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Mixed feelings: pregnant but love my job(41 Posts)
Hello, I was wondering if anyone can relate to this. I'm almost 22 weeks pregnant and am excited about the baby and enjoying the pregnancy but finding myself feeling incredibly sad at the prospect of having to stop working relatively soon. I have an interesting, challenging, fun and well paid job that I absolutely love with great colleagues who respect and value my work. I have been somewhat in denial about taking time off and am finding the prospect really daunting.
In the last few weeks I have really started to show and have been struggling to deal with people telling me I will completely change my attitude once the baby arrives and that work will seem insignificant. Maybe they're right but right now I am so full of mixed feelings, it doesn't really help.
Has anyone been in the same boat? It seems more common that people can't wait to finish work and have some time out! Maybe I've been institutionalised!
No, I haven't been in your boat but it's true that your priorities change when your baby is born. You can't even explain it - it just happens.
Personally I think you are very lucky to have a job you love as well as a lovely new family!
Hmm well I can sort of see where you're coming from. I loved my job, was self employed and really want to get back into it but can't see myself having the time for years. Love my child and he's number 1, but I think for me personally i've got to keep my own interests going and not just be consumed by child rearing. Got to keep your identity and not just be 'mum'!
Before I had my first I was convinced I'd be bored when I was off. I don't even particularly love my job. I was just so used to working full time (and studying part time) that I couldn't imagine how I'd cope without that filling my time. I'm not particularly "mumsy", or I wasn't. I wanted kids but was nervous as I've never been one to gush over kids. Turns out I was wrong. I still study part time and it's much much harder with a child. Although I'm not one to attend baby groups a few of my friends had kids at the same time and we went together to various things. I found that the challenge of raising a child (ensuring a balanced diet, education, socialization etc) was far more fascinating than work. Watching my son learn things so fast and constantly trying to feed his imagination (I'm not a pushy mum, I've got a child who loves to read and it's astonishing how fast he learns new thin.i, even thought he's not quite three). It really is the most amazing thing to watch. Nurturing a child is different to working but not less rewarding. I would say one thing though, keep something for yourself. I still feel like me because of my studies but I know plenty of parents who feel swallowed up by being a mum!
I felt somewhat like you, and although my priorities totally changed once I had a baby, I still wanted to go back to work quite soon after he was born.
just ignore them. this will not be the first mental thing people say to you as a parent. there are a million and one stock phrases and reactions you are meant to have. guess what? you dont have to have them. you can be different and thats absolutely fine.
i love working, toook short or no maternity leave (self employed) and have 3 children.
I love my job and I know things will go down hill once I do go on leave. Even I have a random week off work I get bored so I'm worried like you if it'll change or if I wound want to have time away from work. Unfortunately my work doesn't know yet as I don't know when I want to start me leave so I'm still worrying about that.
Yes things change but it doesn't mean you have to sacrifice anything with your job/career it's just a bit more planning and effort to juggle things about so they work for you.
After my first I had 6 months then went back full time and have progressed into new roles with more responsibility since.
Just started leave at 38wks with number 2 and again plan to go back after 6 months.
My 5 yr old is a very mature independent little girl and has done really well in her first yr at school which I think is in part to being in a nursery setting as well as us making the most of the time we have in the evenings and weekends.
Ignore people they have no idea how you will feel after and if things do change for you then it was just meant to be.
Things do change, but work is still an important part of my life and my identity. I went back to work when DS was 3 months old (and during my maternity leave I wrote and published a book to keep myself busy as well as going to baby groups etc). Currently 30 weeks pregnant and will be going back after 3 months this time too. I got a lot of negative comments about it but I'm self employed and I have to pay the mortgage as the main breadwinner. I worked up until I went into labour last time. This time I'm finishing earlier but I am older and finding it more exhausting - my job itself I still like.
I don't think there's anything wrong with enjoying your job AND your children - it is possible! I love both.
this will not be the first mental thing people say to you as a parent
So true. 100 x this.
I'm 4 months into my maternity leave with DC1, I don't think about the day to day work that I'm not doing, but I really can't wait to go back (part time). I had planned to take a year off, but I'm finding being home quite mentally isolating so my DH and I are looking into the practicalities of me going back sooner. My priorities have changed, I would always put my DDs wellbeing first, but I think we all will be happier if I get to go back to work.
Your priorities will change but not everyone turns into a mum that has her whole life revolve around her children. The prospect of spending a year in non challenging non rewarding work environment can be daunting. I actually find the second maternity leave even scarier as I have no clue what to do to entertain a 3 yo!
I find maternity leave keeps me busy in the way that cleaning the house keeps me busy. Not very stimulating but lots of work. I do have free time when baby naps. That's when I get out work related books to read. (After all the house work, which takes like 30min 3 days a week. DD1 goes to nursery 3 days).
I am going back full time again. I can't imagine working less than 4 days. But in the past 3 years before my second maternity, I made effort to find time for DD1. I leave work early but start early so we can have a bit of time before she goes to bed. DH is doing the same as he is adamant to be involved. We don't work long hours. It is a choice that means we might be a bit slower in career progression. But you can't have it all. It's just about juggling all the things you want in life.
I tan taking a year off on my second maternity btw. I don't feel taking a long one means I have to be completely devoted to babies. I only take DD1 to groups, but not baby. Can't stand them and baby is just as happy going to the bookstore or clothes shopping, as going to a baby singing class.
However you might want to look at baby groups with your first to meet some mums to chat. Otherwise it could get isolating if you don't already have friends who work part time (who you can call upon during the week).
I felt the same as you OP; everyone said my priorities would change and I didn't believe them. I've been back at work two months now and they were right and wrong. I still love my job (teaching) but I've fast realised that, outside of teaching the kids, a lot of what we're asked to do, admin-wise, is bollocks and busy work.
As I'm sure PPs have said, you are allowed to keep on working these days!
Take a shorter leave (you don't have to take 12 months, personally I found 6 months more than enough!), return full time if you want (it doesn't mean you love your child any less) and keep on progressing.
It's perfectly possible to continue working professionally and have children.
However, be aware that to take a year (or more) off and return very part time you might find it difficult to keep up or return full time later. Moreso if you quit entirely and aim to return when your children are in school/grown up. I've seen that plan falter a few times.
Whatever you do, it's your choice. You'll feel how you feel, and it's not anyone's place to dictate how that should be.
And you have plenty of time to work before baby is born. I managed to work until 2 days before I went in for induction.
I'm so jealous that you love your job OP. I'm 28 weeks and can't wait to go on Mat Leave as really don't enjoy my job. I don't find it at all fulfilling and really want to try and do something else in future - although I have been trying for years to escape the profession but so far no luck!
I agree with PP that you can't say how you'll feel until DC arrives and everyone is different. I know people who have taken 2 months off and others who have taken a year and then decided they didn't want to go back. Try not to worry too much at this stage and focus on the pregnancy. It's a weird situation to be in knowing that you're about to go on Mat Leave. I feel like a lot of people have now "written me off" at work as I'm about to go on Mat Leave (regardless of the fact I'm dying to leave anyway!)
This is an excellent thread! Had been feeling a bit like a bad mother (even though im not one yet!) for just taking 6 months. All of this is v.reassuring! I don't love my job exactly, but love the challenge and had got some horrified looks this wknd when asked if I was nervous about being a mum and I answered that I was more nervous about leaving my first baby - the research I work on! Lol! It's true though, I'm so happy to be pregnant and really looking forward to being a mum, but its still a bit abstract and work is pretty key to my identify.
I'm the complete opposite. I can't wait to leave work. It's been a stressful year (my first trimester coincided with my closest colleague leaving and me being left for months with no replacement or - even worse - an incompetent temp). I was knackered and stressed and working long hours to get everything done. It's a bit better now although now I'm dealing with a new colleague who is a lot less experienced than we were aiming for, plus lots of office politics re promotions around my maternity leave etc. I find my job interesting and satisfying, and I love my team, but it's all rather killed my work mojo for the year and now I'm so preoccupied with my pregnancy I can't really see it returning before I go off!
DH and I have also rather surprised ourselves by finding that we're not liking the idea of putting the baby in nursery at under a year old, and we're seriously considering me taking a career break for 3-5 years.
Thank you everyone for your brilliant insights and lovely posts - this is a fantastic thread. Mumsnet is great at times like this. It's really good to hear all your thoughts and of course it's true that I'm vey lucky to have a job I love. It's also nice to read about people who have taken less than a year. Am hoping I'll be able to take six months and return with some flexibility about days and working from home but will see how it pans out. Benefit of loving my job is that hopefully they will want to accommodate me when I return.
Really interested to hear people's experiences of managing work and a little one. Thanks again
I was desperate to go back after about 12 weeks. I'd decided that I knew what I was doing at work, whereas I didn't know what to do with the crying thing
In reality, I would have been too tired to do a good enough job but I very much enjoyed going back to work at 7 months pp, much better than maternity leave. I also enjoy being a working mother - I have other interests and enjoy the time I get with DS
I really reallyreally love my current job, but was delighted to leave my old career for maternity leave
and the rest of the decade
I don't honestly know how I'd feel about leaving now. What do you do?
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