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How early can I go back to work?

(40 Posts)
WaspFactory Thu 03-Jan-13 15:39:51

I'm thinking of having my first child (I'm 35 now) but I don't know my options for childcare and how early I can expect to go back to work. Is 3 months too young? Can you even get childcare for that age or do you have to get a nanny? As you can see, I'm totally clueless having actively avoided children and people with them all of my adult life.

motherinferior Sun 06-Jan-13 18:22:27

Yes, but work has to be done, for most of us. You plan, and you work out how much leave you can afford to take, and you let people know when you will be available again, and you proceed from there. Or that's what I did, anyway.

JustFabulous Sun 06-Jan-13 18:23:37

motherinferior - I am talking about making plans to go back when your baby is weeks old, I understand plans need to be made in terms of managing money/time off.

As for not wantint your baby be too attached before you have even conceived him/her is seems rather odd.

Backinthebox Sun 06-Jan-13 18:36:20

"I don't think I would struggle to leave the baby, I think it would be good for him/her not to be too attached to me."

hmm Are you sure you wouldn't be better off with a puppy, or even a goldfish or something? A baby needs someone to depend on, who'll love it and be attached to it. This doesn't mean that you can't have a baby and have a decent job. My job is mostly done by men, and takes me all over the world at odd times of day and night. I leave my children with a lovely nanny who has known DD since she was 2 and DS since he was born. They are very fond of her, but (without blowing my own trumpet) and am their mother and their world. Even when I am on the other side of the world, on Skype and playing peekaboo with DS and asking DD about her day, they are attached to me.

Without making any comment on how early you are going back to work (because that is a matter of personal preference) I would thinking hard about what the life of a child will be like whose mother doesn't want it to be too attached to her.

OTOH, some of the most hard-nosed, job-focussed women I know have had babies - saying all along they want to be back at work within weeks, and never managed to get back to work because their lives were rocked by the arrival of someone who depended on them completely.

yousankmybattleship Sun 06-Jan-13 21:13:01

You don't want your baby to be too attached to you? What??? Are you sure you really want a baby?

GoldPlatedNineDoors Sun 06-Jan-13 21:19:03

Maybe she just worded it wrong. I like dd going to a CMs because I feel it makes her confident to be with people other than me nd I think will help her not be too clingy. I also think that if she is only ever with me, once she reaches school age it will be so scary no mum and all these random new kids around.

Maybe the OP meant something along these lines?

ReetPetit Sun 06-Jan-13 21:25:10

i don't think the post was meant how it comes across -

i think the op is talking as a childless, career focused woman - no one really has any idea of the overwhelming attachment they will (normally) feel for their own child.

op will probably end up taking extended maternity leave or never going back! and being the most pfb ever, lol! grin

Victoria2002 Mon 07-Jan-13 00:13:07

Well said Backinthebox!

sausagesandwich34 Mon 07-Jan-13 00:19:23

I went back to work after dd1 at 8 weeks because I only got 12 weeks mat leave (in the olden days) and she was late!

people manage and I know leaving her with the childminder was actually much easier than friends leaving their 10 month old for the first time

Snazzynewyear Mon 07-Jan-13 00:30:14

You will be able to find childcare options at whatever age, but I'd agree with the posters saying don't make up your mind too soon. You simply don't know how you will feel before the child actually arrives. So don't sign up to anything you can avoid and don't tell people you will definitely come back at X time, because you may find the situation changes.

Plus I thought your employers had to assume you will take yout full entitlement until you tell them otherwise, in writing, within a certain range of your date of return. Happy to be corrected on this if I'm wrong.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Mon 07-Jan-13 00:31:43

You sound a bit clinical about all this OP.

Why have you now decided to have a baby when you've been avoiding them in past - change of heart?

Snazzynewyear Mon 07-Jan-13 00:34:42

The other thing to consider is this idea of waiting till next year when you will get a better mat leave package. That rather rests on the assumption you till get pregnant straight away, with no trouble. May not happen. The average time it takes is I believe 8 months (again, happy to be corrected on this) so while you need to be prepared to take the hit if it happens straight away, it very well may not do. In short, get used to the life of having very limited control over what you do - it'll be good practice.

WaspFactory Mon 07-Jan-13 11:14:30

Alibaba - I know it sounds a bit clinicial, tbh I am quite a pragmatic person so right now I'm thinking about practicalities, doing research, including chatting to the wise and occasionally self-righteous people on MN smile

The change of heart took me by surprise and has a lot to do with being with someone who I think will be a brilliant dad.

Regarding the attachment issue, I was referring to earlier posts from childminders who talked about 'attachment anxiety' in older babies. I don't mean I want the baby to be able to do without me! I just mean I think it MIGHT work better, but I'm aware that anything could happen once I pop smile

WaspFactory Mon 07-Jan-13 11:16:31

Snazzy - this is at the forefront of my mind right now, can I afford to go for it now (financially) or wait (biologically)? I'm going to come off the pill now and start taking vitamins, generally looking after myself better so that I'm in the best position when we do decide to start TTC.

fraktion Mon 07-Jan-13 12:46:12

It is easier to leave a 4mo than an 9mo in my experience. Then it gets better again when they're about 18mo.

I went back when DS was 4mo - standard ML here - but the university had a 2 month break Dec and Jan and we came back to Europe so I had to leave him all over again at 9mo and it was much worse for separation anxiety although the tiredness was better by that point. After the summer holidays I left him again in October at 18mo at nursery this time. One nursery he hated and the other he loved but it was easier on both of us because he knew I was coming back and I could tell he was happy.

Extended ML is not all good, although 3 months would be my absolute minimum. I don't think I could cope going back after 2 weeks!

WaspFactory Mon 07-Jan-13 13:06:05

Fraktion - thanks. It seems to be the concensus among childminders so it's good to know that if I want/need to I could go back after 3 months. Depending on when I give birth I might be able to afford to stay off longer but I'm weighing up the balance of biology and finances atm which is very difficult.

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