Is a third baby career suicide?

(24 Posts)
Shortninbread Fri 20-May-16 22:08:42

Hi all,

Thought I'd start a thread for parents of three or more and how it has affected their work-family life balance. Anyone's career going well with three or more children? Anyone feel like they are always a bit mediocre at two things - parenting and work? Anyone feel they lost their way with career after three?

I'm pregnant with my third. I was terrified about a career nosedive after DD1 and DD2, but strangely I don't have the same fears this time around. Curious to know what other people are experiencing.

Shortninbread Sat 21-May-16 18:39:56

Anybody? smile

AWhistlingWoman Sat 21-May-16 18:53:29

I don't think DC3 had any more impact than DC2! My career was already quite badly affected as I didn't wanted to work full time. I made that choice in the knowledge that it might well be the end to chances of promotion.
I work in quite a fast moving industry and each of the maternity leaves I took (took nearly a year off each time) I felt I was falling further and further behind. Sleep deprivation also didn't help as need a lot of concentration to do my job. And was definitely labelled in the office as 'the one with all the kids!'

Do feel a bit sad when I see DH advancing in his field sometimes but I think it was my decision to go part time, to take most of my maternity leave and to breast feed (baby wanted feed all night which did impact on my performance) that did for my career rather than having three children. Good luck - it is difficult to find the right balance but I don't regret the decisions that I made and one look at DC3 does cheer up when I feel down about it.

lljkk Sat 21-May-16 18:58:53

imho & ime yes, huge career impact.

JemimaMuddledUp Sat 21-May-16 19:02:43

I have 3 DC and went PT after DC2, yes it did effect my career when they were little. But I went back to working FT 2 years ago when DC3 was 8 (new job) and am working my way back up reasonably rapidly. Mainly through taking maternity cover secondments at a higher grade! The DC aren't little forever, they grow up soon enough and you can pick things back up again.

Ancienchateau Sat 21-May-16 19:03:03

My career nosedived after DC1 let alone DC3 sad On a more positive note, now they are older I do something completely different and am happy with it. I do dream of returning to my past career but am probably past it now.

uhoh2016 Sat 21-May-16 19:14:08

I've got 3 before I had dc3 I did 32hrs since going back after Maternity leave ive dropped to 24hrs dropping a day. I don't have a fantastic job but it's local and pays the bills. There is opportunity for progression but I've put that on hold at the minute why the children are young but I know it's an option as and when I'm ready too. My job will ALWAYS come 2nd to DH job as he earns far more than I ever will so at the moment my career is being sacrificed but that's more my choice, I could do it if I want but it means hardly any time with the children and paying for childcare.

Zhx3 Sat 21-May-16 19:22:24

I actually went for promotion within 3 months of returning after dc3, and got it! But the hours were gruelling and my pt request was not taken seriously. I quit after 18 months and retrained as a teacher. So my pay is a fraction of what I used to take home, but I do have lovely holidays with the children. Teaching is no easy ride though, I probably work the same hours but all compressed into term time! No plans to move back into management at the moment, although I might look at it when the dc are older.

Shortninbread Sat 21-May-16 20:01:03

Interesting thoughts on this. Big respect JemimaMuddle working your way back up. I try to remember I'm 40 and have another 25-30 years of work if I want it. That's ages!!!

My DH has agreed to share maternity leave this time around. Though I think he doesn't actually realise it's a proper career break. Like you, AWhistlingwoman, I took a year off for DCs 1 and 2. I loved it but always felt career was foundering. It's an amazing piece of legislation that dads can now take the leave. I'll be working from home so can still BF and have plenty of snuggles, but brain space to do work once handed over to house dad. She says, in theory....hmm

AprilLady Sat 21-May-16 20:11:13

My career definitely stalled for a while after DC1 and DC2 (whom I had in quick succession). Had DC3 a few years later; went back to full time work when DC3 was 3 years old, with DH taking some time off as a SAHD. Since then career has taken off again, and is going really well now. But I see much less of the DC during the week than I would like sad

misstiggywinkle21 Sat 21-May-16 20:32:36

I have 4. It's hard but do-able. Becoming a parent for the first time probably has more impact on your career than a 3rd or 4th baby. Work/life balance partly depends on your employer and your job but also on you to set boundaries. You never feel like you are a good enough mother or employee for sure - but that's probably mostly in your head. Good luck!

nephrofox Sun 22-May-16 07:05:42

For me it wouldn't be the year off, it would be the extra child's worth of sickness days etc when they can't go to nursery and you need short notice time off / leave early that would be the killer. My work are fab and very understanding, but it's a constant reminder that my priorities are different now.

littleducks Sun 22-May-16 07:19:00

Agree about the sickness days etc.

I have spent the last dy two weekends stressing that ds3 has chicken pox brewing as it's going round nursery. Unlikely as he had it last year but the consequences are such a pita atm that I'm giving it headspace.

My oldest is going to start secondary soon and I'm actually looking at ways to be home more as it means no childcare after club (and im thinking more homework and teen drama).

So for meit wasn't a short blip but ongoing changes

GinnyMcGinFace Sun 22-May-16 07:27:40

I have five children and I'm a deputy head teacher. It's probably safe to assume I could have been a head teacher by now without four lots of maternity leave but it just slowed things down rather than 'ruining' my career. I just sort of factored it in if that makes sense?

thenewaveragebear1983 Sun 22-May-16 07:30:53

Mine has because I'm not going back! I imagine 4 years off will pretty much decimate my career. Although, if it was happy and fulfilling, I would be returning so......right now I'm looking forward to some precious time off with my kids.

MintyBojingles Sun 22-May-16 08:39:01

Being pregnant with DC2 seems to have wrecked my career. Totally being squeezed out. Not legal, but I can't prove it sad

Shortninbread Sun 22-May-16 09:05:23

Sorry to hear it Minty. I have at least two friends where the same thing has happened. Made to feel like they couldn't fit back in with the company expectations.

CassandraAusten Sun 22-May-16 09:34:14

I have three DC. I was a SAHM when they were little, so of course that impacted on my career. But now they're at school and I'm back at work and it's going well. Yes I could be further along if I hadn't had DC, but I'm happy and fulfilled and I have no regrets.

minipie Sun 22-May-16 21:01:49

In my (limited) experience it depends more on the nature of your children than the number.

A friend has 3 DC and is full time, working towards big promotion

I have 2 DC and am (self placed) on the mummy track, part time

The difference is that hers are good sleepers, rarely ill, pretty compliant

I have one who was prem and has minor SN and another who has been ill constantly for months, and are both awful sleepers. I had great intentions of my career being unaffected but in the end I simply couldn't do it, I was too tired. (And that's even with DH doing his share at night).

SansaClegane Sun 22-May-16 21:18:19

I'd say yes, but it happened after DC2 (was already a SAHM when having DC3). I put in a request to change my (already part-time) hours to better fit with school hours as my DC1 was changing from nursery to a pre-school. The request was accepted, but then I was conveniently made redundant during a 're-structure' of the company before the change of hours came into effect. I'm sure they just looked for a reason to get rid of me tbh, I was very inflexible due to the kids, and very expensive (the only other part-timer was on much lower wages and had her mother nearby to cover childcare in case of illness etc).
Now with three, I'm not even sure I could afford to go back to work as I don't know how I'd sort the childcare over the 14 weeks of school holidays, even if I did find a part-time job somewhere that fit into school hours. I assume the only solution would be a non-teaching job at a school but I believe they're like gold dust!
My plan now is to look into studying again and start fresh when the DC are a bit older (it will take me 6 years to finish a masters anyway if I study part-time).

newmummyagain Tue 24-May-16 14:39:11

Where do you feed your baby at night?

I'm breastfeeding my 3 month old baby. He's not the best feeder and I can be feeding him for 1-1 1/2 hours (sometimes less). He's a sleepy feeder and sometimes I find myself drifting off and waking and he's asleep (but still attached!). I feed him propped up in bed with lots of cushions. I usually find I'm more slumped by the end of a feed as I'm exhausted!

It's doing my back no good. Do most people feed in a chair? I'll have to rearrange upstairs to get a small tub chair up there, or come downstairs at night. Not my preferred option as sometimes I think he's finished and then he wants feeding again (down side of a sleepy feeder).

Just wondering what others do. I've always fed in bed (3rd baby) but this one is the longest feeder and my back isn't coping!

CityDweller Tue 24-May-16 14:53:53

Pretty much everyone I know who has more than 1 child has made the decision for one parent to scale back work/ career. So, usual pattern is one working FT and the other working PT around school/childcare. For us, the one going PT/ scaling back is DH, but I guess for most families it tends to be the woman.

mrsplum2015 Tue 24-May-16 15:47:54

Yes. Because to afford 3dc and me to take the time off I wanted, and be as available as I want for the dc, dh has had to seriously upscale his career. I have then had to go back to work on a non career focussed path (to be able to support his career)...
I am lucky that I still earn decent money and do an interesting job with a lot of flexibility. But will I be progressing my career? Doubtful given I'm nearly 40 and will have a child under 18 for another 15 years!!

Shortninbread Wed 25-May-16 23:05:33

Yep Citydweller, that seems to be the case. We are friends with a few couples where the women are earning higher and therefore the dads are working more flexible hours. Not quite the norm yet, but so different to just a generation ago.

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