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Did you get your career back on track after having kids?

(89 Posts)
toptramp Mon 20-Jun-11 17:38:30

If so am I being unreasonable to think how the hell did you manage it? I'm a single mum and I really miss my career. I have a part time job which I LOVE but the money is shite (minimum wage) and I am thinking I will either go back to teaching or retraiun. I am fed up with being skint and I am so not cut out to be a stay at home mum.

toptramp Mon 20-Jun-11 17:39:13

How did you do it people?

Insomnia11 Mon 20-Jun-11 17:41:33

I went back to being a lawyer but I don't see my job as a career, it's a way to earn money.

I'm hoping to start my own business soon so I can be at home more. I've always been ambitious with regards overall happiness rather than climbing the corporate ladder etc.

Insomnia11 Mon 20-Jun-11 17:42:51

Went back 4 days a week, changed roles to be more local and have less stupid hours and stress, got a good childminder and have lovely inlaws who have them 1 day a week.

mumblechum1 Mon 20-Jun-11 17:44:58

I'm a lawyer too but have never been unemployed. After ds1 i went back to work for the same company but on 3.5 days, after ds2 we moved almost immediately but I found a job in a new co. when he was about 6 months old, again p/t.

I think it can be a big mistake to give up work altogether tbh. At one point I was earning £16 net per week after paying for childcare, cleaner, gardener etc etc but it was worth it in the long run. I still work p/t 19 years later blush

toptramp Mon 20-Jun-11 17:47:13

oh god- i couldn't not work. my job is what i look foward to! pay it shiteous though!

Stangirl Mon 20-Jun-11 18:27:18

I was lucky to be promoted to the highest level I ever wished to be in my organisation shortly before I became pregnant. Since then I've done mat leave, returned to work for 4 months, then went on the next batch of mat leave. I don't see my job as a career anymore - just the place I earn money and if I'm lucky enough to have a satisfying role than that's a bonus.

faintpositive Mon 20-Jun-11 18:33:24

No, i went back to work with cotton wool in my head, i was not myself and was bearly coping due to ds not sleeping (through the night till he was 5 and at school) so i was utterly uttery corps like.

It was about 4 years down the line when i was able to contemplate promotion or think of anything but "please God in heaven, let me sleep for more than 3 hours tonight"
Now im at the top of my game, but pregnant again...so expect it all to go to rat shit again smile

oneofthosedays Mon 20-Jun-11 18:34:05

I wouldn't say mine's a career as such but yes managed to get a decent job after nearly 2 years at home with DD, then when I had DS I went back after a years mat leave. The hours fit, the pay is reasonable, the people are fab and the job itself is for the most part enjoyable. I have no further career aspirations as such, no wish to 'climb the ladder' - it's a means to an end and I would be perfectly happy doing the job or similar for quite a few years to come.

oneofthosedays Mon 20-Jun-11 18:35:02

I'm part-time (20hrs pw) btw

GrimmaTheNome Mon 20-Jun-11 18:38:04

Yes, but I'm extraordinarily lucky in that my job is writing software, and I work from home. After mat leave we had a nanny; when DD started school I went to half-time working. My company has been admirably accommodating.

Going back to teaching might be a good option for you, as its more family-friendly than most professions, and its not too unusual to find jobshares, if you didn't want FT.

nenevomito Mon 20-Jun-11 18:41:14

I went back full time after both DCs and have been promoted in between. I suspect that if I had gone back part time, I would have found it a lot harder.

To be honest, I do see my work as a means to paying the mortgage and I'm not as driven as I used to be, but maybe that will change when the DCs are older and I'm not so bloody tired!!

MissMarjoribanks Mon 20-Jun-11 18:42:28

Yes. I work in the public sector though, so a bit more flexible and have an extremely supportive DH and ILs help out too.

I got pregnant partly to get out of a job I hated. It was also the right time for other reasons. I had always been massively ambitious and felt trapped, having moved to a position where I was promised everything and given nothing.

11 months into maternity leave, I had an interview for a new role. I got it. I went back 3 days a week. Three months later I was promoted again (within the organisation) and asked to go 4 days a week which I agreed to. DS does 3.5 days at nursery, 0.5 with ILs and I'm going to start working from home one day a week so I can pick him up early. DH does 3 out of 4 drop offs and 1 out of 4 pick ups.

I get in at 7.45, leave at 4.15 if I'm picking DS up, much later if not (sometimes 9pm), and work in the evenings at home. I spent an hour catching up on work emails every days of my holiday.

The job I've got now though is my dream job that I've been working towards since I started my career. I have no plans to move upwards for a good while yet. So although I still have my 'career', its pinnacle (for now) has nicely coincided with having children. I intend to start TTC another this year - my boss is fully aware of this but sees me as a long term investment.

StillSquiffy Mon 20-Jun-11 18:42:35

Yep. Have had lots of promotions since. BUT I did have to move firms - I think people who know you pre-babies find it difficult to gauge you post-babies.

sunshineandbooks Mon 20-Jun-11 18:43:41

I'm a single mum of two and I work full-time. I wouldn't call it a career though. TBH I have simply hung on to the job I had before having DC because with two pre-schoolers and no family support, no other employer would have me - I have to take too much time off (though I can work from home so I am able to make up the hours). My DC are due to start school this year and I have just applied to do some extra training with a view to kick-starting a new career. No way would this have been possible while they were pre-schoolers though.

If you have decent, flexible childcare and you're coping fine with working part-time, I'd say go for it. It's certainly do-able, but it does require support and a lot of stamina. Good luck. smile

StillSquiffy Mon 20-Jun-11 18:44:40

oops. forgot the 'how' bit. Do a job you love, don't do it for the money, maybe try to do 4 days a week, try to be flexible (eg staying late if needed). Emphasise to your bosses all the time how good your 'outputs' are. And ask for promotions.

happybubblebrain Mon 20-Jun-11 18:45:23

I have more of a job than a career but I prefer doing something I find easy rather than something that would mentally drain me. It wasn't a struggle for me to return to work after a year at home as my job is very relaxing and I work with friendly people. Most of the time I enjoy work.

scottishmummy Mon 20-Jun-11 18:45:29

yes,but went back ft after 6mth mat leave.maintained reading and kept in touch informally whilst on mat leave

also had my nursery places booked,sorted by 12wk pg,so work knew i was returning and i didn't stress about finding a baby room place, some folk i know looked too late struggled to get a good nursery

MissingMySleep Mon 20-Jun-11 18:46:11

I had a career, then had the kids and since then it's been a way to earn money and feel guilty about leaving kids at nursery. Corporate environment requires you sell your soul to the company and there is no room for anyone who isn't giving their all. I can't really give my all and do a good job w the kids too, it's beyond me. I can do a great job, and do, but so much more is required.

Since I have been part time my career has been down the toilet to be honest, but I have been working, and working hard.

emsies Mon 20-Jun-11 18:56:38

I'm thinking about going back to teaching but not 100% sure about the family friendlie-ness of it.

It is incredibly difficult to be off. I'm still not sure what I would do when my daughter is ill, as being in a new job and off for child's illness would be incredibly difficult career wise. Certainly in my previous school taking time off just didn't happen - even for parents.

The other thing is that even part-time it is just not at all flexible, I will miss child's assemblies, plays etc as you can't swap hours like in some jobs.

I'm a SAHM and was planning on retraining as a psychologist but due to having to move we are nowhere near an institution where I can continue with this.

Another big difference I've found is between those who have family who can child-mind (or a partner) and those that don't. A lot of friends down here have been able to continue working part time as they can rely on family and have flexible jobs and honestly just don't see why others can't do it.

It's such a different situation to be in when you know there is noone to fall back on sad.

2rebecca Mon 20-Jun-11 19:19:16

I didn't have kids until I was in a well paid job and I only took 13 weeks off with each.
I think if you have kids lower down the ladder and have a long time off, especially if not with protected maternity leave it is harder.

Funtimewincies Mon 20-Jun-11 19:25:49

Nope, temporary contract which was never going to be extended once I was pregnant and no suitable part time teaching jobs across 4 LEAs to apply for.

SnoozleDoozle Mon 20-Jun-11 19:35:21

It depends what you mean I suppose. Before my first child I had a job with an ok salary, but which was utter misery to me.

I resigned at the end of my maternity leave, worked on temp contracts for a couple of years, then got a job for 20 hours a week. It doesn't pay as well as my previous job (even if I was doing it full time) but ironically it is more challenging, with more responsibility, and I love it. So, to me, its career success of sorts, but do I earn much money or have a high flying career? No, not by a long way, but I can live with it.

ThisisaSignofthetimes Mon 20-Jun-11 19:45:53

Waited until career was established then had kids. Went back after 6 months, work 4 days a week. I went back in at the same level and have since moved up. I was lucky inso much as my role has and continues to be much in demand. I think it's harder to climb the ladder after kids but not impossible so for that reason I waited until I felt that I had attained a reasonable position, none of my employers have ever felt that I was less committed for not working full time.

chandellina Mon 20-Jun-11 20:10:10

i am on a 4 day week but will eventually go back to 5. otherwise my career has never been better and i've been offered promotions. i couldn't do it without a spouse though, since he handles the morning handover to our nanny, and makes a big contribution financially. my sole pay would never be enough to live on and have any form of childcare.

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