how soon to return to work after birth

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justmammy Posts: 81
hi i was just wondering how soon is it reasonable to expect to return to full time work after birth. i am due to have baby next week. i am thinking of applying for a new job. this job is closer to my home, has shorter hours and better pay. it would result in a better quality of family life for us in the long term. if i do get the job it would be prob due to start in feb, this baby would be maximum 6 weeks old. i already have a 3 year old ds, and my mum minds him and will mind new baby. am i crazy for even thinking about this?
Temperance Posts: 165
I feel your pain. Things are hard at the moment so sometimes we have to make these difficult decisions. I will be going back to work when the baby is about 8 weeks old as I don't have a permanent job so trying to mind the contract I have. The way I looked at is was that there are alot of countries out there that only give about 12 to 14 weeks Maternity leave and these women get on fine. When my mother had me she only had 3 months leave and I was fine. There are self employed women out there who go back to work less than a month after having babies as they have no choice otherwise they lose work. Personally I think if this move will improve your quality of life in the long run it is worth it - It will be hard with the lack of sleep but worth it in the long run and at least you have your mothers support. As do I - I wouldn't want to leave a baby so young with anyone else. Best of luck
nomla Posts: 787
I found this on the internet. According to the Maternity Protection Amendment Act 2004, you must take at least 2 of these weeks before the end of the week of your baby’s expected date of birth. Also, you must take at least 4 of these weeks after your baby’s birth. It is then up to you to decide how to divide up your remaining 16 weeks. You are also entitled to take up to a further 16 weeks maternity leave known as Additional or Unpaid Maternity Leave. If your baby is born 4 or more weeks early, you must inform your employer within 14 days of the occurrence of the birth so as to fulfill your notice requirements. You have to do what is best for you and your family. If it is closer to home and therefore will improve the qualitiy oflife for you and your family; then you really need to consider it. These oppourtunities do not come up that often.
groovee Posts: 529
Hi goldie12, Wow you have enlightened me. I have been worrying about this since getting BFP. In my opinion if you are happy to go back, have a better quality of life in the long run and have your mam willing and able to help out then you are in an ideal situation and the absolute best of luck to you. To be honest until your post it never even dawned on me about going back to work so early but now that you've brought it up it's something I would love to think about myself. Myself and DH are both contractors - totaly insecure in our jobs inand low paid at the moment. Dh is on a v short term contract and might be out of work by June (due date). I have a longer term contract but got it before i got my BFP and havent told them yet ( am afraid to tell them). All in all we'll be seriously struggling in June if we're both out of work or even just one of us as we're not entitled to benefits. Am just thinking now if it would be possible for me to go back after 8 weeks it would help. We wouldnt have the family help ye have though does anyone know if creches or childminders take such young babies. I sounds terribly cold and unloving now thinking about it so i hope noone gets me wrong. It's purely for survival. Anyway sorry for hijacking your post goldie. Good luck to you i think. In the long run if you are happier - your baby will be.
Temperance Posts: 165
As the other poster said - you should take 2 weeks off before the baby is due and 4 weeks after you have the baby (for maternity benefit purposes - although some people probably alter their dates a little). I think once you take this initial 6 week period off it is up to you. Personally I think 4 weeks after having baby is very soon but I will be heading back to work when it's roughly 8 weeks....similar to yourself in that it's a survival thing - but you are in a much tougher situation with being a contractor. If we had a choice we wouldn't rush back but when it comes to doing to best in the long run for your family I think all these things need to be considered. Re child minding - I think you should look into it now so that you have lots of time to see what's available. Also if your OH is short of work maybe he would have days that he could mind the baby if you were working? Would cut the cost of childminding. I'm sure if you knew a week in advance that he would be able to mind the baby for 2 days the following week then you would only need to use a childminder for 3 days. After Christmas you should look into it and find out different costs and recommendations from people.
love struck Posts: 1125
Its hard to know what is the best.. TBH I think what kind of baby you have, and birth will also add to your decision..A friend of mine recently had a baby and he suffered terribly with colic and she wouldnt have been able to leave him with anyone hes only settling now at 6months. Both my LO where really good babies (so were boring) and I always said I would have easily went back to work when they where 6-8weeks old.. I actually found it harder to go back to work the longer I was off. It was easier on the 1st.. However the 2nd is a whole new ball game.. I find juggling work and two toddlers hard I have to say. And my mam too looks after the girls and is great., I actually have reduced my working days to three now and its a great work life balance.. Its a really hard one to answer, good luck with it..
Temperance Posts: 165
Very good point. If you had a section you would be slower to get back. I'm making this decision now with no1 as I hope when no2 comes along (not if it comes along - PMA all the way that things will work out) I might have been made permanent and I'll be able to take the 26 weeks leave and enjoy the two of them together.
Anne Boleyn Posts: 709
I'm kind of in a similar situation as I'm entitled to 6 weeks before & 8 weeks after the birth fully paid, but then have to either return to work or take unpaid maternity leave. Including holidays that occur during my ML, the baby will be about 3 months please God when I go back to work, but I only have to work for about 6 weeks before I'm off then for the summer so it's grand really. # Financially it makes sense to return to work then as I'm leaving my current job in the summer & so need to save as much as possible in case I can't get a job after that. Hope it all works out for you.