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How old was/will be baby when you went/go back to work

(50 Posts)
Excited85 Tue 16-Apr-13 18:03:27

As header really, am interested to know what people did and how they felt leaving little one? I'm currently pg with my first and need to let boss know what I'm doing soon, due mid/late Oct but sounds like they want me back start of Jan and don't know what to do/how I might feel. 3 months off seems to be max at our place but work 12 hour days, 5 days a week, thinking might try negotiate phasing back in but having seen posts on here about how some of you wouldn't have left your little ones for weddings etc when little one was only 2/3 months am after some of your honest experiences if you don't mind?? Thank you smile

MortifiedAdams Tue 16-Apr-13 18:08:15

IF in the UK they have to assume (and allow), a years leave. You are under no obligation to confirm a return date of less than a year before you start your ML.

In response to your OP, I took seven months ML and tagged a months hokiday on the end

MyNameIsAnAnagram Tue 16-Apr-13 18:09:51

Are you not in the uk? In the uk you can have up to a year off and I think you just need to give a months notice of return. Anyway with dc1 I returned at 7m, I used annual leave to phase in so I did 3 days a week for the first month, then ft after that. This time I plan to have 9m off and will be going back 3 days as that what i do now anyway.

13loki Tue 16-Apr-13 18:10:36

First DC was 24 weeks when I went back to work. I changed shifts so I could do 2 really long days on the weekend instead of 4 days during the week, so he stayed with DH while I worked. DC2 I was off for 12 months, she was 49 weeks when I went back to work full time.

IceCubes Tue 16-Apr-13 18:11:52

I went back at 15 months with DS1 and it was just right. With my DTs I went back to work when they were 5 months (3 corrected) and it was far too early! I quit three weeks later!!!

MammaCici Tue 16-Apr-13 18:20:28

I'm on a career break since starting our family so I can't answer your main question as I'm still not back 2.5 years later. I know people don't always have a choice but going back after 3 months would have been really hard. I was still only finding my feet as a first time mum. My boy was born in October too and it was spring before I started to feel confident in my new role as a mum.
Who will take care of your DC when you go back? Will it be daycare or a family member? Might be easier if it's your mum rather than a creche for instance. Are you planning to breastfeed, if so can you pump at work? 12 hours a day, 5 days a week is a long time away from a young baby. If you can go back gradually it may feel easier. Best of luck. I hope you find the right balance for you and your child.

Excited85 Tue 16-Apr-13 18:21:19

Oh gosh! I am in Uk just boss is hoping to not have to bring someone in with my role being fairly specialist so my asst can cover for a couple of months with me being contactable for big stuff which I don't mind at the min but realise I might mind! One of the women was back in office part tome after a week and another full time after 4 weeks so more than 3 months is really unusual, though again I know that if I want it theres nothing they can do about it (apart from be awkward and grumpy with me!) To be honest I think we'd struggle if I had more than 6 months off as only get SMP and my wage is quite good compared to dh. Best start saving! Icecubes, did you quit because going back early made it too hard, or do you think you would have quit anyway?

Yonihadtoask Tue 16-Apr-13 18:21:54

I went back at 16 weeks - but very part time.

This was 15 years ago - and maternity allowances weren't so generous back then.

Are you in the UK?

didireallysaythat Tue 16-Apr-13 18:22:28

3 months first time but 4 months second time around.

LouiseD29 Tue 16-Apr-13 18:23:16

I am planning on taking 9 months as I think it's all we can afford without my salary. I really enjoy my job and have been with my company for more than five years, so do feel loyalty to them, but I refuse to feel under any pressure about what they might want (not that they are putting any on me). This is a truly once in a lifetime moment with my first baby and I will do it in the way that is right for me and my family. Yes, going back to work is part of that, but it will be my choice, not theirs.

MyNameIsAnAnagram Tue 16-Apr-13 18:25:56

In that case stick to your guns. I think going back at 3m would be incredibly hard, you are really only finding your feet then. If you think 6m is what you can afford then go for that - but think about phasing back in or extending using al as well. Your boss will just have to suck it up I'm afraid, your family is more important.

GizzaCwtch Tue 16-Apr-13 18:27:22

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

CitizenOscar Tue 16-Apr-13 18:31:39

I went back when DS was 1 year and it was right for us. You have to make your own choices but I would have found it difficult to go back at 3 or even 6 months.

2 things to consider: feeding (do you want to breastfeed and how long for? Also at 6 months baby will be starting solid food - do you want to be around for that?) and childcare - who will be caring for your baby? DH? Nursery? Nanny? When I went back, DH was at home full-time for 6 weeks, and that definitely helped us make the transition.

Good luck with coming to your decision.

dieciocho Tue 16-Apr-13 18:31:50

I went back yesterday - baby is 14 weeks.
But I only work 2 days a week and baby is with my mum, so there's no stress of leaving baby with strangers.
It felt nice to have a little bit of "normal" time.

CointreauVersial Tue 16-Apr-13 18:32:44

Try not to commit to anything at this stage - you really don't know how you'll feel.

Some people are itching to get back to work after 3m, others couldn't contemplate it at 12m.

I went back went DS was 5m, which was about right for me. But after DD1 I didn't go back for 6.5y!

Andcake Tue 16-Apr-13 18:34:15

I think it will end up being 10 months when I go back. I would have felt v sad (and probably been to sleep deprived to do my job properly) if id gone back under 6 months.
If you're not sure I would just say could you let them know once the baby is born.

sittinginthesun Tue 16-Apr-13 18:35:26

I went back at 6 months with ds1 (part time), but had being dealing with some cases from 6 weeks. (Working from home, maybe 4 hours per week).

It was too much. With ds2, I put my foot down, and said nothing until 7 months. I ended up doing one case, but even that was hard going.

I love my job, but if I'd gone back too early, I am sure I would've quit.

I would say, 6 months minimum.

AntoinetteCosway Tue 16-Apr-13 18:36:16

I went back at a year. At three months I wouldn't have been able to, I don't think. DD was still so tiny and I was only just emerging from the dark days of sleeplessness! That said, a friend of mine went back at three months full time and was fine. I think it very much depends on you and your baby.

insanityscratching Tue 16-Apr-13 18:41:21

With ds 1 I gave work three weeks notice of my intention to return when ds was three weeks old. I returned full time when he was six weeks not because I enjoyed my job but more because ds was a nightmare baby and I had pnd. I used to sigh with relief dropping him at the childminders each morning, the poor woman earned every penny IMO. He's now 25 and is a really nice young man and doesn't seem to have suffered by me abandoning when he was only tiny. I see his childminder occasionally and we reminisce about just how difficult he was when tiny.

blushingmare Tue 16-Apr-13 19:24:04

I'm about to go back this week, part time and dd is 10mo.

There is no way on earth I could have gone back at 3mo. I couldn't bear to be away from her that long at that age, I was ebf and keen to maintain that, we were still very much finding our feet at that time, she was a terrible sleeper and still waking every 1-2hours and therefore I really wouldn't have functioned at work. So many reasons! But that's just me and everyone's different, so I'm not saying it's impossible. Keep an open mind for now - you will be surprised by the strength of your emotions when your lo arrives and will inevitably end up doing things differently to how you thought you would.

FWIW, I think it really starts to get easier after 6mo. I'm glad I didn't rush back then though, because now I feel like I've had a good few months with her to enjoy it rather than it just being really hard work!

Don't get me wrong, motherhood is the most wonderful thing on earth, but it's full on and exhausting. I underestimated how hard in would be in the first 6 months and am so glad I didn't have to be working on top of that.

ButteryJam Tue 16-Apr-13 19:36:36

I'm planning to go back 6 months after baby is born, but go back part time for a while. But if I feel I can't do that, I'll go back after a year. I've told them I'll be back after year but change my mind (my work is flexible and lead by me so I have room to do that).

lovelyredwine Tue 16-Apr-13 19:48:30

Dd was 12 months old when I went back 3 days a week. Couldn't have contemplated going back at 3 months as I was knackered and ebf her. She was also a bottle refuser. I have friends whose babies were sleeping through by then and had no problems with taking bottles even if breastfed. Each baby is different so it might be better to see how you feel/what your baby is like before deciding.

LauraPashley Tue 16-Apr-13 19:57:01

I went back FT when dd1 was 9mths. It was fine really, and necessary at the time, but something I'd never have done through choice.

With dd2 we were in a better situation so I went back PT when she was a year, only now at 2yrs going back up to 4 days. It was a a COMPLETELY different experience, absolutely wonderful, I know I will always look back on that year off as one of the best things I've done. Dd1 was only at nursery a few hours a week so I got a great combination of baby time and dd1 time too.
I would really urge you, if you have no financial pressures, to push for longer than 3mths. Worst case scenario you may still even be healing physically from the birth and getting zero sleep!! Best case scenario you will hopefully be just loving the time with your baby. 3 mths isn't long to establish bf either, if you intend to bf.

WorkingtoohardMama Tue 16-Apr-13 20:02:45

Ds was 7 months old, I went back 2 days initially and then increased it to 3 and a half days a bit later.

I was made redundant when I was pg with dd, I started a new job when she was 7 months old - she's 3 now; I work mon-fri; 9-3. I find it much harder compared to working 3 longer days, as I never seem to have time to get anything done.

Although I don't know any different, 7 months was a nice age to go back to work, I'd had a nice amount of time with them, but was ready to get back to work.

Excited85 Tue 16-Apr-13 20:03:12

Thank you all for your honesty, I really appreciate it especially yours insanity - you're really brave to speak about how you felt and I really admire that. Looks like 3 months is pretty early then, I have such limited experience of pregnancy and the norm, other than that my work is clearly full of wonder women (or fools!) i don't want to mess work around and am pretty crap at standing up for myself so wanted to get a good idea of normal before giving them an idea which is only fair as if I'm going to be off for months they will have to recruit somebody. I'mthinking perhaps I'll agree to start doing just one day a week from home from Jan and poss half day from office stepping it up to 4 days by around March/April, might be a good comprise.
Feeding wise I want to try bf but no strong feelings either way. Baby would be with grandparents whilst am at work so guess that helps. Argh, it's so difficult to know, like you all say everyone and every baby is different!

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