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About second maternity leave

(22 Posts)
Auntycoops Fri 16-Dec-16 14:54:01

We have a dd (16 months) and have recently been talking about the possibility of another child.

Both me and DH are keen, but I am worried about work. I only went beck to work in September after a year off with dd and am worried about how my work will take news of a second pregnancy.

Loads of our friends have taken much longer to conceive their second child so I kind of want to start soon as I don't want a huge age gap.

I know that legally there is nothing they can do, but i am worried about my colleagues/boss feeling resentful. I would definitely take another full year.

Any stories from anyone who has done a similar thing would be much appreciated or opinions from employers would be great to.

TheNextCaroleMiddleton Fri 16-Dec-16 15:04:35

Hi, I went back to work after taking a year off with DD and then I was pregnant again 6 weeks later with DS, so I was back in the office for 9.5 mths before going on mat leave again. To be honest, I think there is almost an expectation of having a second child soon after the first, i.e. an age gap of 2-3yrs, I have 22.5 mths between mine and although there is no need to I've made it very clear I won't be having any more! So no negative experience here, I went in yesterday for my Christmas do (I'm not back at work until Feb) and everyone was lovely and we had a good catch up. However I work for a large multinational company so I might have a particularly favourable workplace. Good luck with ttc.

SpotTheDuck Fri 16-Dec-16 15:10:33

It's very very common to have a second baby not long after the first, your work will be half-expecting it!

I wouldn't personally feel guilty/bad about this - your family plans are always more important than your work.

If you do feel bad, or are worried how people will react, bear in mind from the point of view of your colleagues etc it's better if you get those early years of needing to leave early for nursery pick ups, taking days off when your child is sick, etc etc over in one go.

A friend has 3 children but they're each 5/6 years apart so she's actually been looking after young children with all of those small impacts on her work and employer for 15 years now, a small gap and quick repeat of maternity leave would probably have been better for her company.

JellyWitch Fri 16-Dec-16 15:15:11

JUST make sure you are back long enough to be eligible to decent maternity pay.

Glitterous Fri 16-Dec-16 15:16:57

A former colleague of mine took a years maternity leave, returned pregnant and went off again about 3 months later. Took a second year maternity leave, then returned only to go off a third time 9ish months later. She was promoted within a year of returning after her third.

PragmaticWench Fri 16-Dec-16 15:21:06

I really don't see that it makes much difference to a company if you have a short gap between two periods of maternity/paternity leave, the same amount of work needs to be covered rather than more.

JellyBert Fri 16-Dec-16 15:24:21

I went back to work after 13 months with DS in October. Got pregnant straight away & I'll be off for another year + in July.
I don't feel guilty at all! Always wanted a short age gap grin

May50 Fri 16-Dec-16 15:25:36

I'm sure they would expect it - having 2 children with 2 or 3 years gap is quite normal. You also have no idea how long it will take to conceive the 2nd.

OwlinaTree Fri 16-Dec-16 15:36:29

Depends on you and your job. I wanted to do a year at least before going on second mat leave. I then got a new role after 4 months so decided to make sure I could do that for a year before leaving again. Another consideration is nursery costs. These will drop when your first child is 3, so it's worth considering a 2 year gap so your eldest is 3 when you come back to work.

ollieplimsoles Fri 16-Dec-16 15:40:27

I'm with above, I would expect and prepare for a colleague to have another soon after the first/ second. Dont feel guilty, it's your family.

Delta1411 Fri 16-Dec-16 15:44:48

I fell pregnant within my probationary period at my job. I got signed off, but when I returned had a particularly unsupportive supervisor after a horrendous birth and PTSD diagnosis. I decided to have another baby quickly for a number of reasons. I changed supervisors when I found out I was pregnant and he was amazing. Returned to work after baby 2 (20 months between the first 2) and 6 months later found out I was pregnant again which was not planned.

Now I'm back to work (have been 1 year) I do have it thrown in my face that I've had a lot of time out. I'm doing incredibly well at my job, but when I wanted to apply for a specialised post was advised not to and to stay put for another year....basically repeating my probation.

I'm glad I have my kids but it's really hard work with three now 5 and under. I don't like feeling by-passed by people a lot less capable than me, but I'm not one to kick up a fuss.

You are right to have concerns but do what makes you happy. I applied for a different post but didn't get as far as I wanted. The boss of that job has came back and said the job is being readvertised next year and they want me. This post is probably a job I would only have dreamed of.

I like the people I work with, but the work is very intense and constantly requiring late finishes etc.

Delta1411 Fri 16-Dec-16 15:45:48

I would recommend having 2 close together, though personally have found three too much at times.

But be prepared that you will suffer at work if that is important to you.

Auntycoops Fri 16-Dec-16 19:53:59

Thanks all. As someone said it could take a while to conceive so shouldn't wait too long to try. Even if it happened immediately dd would be 2.3 when baby arrived so that's not that small a gap.

It's so hard to decide. I earn double what DH does so I feel my job is very important to us.

I do work for a large company, so they will have to accept it I suppose. My main worry is that I work in a very male dominated industry, and someone recently referred to my last mat leave as a years holiday angry

mum2Bomg Fri 16-Dec-16 20:10:40

I wouldn't worry about it - my friend got pregnant whilst on maternity leave and didn't even go back in the middle. She had 2yrs off! Your family is more important.

Crunchymum Fri 16-Dec-16 20:14:33

Had 13.5m off (1.5 months extra due to childcare issues) back for 12m then had another 12m off and then went back part time.

My childless manager made her feeling's very clear and I've since moved teams....

Frazzled2207 Fri 16-Dec-16 20:35:46

I was worried, as I got pg very soon after returning to work, but bosses were understanding and not remotely surprised.

I think having babies close together makes things slightly less messy for your career - Two mat leaves close together then in theory you can concentrate on your career again, whereas it would be more awkward to take time off, get your career back on track, then take time off again a few years later.
Just go for it, you never know it might take a while (or none at all, as in our case, despite it taking 2 years to conceive the firsthmm)

SomewhatIdiosyncratic Fri 16-Dec-16 22:16:15

I agree that a smaller gap can be less disruptive. I found having two childcare settings when they were split between school and nursery considerably more awkward than when they shared a setting. I've been put off a third as by the time I felt I had enough physical gap after two SPD pregnancies and recovery heavy births, then had a temporary opportunity at work, I'm now at the stage where DC2 would be in school, and I'd have an awkward 5 year gap of different settings and needs again. I haven't got spare years to make a much larger gap where the older two are more independent and have less impact on employment logistics.

Glitteryfrog Fri 16-Dec-16 22:32:36

My SIL went back about 10weeks pregnant. I think that would make people a bit hmm

stargazer2030 Fri 16-Dec-16 22:36:26

Your family is more important. You will be at work a long time afterwards so do what's best for you.

DailyFail1 Fri 16-Dec-16 22:55:54

Most employers will be expecting this, but not all will be nice about it if you take the full mat leave every time. My boss had 4 kids back to back & was promoted really quickly several times (she is now a senior VP) but she only took 12 months for all of them. Another colleague had 2 took 12 months off for both & now 4 years later has only just received a promotion. Both women started on the same level, but in Investment banking they do prefer you take a shorter mat leave when you're in senior roles.

ohlalalalalalalala Fri 16-Dec-16 23:54:38

If you work for a large company I wouldn't give it a second thought. They have planning and budget in place to cushion things like this, so don't worry... they wouldn't be so worried about you!
To share my own experience, I work for a large company.. they have a global presence, for perspective. I'm middle management, worked for them for a long time, 17 years... since I was 17 years old!
Climbed my way up the ladder merrily for the first 10 years, in a good position now, well paid. Then had ds1. And that's where the career door shut!!! I've been in the same position now for 7 years and I'm finding it very hard to move on. Dd is 3 bow. I've been actively overlooked for opportunities. And admittedly I have shied away from applying for new roles.. I'm afraid they will affect my flexible working hours agreement. I don't have the confidence I used to and as a result of the energy I put into home life, I don't have the same vava voom that some of the young free and singles have!
But this is he path I chose... I don't think working mothers have the same opportunities as non parents. Like it or not, we definitely don't have gender equality... taking gender out of the equation, working mothers don't have the same freedom to peruse other career opportunities

TheRealCurlySue Sat 17-Dec-16 00:09:41

I went back to work after a years maternity leave pregnant with my secret me DC.
I was back for about 4 months before going on leave again. Work were shocked (small business) but totally supportive. I think you must do what's right for you.

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