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What are your thoughts about returning to work after having a baby? Tell Fairy Non Bio to win a £300 voucher NOW CLOSED

(342 Posts)
JustineBMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 15-Sep-17 10:45:11

As part of our partnership with Fairy Non Bio, we’ve produced the Mumsnet Babies Podcast. There are ten episodes in the series, and the ninth is about going back to work after having a baby. Fairy Non Bio would like you to listen to it here and share your thoughts and experiences on this thread.

How did you make the choice between staying at home or going back to work with a new baby? Do you consider your career an important part of your identity that you couldn’t bear to give up? Perhaps you’re happier at home with your children? Maybe your partner is better at domestic-life than you, making them the clear choice to be the primary stay-at-home-parent?

Perhaps the cost of childcare or the logistics of going back to work mean that being a stay-at-home-parent isn’t a choice for you? Or, is going back to work a necessity to afford day-to-day life?

Whatever your experience and thoughts about going back to work with a baby, post this below to be entered into a prize draw where one MNer will win a £300 Love2Shop voucher.

If you’d like to rate the Mumsnet Babies Podcast, please go to the iTunes store to add a review.

Thanks and good luck with the prize draw!

MNHQ

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TorNayDoh Fri 15-Sep-17 11:31:27

I went back to work after DC1 because I knew I wanted to keep my skills up to date and stay "current" in the job market (due to the nature of my work, if I have too much time out things have moved on and I'm out of date). After DC2, I had 2 under 2 for a while, and the childcare cost was greater than the income so I did a bit of freelancing in the evenings to keep my hand in. Then when they were older I went back full time, for the money mainly. I do appreciate the benefits of having lovely colleagues and interesting work to do, but it's tiring and the ideal would be to work part-time but most part-time jobs, even before you pro rata it down, don't pay well round here.

AvocadoLovingMamaOfOne Fri 15-Sep-17 15:47:11

My lb is 6m, originally I planned to go back when he was about 7m but I've changed my mind already and decided to wait until he's 10m. He's ebf and refuses a bottle so that played a big part in that decision.
Me and dp earn a similar wage, mine being slightly higher. And although we've managed well so far while I've been on mat pay, we want to get married and buy a house and have another baby at some point, so me going back full time will make sense financially.
After we do all those things tho I'll be wanting to reduce my hours. I don't think I will ever be a sahm, purely as I don't like the idea of being financially dependant on someone.

asuwere Fri 15-Sep-17 18:49:37

I've had different experiences with each DC. With DC1, I went back to work after 4mths, mainly because I had a better job than DH so he stayed at home. After DC2, we were able to then change our hours so we could both work condensed hours over 3 days each so there was always one of us at home. With my youngest, I've taken 2 years as DH changed job and it made it easier. I do like being at home with my DC but I really dislike not being financially independent so I'm looking forward to getting back to work for the money.

carolineandbaby Fri 15-Sep-17 19:04:27

I am dreading going back to work I really will miss my time with my baby however I need to go back for the money but as a teacher I want to go back as I will always get the school holidays with her which is priceless and wouldn't happen in any other job. So 6 weeks summer together every year? I'm sure it will be worth it.

CopperPan Fri 15-Sep-17 19:18:45

I went back to work after 3-8 months with each of my DC. It was a different kind of experience each time. With DS1 he was my first and I was sad to have to return. But after DC4 it was quite a relief to go back to the calmer environment of an office instead of lots of young children at home. I don't consider my work/career as an important part of my identity though. There is much more to me as a person than my job.

PinkUnicorn1990 Fri 15-Sep-17 19:18:50

I am not looking forward to going back to work but decided to go full time as my DD is being looked after by my DM so I know she is in safe hands. More money to save for a new house too!!

koalab Fri 15-Sep-17 20:03:57

I feel like I've worked hard to build my career but at the same time don't want to miss my DD growing up. I've decided to go back 3 days a week so that I can keep my career ticking along and be with my DD for over half the week. I have extended my leave to a year too and now have mixed feelings about going back.

OnMyShoulders Fri 15-Sep-17 20:10:55

I decided to become a SAHM when my eldest child started school. I then worked part time in the evenings while our family grew. This was exhausting and stressful though so when my last child was born, I gave it up. I've had a break of a couple of years and I'm ready to go back now. I need more stimulation and interaction with the world but the cost of childcare makes it impossible. I don't want to stay at home when all the DC go to school, but I don't know what the answer is.

wineandcheeseplease Fri 15-Sep-17 20:10:59

I went back to work but dropped from full time to one day a week. My job doesn't pay enough for childcare to be affordable to my parents have my baby for the 1 datly. I find it nice as I still feel like I have a little bit of myself left, but get to spend lots of time with my daughter.

CheeseEMouse Fri 15-Sep-17 21:01:32

It's hard. I don't think there is any one good choice. I work but I find it easier now i have a job i enjoy.

mummymummums Fri 15-Sep-17 21:06:17

I had to return to work for financial reasons and I have a career that I trained hard for. But if I had the choice I'd stay at home.
I am able to work part time and quite flexibly which is still quite unusual in my area of work, so I am fortunate.
I'd prefer to stay at home to have more time to prepare meals, not be chasing my tail, and a bit of 'me' time, etc and if I won the lottery I'd give up paid work.
But when I'm at work, I must admit I'm happy and enjoy it. I expect I'd miss the stimulation if I didn't work, and I thrive on being busy so possibly not working wouldn't work out for me and I'd miss it too much.
I can't say I missed anything of my children growing (they're 10 and 9 now) due to flexibility at work - never missed a play or sports day or special assembly.

IndianaMoleWoman Fri 15-Sep-17 22:19:44

I was a teacher but I quit due to the horrendous impact it was having on my mental health. Two weeks later, I discovered I was finally pregnant with DC1. I know I was very lucky to be in the position to walk away without suffering too much financially thanks to DH's job.

It's now 3 years later and we have DC2 who is 1 next month. Our family is complete and I'd love to go back to work in the next few months but I have no idea what I could do. I'd love to do an admin/office role, but I have no experience or qualifications and no idea how to get them.

I don't feel bad about childcare, I know my kids would love it as they're both very outgoing but I know it would be expensive.

I just don't know where to begin. Do I look for roles that require no experience? Or do I try and get a qualification first? I've applied for two jobs with absolutely no response, which has really knocked my confidence. Plus in the age of email it's just fucking rude: at least send a blanket generic email to applicants you don't want to interview to thank them for applying, it would take seconds of your time and cost nothing.

I also hate myself for saying this but my appearance at the moment would knock my confidence if I ever did get an interview. I've worked hard and lost six stone, weighing less than pre-kids, but my body is a completely different shape, a wobbly mess and I can't find any clothes to look good. I really, really wish this didn't bother me but it does. I just feel old, fat, unfashionable and haggard and I can't imagine anyone wanting to employ me again.

coupester Fri 15-Sep-17 22:40:25

@IndianaMoleWoman I wasn't going to post on this thread but then I read your comment.

I'm so sorry you feel that way about yourself. I have no answers - I don't have a lot of confidence myself - but I just want you to remember that your body has done amazing things.

You've created and safely carried two children into this world. That's pretty amazing! Yes, your body is now completely different to how it was (I'm having to get to grips with this at the moment) but don't be too hard on yourself and be proud of the reason your body has changed!

Good luck with the job hunt, maybe get yourself on LinkedIn and registered with a few job sites like Reed? Also put a profile at the top of your cv - a short paragraph on who you are and why you're looking for a career change. Always try to be positive in applications and be honest. Yes, you've had a career break and wish to change careers, but you're eager and ready to accept new challenges, you're looking forward to gaining new skills and experience etc.

ohfourfoxache Fri 15-Sep-17 22:46:56

After ds1 I went back to work 3 days a week. He was just over a year old, and childcare was divided between family and a childminder.

I thought it would be really difficult to leave him, but in all honesty he went to people he knows so well and he's gained so much confidence with the childminder. He absolutely loves going, so he continues to go even though I'm on mat leave with ds2.

Going back to work was wonderful. It really was like having a break- even being able to drink a cuppa whilst it was warm was incredible.

But having said that, I'm still going to take a year with ds2, essentially because I'll never get this time again and I want to prioritise my family.

Ds2 is now 8 weeks. Am I looking forward to going back? Oh yes!

IndianaMoleWoman Fri 15-Sep-17 22:48:50

coupester thank you for your kind words.

I know my body has done an amazing thing and I really, really want to feel proud of it, but my inner realist knows that people make split decisions about you, whether they mean to or not, within a few seconds of meeting you, particularly in interview situations.

So far this year I have gone from a size 24 to a size 16, which I should be proud of, but I look and feel worse than ever. Add in sleepless nights and eye bags, greying hair, little spare money for interview outfits/make up and little time spent in the company of adults and I think it makes up for a first impressions disaster!

I feel practically unemployable in my current state but I will have a look at Linkedin, thank you.

Redtartanshoes Fri 15-Sep-17 23:13:00

I was lucky that we could afford fur ne to take 3 years off. I went back at the right time though, and don't regret working full
Time

Chocolatteandbiscuits Sat 16-Sep-17 06:36:29

I stayed on maternity leave for a year and then went back to work part time. I'm a single parent so my reason was because of the money originally. However when I went back I did realise how much I missed work. My son goes to a nursery during the 2 days I'm at work, which he loves and I get my time at work. It makes me appreciate the time we spend together even more.

SandysMam Sat 16-Sep-17 07:21:08

I'm dreading going back but can't afford not to sad
I love my job but logistically it's so hard to juggle it all.

RedBlu Sat 16-Sep-17 08:27:14

Our DD was born in May and I am going back to work in January 2018 when she will be just over seven months old.

We have always known I would have to go back to work when we had a baby as I am the higher earner, earning over double what DP does.

My DP changed jobs just before our DD was born so that he now works mainly evenings and weekends. He did this not only so he was around more, but so that when I go back to work we won't need to pay for child care as he will look after DD during the day, and I take over in the evenings.

I am returning to work full time as we cannot afford for me to go part time or drop any days. I have requested that I work from home a couple of days each week, as at least that way we can spend some time together as a family, albeit with me working but that was really the only option.

I would love to go part time, but it's just not financially viable at the moment.

I am sad about having to go back to work, but that is just the done thing these days it seems.

theresamustgo Sat 16-Sep-17 09:39:52

I wanted to go back to work after a few months, but luckily have a flexible job that meant I could still spend time with DD during the day if I wanted. And there is a workplace crèche, which we could drop into at will. DP was main carer so I felt DD got the best if all worlds.

BalloonDinosaur Sat 16-Sep-17 11:01:03

I went back to work full time when DS was 6 months old. DP hates working and so works part-time and looks after DS. I've always earned more so it was a no brainer really.

It also made more sense financially for us to do that, than for him to work full time pay for childcare. We are also very lucky to have family support from both sets of parents, who happily look after DS when we're both at work.

Going back to work and more specifically, leaving him at home was more difficult than I anticipated, but I enjoy my job and much as I love my son, staying at home full time would drive me bonkers.

I worked hard to get to where I am in my career, take a lot of pride in my job and have a great relationship with my colleagues. But I have struggled with the 12hr shifts, especially nights and getting enough sleep.

Generally though, it works for us, we are managing financially, and DS gets to spend lots of time with his grandparents, who he adores and who adore him.

Scoleah Sat 16-Sep-17 12:00:10

I went back to work after DD1 with No problems, childcare was easy. Had loads of babysitting offers as one of the first babies in the family.
Now with DS2 (7 years between the kids) I found it really difficult with the thought of going back. I found myself being scared to leave him, not that I didn't trust anybody else but I needed to be with him. And plus getting a babysitter is harder when you have 2, and childcare costs were expensive, so I would have been working to pay childcare. I'm lucky enough to be in a situation where we are just about managing to be on one wage and I could be a SAHM, for now anyway! smile

PuckeredAhole Sat 16-Sep-17 13:42:50

Financially I had to go back to work. Luckily I only had to go back 2 days a week after my first. It was the perfect balance at the time. I wasn't just known as someone's mum!

After my second child I wanted to up my days to 3 and I just have. It's still a great balance as I'm a teacher so I have all the holidays with my kids and I have a 4 day weekend too. As they get older I will continue to add days on so that we can go on holiday more often. Maybe update our car and continue to go on lovely days out.

TwoChoons Sat 16-Sep-17 14:07:57

I took two lots of year long mat leaves after both babies and returned to the same job but reduced my hours to 4 days a week. It's worked out well mostly. Even though much of my salary was cancelled out by childcare, I was glad to keep my skills up to date, contribute to my pension and to continue to avail of perks like private healthcare, childcare vouchers etc. It's difficult to juggle esp as I have a long commute but on the whole I am happy with my decision. I have been passed over for promotion which I struggled with at the time but in order not to be miserable in an otherwise happy workplace, I've had to put that behind me and move on.

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