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Really want a second child but more responsible to wait?(29 Posts)
That's it really. My baby is 1 and I'd love to TTC. I'm a professional in a job I've worked hard to get and am currently moving between posts/looking for a new job. We have decided to wait until I have safely moved to the next long-term job but I'm not sure I want to wait that long. If we do, it will be 6 months minimum until I TTC.
Has anyone else been in this kind of situation, where it is more practical to wait but you really want to get cracking and have the kids close together?
I have 4 dc and IME the really close age gap of 14 months is the best one
Depends on your age, what if you have fertility issues? Some of these things really can't be planned.
I'm only going to have two and so want advice if it's better to work hard at career for a gap of time in the middle, or whether to just have them quite close together and sort it out afterwards.
I don't think there is a definitive answer about 'what is best'. It depends on whether you attach more importance (happiness, self-worth, sense of identity) to having an established career or to having two kids close together. And you could have both those things if stuff pans out right of course, but you don't know in advance.
Personally I really wanted my kids close in age (they have 25 months between them) and found that more important than career. It really worked for me as having two kids has made me a much more confident and capable person than before. And more self-motivated as well. So for me it will probably help me in the long run career-wise.
Good luck with your decision.
My advice is to consider the cost of childcare for two it is extortionate! I have a 25 month age gap and only figured out the cost of this once I was pregnant. I won't be able to afford to go back to work full time (& I'm in a high paid profession). I suppose its less of an issue if you have grandparents who can help out though.
I wanted children relatively close together but you can't plan these things at all, my first it took us ages to conceive the second I seemed to only think about it & I was pregnant!
there's a year and 3 days between my two...
not out of choice.
but I love it even though I have double the amount of nappies to buy!
Having been back at work for just over 1.5 years before going back on maternity leave for DC2, I'd say it's best to have your children before you start to focus on your career fully again. IME people are waiting for you to have a 2nd child after the first mat leave so your career doesn't quite pick up in the way you might hope. Obviously not everyone will experience the same thing but that is what I found (lawyer).
good point twiglets - I'm in a similar profession and I hadn't thought of that.
IMO waiting until an ideal job comes along doesn't always work out that way. I had ds1 when I was a locum GP - self-employed so I didn't get proper mat pay. When I had dd2 I was in an ideal part-time job but still didn't get mat pay as I'd only been in it for 6m when I went off on mat leave, rather than the required 12m. Then they couldn't be flexible with my hours in any way when I returned to work and I couldn't figure out suitable childcare so I resigned and now just do out of hours work - evenings until midnight, so sacrifice on sleep but don't need daytime childcare. I'm lucky I can do that, but just wanted to make the point that you can't guarantee the 'perfect job' and the ideal situation when you have a baby. I would advise just getting on with it and finding the dream job after! All the best.
I am sitting here waiting for an interview for a new job that would screw up maternity leave in the future, and in month 4 of ttc #2. When you've found the right answer, can you let me know?
Yes! Am in a similar situation now. DS is 5 (from a previous relationship) and I'm really conscious that time is ticking away for him to be young enough to have a good sibling relationship with the next one. Which is silly, because I know there are positives to having a larger sibling gap as well.
We have just moved, and I have started a new career and I want to get experience in this before I go off on maternity again. And we're adjusting to living together as a couple after living apart for ages and working out the legal bit about getting married. It's definitely not the right time. But sometimes I get the urge and I want to do it NOW!
I think practically, a smaller age gap is harder work for longer. You're probably looking at 2 years of "OMG what the hell have we done?!" rather than one, because the older one needs to be at least 3 to initiate games and the younger one needs to be walking and talking a little bit to join in.
From my point of view having an older child (this would not have been my view when DS was 1) I really need the space away from him and my own identity rather than just "mum". I enjoy being mum, of course, but I find it so hard to see my partner being able to be "Dad" and also "Dave" (not his real name). Not "Dave, X's dad" but "Dave". I need that as well. So it's very important for my mental health that I keep that link open. Although, other posters make a good point that sometimes it can be easier to focus on the career more fully once you know you're done with babies and toddlers. And that would mean you can take longer to focus on the very intense first year or two with two children.
I think it depends. I'm in a career that I just cannot successfully keep up with 2 children (also because of how DH's work is).
So I decided to have DC1 (earlier than expected as we were expecting to take longer than a month to get pregnant!) then a gap, during which time I went back to work FT and hopefully I'll get my next promotion before going on mat leave.
Then after mat leave I'll look around for a more suitable job BUT in the meantime I'll have a higher grade and higher salary than if I'd had two close together IYSWIM.
As it is we'll have 2.8 years which isn't big but isn't small either!
It is tricky to balance especially as you never know how long it'll take to get pregnant.
I agree with twiglet about getting a couple of children (if you are planning to have 2 or more) reasonably quickly before you refocus on your career.
I have used the kinds of "between jobs" circumstances you describe in your OP as a good time to get pregnant.
Waiting for the next good job, getting appointed and then sodding off after a year or so (and being pregnant not long into it) doesn't seem ideal from the perspective of making the most of the opportunity career-wise.
There are so many opportunities you might have to turn down in that potential new job because you are too tired/too pregnant/about to go on leave/on leave/have a tiny baby.
If things are slow career-wise now, my approach would be to seize the opportunity to fit a pregnancy in ASAP.
I'm actually the exact opposite OP.
My dc1 is 1 year old, we want another, and in many ways a small age gap would be sensible (DC would play together sooner... good maternity pay from current job... get back to focusing on job, or able to move to new job without worry about mat pay eligibility, sooner...).
But I just can't face it! DC1 has been hard work in many ways (premature, terrible sleeper etc) and I'm not a natural with babies. I actually can't imagine how I would cope if I had another baby like DC1, and a young toddler to manage as well. So I'm aiming for a 3 year age gap or thereabouts.
Ah minipie I wish we could swap circs!
Are you still employed in your old job Delilah? if so then in your shoes I'd be inclined to put the career move on hold and get on with no 2 ASAP - even if the old job is not where you want to be long term you'll only have to stick it out for 9 months (assuming you get pg quickly of course).
If you still have a job, unless it's dire, I'd stick with it and have the second child if you want to do so. Then you can start a new job if you still want to move on on a clean slate so to speak
My experience in the City has been that once you get on the baby making train your career grinds to a halt until it is clear that you've gotten off. That clarity in my experience is only there when you move on and recent mat leaves are not part of your work experience.
If you want to move on, sit down and do your maths as to when your rights to any mat allowance will kick in but waiting 6 months to be pregnant (and even then it will seem unbelievably quick to your new employer) is wise.
Two small children close together in age - first few years are going to be tough if you plan to work full-time and develop a new role. It's not necessarily easier with an age gap, more inconvenient imo as you have to sort school runs, after school care along with full time for No2.
My job is a fixed term thing, and so I have to move on!
Sensible thing is to wait then, sorry Don't know why you would wait 6 months though TTC - do you have a 6 month probation period under a fixed term contract? If you are re-employed immediately you will still get maternity allowance, just not what the company statutory policy is. More of a faff but in all likelihood no less money unless you find an employer quite generous with it's benefits. You may find that when you start your new job that the requirement is more like "must have been employed by the firm for at least 16 weeks before EWC date" or something like that.
Minipie - I delayed for exactly the same reasons but DD2 has been the easiest baby in the world. Happy smiley, slept through 8-8 apart from dream feed from 12 weeks. If DD1 had been the same I'd have 3 by now Instead we'll be stopping at 2 as I don't have the energy for another pregnancy. Another DD2 would be fine though
As someone who had 20 months between DCs, I would say WAIT!
We wanted a small gap as I wanted to be a SAHM and didn't want to have too long out of the workplace before I went back, but if I had had a career to go back to, I may well have waited. I found pregnancy with a toddler and then a new baby with a toddler utterly exhausting and I am only just enjoying things again now that DC2 has just turned 2 A 5 year gap sounds lovely from my perspective
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