Child Spacing — The Bump
Working Moms

Child Spacing

In your opinion, how close together can a woman space her children and not get side eyes from an employer or co-worker?  There is going to be a 25 month gap between my first and second and I know my manager is not going to be happy about having to cover another maternity leave.  

Re: Child Spacing

  • Mine are 25 months apart, too. The bottom line is that baby number 2 is on the way so I think the most you can do is be respectful in coming up with a coverage plan and not apologize for your pregnancy. Hopefully your manager can step up.
  • 25 months doesn't seem close to me. Less than 2 years maybe. Less than 18 months I would expect a funny reaction but it's still nobody's business how you space your kids!
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  • Mine are going to be 25 months apart and no one said anything.  I would be pissed if they did.  FMLA covers leave after 12 months returning to work so I don't think much can/should be said about that.  That said, what are they going to do about it?  You know best how it will impact your future options with that employer.  For me, I am a teacher and it really has no bearing on my job so it wasn't ever a discussion DH and I had.  At this point, I am more 'how close together can I handle having kids?'.
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  • I got side eyes with my last pregnancy but hard to say if it was because my youngest two were only going to be 16 months apart, or because she was my fourth.  Either way, having been through three maternity leaves, they knew that it would all be smooth even with me physically out of the office for three months (I worked from home part-time during my leaves.) 

    Personally, I think two years in between pregnancies is about the norm so I wouldn't think that would raise too many eyebrows but even if it did, you can't plan your family around things like that.

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  • I don't see 25 months as a problem at all.

    Because of FMLA, I would think that 12 months between the end of one maternity leave and the start of another is a good minimum spacing.
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  • I think it all depends on the company/ job/ people. I had 2 kids 18 months apart and no one cared or thought anything of it. I worked for a large corporation, so covering ML was no big deal. I was also working in a different department when I had my 2nd.
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  • My first two are basically 2 years apart almost on the button and my boss and coworkers were nothing but supportive. 

    I think anything less than 2 years gets the side-eye- right or wrong, that just seems to be the cultural norm, at least where I work.

     

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  • Thanks for the replies-it makes me feel more confident about breaking the news at work.  We have always planned on spacing our children ~2 years apart and are super excited.  My manager was a real jerk last time I took maternity leave and I am dreading his reaction.  Oh well, guess I will just have to "man up."
  • My girls are 24 months and 8 days apart. No one said a word about it. I think 2 years a part is a pretty standard age gap, and most people really don't think anything of it.
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  • Mine will be 15 months apart and management doesn't care at all - and I'm a professional at a large Fortune 500 company where you'd think family was frowned upon.

    My coworkers, however, are probably a smidge annoyed; but not by much. I'm able to do 90% of the work before I go. I think it just depends on your responsibilities and how much more others are going to have to take on.

  • I'm sure my co workers are going to be annoyed.  I started this job in Dec '12, had my second baby in Feb '13 (they knew I was pregnant at the time of interview and hiring) and now I'll be on leave AGAIN from Aug - Oct this year.  This was not planned and I'm pretty sure all my male superiors are going to be like WTH but my employer has won awards for being a family and female friendly workplace so I just don't really care.  They will just have to deal.  I'll be back full time after leave and will be VERY clear that I am not quitting before I go on leave.  

    I kind of feel bad but what can I do?  I was on BC :/
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  • At my job it doesn't matter... I work for the school district. Most of us have children. My boss included. She has three with the youngest in high school still. We have a teacher who actually took a maternity leave at the beginning of the year because she adopted a baby only to find out she is pregnant will be on maternity leave again in April. I have an 11 month old right now and we are trying to conceive our second so depending on how soon we conceive our would be at minimum 21 months apart.
  • MommyAttyMommyAtty member
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    edited January 2014
    Mine will be 22 mos apart. I've had a couple of minorly snarky comments, but mostly people have been really great. I think some of it depends on your position. I'm pretty high up the food chain in my company, one of the youngest, and one of the only women. So our executive team isn't really used to seeing a pregnant woman, let alone one who is doing it AGAIN. I think that has cut both ways for me. Some exasperation ("Really? Already? Again??") and some wonder and reliving of their own experiences as fathers. So I think it's really individual, not just from your company but from where you are in the company.
  • I work in a male dominated career field and most of them have SAH wives.  Sometimes they just don't get it.  But I will say that I'm trying to get pregnant with #2 right now and I think I'll get the side eye more because I'm 39 than anything.  This is truly just because these are clueless men though. 
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  • Most people I know, which generally means people in their early 30s in the northeast, are having kids 2-4 years apart.  I feel like the "standard" used to be 2 years, but it's pushed to 3-4 as daycare costs have gone up. But at least at my company, no one bats an eye at a 30-something woman taking two maternity leaves, regardless of the spacing. 

    Having said that, personally, I don't know anyone my age with more than 3 children.  Actually, I only know one couple with three children, and they're super Christian.
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  • I work in a male dominated career field and most of them have SAH wives.  Sometimes they just don't get it.  But I will say that I'm trying to get pregnant with #2 right now and I think I'll get the side eye more because I'm 39 than anything.  This is truly just because these are clueless men though. 
    Mine is more company than career field, as far as male domination goes, but I see this exactly. There was a study done recently (wish I had linked to it) about how men with SAH wives tend to promote women less often and pay them less. And are just less likely to hire women in the first place. I think it's also true that they are less cognizant of things like maternity leave policy or other policies that mostly affect women. @Privacywanted: yes, that was sort of my point, though inartfully stated. On the one hand, being high up in the org gives me more power than a lot of people, and I feel lucky that I have more control over my situation than a junior attorney or a secretary or one of our women who works a union job, but it also puts me in a position where what I'm doing seems incredibly odd to my peers and superiors. Most of my peers have kids in college or already have grand kids. So I am a phenomenal novelty to them. In some ways, that's good. In others, it's not so great. It does underscore for them that I'm young enough to be a daughter to some of them and that I have a uterus, which I think they often manage to forget.
  • Mine are mine are a little bit of a range at 26 months apart and then 34 months apart and now again 30 months apart.  
  • Mine will be 20 months apart, but it has been very well received. No side eyes here.
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  • My manager's kids are 2 years apart, so I don't think anyone judges at my office. I think some working moms I know spaced their kids closely just to get the baby stuff over with. My kids are 2 1/2 years apart.
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  • APendolaAPendola member
    250 Answers 2500 Comments Fourth Anniversary 250 Love Its
    edited January 2014
    It depends...I took a year off work.  DD is 18 months...so if I was pregnant right now, I would probably get the side-eye as I have not been back very long.

    ...but there is never a good time for your employer for you to be pregnant.  At my work, it seems like there is always someone else that is pregnant or on mat-leave...or there is a project going on or something.  So there would certainly never be a time that my boss would be able to say "congratulations" without thinking about the huge staffing challenge that I've dumped in her lap. 

    Anyway, I'll have my kids when I want to have my kids...if I wait for the right time for my work, I'll be waiting forever.
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