Did your career motivation change after having your baby?

I'm just deciding how many hours to return to work and teying to work out how important my career will be once I return. I've always wanted promotion pre baby but I won't get it on less than 4 days. But ideally I thought 3 days would be the best balance for us as I'd still get 4 days a week with H. I'm torn between career progression and time with H. I know I can alter it as he gets older but trying to do the best for now and balance both areas.

so how did you find it? Did you neck back into work once you went back. Obv it's hard to imagine how you'd feel until you go back which makes it harder!


  • I love my job and am ambitious. However at the moment my career is ticking over until we've finished having kids and they are all at achool. I work part time to keep my job open and keep my hand in, i don't have the same motivation to stay late etc that i used to. I do still care about it and work hard but i'm not bothered about chasing promotions etc. I'll go back to that when i'm back full time. I work 3 days and love the balance that gives.

  • Mine changed. I had a job that paid the mortgage but didn't enable extras or long term planning. I had my son, realised I had to grow up, knew one day I would be a single parent and needed to be financially independent. Studied part-time, evenings, weekends, used leave for exams, it took 10 years (working full-time for 9 of those) but eventually qualified. Now we can't afford for me to ease off as it's my salary that pays the mortgage. Ironic.

    I have had my share of evenings working in the office, calling my son to say goodnight and then crying when I put the phone down. Working weekends, overnighters even. Being late to collect Harry and he's outside the afterschool club with his coat on, the last one there because I got held up at work. I will never go back to that, ever, but I am quite concerned at the lack of hours in the day to do the job I do, in a male-led environment, and be a good mum to little one when he shows up.

    This is something I worry/think about every single day.

  • I think its made me more determined ... a lot of people have judged me for returning fulltime when L was so tiny but I had to and I have still went and will continue to seek promotion after next x

  • Mine changed before I had F and was the reason we decidee to try sooner rather than later. I got fed up with the office politics, crap management and lack of respect and decided to have F before trying to change path to a different area. Ironically I got promoted at 11 weeks pregnant and had to tell my boss early as I felt guilty. Dreading going back as I know I won't be able to give work as much as I did before and I don't want to be under the pressure. Will see how it goes but I may start looking for a move into the public sector as these tend to have a much better work life balance in my field.

  • Mine changed.  I used to have quite a lot of ambition but to achieve it I was going to have to be based in London rather than Manchester.  Now I'd rather just go in to work, do something that comes easily, I don't have to think about and doesn't have lots of politics involved.  I love work but I have lost my ambition.

  • I'd always been ambitious BUT my role certainly didn't show any signs of progression anytime soon (lack of opportunity,  too many company politics, you scratch my back culture) so we decided I wouldn't return after ML...financially with childcare and a new PITA mammoth commute it didn't make financial sense when I'd sooner spend time with O. I wouldn't have had it any other way. In fact my life has chsnged so much I have just started a little pocket money job in Sainsburys, just12hrs a week too! I'll return to full time career once we're done with babies and kids are in school. I'm still ambitious but my priorities have shifted and my biggest ambition is to raise a family just now x

  • Kind of. Whilst they were very small it was just a case if turning up, not staying later than I needed to and literally doing nothing in my own time. Now they are 4 and 20 months and I'm at uni one day a week, its part of my long term plan meaning il get a big promotion next year and il have better family friendly hours and much more money to spend as a family and provide them with better things iyswim. By the time Isaac in Pre school I should be settled in a new role which would then be a mon-fri role and meaning I'd have evenings and weekends with them. So I'm quite focused at the minute, uni, going into work in my own time to meet with my mentor etc etc but after I went back after ml with L it was a case if just turning up, I did do some teaching but It was An old file that was just updated, I didnt sit for hours at home doing things iyswim

  • Yeah I'd say mine changed. I worked 12.5 hr shifts, days, nights and weekends. I enjoyed it but it was heavy going, early starts and late finishes. My H was also pretty high up in his job, we decided he should go part time as he also taught martial arts in the evening. It was a child are nightmare and we relied on my parents to much. H was made redundant and we started our own business, I then went to college twice a week to retrain and after being offered voluntary redundancy we both work together.

    We both work longer hours than ever but a lot of mine are from home so at the moment we don't pay any child are which is great.

  • I'd say mine has changed but I was looking for a change in any event. Pre kids my job didn't have any fixed boundaries - i would go in every day unsure as to what time I would eventually make it home again. I went through a patch of arriving in the office at 8am and then leaving at 10pm every day of the week and then working at least one day of the weekend. Something had to give. So, rather than changing jobs I got pregnant! Now I work fixed(ish) hours in the office and have one day "off" a week but effectively work compressed hours. My motivation to be good at my job and to provide for my family hasn't changed but my tolerance as to what is acceptable encroachment of work into my family life has. I still find it very difficult to juggle and to accept that the path I have chosen has closed some doors career wise but when I think that the trade off is that I get to see my family more then it is a no-brainer!

  • I hadn't/haven't really started a "career" yet. I got pg less than a year into my first job after leaving uni. I'll be going back part time and plan to get pg again soon, then stay part time for a few years before looking for a bigger, better kind of job and my H can hopefully find something pt instead. I'm only 25 so I'm hoping to get back onto some kind of career path before I'm 30.

  • I would say that my motivation has changed. Last year, whilst we were talking about TTC, an opportunity came up in Central London which would have been a big step for my career although would have meant much longer hours and no doubt working at weekends or in the evening. My H and I agreed that in view of our plans to start a family, it was not be the best time for me to move and on reflection, I am pleased about our decision. Before E I was working full time and long hours. Going back I am looking to work compressed hours into 3 days. I feel that for us, my time at home with E is equally as important as my career.

  • Thanks for all the comments it's really interesting seeing how people feel. I'm lucky I don't need to go back so it gives a whole world of choice. I did a day yesterday and really enjoyed it so I think at the mo i will do 3 days from feb (after 14 months off!) and then review it again after 6 months or so. Hopefully I will have a better idea of how I feel them but I've worked hard to get where I am and don't think I will be happy slipping behind!

  • I wouldn't go back into teaching as you have to give so much of yourself physically and emotionally that you can't prioritise your own children. If I get the chance to go back to work I would aim for something like JB said.

  • Yes slightly, where as I wanted to work at a pre-school, I would rather work part time as a volunteer in a pre-school/baby group

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