This is a very sad thread. I unfortunately I can't add anything good to it.
I worked for a company for 8 years, essentially because I thought my loyalty would count when I wanted kids. Told them I was pregnant at 12 weeks and at that time I said I would take one year mat leave then come back 3 days per week if that was ok. From that point up until 11 months into my mat leave I was repeatedly told 3 days per week was fine. I arranged childcare on that basis etc. Then six weeks before I was due to come back I was told I needed to take 4 more months unpaid leave because they had no work (they had replaced me with a permanent staff member). When I objected they said if I came back I would be working full time. By that stage I was three weeks from my start date. There was no way I was going to get full time care for my son. I couldn't afford to take 4 months off and I had essentially just been blackmailed by my employer of 8 years.
It sucks that women are treated this way, sometimes by other women but usually by men who get to have a family and a career, no question. Then the 'male' professions claim they have no room for flexibility, which is complete BS.
I don't know what to do either. I loved my career, it was such a part of me.
Wow, this thread is a real eye opener for me. I had no idea it was so hard for so many women. For me, I had no choice but to go back to work, whether I felt that I 'could' put DS in cc or not.
Being in education, the majority of people are in my industry are women, and mothers themselves. I have never felt any negative reaction to having to take time off for a sick child. Even when I've had to leave early to pick him up from cc, there's been no problem with bringing him back to school, and if that wasn't appropriate the other teachers at my school haven't hesitated to change their plans for the day and take my class on as well. This is particularly important for me as I have no one I can call on in an emergency.
That's not to say it all doesn't come with its own guilt and challenges. I am currently racking my brains as to how I will manage when DS starts school - the most likely option being before and after school care which is heartbreaking for me. The best solution may result in me compromising the quality of school he attends.
Unless I make the decision to go part time, I will never be able to help at his canteen, go on excursions, attend sports days and special assemblies. I will even basically miss his first day of school. It's not easy.
So, to answer the question, it hasn't harmed my career as such, but this doesn't come without sacrifices.
Bummer here too. I am with Government, in a senior role. I was asked to act for my male boss while he took four months parental leave. Three months after he came back, I told my employer I was 12 weeks pregnant and would take three months mat leave, then return full time (husband would stay home as my wage is higher). A week later an email comes out - my boss has resigned and guess who is acting for him? A random dude with zero qualifications. They didn't even have the guts to tell me I was being sidelined.
i still have my job but obviously feel held back. Suddenly my performance gets nitpicked. They obviously don't want me to formally apply for the job cause yeah I do have a bit of merit going there. But if they try hard enough to rule me out they will probably find a way.
i spoke to the equal opportunity commission, not sure it's worth the stress. I am worried if it gets to me Bub may suffer.
I think I'll have to set up my own business if I want growth or a challenge. Which is a bummer, I looked for a long time to find a partner who is happy to support my career. But I also believe everything happens for a reason and feel increasingly excited about the prospect of running my own joint
Last edited by NORgirl; 16-04-2016 at 22:15.
OP don't give up hope. I had a similar situation with DS1. We moved interstate when I was 15 or so weeks pregnant. I only managed to get a contract position before I had him then struggled to find work for 6 months (started looking when he was a few months old - ideally for part time). I ended up applying for full time as quickly realised part time jobs in my industry were rare. It is also extremely hard to explain why I want part time in my industry - they immediately know you are a mum. I was also trying to crack into an industry in a new state and city where I had no contacts.
When DS1 was about 10 mths old my persistence paid off and I was offered 2 jobs at once. Both knew I was a mum but both jobs were full time. I took one, hated having to put DS into full time day care (he was 11 mths) but decided I had no choice.
The job was fantastic and I really really loved it but just hated the daycare factor. I excelled in my position and put in loads of effort and planned to negotiate 4 days a week or at least a 9 day fortnight once I had been working there 6 months and they absolutely couldn't do without me. I.e. Get my foot so firmly in the door they couldn't refuse.
Fortunately for me our circumstances changed, we moved back interstate (after about 4-5 months) and I was offered an extremely flexible part time job with an old client when we moved back. However, I am confident that if we had stayed I could have negotiated 4 days part time. They would not have risked losing me by that point.
Is this an option for you? Take a full time job, you can always quit if it's too hard. But if you get into a good company and work hard you may be able to negotiate part time in a few months - short term pain for longer term gain. Good luck!
I'm on an odd position too! I ran my LOs Dads business as well as did on road sales but now, I'm not running the business and no longer involved with it and cannot do the long travels I was doing before!
I'm a single Mum and live on my own and was hoping to be back on road when he was 4 months but reduce it to 2-3 days a week to start off, however the 13 hour round trip to Tamworth is off the cards, along with the overnight to Coffs Harbour and I'll be pushing it to make the day trip to 4 clients in Newcastle in time so I am also in a rut!
My pregnancy was in expected and I am paying rent and a mortgage as I am trying to build a home but I don't see the light at the end of the tunnel and don't know how I will be able to return to my job and fulfil my duties!
It's only a matter of time before the boss relives me because I am not capable of doing what my job requires!
I'm already feeling down in the dumps before it's even happened!!!!!
I don't think we can blame this as being a particularly Australian problem.
In most of Europe and the US part time work is not the norm. Women work full time and usually from when their children are 6 months old.
Australia and some other countries hoped a part time model would be workable but for so many industries it just isn't. There are so many reasons. Unaffordable and unavailable childcare. Unsupportive work place. Unsupportive spouses. The reality that some jobs just are full time. How many kids you have.
I've been working for over 20 years now so am seeing it from the perspective of someone in their mid 40s whose career died death by 1000 cuts after her second child was born. It has now improved (had a second wind) for me but only after changing my employer and my outlook.
And also accepting I cannot be there for my kids 100% of the time. But when I am there they have me completely. Just not all the time.
My youngest turns 3 in August but I've been working since she was 6 months.
My career is ruined too. 6 years counted for nothing, and I've gone from being trained as the next manager to being shafted into a meaningless, trivial role, with no hope of progression. The message is pretty clear, if you value your career - don't have kids! 😕
Last edited by GrabbyCrabby; 17-04-2016 at 18:50.
I'm going to try working for myself. If it works out and I'm successful, I'm hiring part time working mums. We're freaking awesome.
We need some more stringent laws in this area. For example, that employers can only refuse flexible working requests for carers on reasonable business grounds AND that this law is actually enforceable (the law currently exists, but is not really enforceable). And that clients are not allowed to demand that only full time workers work on their files and accounts, as this discriminates against carers.
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