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Age gaps

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Joeywhitter Mon 16-Oct-17 17:17:18

We have decided to have a third DC at some point and am a bit torn thinking about age gaps.

We have just short of 2 years between DC1 & DC2. I love this gap - we've had no jealousy, I've got to spend loads of time with DC1 whilst on mat leave (I'm not due back to work for a while yet) and it generally works well for us.

DH is happy to go with when works best for me. Age isn't an issue particularly (early 30s) and we have conceived really quickly previously (although that's obviously not necessarily going to be the same again).

It is my career that really worries me. Part of me (the already broody even though I only have a 7 month old part) wants to ttc at the beginning of next year with the aim of going back to work already expecting DC3 (definitely the last!). I can't imagine this going down well in the office, but I'm at a bit of a standstill at the moment and need to move organisations to step up. This way I'd almost get it out of the way and then be able to focus a bit more on my career.

The perhaps more sensible option would be the wait a bit longer (perhaps a 3 or 4 year gap) and try and get ahead/secure a new role when I return next year.

What are other people's experiences? Will a 3rd mat leave kill my career? I'm taking the view that whilst I'm not progressing now, friends in the industry who will have children later will pause then and I can catch up. Am I being super naive? I really want a third but I love my career...

Joeywhitter Mon 16-Oct-17 17:27:09

Sorry I thought I had posted this in parenting and have no idea how to change it over!

CarolineMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 16-Oct-17 17:36:35

Hi @joeywhitter, we're going to move this one over for you right away.

Joeywhitter Mon 16-Oct-17 17:37:41

Thanks @CarolineMumsnet

perfectpanda Mon 16-Oct-17 18:20:17

I have just had dc3 and totally don't have the age gap I planned but love it! Dc1 and dc2 are 2 years apart. We planned dc3 when dc2 was 2ish and after several miscarriages and due to my age we stopped trying . 7 years later and dc3 came along! So 7 years between dc2 and dc3.i often look back and think that the 3rd close together would have been very tough
. And I'm loving all the time I have with the baby whilst older 2 at school. They adore him and the 9 year old gets him up and does nappy... I've worked between each kid and am now applying for promotion on my rerurn. So I reckon however it turns out, you can make it work.

Joeywhitter Mon 16-Oct-17 18:37:15

Congratulations on DC3 perfectpanda. It just goes to show that I can plan all I want but best laid plans and all that. And i guess every gap will have its pros and cons. I just cant stop thinking about having a 3rd - I don't remember being like this last time at all. Maybe it is just a stage and I will stop obsessing about it soon.

Chosenbyyou Mon 16-Oct-17 20:11:14

Hi

This is an interesting dilemma! I have decided to stick at two DC. I had always wanted three but now have a DD (almost 3) followed by a DS (6m) and have been very fortunate to get this after a MMC sad

I have now decided to stop at two. This is partly cuz I have found them much more impactive on my personal freedom and partly due to my career. I have spent a long time building it up and am still doing a professional qualification which has taken me lots of time to get 3/4 of the way through!

It's hard to judge if you should have a third (as that is a personal decision to make!) but from a career perspective I would consider reputation as very important in my industry - does this apply to yours? I feel I have damaged my reputation due to not being able to go on the constant work socials and meals with clients, the evening 'networking' and work chat that goes on for hours, the last minute working late, work trips etc. I also think my work has suffered from the massive sleep deprivation I had when I went back last time after ML. I'm not saying you shouldn't cuz of these reasons but I personally am going to have to rebuild my reputation and male colleagues who were on a similar footing to me before my MLs have now far out stripped where I am.

I am looking to go back when my baby is 12 months but if I went back pregnant I know they would be very unhappy.

Not trying to put you off- just my perspective. Career is very important when you have put a lot into it so I do appreciate that!

Plenty of senior corporate folk have three children thou so I'm sure it's fine! smile xx

Joeywhitter Mon 16-Oct-17 20:41:14

After my last mat leave I think I managed well (and my boss commented to support that) - me and DH are doing a bit of shared leave this time as well as last time and we are both pt and have shared nursery drop offs/pick ups just changing it round depending on each other's work commitments. I really do think we have been equal parents (obviously with me taking on more during mat leave) and DH is totally supportive of my career which helps.

But it is just that one more period of time where people are jumping ahead of me, making new connections, new people coming in (it's quite a young industry). And yes you are right, reputation.

But then I am so broody and it is totally irrational 😶

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