 05-Sep-16 19:56:55

Oh and my career passion hasn't lessened one bit after falling in love with DS smile

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