How is babby timed?
March 8, 2015 9:00 PM   Subscribe

My husband and I are interested in trying to get pregnant. My plan was to get a new job, work there for a few months, then start trying. Unfortunately, the first part is not working out. Now what?

From an outsider's perspective, I'm in a decent position to start trying to get pregnant. My organization has a good leave policy and I've been there for four years. However, I'm pretty unhappy there so I've been applying for new jobs. My idea was to get a new gig, put in 3-6 months to be sure it's a good fit and so I would potentially be eligible for FMLA if/when I do get pregnant.

Unfortunately, I've been applying for jobs with no success to date. I'm trying to focus on it more but in the meantime, I'm turning 33 in a few months - not necessarily problematic but I think I'd like to have more than one kid so I might need to move quickly.

My husband wants to start trying. He's great about not pressuring me but he has reminded me that I don't *need* to get a new job before we start trying. He's working and we have savings (I have almost a year's salary in a savings account plus a 401k, a 403b, and an IRA with some money). But he's also interested in buying a place soon (goodbye, savings!).

I realize that I don't need a new job to start trying to get pregnant but I feel like deciding to start trying means deciding to stop applying for new jobs or start looking for interview suits in maternity sizes and prepare for even more rejection. Plus, if by some miracle, I got pregnant, then got a new job, I wouldn't be FMLA eligible when it's time to give birth (assuming I'm not employed by a great organization). And I realize FMLA just means I have a job to come back to, not that I'd be getting paid.

Similarly, I think it would be rough to get pregnant, have a baby, and take maternity leave at my current job, then not come back. Moreover, the idea of staying at my current gig for another year makes me really unhappy. Who wants to return to a job that made them miserable, especially after giving birth?

I can keep working towards getting a new gig but I'm worried I'm doing this wrong. And I know that it could take a while once we start trying to conceive. Part of me wants to throw caution to the wind and just start trying but I feel like when we start trying to conceive is one of the few things in life we can actually choose and plan, so I owe it to myself and my future family to take advantage. But another part of me thinks, yeah but how am I going to feel when we start trying to conceive and it takes a while because maybe I should have started trying sooner? I mean, if it's hard to get pregnant, that will suck no matter what but it will really suck if it's a year or two (God help me) from now.

Should I start trying to conceive sooner rather than later? Should I set a deadline, like if I don't have a new gig in a few months, we'll start trying and see what happens? I just feel like not having a new job means putting my life on hold. I can be patient but I'm worried that I'm being too patient.

Thanks for your thoughts and for being sensitive- this is making me anxious.
posted by kat518 to Work & Money (8 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Something that you don't mention. Are there ways to look to improve the job situation you are currently in, rather than trying to find a new job in this anxious time?
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 9:04 PM on March 8, 2015

I think you should start trying to conceive now. Keep applying for a new job until you are actually pregnant or a few weeks pregnant then I would take a break from looking during the pregnancy. You might not want to come back to your current job but it is nice not to stress about work while you are off since you know the job so well. You could also consider taking off longer than the US standard 3 months and sorta combine maternity leave and a job search. With pregnancy so much is out of your control getting started sooner than later gives you more options down the road if there are any bumps along the way.
posted by saradarlin at 9:06 PM on March 8, 2015 [5 favorites]

Just do it. You won't miss 1 extra year in a job you don't like vs. possibly needing fertility assistance and wishing you had more time & had started earlier. Plus you don't know how long you will take to conceive.

Life is what happens when you're making other plans. Go for it!

This is exactly us fwiw & we are now expecting & very happy about it. And we are still planning the job change, just delayed a little. Good luck!
posted by St. Peepsburg at 9:27 PM on March 8, 2015 [2 favorites]

According to you need to be working for any employer for a year to be eligible for FMLA.

I always took that to mean before you even got pregnant, but I could be wrong. Something you might want to check into though.
posted by aetg at 11:16 PM on March 8, 2015

"Similarly, I think it would be rough to get pregnant, have a baby, and take maternity leave at my current job, then not come back."

It's a bit rough, but not unheard of. Hold off buying the house so you continue to have a cushion. Keep applying for jobs if that's what makes you happy. Start trying to get pregnant. If it takes awhile now, that's fine - maybe you'll find the new job before you're pregnant. If it happens right away that's also fine. Work for nine months and then either take the maternity leave and quit after ( you won't have been the first), or if you want to take the higher road, then inform them that you're leaving when you deliver and live off savings and your husband's income during your diy "maternity leave" while you continue looking for the new job.
posted by permiechickie at 5:08 AM on March 9, 2015

According to you need to be working for any employer for a year to be eligible for FMLA. I always took that to mean before you even got pregnant, but I could be wrong.

It's a year before you take the leave, so assuming you stay pregnant for about 9 months and work the whole time, you work there ~3 months and you're good.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 5:10 AM on March 9, 2015

Keep in mind that many jobs often have a non-FMLA reason to hold your job during maternity leave - it is expensive and complicated to recruit and train someone for a new position. I'd look into any employee handbooks you can find for the type of jobs your are interested in and see what the standard is in your field.
posted by fermezporte at 6:59 AM on March 9, 2015

It sounds like you're under a lot of (internal?) pressure to "hurry up and start your life." You don't have to buy a house now, and your life has already started and is moving apace. Go ahead and start trying for that baby, and use the savings as a cushion. Hold off on buying the house, a baby doesn't need a house and having one won't solve any problems or make you happier. And yes, you can totally go on maternity leave when you have a baby and then never go back to work, people do it all the time. If you can stick it out at your current job, you can think of not ever going back post-baby as part of your reward for having stuck it out.
posted by juniperesque at 8:02 AM on March 9, 2015

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