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Kids and juggling a career

33 replies

Lioncub12 · 26/11/2019 00:47

I have a 5 month old Son and we are planning to have another baby when he's around 2.

Is it normal to be completely terrified about how I'm going to cope with two? I'm really anxious about it and my brain doesn't seem to register how I'm going to be able to manage! Women all over the world seem to manage just fine, and I feel like I'm the only one who won't be able to do it ☹️

What I'm worried about most is juggling a career with two. How do you working superhumans do it?! Moms make it look so easy.

How do you run round after a toddler when you're pregnant? Are the mornings absolutely insain getting everybody ready? Are you always late to work? It all seems alien to me! 😔🤪

OP posts:

NoGuarantee · 26/11/2019 01:03

Well, this is mad. You are more than 18 months away from wanting to have another baby. Just don't worry about it for now 🤷‍♂️


Lifeinthedeep · 26/11/2019 01:27

Can’t offer much advice as I only have one who’s 11 months. But I can empathise with your fears. I just don’t get how people cope so I’ve decided I’m going to wait until baby is over the age of 3 before having another (of makes more financial sense for us too).


Lifeinthedeep · 26/11/2019 01:28

*getting pregnant with another


HuloBeraal · 26/11/2019 02:00

But if it’s causing you so much stress why do you need to have another so soon?
We have two. Five years apart. It meant that DS1 was self sufficient- could get dressed, sort out a basic breakfast, read to himself in bed when DS2 came along. He was also in school so I had a rule that till 3 pm it was all DS1 and then after that DS2 got more of my attention.
I went back to work at 8/9 months with both.
DH is an equal parent in every conceivable way. We also have a cleaner which helps. And I meal plan and both DH and I are pretty organised. We take turns to batch cook.
So lunchbox for us for tomorrow is sorted, dishwasher has been emptied, breakfast bits are out, uniform is sorted, our clothes are sorted. We need to get up, bathe, wake the kids, eat and leave.


HuloBeraal · 26/11/2019 02:00

I am not saying it’s not absolutely exhausting. I work after the kids are in bed and then I collapse. We have very little time for each other but overall it isn’t that impossible.


poppycity · 26/11/2019 02:23

3 dc here. It can be done. I work full time hours but between a couple jobs, in some ways that gives me added flexibility, in some ways it would be better if it was 1 full time position when it came to annual leave entitlement, plus for both I do far more than the hours paid for. It can be done. You have to be organized, realistic and learn what to say yes and no to. Something I'm still learning, especially the no part. If I had the money I would hire some help - as my dc are a bit older now and I see how other families make it work I really see the benefit of having a cleaner to do the deep cleaning and a sitter or willing grandparent to give you a couple nights a month off to go out, see friends and remember you aren't just work and parenting. Not in my budget, but I wish both were.
I would also recommend a bigger age gap, mine weren't (surprise!) but my friends who had children 4-5 years apart all found it was far better as a poster above stated.
Try not to think too far ahead, just enjoy your lovely dc now!
Good luck!


RainbowSlide · 26/11/2019 08:45

Ive got a 7 week old and a 4.5 yo, so feel in the thick of it right now, by as a pp said my 4yo can dress herself and it's pretty self reliant, so i have no idea how people do it with a smaller age gap. Even though our age gap was due to infertility, knowing what i know I'd definitely do it this way over again given the choice. But our parenting is very one sided as dh works long hours so i'm finding it pretty lonely and hard. I think if you had a better balance it could be less of a strain.


ememem84 · 26/11/2019 08:56

Two here. Ds is 2. And Dd 17 weeks. I’ll be back at work in January. From a “how are we going to do it” perspective....

We'll just have to. Organisation I suspect is key. Nursery bags, work bags, work lunches etc all packed and ready the night before. Getting up a smidge earlier to get ready. Clothes out and ready. Easy dinners.

I’ll be working 4 days a week. Dh 5. Were getting a cleaner.

I’m planning on using my lunch hours (which my employer is very good at making sure we all take our allocated break) wisely. Either yoga class, walk, shopping, appointments or “life admin” or sitting quietly and reading a book. I’m going to have to schedule my self so I have it all booked in.


PlanDeRaccordement · 26/11/2019 08:57

I have mine all spaced around 2yrs apart. The first two are 2yrs and 7mos apart. I do remember feeling exactly as you do. I’d roll my eyes at pregnancy advice about resting, napping when the baby sleeps. Because as you say, that is impossible with a toddler. I found the energy though mostly because I knew it would not last forever. The good thing about having them around 2yrs apart is that they will play with each other more and more the older they get. So while very hard at first, it is easier in long run.
As for late to work, no I was never late. My husband and I both got the children ready for the day. We are an efficient team. So, the only advice I can give is to realise there are two of you to care for the children, you don’t have to be the one doing it all or even planning it all out (except when one of you is away on a business trip).


vivapuff · 26/11/2019 09:11

Women all over the world seem to manage just fine.

You really have no idea how other women are managing (tons of women struggle!). There is loads of research about how multiple kids sidetrack the career progression of women

My advice is to not get stuck on one plan and only one plan (two kids, two years apart). See how things go and periodically reevaluate with you partner if you still want more than one and what would be good timing.

I thought I wanted 2 two years apart. It got to around the time we should start ttc #2 and our house was constantly sick (so many bugs from nursery!) and I was struggling at work (executive role) even with DH and I splitting childcare including sick days/household stuff evenly. No part of me was interested in also being pregnant while the latest gastro outbreak or all night ear infection crying had us on our knees. DH felt the same and we put the ttc plans on hold.

Ended up having a three year gap between #1 and #2. Very happy with that as DC1 was much more mature when the baby came. The poster above about a five year gap makes an even better case

I'm currently on second mat leave and still terrified about how I will manage return to work. We are planning a nanny rather than nursery this time to make it easy on us (less pick up/drop off pressure and hopefully less sick days).

DH just had the snip as we are sure we are done at 2Grin

I'm at a lot of mom groups these days and honestly everyone is struggling, but those with 2 two years or less apart seem to be having the roughest go. Having helpful family close is ideal but most people, us included, don't have that. There is a lot of stories of fighting with partners and yelling at kids


Liverbird77 · 26/11/2019 09:37

My baby is 11 months and I am pregnant with (planned) number 2.
I will mostly stay at home, but do odd bits of work, plus exam marking in the summer.
We'll cope because we have to. I am sure it'll be an exhausting few years, but it will hopefully pay off down the line.


AveAtqueVale · 26/11/2019 09:40

We don't manage very well tbh. Both shift workers (police and doctor) and two DC, 5 and 2. Mornings are horrendous when we're both on earlies as DH starts at 7 and I start at 8. There's no way he can do drop-offs so it's always me and I think I'm late about half the time. Not very, usually only a few minutes, but then I feel I'm chasing my tail all day.

The DC are fine - DS1 has ASD which can contribute to the difficulties, but other than that they're both happy; both DH's and my mental and physical health are shot to bits though. I had post-natal depression after DS1 which had almost resolved by the time I fell pregnant with DS2, but I've never really recovered from the second bout. DH has developed what seems to be stress-based IBS, and I have had a 'cold' since August. I'm currently missing a day of work as DS1 is ill and am torn between feeling guilty for my colleagues and panicking about my portfolio, and thanking heaven for the opportunity to spend a day lying on the sofa, even if it is accompanied by a vomiting 5-year-old.

If I'd known how hard it would be I'd have left a much bigger gap - at least 5 years. I had DS1 fairly young so we'd have had time. I do want a third DC but the prospect of managing that at the moment is laughable. Maybe when DS2 is 5 or 6 we'll consider it...


Hepsibar · 26/11/2019 10:08

Yes one can be manageable with your career, but 2 means you have to make alterations ... that's why so many go on and have 3 because career has already been messed up.

The advantages of a small gap are of course can do similar things throughout childhood ... however if they go to uni, you have q a few years of double funding to consider and similar if you are going down the independent school route and driving lessons and cars. However they might be able to be in the same sporting teams eg rugby colts which is lovely.

Pros and cons whatever you do.


Waveysnail · 26/11/2019 10:09

It's fine. Most importantly can you afford childcare costs? Everything else you just manage


Hugsandpastries · 26/11/2019 13:56

I’m pregnant with my second. I’ve been trying to get him to do most of the running around. On days it’s just me and him we go to enclosed spaces like parks or playgroups he can’t escape from.

To avoid paying for two nursery places at once I’ve waited till my first will be at school when I go back from maternity leave. Like you still terrified as to how I will juggle work and two kids though! Mainly worried about how to cover sick days, even with one most of my holiday already goes on this.


Imabitofanexpertatpeppa · 26/11/2019 14:05

I manage to have 2 and a good career. I also have no family help whatsoever (outside of DH) you don’t mention that but I think it makes a big difference.

I have a 5 year age gap though, through secondary infertility and also part choice, I always wanted the older one to at least be in nursery school so that I wasn’t bankrupting myself to pay for childcare. It was also lovely being able to spend that time one on one with each child. I wouldn’t do it differently if I had the chance again.

In terms of career, I am the main breadwinner and didn’t really have much choice but to go back full time. I am glad I did now though as it’s definitely helped me in terms of progression and promotion. It also means I’m not totally reliant on my husband which is the situation a lot of my friends are in.

Day to day life is exhausting, especially if you have poor sleepers (like my second unfortunately) but with careful planning and organisation it can be done.

Also don’t get too hung up on having a two year gap. You can’t really micromanage these things, as I found out.


LaurieMarlow · 26/11/2019 14:13

One step at a time. Why don't you adjust to being back at work with one first?

Is there a pressing reason why you want a small gap?

It's tough, but doable in most circumstances with the right support. You need DP to be on board and to prioritise your job as well as his own. You need good childcare. Your organisational skills will be honed within an inch of their life. Life will be hectic and you won't have much time for yourself.

I have found it to be very much worth it though.


Loopytiles · 26/11/2019 14:17

Share the paid work, domestic work and parenting with your DH.

If not married, work FT and make no work compromises he’s not making!

I never felt on top of things with one or two small DC, many things got easier at home after the toddler phase, but haven’t yet hit the teen years! Career derailed in terms of promotions etc, but still earn a decent wage.


Lioncub12 · 26/11/2019 17:46

My DH is an older Dad, so the timing is really quite important - basically pop them out the sooner the better! And September next year I will be finishing my last year of University, but I figured rather than start my job and then piss my boss off a year later by disappearing to have my second child, just get the kids out of me before I even start my career! In my head that logic makes sense lol?

I'm sure I'll somehow manage! I'll finish University and go from there.

I'll just need a full time Nanny, cleaner and live in chef then 😂

OP posts:

Lioncub12 · 26/11/2019 17:47

I miss time with DH. I suppose that's out of the window now, like forever lol.

OP posts:

WorraLiberty · 26/11/2019 17:50

How much childcare and housework does your DH do?


pinkyredrose · 26/11/2019 17:52

Could you husband go part time?


AnotherEmma · 26/11/2019 17:58

"I figured rather than start my job and then piss my boss off a year later by disappearing to have my second child, just get the kids out of me before I even start my career!"

This makes no sense whatsoever. Get a job, make sure you get pregnant with number 2 after you've started the new job, and then you'll be entitled to maternity pay (SMP as a minimum). You'll have a job to go back to. It will make everything easier, financially speaking.

I can't believe you would choose to pop a baby out first before getting a job just because you're worried about annoying a hypothetical new boss?!


NoGuarantee · 26/11/2019 18:01

Totally agree with another Emma. It's also much easier to negotiate flexible working in a job you have then a job you want.


HuloBeraal · 26/11/2019 18:06

Your DH’s fertility isn’t declining in the same way. An extra year or 18m shouldn’t make a difference. I agree, go to work, build up some savings, get proper paid maternity leave the next time and if DC1 is close to 3 then by the time you go back to work the 30 hours will kick in, making it a little financially easier.
Otherwise can you afford childcare for two kids? Because if you can’t, you are looking at staying at home for the next..5/6 years?

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