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Going back to work when baby 6 or 10 months old(32 Posts)
My baby is only a couple of months old. I have the opportunity to go for a new job that would offer less UK travel, and hopefully greater work life balance. Interviews are in November though and even holding to a notice period of 12 weeks, if I was successful I'd need to start when my baby is 6 months old. I'd agreed with my current employer that I'll go back there when the baby is 10 months old, but I'm concerned that I just can't fulfil the amount of travel expected of the role (my boss would offer some flexibility but ultimately the job does need to be done). My dilemma (which is extremely hypothetical at the mo!!) is...do I go for a job I've always wanted that starts earlier and offers more flexibility and benefits OR do I take the extra 4 months with my gorgeous DC and return to an employer that I'm not mad for, but at least know???
I would only do either if 4 days p/wk and salaries would be the same.
I hope some of that makes sense. Just not sure I want to go through an interview process unless def want the role anyway. I recognise there's a good chance I wouldn't get it anyway..!!!
Thanks for any views or advice
One quick note - I definitely need to return to work!
How do you feel about leaving your baby that young, are you breastfeeding as that would make it more difficult, and will this opportunity ever come up again?
I would go for the job you really want, which offers more benefits in the long term.
There will probably be others along to say the same thing soon: until recently it was very very Normal for mums to return to work much earlier; in fact I returned before mine were 6 months. In terms of adjustment for the baby, it's probably easier than starting to leave them between 9-12 months, which is when separation anxiety peaks. So ironically, the longer maternity leave available now actually doesn't always work to the best advantage. As far as breastfeeding is concerned, it's perfectly possible to continue exclusively feeding breastmilk after returning to work, though I assume you will be starting to wean at this point anyway.
Weigh up the short term advantage of getting an extra 4 months off work, with the long term benefits of a job you enjoy more, with more flexibility.
I would definitely go for the latter; it just seems to offer more of what you want.
It'll be easier for the baby if you go back at 6 months. - either will be hard for you! Go for the job you really want, the extra four months with the baby will absolutely fly by and you'll wish you'd gone for it while you had the chance. I think the extra flexibility is a big bonus with dc. Good luck!
Go for the job you want long term.
FWIW, I went back at 4.5 months, and ds got only breastmilk till 6 months and continued bfing till 23 months even with me travelling for work, so its certainly no bar to bfing
Thanks everyone. I don't think this opportunity is going to come up again. I went for a job there three years ago and didn't get it, so they may not want to interview me anyway! I really appreciate your views x
I went back at 6 months and was so glad as when DC was 9-10 months he went thro separation anxiety and if I wasnt already at work id have blamed myself and work IYSWIM.
I went back at 7 months and never looked back. Little boy has never really had any show stopper separation issues like other kids and is super social and takes everything his stride!
Went back to work today and DD has just turned 6mths. I could have waited until she was 12mths to return but there was no guarantee that the team I wanted to work with would still have a position then so opted to go back early. This morning was harder on me than baby.
Are you totally certain of when you'd need to start? Sometimes employers can offer a bit of flexibility on start date. Worth asking.
I don't think they'd wait any longer than the typical notice period of 3 months, which would give me more time. It's a full time role that I'd only consider part time, so not sure they'd flex anymore on start dates etc. I find out today if I've been shortlisted for an interview, so know I'm getting a bit ahead of myself, but felt guilty just putting my CV in while DC is so tiny! I just don't want to go back to a high pressured job with lots of UK travel for the sake of 3-4 months, but always thought I'd find a job closer to home 3 days a week. It turns out those sort of jobs are few and far between at the moment!
If I do get an interview, next worry will be how I attend that while breastfeeding a tiny person! One step at a time...
Thanks again all. It's good to hear that it could actually be a positive to go back a bit early, rather than when DC is 10-11 months old.
Well it might be worth making a request, you never know. I did the same, went for a role (part time though) when DD was 4 months old. I got offered it, was able to argue down to 2 days a week in office instead of 3, and was clear that I wouldn't start until DD was 6 months. So it can be done. If they say no, they say no.
Wrt fitting bf around interviews, I know the bf board on here has a bit of a reputation but they seem pretty good with the practical advice. Might be worth asking for tips on there?
Don't get in a stress about bf. If you get called for interview (fingers crossed!) then you will need to work around the practicalities and maybe have some one caring for the baby nearby so you can bf shortly before if you need to and then again before returning home.
And of course you'd need to work into a routine for expressing milk if you get the job anyway... One tip is that a 6 month old may happily drink bm from a cup if they aren't used to a bottle. My babies were exclusively fed bm for a couple of months after my return to work but preferred a cup rather than bottle; you just need to work out a routine and drop off the bm at the childminder/ nursery which will be something they should be used to for younger babies
Oh goodness, just heard I've got an interview for the job. One step closer! It could be the sleepless nights but for some reason crying about it...! I feel so bad for actively seeking an opportunity that will mean I leave my daughter earlier. One step at a time though.... xx
Go for it!
You could go back to work and your OH could take 2 months - 6 months off? (He's entitled to any statutory pay you don't use; and the law has changed so any dad is entitled to the leave).
Hi there, my DH is in a relativity new job so wouldn't be able to take my mat leave. I feel awful just going to the interview. One of my friends asked me if I wasn't enjoying my mat leave so wanted to go back to work...! I don't want people to think I don't love my daughter to bits. xx
I'm sure she will be fine Queazy. My DS started in childcare at just under 6 months. It was hard at first (for me!) but it was no easier for my friends who went back after a year. In fact, their DC struggled much more to settle in, cried a lot due to separation anxiety, whereas at 6 months my DS wasn't bothered as he was so little. He is all smiles when I drop him off and has lots of fun, but is also happy to see me when I pick him up.
You need to think long term what is best for you and your DC. If you're going to go back to work at some point, it's almost better to do it earlier.
And remember, everyone feels terrible when they first leave their DC with someone else!
Well done for getting the interview. Remember, you don't have to make a decision now- there's no guarantee you'll be offered the job anyway. Maybe approach it as good interview experience and go from there?
And ignore any so called friends who make snidy remarks about you not enjoying maternity leave... That's utter nonsense. I loved my maternity leaves, and it goes without saying that I love my children to bits, yet I still enjoyed returning to work too . The two things aren't mutually exclusive! If anyone had been rude enough to say that to me is have replied 'of course I love being on leave... I'm just lucky I have a job I love too '
Thanks again for all your messages. I've been offered the job...much better prospects but will mean leaving gorgeous DC at 6 months. My DH thinks I should just go for it but very torn as love my DC so much xx
Congrats -I went back at 6 months with DS1 and someone else said actually in some ways it can be easier for them to settle in childcare at that age -as at 10 months some can get quite back seperation anxciety. Have you manage to get 4 days a week - if so I would go for it - its sounds like you who be able to spend more time with you DC with it
Babies are only babies for a short while. You have til retirement age to work. Baby should be with you as long as possible .
Take it. It might feel like a wrench now, but so will going back to work in four months.
You need to think of those late evenings spent on a delayed train getting back from the arse-end of nowhere; they will be what keeps you from your DD in a much more significant way than going back to work earlier than planned.
I went back when DD1 was ten months, and DD2 six months. DD2 adjusted far more easily than DD1. So did I. I think it's always difficult to leave your PFB, four months won't make the difference- being able to pick her up and play with her before bed every evening instead of being stuck in Middlesborough will, though.
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