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At what point in your road to having DC did you realise that forging a good career and getting to see your DC as much as you want are pretty much incompatible?

(168 Posts)
Freddysteddy Tue 09-Jun-09 19:49:07

I think I realised this before I got pregnant, but not long before - so post-taking-out-a-big-mortgage.

My friend has just worked this out this month having gone back to work f/t with a 6 mo baby in nursery.

Some people see it coming for years, I guess and maybe don't bother trying to get a career?

Just wondered where you stand on this whole thing.

wotulookinat Tue 09-Jun-09 19:51:56

When he was 14months old and I had been back at work for 9 months.
I'm planning on returning to a career again, though, at some point. My mind is rotting!

rubyslippers Tue 09-Jun-09 19:53:28

i think the whole issue is a lot more complicated than your OP suggests

why is this in IABU?

TheMadHouse Tue 09-Jun-09 19:54:23

The realisation suddenly dawned on me when DS1 at four months was rushed into ICU and ventilated. We were watching over him and I realised I could not go back to work full time and it was that or nothing as far as my employee were concerned about my position.

So DS2 came along when he was 15 months and I am concentrating on them and will then find a career or something to keep me occipied.

Tis only the next 18 years of my life grin

thisisyesterday Tue 09-Jun-09 19:55:10

i didn't realise until I had a baby tbh.
not that I had a career at that point, but I had a place at uni to study midwifery. I postponed it, but when the time came I realised that I just couldn't leave him.

dal21 Tue 09-Jun-09 19:55:24

I think a lot depends on the employer tbh.

I have gone back p/t (3 days a week) after having DS, and whilst I didnt go back into my old role (too much stress, too long hours), I am actually in a role now that is fantastic for my CV. Work directly with one of the board directors - and my learning curve has been huge since I went back. So, it actually is great for my career progression!

But; it has only been possible, because my company were prepared to allow me to be flexible but not want my knowledge of the company to go to waste. I have been very lucky!

FairLadyRantALot Tue 09-Jun-09 19:57:15

hmmm...originally I thought my career was within nursing, but by the time I had Kids I was happy to stay at home as I had come to resent my my Kids are 13,6 1/2 and nearly 5 and I have just started retraining....and tbh, I have come to a point as a mother that I am very happy to spend time away from my Kids....
so, I suppose I have been quite lucky really...because once I finished my degree I should be able to pursue it whichever way I want to take it....without having to take breaks, etc...

foxinsocks Tue 09-Jun-09 19:58:05

well it isn't incompatible is it

morningpaper Tue 09-Jun-09 19:59:19

I realised when I was made redundant when I asked to work part-time on returning from maternity leave

triggerhappybaby Tue 09-Jun-09 19:59:42

I already know and I haven't had any yet. It scares me as my career has been the only thing to really define me thus far and I'm a bit apprehensive about making the shift to being defined as a mother instead of a career-woman in some circles.

I would love to be able to do both, but now I have settled for maintaining the position I have reached instead of striving for more career-wise. I work in the public sector so juggling both isn't as tough as it perhaps could be what with flexible working and a creche on site.

Am lucky really.

mummygogo Tue 09-Jun-09 20:02:16

Its definitely not easy. Before children I worked full time but after DS I decided bugger this and set up on my own. I now work from home and juggle work so that I get to use my brain, earn some money but can also go to sports days and generally be around. Not everyone can do this but I'd recommend it to anyone that can

sassy Tue 09-Jun-09 20:03:46

Before I was pg, when my Mum died.

I knew then that being a Mum (and as good a one as I could be) mattered far more than my career.

CherryChoc Tue 09-Jun-09 20:03:55

I've had my DS young, so my career hasn't really had time to get off the ground yet anyway. But I think I always knew that it's not usually possible to combine the two.

It bugs me though that it's not compatible. My absolute best case scenario would be if I could work and take DC with me, even if just with some kind of creche arrangement within the workplace (but ideally for him/them to be involved) - I think I'd have to run my own business though or at least find some like-minded people to start a business with!

LilianGish Tue 09-Jun-09 20:04:05

I realised as soon as I took my dd home - I worked until a week before she was born and was sure I'd be back. But I looked at her and had the words of a colleague ringing in my ears "Remember, they are little for such a short time and if you miss it you can never have that time again - you can always get another job." I didn't really take those words on board until I actually saw my dd when it hit me really hard that my career just wasn't that important to me anymore.

broguemum Tue 09-Jun-09 20:04:24

I realised when I came back on part time work (4/5ths) and all management meetings etc were being booked on my day off. Oh, that and being made redundant when it became known I wanted a second child. I'm now self employed and although my boss is a bit unpredictable she's much nicer than my old one.

seaside72 Tue 09-Jun-09 20:07:11

I realised about 7 years ago when my then boss made a flippant joke about paying for me to have a private room when I gave birth so he could contact me via laptop and mobile. It was a 24/7 job, no time off, no holidays without emails and calls but I had loved it for a while. But that was before I had my DS and even before I was married and alarm bells began to ring and that tiny remark planted the seed that made me begin to reassess my entire life plan!

So 7 years later I am married with DS left the big city for the seaside - have no real career now and pretty much zero ambition but am enjoying being a mum and hoping I might give that whole career thing another go one day grin

LovelyTinOfSpam Tue 09-Jun-09 20:07:18

When i tried to go back to my good career job part time and they refused my flexible working request.

foxinsocks Tue 09-Jun-09 20:07:45

tbh I have never come to that realisation and never will. Perhaps when you have to go out to work, you just don't think like this.

Working is compatible with having children. Plenty of men seem to manage. Can't see why women should be any different tbh.

It may prove difficult but incompatible? Nah.

Ceebee74 Tue 09-Jun-09 20:09:18

When I returned to work when DS1 was 6 months old, it became clear that it is not as easy as it seems to leave dead on 5 o'clock - yet I had to do that every single night. I realised then that any ambitions I had to progress to the next level would have to wait quite a few years.

Also, my job involves travelling to another site, maybe once or twice a month, which is about 90 minutes drive away - whereas pre-DC's I would have loved to do that (it only became part of my job when I was on maternity leave), all of a sudden, it became a real bind having to do it because I felt so vulnerable being so far away from home/nursery in case DS1 was poorly and needed picking up/accident on the motorway delayed me getting home - DH works away 2 or 3 nights a week and we have no family support so I have to be at the nursery on time.

Have been on mat leave since October and, of course, DS1 has not been sent home poorly from nursery once hmm - am dreading returning to work in September when I have 2 at nursery so double the chances of one of them being ill sad

Freddysteddy Tue 09-Jun-09 20:09:55

Foxinsocks you are very lucky - you have a great career and you spend as much time with your DC as you like.

Most men don't, btw, my DP doesn't!

morningpaper Tue 09-Jun-09 20:10:01

I guess it depends on your career Foxinsocks

Some people/injdustries just hit a brick wall

You can continue to WORK but if your CAREER job makes you redundant/refuses part-time work then you are a bit stuffed

Freddysteddy Tue 09-Jun-09 20:10:23

Get to spend as much time with their DC as they'd like, I mean.

foxinsocks Tue 09-Jun-09 20:14:42

I'm not saying I have a great career, I have a career but I don't have a choice in working so maybe you just make the best out of it when you can't choose.

My children are at school now so even if I was at home I wouldn't be seeing them during the day anyway.

Noonki Tue 09-Jun-09 20:15:51

I'm lucky as having DCs made working pretty much economically pointless, so I choose to go to uni whilst on Mat leave with DS2 (aged4 months) as it was only a day a week, in about 3 years I will finally qualify at which point the DCs will be at school and I can work when they are there.

Some thing I would never have had the nerve to do otherwise.

I am so happy to have found the impoteus to have a career and tbh without my DCs I would have stuck in my dull jobsmile

foxinsocks Tue 09-Jun-09 20:15:52

morninpaper, being made redundant doesn't necessarily have anything to do with having children though

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