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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.

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.

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 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.

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

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.

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 00:30:14

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.

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

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

Well said Backinthebox!

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

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?

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?

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.

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.

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 18:19:57

"Yeah we'll be tired but it won't last forever."

MIne are 7, 9 and 11 and we are still knackered!

motherinferior Sun 06-Jan-13 18:19:47

Er...most of us do have to plan when we go back. We have to work out how much maternity leave we're taking!

JustFabulous Sun 06-Jan-13 18:15:41

I think planning to go back when baby is X old is a bit daft tbh. You have no idea who you will feel. You could be recovering from a c section, knackered, not want to leave your baby even. Of course you could sneeze the baby out and be back to normal the next hour but you need to be realistic.

motherinferior Sun 06-Jan-13 18:13:59

I cannot tell you the sheer blissful relief when I started work again.

GoldPlatedNineDoors Sun 06-Jan-13 18:12:38

I know I could have gone back to work when dd was three months. I had already booked a CM and my return date and annual leave for another four months after that but could have gone earlier and was more than ready to return when I did.

Dont forget to add annual leave onto that too. For instance, if your leave calander in Jan- Dec, and baby was to arrive syart of Aug then you could do three months Mat leave, followed by all your AL for that year to take you uo to the end of the year. you could also take all of next years leave from january too, giving you another two months. So 7 months with four of them on full pay holiday.

noblegiraffe Sun 06-Jan-13 18:08:34

You might think that now you'd find it easy to leave a 3 month old baby but honestly, don't underestimate the hormones involved, they can make you feel entirely differently to what you expected. It's an animal instinct to protect your young!

WaspFactory Sun 06-Jan-13 18:00:23

If I wait until this time next year to start TTC then I'll get a much better maternity leave/pay deal from the company I work for which would mean I could stay off longer, but I don't want to wait that long to start trying so I'm assuming that I will have to go back in some form after about 3 months.

It's reassuring to know that about CMs only being allowed one under 1 y/o. 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.

GoldPlatedNineDoors Sun 06-Jan-13 16:24:21

My DM is a CM and she has had a six day old (whos mum was a her final.year) and she minded the baby til he was 13. They had a great bond, she does with all her mindees, and ends up being aunt to them. If going back so soon, I would recommend a CM over a nursery as most CMs are only allowed one under one so your dc will be the onpy newborn so can be held snuggeld rocked slinged fed as he needs.

yousankmybattleship Sun 06-Jan-13 16:24:13

Wait and see how you feel. I don't think many Mums could leave a three month old baby. Good to be prepared, but also prepare to be surprised by how you feel!

WaspFactory Sun 06-Jan-13 16:21:11

I've no idea how I'll feel but I will definitely be sharing night feeding when I go back to work. Me & my partner might both do a 4 day week, we haven't thought that far ahead yet.

Yeah we'll be tired but it won't last forever.

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