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To have another maternity leave close to the last two

(26 Posts)
4men1lady Mon 21-Nov-16 12:26:38

Posting here for opinions/personal experiences.

I'm currently on maternity leave which ends in a month. Before this I returned to work for 6 months after my first mat leave. I took a year for both lots of maternity leave.

The thing is, we are pretty certain we would like to try for another and both agree it'll be our last time.

The thing is, I worry about what colleagues would think of me. It's crazy I know as I should live how I want to but still doesn't help with the anxiety I suffer. Unfortunately, people's opinions of me matter a lot lately.

I would be returning to work for 3 months-ish before even trying. And then 9 months of pregnancy IF things were to go that well.

While I've been pregnant, I have never caused my colleagues more work, I've mucked in as normal and only ever taken 2 days off in the last two maternity leaves. I've worked up to 2 weeks before due dates in a very busy and stressful job doing long days.

Would I BU to even consider going off again so soon? I know at the moment this is hypothetical! My dh just thinks so what, we do what we want but it doesn't help the nagging feeling and I dare to admit embarrassment of having to tell my boss AGAIN. blush

LetMeHaveABloodyName Mon 21-Nov-16 12:29:07

Go for it. I've just returned back from mat leave (had 14 months off with annual leave) and found out I'm due again. I'll be having another year off.
I work for a large government company though so I suppose I might feel worse if it was a small business. But it shouldn't stop you trying to have another baby! Definitely not BU if that's what you both want.

Veggiesupremeextracheese Mon 21-Nov-16 12:29:29

No advice but am following as I'm in the exact same situation as you!

Scarydinosaurs Mon 21-Nov-16 12:31:21

I did it knowing it would probably make me ill (and it did). It's just part of life- you can't have children without getting pregnant!

TwentyCups Mon 21-Nov-16 12:32:12

Nothing to be embarrassed about. You are entitled to maternity leave. Imagine if you waited, for no reason other than not wanting to ask for leave, and then found it took a long time to conceive this time? If you want a small age gap then this is right for your family.
Go back, pull your weight at work, and see what happens. Do remember you don't have to inform your employer until 26 weeks (I believe), so hold off if you don't want to announce a pregnancy mere weeks after returning. This is such a life changing decision that embarrassment shouldn't come into it.
Think about it this way - would your husband be worrying about this??

Thisjustinno Mon 21-Nov-16 12:32:42

In my experience it does annoy colleagues but they know it's unfair to think like that and everyone needs to live their lives as they see fit.

4men1lady Mon 21-Nov-16 12:33:02

Thank you..I just sighed with relief.

If it helps context, I work for the NHS.
I returned to work last time already pregnant. This time I wouldn't be but would be trying really soon after returning.

Giveusawobble Mon 21-Nov-16 12:33:38

You've got to live your life and have the family you want. But don't kid yourself, people will think badly of it and you will feel guilty.

I felt so took the piss having two at one co quite close together after I'd just started, if Inhad wanted another I'd have gone for it but would understand there would be negativity.

Do you need the job? Could you quit and go back to a different one? Is it paid maternity or statutory?

Ultimately do what you want though!

Blue2014 Mon 21-Nov-16 12:35:58

I work with someone who has had 5 kids back to back. The team have been fine with it and she was promoted to manager with 5 months of returning from mat leave. Life is too short, do what you need

YoungGirlGrowingOld Mon 21-Nov-16 12:38:05

Not a popular view here I expect, but yes I do think that's a bit of a piss-take - sorry. If your plans work out then you will have actually worked less than 50% of your total commitment for a period of over 3 years. Yes it's your right and yes the maternity leave should absolutely be available, but this is precisely why men earn more/get promoted/are more likely to get the job when competing with an equally qualified woman. As a feminist and business owner, I find that pretty depressing. And I also think it's pretty naive to say that you have "never caused your colleagues more work" - if that's true, why would they even bother to employ you to fulfil your role? Of course someone has to carry the can in your absence.

blueturtle6 Mon 21-Nov-16 12:43:41

Ultimately its your choice, your loyalty is to you and your family.
However my view is tainted after I was made redundant, i will not put a business ahead of my own need again.

minipie Mon 21-Nov-16 12:44:32

I think a lot depends on how you act while you're back. If you put in a good performance and appear committed to the job, that will give a very different impression from if you spend half your time on the phone to your DC's nursery and take time off for child-related stuff every week. Having good childcare in place for your older 2 is key!

If you are committed and work hard when you are in the office then I reckon people quickly forget how long you took for mat leave/how far apart your leaves were.

Also this time it's not going to be only 6 months back in the office (which is pretty short), it's a year or so, which will feel very different to your employers I think.

4men1lady Mon 21-Nov-16 12:49:23

I've always told my manager quite early on as job requires lifting and coming across medication that I couldn't handle. my "don't give a shit" mood, I think I've got 30+ years to work so why not just do it now.

It's becoming a standing joke at work amongst colleagues..grin

MommaGee Mon 21-Nov-16 12:53:09

I think the never caused more work was in relation to whilst she's at work pregnant as in she doesn't sit there going I can't do that I'm pregnant.

As for taking the pee, short term you're only working 50% of 3 years but in the long run 3 kids maternity leave is the sane however far apart it is
You can't make your family based on the greater feminist cause (!) and unfortunately you have no actual idea how long pregnancy will take each time.

Good luck

4men1lady Mon 21-Nov-16 12:53:42

Younggirl - yes I completely see your point and it is those thoughts I've had myself. I have never caused more work for colleagues while at work! For my standard of work, nothing has changed at all. I've had really bad spd and still cracked on without a whinge.

4men1lady Mon 21-Nov-16 12:56:14

Thank you for your replies.
My colleagues have been great (to my face smile ).

What did make me feel better was an old work colleague telling me she worked with someone who had 6 consecutive maternity leaves shock

AnchorDownDeepBreath Mon 21-Nov-16 12:56:29

At the end of the day, you're likely to regret not having another baby purely so you don't annoy your colleagues far more than you'll regret upsetting them temporarily - and I'd wager that they actually won't be upset at all. Go for it.

ProfessorPickles Mon 21-Nov-16 13:05:08

Don't worry OP. Many families have 2-3 children with maternity leave needed!
Having them close together is probably going to work out better for you, both with close age gaps and because you'll be back to work without interruptions once you're ready smile
I'm very envious of you! smile

YoungGirlGrowingOld Mon 21-Nov-16 13:05:49

I do get it OP. I actually go off on a career break (for maternity leave) at the end of this month. I quit my job instead of taking 6 months maternity leave (the maximum I was permitted) because I was really uncomfortable about fulfilling either role as mum or partner in law firm properly. I also personally think it was unfair on my clients and on my team to leave things suspended for that long, but most of my colleagues and friends think I am mad! Of course I am lucky that we can afford the mortgage on just DH's income and that obviously influenced my decision.

At the end of the day, we all have to make choices that are best for our family and thankfully we have choices that didn't exist 30 years ago. Long may that continue! Good luck OP.

Artandco Mon 21-Nov-16 13:10:02

I think a whole year off each time is a lot. If you had just 7-9months I think they would see it diffently a bit as then that would be 2 years off over three children rather than 3 full years.
Could you consider sharing maternity with husband more? You take 6 months, then he takes 6 months?

WouldHave Mon 21-Nov-16 13:17:31

You'll have to decide how much you mind about other people's opinions, because the reality is that some people will be pissed off no matter how far you are in the right legally.

Doyouthinktheysaurus Mon 21-Nov-16 13:20:34

Are you a Nurse op? If so, might it affect your Revalidation? Having to provide clear evidence of CPD, feedback and practice hours could be problematic if you have been off for large parts of the 3 year cycle.

I do agree that you should make the right choice for your family rather than be guided by guilt though.

4men1lady Mon 21-Nov-16 13:24:57

Unfortunately, shared leave isn't an option. Dh is self employed with 1 member of staff who couldn't fulfil the jobs while dh was off so it would actually be the end of his business.

When I told my manager last time, she was great about it, kind of expects it with the male to female staff ratio and our ages so it's probably no surprise but equally stressful for managers.

Will try and put it to the back of my mind for now and take it as it comes.

Appreciate all your view points smile

4men1lady Mon 21-Nov-16 13:27:46

Doyouthink - yes I'm a nurse and just revalidated this year. It didn't seem a problem as I'd done quite a lot of further development and the hours turned out to be just over 3 months and a do quite a bit of reading while off.

I also plan to go back to uni next sept to do another module which will cover many hours of cpd. I have my managers support too.

4men1lady Mon 21-Nov-16 13:30:06

I suppose having to revalidate in 3 years gives me a bit of time smile

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