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career vs baby

(90 Posts)
neverarighttime Sat 13-Oct-12 05:39:03

I'm really keen to become a mum and have felt ready for a few years now. But it's only in the last 6 months that my dp has also become excited by the idea. Recently my career has been in the doldrums while he's doing well at work. So everything clicked into place and we threw away my pill.

Suddenly an opportunity has appeared for me - it's a big step up, a very exciting job and one I'd love to do. But it's also a very responsible job and I would be the person solely in charge. Meaning there wouldn't be a team to cover me if I took maternity leave. So now I feel this big weight - I can't take the job and continue to try for a baby as the role would fall apart without someone dedicating their full time to it (initially).

Should I stay in my boring, low-paid job and start the family we want, or take the exciting, highly-paid job and postpone? I'm 31. How long can I realistically postpone for if we want more than one dc?

I'm feeling pretty resentful that a man would not have to face this decision because having a dc would not affect his work the same way. I hate the idea of being the woman who lets the company down by taking a promotion and spending the first year on maternity leave. Everyone always mutters about them, but it's just not fair!

All opinions and insights gratefully received! Thanks...

RichManPoorManBeggarmanThief Sat 13-Oct-12 05:42:44

You don't have to take a year of maternity leave. A lot of women take less.

aufaniae Sat 13-Oct-12 05:53:10

Are you sure you can't take the high-paid job and get pregnant?

If you take it and go on maternity in say a year (as it may take you time to conceive) you will have had a year to establish yourself, and then someone else can take the reins for a while.

Personally I would go for the job, and TTC. You may feel indispensable in your job, but in reality few of us are! If you disappear to have a baby, the world will carry on!

What would happen to the job if you took it for a year and then went on maternity. Would the job vanish?

As I'm sure you know, if you put it off you might find it's harder to conceive.

How long would you put it off for anyway?

neverarighttime Sat 13-Oct-12 06:06:52

It would involve a lot of international travel and last minute trips. The office would consist of: me. So if I left, the parent company would have to recruit all over again, and if I was still in my probationary period, they may just decide to keep my replacement instead. I would in reality probably only be able to take one month leave and then have to work part time, but the inability to travel for several months would be a serious issue. Basically it would undermine everything they are employing me to do, i.e. be flexible, travel, long hours etc.
aufaniae The job won't vanish but my part in it might!
How long can I put it off for? How long is reasonable to wait in a new job like this?

aufaniae Sat 13-Oct-12 06:13:17

How long is the probationary period for?

aufaniae Sat 13-Oct-12 06:16:35

One month leave is pretty unrealistic IMO. There are people who do it, but it really is very young, most new mothers would find it very hard to leave their baby at a month, and you may well feel like this. Your priorities shift when you become a mum. And even if you manage to leave your baby you will feel probably awful physically, it's a recipe for disaster IMO!

(Sorry, not trying to piss on your parade, trying to help honest!)

neverarighttime Sat 13-Oct-12 06:21:10

Hmm not sure yet, none of this is done and dusted by any means, still hypothetical at this point. In my past experience it's always been 6 months so if that was the case, I suppose I could wait that long before TTC again. It just feels hard having got so excited together about TTC, to shift mindset again! Also I'd feel like I was cheating the company a bit. I feel torn by my own wants and my responsibility to them.

neverarighttime Sat 13-Oct-12 06:25:53

No aufaniae, I agree with you, when I was younger I always imagined myself as a stay at home mom! I would hate to leave a teeny baby at home, I know I would! But if I don't take the job, the one I do now is pretty dead-end, in fact before this came along I'd considered dropping out of my industry to do something like teaching. It's a super-competitive industry and would be virtually impossible to re-enter after a break unless I had already done a more senior role than my current one... does that make sense?
Anyway I really appreciate your advice, thanks thanks

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Sat 13-Oct-12 06:27:11

It's not just the maternity leave part you and DP need to consider, it's the childcare after that - and that part is an equal consideration for both. How will that work, do you think?

Your DP could share your maternity leave making it possible to go back once you had physically recovered.

Don't forget that even if you took the promotion and got pregnant straight away, you would be working for 7-8 months before starting mat leave so that would have finished your probation, I assume (though they would need to be very careful anyway to demonstrate any decision to terminate probation was nothing to do with pregnancy)

BTW I am assuming you are in UK?

Niceupthedance Sat 13-Oct-12 06:28:37

I'd go for the job and spend two years before TTC. You might find it takes longer to TTC if you are travelling a lot anyway.

My advice would be make sure you have done everything you wanted before becoming a parent, because it can change everything whether you want it to or not.

aufaniae Sat 13-Oct-12 06:28:50

You wouldn't need to wait 6 months to TTC. If the probationary period is 6 months, you could take the job, wait 3 or 4 months, then TTC. Even if you got pregnant at the drop of a hat, you would be pregnant within the 6 months, but probably not showing so you'd be OK.

Forget about worrying about cheating the company. You are cheating yourself if you put their needs before yours and your future DCs IMO. They are only a company, there to make money. You are talking about making a human being, much more special IMO smile

In your shoes I'd take the job, put off TTC for just a few months, not more. I'd put my heart and soul into the job in the time I had available (more than a year is plenty to get established) and then go on maternity leave when the time comes, for the proper amount of time, that suits you and your family, not the company. They are not allowed to demote you because of maternity leave, that's illegal!

You are not cheating the company if you take the job and do a really good job of it in the time you have available. Assuming you're good at your job (and it would seem you are if they're offering you this!) then they're lucky to have you, for whatever time you can give them!

Niceupthedance Sat 13-Oct-12 06:29:57

* longer to conceive

(too early in the morning!)

aufaniae Sat 13-Oct-12 06:31:49

But the problem with putting it off is that she may find it's not so easy when the time comes. If she's already ready to TTC (job proposals aside) then it would be a shame to put it off IMO.

A friend of mine found it took 4 years to conceive once she stared TTCing at 30, for example. (They had IVF in the end).

On the other hand I got pregnant totally by accident, it was just the once!

You don't know which one will be you.

conorsrockers Sat 13-Oct-12 06:32:00

Take the job, work through your pregnancy, take a week or two off when you have the baby and then gradually ramp up the hours - so, first week 3 half days, second week - 2 full days, 1 half day etc... up to 4 days for the first year. Take Wednesdays off. When you are at home spend most of your time as quality time with your little one, dont worry about having a show home. Make your hubby pull his weight with shopping, bill paying etc...
Find a good full time nanny that is also a housekeeper (so on Wednesdays they clean while you play Mum).
May sound a little mental - but I did it with 3 kids and it worked very well, and no, they don't need to be attached to you 24/7 to be happy - they really don't. That comes from being a positive loving parent - not from being at home with them all the time,
Of course, that's assuming there are no complications.

neverarighttime Sat 13-Oct-12 06:32:45

Hi Doctrine, Sorry I'm being a pain in the arse, drip..drip...drip... No I'm not in the UK, and here there is no option for DP to take leave on my behalf. I would for sure have to wait and make sure my pregnancy didn't have to be announced whilst still in my probationary period, to protect my position because the law is a little more sketchy than in the UK.
One great thing tho, is that childcare is very cheap and flexible here. It was part of the reason why we decided to TTC after moving here.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Sat 13-Oct-12 06:33:35

Oh yeah I didn't answer WWYD... Iwouldd take the promotion and consider using condoms for 3-6 months - it may take a while for the pill to leave your system. This would just give you a bit more time to get into the job without worrying about anything else - but not be long enough to make much difference to your age-related chances.

aufaniae Sat 13-Oct-12 06:35:31

conors I know some people manage that but personally I couldn't and a lot of mothers find they feel like that.

I think unless you absolutely have to, it's madness to put yourself in that position as you don't know how you'll feel being a new mum until you're there.

I would have found it absolutely, shatteringly heartbreaking to leave my baby at 2 weeks (let alone 5 months) to work, and I was too exhausted to do anything using my brain anyway! Of course not everyone feels like that but it's very common and a new mum won't know until she's there.

neverarighttime Sat 13-Oct-12 06:35:34

You guys are giving great advice! smile

aufaniae Sat 13-Oct-12 06:39:20

We aim to please grin

I'm off back to bed for - ooh an hours or so's sleep - before DS gets up! (Woke at 4 and just couldn't sleep, unusually for me. Today's going to be hell. Oh well!)

conorsrockers Sat 13-Oct-12 06:41:19

That first paragraph sounded a bit like I was telling you what to do - I was just listing what I did!! I travel too so the Wednesday thing sometimes had to move - but I've never stayed away longer than four days (and China and back in four days is a mission!) grin
There are plenty of women that do it. The trick is to be confident and secure in your decisions, there are times when you feel exhausted and just wish you could stay at home (especially when they are ill and you are not there), but there will be enough people queuing up to tell you what a terrible mother you are - you have to be strong enough to rise above it knowing that you are doing the right thing for your family.

neverarighttime Sat 13-Oct-12 06:44:45

thanks aufanaie, sleep tight wink

conors, It was very interesting to hear your setup. I don't feel lectured!

neverarighttime Sat 13-Oct-12 06:47:00

Actually I have a question conors, how did you deal with the travel at the very beginning? I mean - were you bf? How old should a baby be before you go away overnight?

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Sat 13-Oct-12 07:01:28

Never if I was you I would mix feed from fairly early. Then if you need to be away overnight you don't have to be pumping and freezing frantically just before you go and you can pump and discard whilst you are away to relieve build up.

chickydoo Sat 13-Oct-12 07:15:11

If you don't go for the job you will always have the"what if 'feeling. In future years you could look back & maybe resent your child/children as because of them you didn't take your dream job. Go for the job. Give it 18 months or so, then think about a baby again.

BlackSwan Sat 13-Oct-12 07:16:48

There may never be a right time, but there is a wrong time - the worry here is that you're planning on embarking on two different life challenges: (1) a new high pressure job, and (2) a new baby, at the same time. Not a great idea in my book as you're just going to make life difficult for yourself.

The opportunity which presents itself now isn't (2), it's (1). You're not pregnant yet - as far as you know, but you have the opportunity to take on a new and exciting role.

How would you feel if you were to turn down the role just on the off chance you will fall pregnant immediately but you don't? Fingers crossed you do fall pg as soon as you want to, but it doesn't always work out.

If you take the job, I would wait to see how you cope with it/enjoy it, before you throw pregnancy and a child into the mix.

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