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working parents your experience's please

(11 Posts)
shadack Fri 28-Feb-14 12:02:37

Hi all hope im posting in the right place

I am due in 5 weeks time and will be on maternity allowance from the government, i don't have a job to go back to as i was a seasonal worker but if i apply it is almost guaranteed that i would be taken back on as i have a good record with the company and can do the job blindfolded

If i went back either full or part time it would only be until the end of the holidays but for that time period only i would have potential free child care from family, if i stay on maternity i am covered until the end of October
(slight possibility off a full time all year round job IF i keep my foot in the door)
My daughter would only be 3/4 months old (not entirely sure when the holidays start)

Is this something that is do-able? would i still be up all night for feed etc i know all babys are different but what are your experiences please
how did you find leaving young children or waiting and returning to work at a later time
I will most likely have to find work once my maternity runs out from your experiences would part time cover child care and have left over for bills or would i need full time
would i be totally shattered going back

ZuleikaD Fri 28-Feb-14 14:37:48

That's a colossal amount to ask all in one place! But I think your basic question would be; is it possible/desirable to go back to work when a baby is only 3-4 months old.

My own response would be an unequivocal NO. Yes, most babies are still up a lot at night at that point. They are also just starting to settle down, know you, and become charming. I don't think you should commit to anything until you meet your baby. She will need as much time as you can give her in the early months - you are laying a foundation for life and it shouldn't be skimped or farmed out unless absolutely financially necessary (IHMO, of course).

Whether part-time work would cover childcare sort of depends on the work. More work equals more childcare equals more expense - only you know the numbers. To give you something to work with, I'm a childminder and charge £5.20/hour. You can get a childminder cheaper, but I price myself about the same as the nurseries round here.


Beepbeepnow Sat 01-Mar-14 17:05:19

I went back to work full time when my lo was 4 months. I was lucky in that my lo slept through early. Did I find it hard...absolutely, but if you need to and it is financially viable with child are then is if doable...absolutely.

matana Sat 01-Mar-14 18:54:57

I can only speak from my experience and I wouldn't have been ready at 3 or 4 months. And I don't just mean because ds was still waking for feeds then (he didn't sleep through until 7.5 months) - it was a wrench even when I returned to work when ds was 9 months. I just loved my time with him too much. I felt guilty, sad, and a little resentful of other mums who stayed at home for longer. Don't get me wrong, we soon got into a nice routine and I could never have been a sahm as I enjoy my job and the interaction a lot. But it was very hard at first. You don't know how you'll feel until the baby arrives.

Jinty64 Sat 01-Mar-14 22:06:43

I went back to work when ds1 and ds2 were both 14 weeks old. It wasn't ideal but neither was it optional - we would not have survived financially otherwise. I chose to work nights as I could do less hours for the money. I worked 3 nights a week and had 1 day childcare. Ds1 slept through by then ds2 didn't. It was very hard and very tiring. With ds3 I had 9 months off and went back on days. It was much easier. So, basically, it's doable but not ideal.

gilliangoof Sat 01-Mar-14 22:13:46

If you can afford longer than 4 months you will probably want longer. You won't know until you have your own baby how awful it is to have to leave them though I note you would be leaving yours with family at the start. That makes it easier as you will probably be less worried about how your child is coping without you.

PansOnFire Tue 04-Mar-14 23:50:19

Stay off as long as you can, they are babies for such a short time and working with a small baby is hard. It's the emotional separation that is the hardest part, anyone can be organised, but it's the guilt of leaving a baby that I've struggled with.

Eletheomel Wed 05-Mar-14 09:08:47

To be honest, you won't know how you feel until your little bundle of joy arrives - whatever we post here will be meaningless until you've had your baby, you've got to know them a bit and have a firm idea of your financial incomings/outgoings.

If it were me, and if it was affordable I'd stay with your little one as long as you can.

I went back to work part-time when DS1 was 12.5 months - and even that was hard, there was no way I could have left him at 3-4 months (DS1 never slept through until he was 2.5 years...) in fact, I never left him at all until he was 5 months hold, and that was for an hour long hair appointment.. I'm going back to work when DS2 is 14 months and feel better about that. Still part-time - I work 5 mornings a week and pick him up at 1pm.

I pay 3.50 an hour for my childminder (going rate round here, although a few have increased to 3.75, my childminder hasn't put her prices up in about 5 years) so based on my salary I still earn more than enough money to pay for childcare, but my part-time salary is probably pretty high compared to most part-time jobs.

The good thing is you have family close by that can help out, I have no family nearby, so it was harder for me.

Blankiefan Wed 05-Mar-14 10:54:56

Just for a bit of balance.... Yes, undoubtedly a lot of women find going back at 4 months very difficult/challenging however, f

Blankiefan Wed 05-Mar-14 10:57:10

Sorry - posted early...

Just for a bit of balance.... Yes, undoubtedly a lot of women find going back at 4 months very difficult/challenging however, for some it can give a better balance. I struggled to be home all week by myself and would have rather gone back around 4 months. A bit of a different situ for me as I'd have been worse off if I went back so will go back at 6 months instead.

There is good childcare available and if it's right for your family. It's right...

worldgonecrazy Wed 05-Mar-14 11:04:56

I went back to work full full-time when DD was 13/14 weeks old. It was hard to leave her, but she was with my mum and dad, so I think in many ways, that was a lot easier than if I had had to leave her with a nursery or child minder.

I also managed, with a lot of support, to breastfeed her until she was 15 months. Cosleeping, and an 8.00 p.m. bedtime for both of us, saved my sanity.

Whatever you choose, you will feel guilty and often wonder if you have made the right decision, such is parenthood.

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