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Totally confused about return to work - what would you do??

(12 Posts)
LabradorMama Mon 03-Feb-14 21:47:44

I'm currently on mat leave (since mid Sept-13) and have a 13 wk old DS. I advised work I would be taking a full year of mat leave so my return date in something like 7th October (I took accrued A/L at beginning of mat leave)

I did one KIT day prior to the birth but haven't done any since as I have no help with childcare. I'm trying to decide what to do ref returning to work as I really don't want to return to full time

I'm fortunate enough that I don't need to work, DP is able (and happy) to support us. I think ideally I would like to do part time, three days per week but I understand that my employer is not obliged to offer me part time hours, only my old job back at the old rate of pay. I don't expect they will offer me PT to be honest as it would be quite difficult in the job I'm in

DP and I also decided at the weekend that we'd like another DC and I'm thinking that it might be a good idea to start TTC fairly soon and 'get it over with' in one fell swoop. I know that two under two will be extremely tough but I'd quite like them to be near in age, plus if I leave it too long there's a good chance I'll chicken out anyway (I had a difficult pregnancy with DS) I don't know if there's a minimum amount of time one should wait before getting pregnant again?

So what would you do? Would you try for PT, go back FT, not go back at all, go back pregnant etc etc? I'm going round in circles thinking about it and I've no idea what I should be doing. I've arranged a call with my boss on Thursday for a general catch up, discuss KIT days and my return to work so that's a start

I can't be the first woman to find myself in this situation - what did you do/would you do??

hoppinghare Mon 03-Feb-14 21:57:13

I went back part time between my first 2, also 3 days a week. I am at home full time. If you think part time would suit you best you should request it. They can only say no. Request it early to give them time to fond a way to make it work. Does your work offer career breaks? You could take a few years out. If not, is the career you now have important to do or would you enjoy retraining for a different career a few years down the line? There are always options. My view is that children are only little for a short time and if you want to enjoy them on a daily basis and be at home with them you will make it work. Just consider all the options and which works best for your family first. I have never regretted our decision for me to SAH.

hoppinghare Mon 03-Feb-14 21:58:06

I meant to say - I am at home full time now.

poocatcherchampion Mon 03-Feb-14 22:00:19

I went back pregnant. full time but I used annual leave to be part time.

will be going back part time when this year is up, and trying for number 3 with a bit of a bigger gap.

has worked well for us so far.

BikeRunSki Mon 03-Feb-14 22:00:30

I'd pursue pt, maybe as a Jobshare.

poocatcherchampion Mon 03-Feb-14 22:02:09

also - it seems really early for you to be thinking about this. before dd1 was 6 months old I was definitely going to give up my job and become a dressmaker and blogger but as time went on I felt much different about it. I would suggest telling work that you will take the full year and want to discuss the possibility of part time work nearer the time and leave it at that for now.

ShoeWhore Mon 03-Feb-14 22:12:43

Your baby is really tiny, I would keep your options as open as possible for now. You are under no obligation to say anything else to your employer now - your usual notice period applies (so if on 1 month's notice you can resign 1 month before the end of your mat leave)

They aren't obliged to offer you part time but they are obliged to consider your request and have to show there is a good business reason not to grant that request. So it might be worth sounding them out on that?

I've been a sahm with an occasional bit of freelancing thrown in for 10 years (I now work part time at home). I never gave a thought to how I would reenter the job market. I possibly should have done! I always wanted to retrain and do something different but that has proved trickier than I expected. I still wouldn't want to go back to my old job so I'm not too bothered but if you might want to then I would have a think about how to keep your skills current.

LabradorMama Mon 03-Feb-14 22:27:54

Thank you all for your thoughts, I understand that it's possibly a bit early to be thinking about this but I'm a bit of a planner by nature and like to know where I'm heading!

I'll mention the possibility of PT to my boss to give hi chance to discuss it with his boss and decide if it's possible/put together a package etc as you suggest hopping

poocatcher (great name btw!) how did you find going back pregnant? How long were you back for before starting your second mat leave?

I also believe it's a good idea to have a plan in place early so childcare can be arranged? We have a Montessori in the next village which is only five minutes from DPs business so he could drop DS off on way to work/pick him up after on the days I work. From what I can gather (total novice here) you need a while to sort this as there are waiting lists?

bikerunski theoretically that would be great but unlikely to work in my job, sadly

shoe you make a good point, I'd love to retrain to be a psychotherapist in the future, which is a complete departure but if I'm being brutally honest I'm only in my job for the money and have lost all care for the company/my colleagues over the past couple of years. If I gave notice a month before my mat leave was up would I be entitled to any holiday pay, do you know?

ShoeWhore Mon 03-Feb-14 22:29:56

re the holiday pay OP - I think so - I certainly got mine - but someone else may be more up to date.

LabradorMama Mon 03-Feb-14 22:58:12

Thanks shoe. Your work setup sounds perfect btw!

poocatcherchampion Tue 04-Feb-14 08:30:00

oh yes I get that you want to plan. its just that feelings change so dont set anything into stone.

yes you get annual leave accrued.

was great going back pregnant for me as it was much easier leaving dd1 for a short amount of time. work were fine as they had known I was planning close babies. however the actual job was fairly unsatisfactory as I spent most of the time handing over and didnt achieve much.

MrsMargoLeadbetter Tue 04-Feb-14 09:22:25

I'd try for part-time. As others have said you might feel differently when your baby is older. You can always leave if it doesn't suit, but maybe better to try it first?

I'd also sort childcare out asap. Around here there are long waiting lists.

Hopefully you'll fall pregnant quickly but you might not so I wouldn't factor that into the plan.

Good luck.

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