When do you just give up and sort your career out?

Hi, we've recently had a bfn after an icsi cycle. It hit quite hard as it had reminded me how much we wanted to be parents. We're having a short break before going for our 2nd NHS funded cycle which we've decided to do because I'm not getting any younger and we kind of just want to know where we are in terms of life and careers. I need to make my next career move soon but am concerned as if we do conceive and I've moved schools then I won't qualify for full maternity benefits. Is anyone else having the whole what to do with your career struggle too? I feel frustrated because if we don't have children then I'd want to make sure I can retire early so we can enjoy our older years together. But to do this I need to crack on and make my next move into deputy headship. Any thoughts gratefully received. Thanks

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  • Hi, Im so sorry to hear your ICSI cycle failed this time, it's good to hear you are moving to another round 😘.

    I don't have the same issue re career choice at the moment however I can totally relate & empathise with life being put on hold and feeling unable to plan or do certain things on the hopes of what might be. One thing I have found helpful in making decisions is setting out my options and making a pro and con list for each. The decision is still hard and I generally find its always my gut instinct anyway but I find it helps me get clear in my mind which one tips the scales and helps me feel at ease with that decision knowing it's been a conscious one considering all the options. Not sure if that helps. 😘

  • Thanks TTCs. 😘 You're absolutely right about life feeling on hold. We made the decision today that I wouldn't apply for a job that I think I'd really like just in case the 2nd cycle works but I know if it doesn't it's going to be hard to deal with as I'll be left with neither. I think that's the frustration really. We basically did as you suggested looking at the pros and cons and went with our gut instinct. Fingers crossed it's the right decision. x

  • I think that's all we can do, go with our guts, they are hardly ever wrong 😘

    Just this week I met a woman who had tried for 5 years to get pregnant, 2 failed IUI's and 1 failed IVF and then achieved 3 natural pregnancies one after the other! Of course I hounded her about what she'd done lol. These stories give me hope 😘

  • That is inspiring. Thank you Hun. 😘

  • I completely understand and was having a similar conversation with my hubby today. I often feel frustrated with the treatment taking over and putting my life on hold. I take a deep breath and try to think and remember how I am lucky to be able to access ivf treatment, especially as an nhs patient. This thinking isn't always easy! The pros and cons list also helps me. I don't have an obvious career route to take but really want to leave my current organisation and look at other roles as I feel I've been treading water for a while. At the moment the pros are in my favour to stay with an understanding manager towards appointments and treatment and potential MAT leave benefits. But it doesn't make the job any easier! It is a tricky juggle isn't it with no obvious answers. All we can do is try to focus and make the best of the situation. Sorry I don't have the answers. I just wanted you to know you aren't alone xx

  • So sorry Mrs C, I meant to start my reply saying how sorry I am that your ICSI cycle didn't work this time x I will keep everything crossed for your next treatment xx Sending a positive hug and luck πŸ€

  • Hi Hope. Thank you for your very sweet reply. I'm in the same boat really. The pros are based around liking where I am and also the maternity benefits. I feel that I've worked hard to earn them so don't want to give up that. We decided yesterday to give it one more year and then I'll focus on finding a new role if it's looking like we won't be parents. Thanks again and good luck to you too. Xxx

  • Sorry forgot to mention that yes it's good to remember we qualify for NHS help. We had the talk yesterday about whether we will/can try to fund any ourselves. At Β£7,500 a pop it's a big decision and we are grateful for what we're getting already. x

  • Thanks for replying and good luck with your journey. It's so tough making decisions and as others have said ivf is so much more than just thinking about the treatment plan. The best you can do is as you've done, exploring options and make a choice that's right for you at the time. Wishing you the best of luck xx

  • Hi mrsc I feel like I'm in the same situation as you regarding career. I've purposely stayed at the same company for the last 3 years because I have security there and I have my managers trust and I know that they will allow me to take time off at short notice (also legally they have to and ive worked at my company for 6 years so i have more rights as an employee) personally i know I wouldn't be able to cope with a new job with treatment on the horizon it's an added stress I can do without. I do feel very frustrated that my career is on hold but I think it's really important to not add to your stress levels. I'm giving myself until the end of this year and if nothing has happened ill start to re view my career, best of luck with your second round of treatment xxx

  • I know how you feel.its that life in limbo thing.i started my own business 2 years ago but haven't really cracked on with it as kept thinking no point getting too busy if the baby comes!! I have said to my partner, if we aren't meant to have kids then I want to earn a good living, make the house nice and travel lots-all the things we have not done whilst paying for IVF.it may be different for me as I'm 45 so we are literally in the last phases of trying to have a baby.i can't still be in limbo this time next year. That's what I've told myself.easier said than done tho to let go!

    I wish u best of luck with your next try and hopefully you get your BFP & the decision is made for u then xxx

  • Hi Mrs C, I also struggle with this. I too am a teacher and a head of year. I thought by this point I would be pregnant or have had a baby and then I could step down as head of year and return as a classroom teacher. That was wishful thinking. I guess, for me, I just have to get on and do and if something comes up then go for it. Do what makes you happy or that you think will make you happy.

    Wishing you lots of luck and hope baby joy comes your way.


  • Sorry your ICSI treatment didn't work 😞 My advice would be not to assume and do what you need to do in your career. I took a job close to my house which is a lot slower pace than my old job because I was sure I'd get pregnant soon and it'd be a better "mum" job but that was 6 months ago. If I'd have known I wouldn't be pregnant by now would have stayed in more high flying job longer. I think do what feels right career wise and everything else will fall into place xxx

  • I so get what you are saying. I have put my life on hold I feel as I have been wanting to leave my job for years cause of stress yet the security and salary are a plus. I am not looking for promotion like you more of a career change. Fertility issues put life on gold and leave so many unanswered questions about the future. I applied for new jobs after our first bfn then pulled applications cause of 2nd round then got another bfn and at moment all I keep saying to myself as I get more and more stressed with work again is that I should have gone for those jobs now. I really do feel infertility has such far wider impacts on your life than the obvious ones. I guess you have to go with your gut feeling about what to do next. Sorry that probably not much help xx

  • Oh and yes so sorry your icsi attempt was unsuccessful xx

  • I took a job 2 years ago just before we started this IVF journey. It was closer to home and a lot less stressful. Two years on I'm still not pregnant and I hate the just most days. But I aways have that feeling that I could do better. But it pays the bills and I just always hope it will be worth it in the end...' don't think there is a right or wrong answer. Need to do what's best for u and ur partner

  • I get this too!! I have stayed in this job for 4 years longer than I would have normally all because maternity package is excellent! I get so cross sometimes that I havent moved on but it is stress free not bad paid and monday to friday and they are brilliant with the treatment side, But i could do so much more than this. I do get down about it and think I should just bite the bullet and go but then my sensible head says stay just a bit longer see what happens... been here 8 years now!

  • Thinking about the financial side: It all depends on what type of school you work in. I went for a deputy headship a couple of years ago and told them I was trying for a baby. It was in a different academy chain to the one I work in. They said they would match my maternity entitlement to what I had built up in my current academy chain. I chose not to go for it and went part time with no leadership instead, and it was absolutely the right decision for me, but I think it shows that schools are willing to bend over backwards for the right candidate. Also if you move between schools in the same LA or schools in the same trust then I believe your mat leave entitlement moves with you.

    However, I know you probably wouldn't want to tell a new school you were trying for a baby, so maybe you should go for a leadership post, then save the additional money that you get each month in your salary. That way you would have that extra nest-egg to spend during a future mat leave. No matter what, you'll be entitled to up to a year off, so it's just about making sure you have the finances to see you through however much time you want to have off.

    Also, to help you decide from a financial point of view, have you worked out how much the actual difference is between the amount of pay you get on Mat leave if you stay at your current school and the amount you would get if you started at a new school? It might not be as big a financial difference as you think.

    The emotional side of focusing on your career is a whole other issue though!

  • Well done on sticking in schools and working your way up as far as you have. I'm afraid I went part-time at school to do a PhD, now supply teach and am working slowly towards lecturing (0.1 fractional contract right now). So it is the worst career position I've been in - if my current cycle works I won't get any SMP at all as I won't have worked enough over the summer hols in any of my 4 jobs to be eligible... But I do face the same questions as you... I think as I'm 40 now, and just about to tie up the PhD, hubby and I always thought in terms of giving it max a year or two before moving on to do something else. It helps having a timeline in that regard, but knowing that if we feel differently next year then so be it. Good luck with your decision making x

  • Totally understand this: my career has been going nowhere for 3 years now as I think I might have a baby by then but still haven't! I've decided to just carry on as normal now as I think holding off was creating more pressure on me. I have attended a job interview today so fingers crossed. Good luck to you xxx

  • Good luck with your interview. I'll keep my fingers crossed for you. x

  • So sorry to hear about your failed ICSI cycle.

    The struggle is real in regards to jobs, i don't have much of an answer for you, but thought i'd say your not alone, i am desperate to be a mum and have a career, opportunities have come up in the last 2 years for progression in my career and i've not gone for them because i thought it would screw up my maternity and not wanting to start a new job and then get pregnant! Like a lot of us here, we put our lives on hold for the 'just incase' the only advice i can give is go with your gut, others 'get pregnant' when not planning to and they make it work around progression and careers and we're no different it just takes us a little longer!

  • I can completely relate to your post. I've found it so difficult to know what to do in relation to my career. For years I've put any decisions on hold in case I get pregnant, but 10 years on, I'm still in the same post. At times I think I've accepted that we won't have a family and begin to look at career moves, then when I least expect it I'm back to thinking that IVF might work and that this is what I should focus on. I'm getting frustrated with work as feel I've outgrown the post, but don't feel able to make any real efforts to make a career move at the moment. I think an added complication is that I've been in my current post for such a long time, any decision seems like a huge thing now. It's so tough isn't it?!

  • Thanks everyone for your replies. It's good to know I'm not on my own. It is so difficult to make a choice and you end up overanalysing everything. I'm just taking a break from thinking about it at the mo as have come to Bruges to have some quality time with hubby between cycles. My priority is maintaining our good relationship through all of the stresses that come with infertility. I am thankful that we can have trips like this together. I hope you all get to have some quality time with your other halves too. Big big thanks again. You've helped me realise I'm not going bonkers. Big hug. x

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