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'Career women' (sorry for 80s phrasing) - talk to me about having a big family

(5 Posts)
MrsMattie Wed 22-Jul-09 17:44:28

OK, so my situation in a nutshell:

Blagged a great job in the media straight out of uni and worked my way up very quickly. Went back briefly after my first child was born (I was 27 when I had him), then took several years out to bring up my son. During that time I freelanced a bit to keep my hand in and had another baby. She's 8 months old now and 2 months ago I started a new job. I was very lucky to get this job, as it's back in the same field as I worked in before (highly competitive) and I am earning very slightly more than I was when I left my old job - so have basically caught up with where I left off 3 years ago. All going swimmingly.

I am now 32, by the way.

The thing is, I want at least one more child (in negotiations with DH about this at the moment!). I didn't realise how very much I wanted another baby until I had a pregnancy scare last month and was gutted when my period came. But I am worried about my career. I feel like I was extremely lucky to have stepped back into my old career (first job interview I went for and I got it) and just don't know if I'll be quite as lucky again.

What have others done? How have you managed to juggle a career in a competitive industry with having babies?

AppleandMosesMummy Wed 22-Jul-09 18:02:50

The only way I believe is with family support or working opposite shifts to your partner.
We have had nannies from hell so I would never allow sole charge of a child of mine again, but if your (or his parents) are too old to be in charge then could granny supervise the nanny ?
Either that or wait 5 years until the baby is in school and then have another 2 close together, I know a high flyer who did that twice.

MrsMattie Wed 22-Jul-09 18:14:13

Apple - thnaks for your reply.

At the moment we have a great balance. We have a lovely live out nanny 3 days a week. My DH is self employed and has some leeway in how he runs his week, and my mum lives locally and is retired and very hands on, so they pick up the slack on the other two days. If I had a another child, I think that would knock my mum out of the picture as a childcare solution, as three kids would be a handful for her, as great as she is.

Ideally, I would wait until DD was 4 or 5 to have more kids, but DH is 45 this year and already feels like an old dad, so if we're going to do it, we'd do it within the next 12-18 months I think.

So difficult to get the balance right. I don't want to not have another baby because of work, but I need my career to progress for my sanity and for money, obviously.

AppleandMosesMummy Wed 22-Jul-09 18:22:22

Personally in your shoes i'd enjoy what you have, honestly it sounds like your life is great don't rock the boat.

Northernlurker Wed 22-Jul-09 18:23:55

Big gaps make life easier in many ways. I have 6 years between dd2 and dd3 and though my career took a hit when I went back after maternity leave, a year later and I've got the ground back and the growing independance of the big children is a huge help. It does mean you end up balancing all their different activities though so nothing's perfect.

Sounds like you would be looking at a smaller gap though so the only thing I thing you can do is accept that if you have another baby you may not be able to have as much time off as you would have liked. If you take 6 months maternity I think you can pick up the job threads more easily than with a year off. It's hard to balance but part of trying to balance things is accepting that there is no perfect, cost free solution. If you want work and babies then both parts of your life will have to be a bit fuzzier round the edges than maybe you thought years ago?

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