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Post maternity leave working hours

(9 Posts)
Colyflower Tue 03-May-16 22:47:18

What are people's thoughts / stories on this?

Did you wish you'd done less or more days/hours? Did you not have a choice because of work contract/money/lack of babysitting help? Did you go back to work to soon, or maybe not at all. Would you have changed anything to have spent more time with your child? Or did you spend too much time out of work?

I'm keeping an open mind as to what I might do and ultimately it will be my choice and based on my own situation and circumstances. No definitive answers are needed, I'm just really interested in other people's stories and what worked and didn't work for them.

Finallyonboard Tue 03-May-16 22:50:30

I'd have dropped to three rather than four if I had my time again. Having said that, we enjoy the money - four days was £10,000 a year more than three days, which I was surprised at.

Dixiechick17 Tue 03-May-16 23:05:03

I would have saved a bit more and taken the whole year off. In the end I took ten months off, not too bad, but felt under pressure to get DD taking a bottle before I went back, and ended up stopping breastfeeding at eight months instead of 12 like I wanted.

Moving15 Tue 03-May-16 23:22:08

I went back after a year plus my accrued annual leave. Both mine were premature and at that age they were more like 9month babies so I did find it tough to leave them but I didn't have a choice financially.
I went back for 3 days first time (too much away from baby) and 2 days second time (too little for career reasons). I am now 2.5 days which I spread over 3 days and it works much better. I am so busy on my non office days I don't know how people who work full-time manage it
Childcare has always been very difficult to sort out. The best arrangement was when I went back first time around and my husband also went part time so we shared the baby between us.
Second time I had to rope in a friend to help out which was a bit awkward and unreliable - not the friends fault, just the reality of the situation. We progressed onto using a nursery which was OK, DS loved it, but it was extremely expensive and it was very difficult to find hours that worked for our commute and preferred work days.
Now we are back to what for us is the best arrangement, both part time, covering for each other with a few extra breakfast clubs thrown in for convenience.

Sanch1 Wed 04-May-16 13:00:26

Went back fulltime after 10 months off with DD1. No other option really finanicially, I'm the main bread winner, DHs employer not family friendly and no option for him to be part time. We used some family help to start with but it proved problematic so now she goes fulltime and loves it. In an ideal world I'd like to do 4 days but being full time doesn't bother me, I'm not a natural mothering type, being home would kill me! I'm now 34 weeks with DC2, will be taking 13 or so months this time, and I'm nervous I'll go stir crazy! DD1 will go to school when i go back, with wraparound care, and DC2 full time nursery from the outset.

notinagreatplace Wed 04-May-16 14:26:10

I'm curious to know how many women genuinely changed their minds about working hours after having the baby.

People talk about this like it's really common to feel totally different afterwards but, IRL, I haven't noticed anyone doing a complete turnaround, the women who always intended to be SAHMs were, the women who always intended to be part-time were, and the women who always intended to be full-time were.

malvinandhobbes Wed 04-May-16 14:40:00

I went back at 5 months with DS1 3 days a week. This was way too early, but I was on yearly contracts at the time so felt I needed to be careful. I expressed milk and generally was exhausted all the time. BUT -- DS1 and I have a lovely bond now and I am sure he was not harmed at all by me going back to work. He is 12 and sweet and confident. I do not regret going back to work as my career is pretty great now.

With DS2 I went back 3 days a week at 8 months, which was good. I will do the same with this pregnancy, and then go back up to 4 days at 13 months. I like my career and don't want to leave it for a full year. I don't have the kind of job where I can leave for a year and pick right back up again. I found 8 months was a good time, it is before attachment anxiety so my baby was bonded with the creche workers before he started to worry about strangers. I did try and express milk, but my baby wouldn't drink it so he got formula and food at the creche and then nursed all night long. (that was the downside). DS2 also seems to have suffered no ill effects at all from attending creche as an infant.

I may or may not express with this baby, we will see how it goes. I feel good about the 8 months/3 days decision.

ohnonotanother1 Wed 04-May-16 23:28:25

I had a total turnaround!

I fully intended to go back full time, then to the same job 3 days but it was in central London and the commute meant I would have struggled to do a proper working day during nursery hours. So I quit and fora PT/wfh job that was absolutely horrendous (because my boss was scatty and unreliable rather than because I was actually working)

I decided to quit and now don't work and am not looking for work at this point. I love it. However, I do caveat that my now one year old goes to a childminder for 15 hours a week. We kept him there because he came on so much in terms of development that I didn't think it was fair to take him out just because I quit my job and take him away from his friends etc. I'm not sure I'd be raving so much about being a sahm if I didn't have those few hours child free to do the housework etc (we had a cleaner when I was on Mat leave)

Ellarose85 Thu 05-May-16 13:02:01

I got a new branch manager half way through my pregnancy and he was an utter arse! I applied for flexible working hours for when I had planned to return to work taking my week from 5 to 3 days. Area manager and line manager both agreed that I was more than capable of doing my job and hitting my targets in 3 days (I don't want to blow my own trumpet but I was the top performer out of 220 branches) but my branch manager said no, I need to be there full time.

I'm handing my notice in when my maternity leave is up and not planning on returning to work until both my DCs are at school

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