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Will having a baby compromise my chances of promotion/progression? (Secondary teacher)

(9 Posts)
rhihaf Tue 18-Mar-14 14:06:23

I'm a secondary school teacher, started in current job September 2013, and we are thinking about trying for baby no.2.

My concern is this - the department in which I work is not particularly successful/well-managed and it's been fairly difficult to keep my head above water with the resources available to me. I know that come Sept 2014, having had a chance to improve resources/refine/organise, life will be a lot easier and I'll earn lots of brownie points for having whipped things into shape.

However, if we were to get pregnant, some of my exam classes would have to manage with a supply/temp teacher AND I've been promised Alevel (cream of the crop!) for September. How socially acceptable is it for new staff to go off on maternity leave within a year of starting their job? I'm torn between wanting to do the best for my classes/department and establishing a positive reputation, and not wanting a huge age-gap between possible kids (DS will be 2 in June)...

I am so confused, please help.

Middleagedmotheroftwo Tue 18-Mar-14 14:07:56

Your employer CANNOT discriminate on grounds of you being pregnant/having a baby. FACT.

rhihaf Tue 18-Mar-14 15:25:14

No. I suppose I'm trying to weigh up what's best for us personally vs what's best for me professionally. I know officially they can't discriminate, but... I also want to look after my career prospects. And if they did, I'm not sure I'd want to confront them about it anyway.
Why is being a woman/mother so bloody hard?! Thanks for your reply Middle smile

Living Tue 18-Mar-14 19:28:00

how is it going off on maternity leave within a year of starting the job if you're not yet pregnant? Am I counting wrong on mtly fingers?

Middleagedmotheroftwo Wed 19-Mar-14 12:33:28

Well, it's pretty unlikely they'd promote you when you weren't at work, but you'd only be delaying your career prospects for the amount of time you take off.

But I agree, it's all very well on paper, but very difficult to prove that your career hasn't progressed because you've had children, work school hours only, or part time etc. And, as you say, why should we HAVE to prove it.

You're not pregnant yet though, and these things don't happen on demand, so I'd not worry about it until you get there. If you want a second baby, go for it when you think the time is right for your family. Your job will work out.

glorious Wed 19-Mar-14 12:44:21

I work in a totally different field but have just been promoted within 2 weeks of getting back from over a year of mat leave and going part time. My thoughts are:
* I did find pregnancy affected my immediate priorities and therefore worked less gruelling hours for a good few months. So it's not just the mat leave itself;
* doing an interview when you've been out for ages is seriously tough. I got very stressed about it and nearly pulled out.
*on the other hand, having a bit of space to think about what I wanted and being out of the rat race made me more confident in a funny way;
* keeping in touch really really helps.

And obviously it worked out very well for me! I'd say go for it, who knows when you'll get a BFP and provided your employer is sensible it's not the end of your career, it can just be harder.

rhihaf Wed 19-Mar-14 15:36:44

Thanks everyone for the replies. Middleaged No, I'm not preggers yet, sort of counting on the fact that I got preggers more or less immediately last time with DS1 blush... We are definitely ready for another baby, but I don't want them (work) to think I'm taking the piss - silly really.

Glorious You're right - I was out of that working environment for 5 yrs so when I went for the interview last yr, I nearly pulled out - it was terrifying! Glad I did it now though, and it means I'll have a job to go back to after Maternity leave... btw, what's a BFP pls?

I suppose it's just a silly guilt thing, I don't want anyone to resent me for not being there. I was self-employed with DS so have never taken maternity leave before.

I think all this is helping me come to the conclusion that sod it, life's too short, let's start trying for another baby and I'm going to work flat out in work in the meantime.

So good to be able to talk sensibly to other women about this - DH gets annoyed that I feel so guilty about it when at least half of the other staff are at it like rabbits and taking ML left right and centre! grin

glorious Wed 19-Mar-14 17:30:33

Sorry, BFP = Big Fat Positive I.e. when you get pregnant smile

How do you think people feel about your colleagues who are pregnant/on mat leave? I think the majority of employers are at worst realistic about the fact that it's likely to happen for many women at some point, though of course we all hear of bad experiences. But going off 2 years or so into your employment is totally normal.

Even if they aren't thrilled I do think your general attitude makes a huge difference and you clearly care about your career and your pupils which is bound to come across. Good luck.

rhihaf Thu 20-Mar-14 18:15:37

Thanks smile

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