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Career vs 2nd child...

(9 Posts)
VaselineOnToast Mon 11-Mar-19 19:35:35

Just looking for some opinions on this as I don't know anyone else in my position.

My career has never really taken off. I've always been in entry level/paraprofessional roles in my field, despite being qualified to work at a professional level. I'd like to focus on my career at some point in order to progress a bit (I'm on a zero hours contract at the moment...).

However, we'd also like a 2nd child (our first is 4.5y) and with me being in my mid-30s, we can't leave it too long.

I feel like I'm just beginning to regain some freedom, and with my DS starting school later in the year, it will open up the possibility of applying for jobs with more hours. But of course I can't predict whether any suitable jobs will become available or if I'd actually be offered them!

So, I guess what I want to know is: do we try for another child now while biology is on my side but forfeit any chance of me getting into decent work any time soon? This would also mean it'd be very unlikely that we could afford a larger place to live or childcare before free hours start at age 3 (and I may go crazy).

Or

Do I focus on career while I can and perhaps put a time limit on it? E.g. if I don't get a job by X date, try for another child??

Any perspective? Thanks!

lancslass17 Mon 11-Mar-19 20:10:48

Could you do both? Apply for jobs and try for a baby, might take a while to get pregnant by which time you may be in a job with good maternity leave/pay.

What does your dp do? If your career took of and you did get pregnant would shared parental be an option?

RussellSprout Mon 11-Mar-19 20:14:54

I'd never put my career above having a child especially at your age. Have the baby then pick up your career later would be my advice.

SlB09 Mon 11-Mar-19 20:20:47

Flip a coin, heads baby tails is work

It's landed on tails......

Immediate response relief for sadness? Theres your answer - sounds like a really simplistic way to approach it but your gut will know.

If there's no expiry to your qualifications or experience though then baby while you can if you know this is what you definitely want might be the way forward. You might get back to looking at careers quicker than you think with our second. I'm starting a new job, promotion and more responsibility 17months after lb was born but it just feels right for me. Good luck with whatever you decide to do xx

mrsdaz Tue 12-Mar-19 07:46:25

I had my children’s whilst doing online or evening courses in different areas to see what I wanted to do. Im almost 40 with 3 children who are gaining independence now that youngest is 8. I am at university part time in the evenings and work term time to fit around the children. I’ve just gained an amazing job based on the courses I’ve done. I will continue university and decide when I’m older what I want to do grin

You are never too old for a career - but you will possibly regret not having a child!

lanclass1 Tue 12-Mar-19 09:55:03

I think you'd always regret it if you missed your chance at a second baby because you held off for the sake of your career

LetsSplashMummy Tue 12-Mar-19 10:06:39

Is there no compromise - try for a baby and use more childcare if you land a good job, have DH take shared leave, is DH willing to be flexible for pick-ups etc if you got a different job? You shouldn't hold off TTC for a theoretical job that doesn't even exist yet.

There are other areas that are flexible - why does starting school mean you can apply more widely? If you got a great job, that also meant a bigger house and more pay, then your decision on childcare would be different surely? You might not want to have them in full time nursery, but surely that is preferable to not having them at all, or going crazy.

I think TTC and apply for jobs, when either of these things happens you can make a more informed decision, instead of a theoretical one.

goteam Tue 12-Mar-19 13:42:56

Try for a baby and spend a few years upskilling as other posters have suggested. Lots of free IT and management courses around and actually, taking a few years out opens up opportunities for 'returners', women who have taken time out to raise kids. Good luck!

VaselineOnToast Tue 12-Mar-19 17:46:53

Thanks everyone, it's useful to hear other views. Just wanted to get it out.

I suppose at the heart of it is the fear that I will end up in low-paid, unstable jobs for eternity if we have a second child, as everything child-related seems to fall to me. I can't do everything.

My partner's workplace is not keen on him reducing his hours or working from home regularly, for example, as it's a very small IT support company. It's also an hour's commute from our town (we moved here to be closer to family, but the downside is it's far from work). He has little interest in applying for other jobs as he enjoys the one he's in, even if salary and location could be better.

I suppose I could keep up with my industry and do cheap/free CPD and training while I'm not working, to keep myself up-to-date.

I'm just conflicted. I feel like I'm getting sucked into keeping up with the Joneses rather than being comfortable with my own choices.

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