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How soon did you go back to work after you had your baby, if you weren't earning loads? Help!

(15 Posts)
firstimer30s Wed 21-Aug-13 10:24:40

Are you breastfeeding Amanda? Did it have any bearing on your decision of when to go back?

AmandaCooper Mon 19-Aug-13 20:38:07

I think part time positions at a decent level are so few and far between that it's worth giving this one a try. If it doesn't work out, it's likely that another full time position will come up. I'm about to go back to work three days a week having done 5 weeks of KIT days twice a week. DS is coming up to 6 months old.

DumSpiroSpero Mon 19-Aug-13 20:20:40

I would definitely go for the part time option.

My DH actively encouraged me to go part-time when I was offered a PT permanent position while temping before we got married as we knew we'd ttc quite quickly and it would make return to work easier.

It worked really well for us - I went back 3 days a week when DD was 18 weeks (only 6 months mat leave then). The small company was bought out resulting in a transfer of location but with it came travel expenses for the first year, additional training & a subsequent pay rise.

Small doesn't necessarily mean unstable as things can change. A boring job in a big, established company will probably always be just that.

MrsMargoLeadbetter Mon 19-Aug-13 20:11:45

No worries.

Good luck!

firstimer30s Mon 19-Aug-13 18:14:14

Thanks MrsMargo for the great and detailed response - really really helpful.
Crikey, nurseries are financially such a contrast from nanny. The future doesn't seem quite so bleak cost-wise with that option in mind (though still not cheap!)
Yes you are right I'll only be eligible for SMP due to the timing, so yes, the plan is to save up now and then squeeze by financially.
You make a really good point about the employer not having to agree to PT working. Meaning at least the PT role would be more "guaranteed" in some ways.

So where things are now: Am interviewing in a number of places and should have all/ any options on the table within about three weeks.. will see which one I get offered and then work out my options!

Thanks also TinyDiamond, food for thought...

Will let you know what happens when I know more!

TinyDiamond Mon 19-Aug-13 08:35:01

Mrsmargo makes some good points. 3 full days would make sense and it is true about the nannies being the most expensive option. I don't think you'd have too much trouble finding someone to do this if you started thinking about what exactly you want early on. I was very lucky in that I had family help from my mum when I first went back to work so didn't need a similar arrangement in place. However when I was a student in London I was a nanny for years and these are the sort of arrangements I would have as they fit in with my study timetable.

If breastfeeding for as long as possible is important for you something else you could do is choose the closest childcare provider to your house this way you could nip out at lunch time to feed baby and then head back home. I know someone that did this as her nursery was on site, worked very well. Most good childminders or nurseries would try to accommodate this I think.

MrsMargoLeadbetter Mon 19-Aug-13 08:22:39

Congrats on the pregnancy firstimer and the 2 job offers!

A few thoughts - which are wider than your question - should you still be deliberating:

Childcare costs
- It could be worth checking local childcare prices - if you haven't - to help you with your sums.

- As mentioned up thread a Nanny is more expensive than most forms of childcare. I think a rough guide would be between £25-30K gross PA for full time. You also have the issue of being their employer. Plus I have seen lots of threads on the Childcare thread about Nannies not wanting to work in the home with the parent (they feel micro managed, the children can get confused etc) so you might actually struggle to find somebody to do that.

- Nurseries near me (E London) are c£50 a day for children.

- Re the part-time role, the hours/pattern might also effect the cost. It is worth noting that it might be financially more viable to work 3 full days than 10 - 2, 5 days a week as an eg. A nursery might offer half days but working 10 - 2 will mean you have to pay for 5 full days as you'll need care during the morning and afternoon session. Nannies do become more viable when you have more kids.

Post mat leave
- If you want to work part-time after the baby, if you choose the pt role now you know you can go part-time by continuing the role. The ft role might be less accommodating. As you might know they have to consider a flexible working request but they don't have to give it to you if they can argue the business case for you staying full-time.

Maternity pay
- Again you might know this, but I think you won't be entitled to SMP as you won't have been with the co long enough, but you should be entitled to Maternity Allowance if you meet certain criteria. See here. This might effect your decision as to when to return which is what you asked in your title.

Mat leave
To answer your title question I had 9 months off and I am having 9 months off this time. I only ever received stat mat pay and luckily we could just about live on DH's money but it is tight.

Which job
I would agree with Tiny that having the option of no travel is great and allows for a bad pregnancy. I would also like the idea of being able to return to my pt role rather than having to negotiate pt hours. I say this a mum of 2, I imagine as a mum-to-be for the first time it will seem really weird to contemplate 'downsizing' to a pt role.

I know it probably feels scary taking a less stable role, but you never know what is going to happen at the larger org anyway. Can you and DP just try to save up as much as you can whilst working etc?

Good luck with your decision, do let us know what happens!

TinyDiamond Sun 18-Aug-13 13:39:21

no no it definitely won't!

firstimer30s Sat 17-Aug-13 10:44:27

Thanks - good points and I hadn't thought of them. My Dh and I are both first timers at this and I think we (especially he) are both underestimating the fact that life will not go back to normal once the baby is 3 months old!

TinyDiamond Thu 15-Aug-13 23:59:17

there is simply no way of knowing how you'll feel. But by doing the home based you'd have no commute or anything either, you'd be able to bf for longer and with the added bonus of the nanny to take baby away when you need to work or maybe sleep sometimes. If this doesn't work out long term you could look for a office based position after baby is a bit older. Also by doing the part time presumably you could have the same regular mornings/days off and you could join a group or activity with little one that you could go to together. maybe not your cup of tea of course but many Mums I know that returned full time were a bit gutted that they never got to do anything like this

firstimer30s Thu 15-Aug-13 23:32:04

Thanks TinyDiamond! I'm feeling guilty about not wanting to go for the stable full time option which would have more progression opps after... It is so weird job hunting with only 6 months left to go! Got pregnant days after being made redundant....

TinyDiamond Thu 15-Aug-13 22:16:04

I would absolutely pick the part time home based in your situation and hire a part time nanny to be there/take baby out whilst you work. that way you wouldn't necessarily even need to pump the nanny could just bring the baby to you for feeding and you could feed sitting at your desk, assuming it's a desky sort of thing of course. This is the sort of arrangement I would have loved. good luck

firstimer30s Thu 15-Aug-13 20:17:22

Thanks, will look into it.
Sorry to be unclear confused. The long rambling question boils down to:

If you were 3 months pregnant and going into a new role, would you pick something part time and a bit less stable (Smaller organisation) or something full time (less money) but where the job was "guaranteed."?

nextphase Thu 15-Aug-13 19:39:59

Not what you asked, but nursery's are cheaper than a nanny, and childminders are often cheaper again. Might be worth looking at the sums again.

firstimer30s Thu 15-Aug-13 10:31:32


I'm a first-time PG and need some advice.

I lost my job and while job-hunting, discovered I was PG (we were trying for a while and isn't timing a wonderful thing!)

I've been offered a job that is way below my previous salary and would just cover a full time nanny, in a stable but boring environment.

I feel so guilty about starting a job and then telling them that I have 5 months before I go off on Mat leave! It's also not economically viable to work there full-time after the birth and pay for a nanny, but I do have to work.

On the flip-side, I've been offered a part-time job in a less stable place, which would be home based and would pay similar for part time as the full time would. (So I could hire a part time nanny and have money left.) Also, assume it would make breast-pumping etc easier if home based?)

Which would you take? Stable but full time or unstable and part time?

I want to have a career after baby is born and don't want to sabotage that, but also want to have time to spend with baby, rather than rushing back to work full time straight after.

Sorry for the long post!


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