To think working F/T with a baby is REALLY HARD?

(56 Posts)
JacqueslePeacock Tue 09-Oct-12 20:33:18

I don't know if it's just me being rubbish but I am finding it so so so bloody hard. sad

My baby has just turned one and i've gone back to work full time. I say "gone back" but actually it's a new (quite stressful) job, with a commute. DH is also working full time. My baby is in nursery and that's OK - he's settling in well when he's there. But at home he clings to me like a desperate little limpet and wails if I have to put him down, which is heartrending and at the same time maddening.

Often I don't get home from work until 7pm when he's just going to bed. I'm still breastfeeding morning and night, and now frequently throughout the night - which I think is down to my baby's new separation anxiety. He just won't settle for DH at all.

My house is a tip which makes me depressed just to look at. Today I seem to be starting with a blocked milk duct or (hope not) mastitis, because I didn't have time to express at work. I'm also getting over a bug that DS picked up at nursery (par for the course I know). I just feel like quitting. I love my career and know that I am not cut out to be a full time mum, but my god, I didn't expect it to be this hard. Success in my field depends on meeting certain kinds of performance targets, and I just don't see how I can do that. I'm struggling just to stay afloat.

Am I being unreasonable? My mother thinks I'm just (i'm paraphrasing) lazy and need to toughen up. She's a bit of an old cow so I'm not taking her too seriously, but it has got me wondering.

JacqueslePeacock Tue 09-Oct-12 20:34:06

Crikey, that was long sorry! It was cathartic though!

Annunziata Tue 09-Oct-12 20:34:57

YABU, it's very hard. Don't listen to your mother.

Annunziata Tue 09-Oct-12 20:35:23

Shit, YANBU!

onedev Tue 09-Oct-12 20:35:31

It will get easier so stick with it & try not to worry about the state if the house. You'll be fine.

Mintyy Tue 09-Oct-12 20:36:43

Yes, it is hard. It is also hard to work full time when you have a toddler, a primary school aged child, a teenager. And worse when there's more than one of them. Sorry.

BlueberryHill Tue 09-Oct-12 20:37:49

It is bloody hard work, you mother has no idea. Did she do a demanding job with a 1 yo? Not only is it hard work but I felt that I wasn't being able to work or be a mother very well.

It does get easier, babies incrementally seem to get easier, you look back and realise that it is getting better, with the odd bad day thrown in. Give yourself time to settle in and ignore your mother.

Lonecatwithkitten Tue 09-Oct-12 20:39:00

I went back to work when DD was 3 months old. I can tell you it will get better.
Can you afford a cleaner? If you can it will solve the house problem.
Can you save expressed milk and get you DH to do some of the night feeds?
Take a day off just to do something for you be it hairdressers or massage.
I am alive 8 years later, DD is well and happy.
It will get better.

YA-so-NBU! It's a bloody slog and I say that as someone who went back 4 days a week and not bfing so you have my sympathies! What I will say is it does get easier. Your baby will get older and more and more settled at nursery. You will get used to the hours and commute and things will settle down. Can you get a cleaner to tackle the housework? Is there the possibility of dropping back to 4 days a week?

thebitchdoctor Tue 09-Oct-12 20:39:50

I've been back at work since April PT then went FT in August. It's a fucking nightmare to be frank. I work in a very demanding and responsile job, im exhausted, my house is a shithole and I feel so bloody guilty as a mother, I feel like I'm failing her.

So no YANBU. Here's a hug, because being a full time working mummy is hell xxx

thebitchdoctor Tue 09-Oct-12 20:40:53

I agree with Worrisome heart, I think I will get a cleaner.

NellyBluth Tue 09-Oct-12 20:43:22

Nope, it's hard. I've been back f/t 3 weeks. I'm EXHAUSTED - and I'm not breast-feeding and am lucky to have a baby who (touch wood) sleeps through. You have my sympathies if you're up during the night - brew

But you look as though you have said the most important thing in your OP - I love my career and I'm not cut out to be a SAHM. That's me too. I know that staying at home wouldn't be for me in long-run. And it sounds as if, like me, you are in a career where part-time work isn't particularly an option if you want to continue in your career once the children are older.

Sod the house - just make sure it's clean enough for the baby <evilly eyes own rather grimy floors>. Look in to getting a cleaner, its surely the one thing that is worth scrimping on something else for if you aren't sure you can afford it. Get an online shop delivered at the weekends. Meal plan in your lunchtimes at work, learn new recipes that don't take much cooking. And I'm focusing on being knackered during the week - coming in, rushing around making food and doing the washing and that - so that I can spend the whole weekend with DD.

But it's shit at times. Come and whinge!

Goofymum Tue 09-Oct-12 20:45:00

It is really tough, don't be hard on yourself. Is there any way possible you could negotiate one day a week working from home? This is what I now do and it helps loads, I work just as hard at home but can spend my 'lunch hour' doing a couple of housey chores and it means I am at home when DCs come home. Also when my DCs were at nursery my parents looked after them once a week. While they were at mine Mum did the ironing and a bit of dusting just to help out. Is your mum around to help (rather than offer unhelpful comments?!)

ConstantCraving Tue 09-Oct-12 20:45:47

YANBU - I went back when DD was 5 months and I look back and don't know how I coped - she was still breastfeeding frequently at night and i was permanently exhausted. The good news is that it does get better - it takes time, but this stage will pass. Can you co-sleep? I found that helped DD feel secure and made the night feeds easier. Good luck.

SoleSource Tue 09-Oct-12 20:46:19

Yabu lol

<feeling mischievious->

Levantine Tue 09-Oct-12 20:48:05

I haven't worked full time since I had DCs, just four days a week. The hardest thing for me is coping withi the sleep deprivation and the one thing that made that easier was just giving up on evenings and going to bed at 830 quite a lot of the time. I started doing that after dc2 and it has kept me sane. But I am still shattered and the house is a tip and I under perform at work. It is bloody hard

tattyteddy Tue 09-Oct-12 20:49:49

I've been back at work full time, since January. I agree it's totally hard.
My house also looks like a shit hole and I have piles of laundry to iron sad

I'm decorating too, so it feels like bedlam! I think I would consider getting a cleaner in the future x

zookeeper Tue 09-Oct-12 20:49:57

it gets worse when they're school age and you ahve the headache of finding care in the holidays and making sure reading/homework is done. However, you do get used to it and better able to manage

WhenLifeGivesYouLemons Tue 09-Oct-12 20:52:06

No offence but your mum is being really mean and you shouldn't take her seriously at all.

RubyrooUK Tue 09-Oct-12 20:56:01

It is a massive slog and anyone doing it will feel the same. But from my experience it does improve.

I went back full time at 9mo and bf till nearly 18mo. Didn't express during the day though. DS ate meals (didn't like regular milk till about 15mo) all day and bf at night. That period of combining bf and work was the most difficult for me - glad I did it though as I believe it helped DS feel better about everything. It was really important for me. But when I stopped and DS learnt to settle with his dad too, I felt a big sense of relief at being able to share that when we were so tired.

It is so so hard. I remember DH and I both arguing about who would take time off on that occasion as DS was ill so often that first year. My first week of a new job was once spent in hospital with DS.

But DS is now two and although it is still hard, it is also normality. It is totally different from those early days with a clingy baby. He still loves me more than nursery (good) but I see him singing, dancing and having a great time there.

So anyway, it was all beginning to be not quite so appalling so now we're having another one. Oops. blush

MargoThreadbetter Tue 09-Oct-12 20:56:01

It's bloody hard. I've been back six weeks. My house is clean. But I have picked up seemingly two different bugs from nursery in the last week, plus an infected cold sore and all manner of dental problems. So clearly my immune system isn't coping with the workload sad

SeriousWispaHabit Tue 09-Oct-12 20:56:06

It gets better. But while your baby is so young it is just the hardest thing.

Mine are 4 and 2 now and I work full time (but over 4 days) and it is only in the last few weeks that DD2 has started to keep through the night. I am still breastfeeding and found that co-sleeping was the only way I could be functioning in the morning.

Do you have a cleaner? And someone to do ironing? The only way I manage is that on a Friday when I get in, the house is tidy, the washing and ironing done and put away and often there is something made for dinner. I have an amazing nanny though, and if she ever leaves I will quite possibly be in more of a pickle than if DH decides to go.

JacqueslePeacock Tue 09-Oct-12 20:56:20

Thank you everyone! (well, except maybe SoleSource - a lone voice of dissent!grin) I feel strangely so much better hearing other people admit it is tough. None of my friends with babies are working F/T so I have no RL points of comparison.

No, my mother did not work at all until I went to school. And when my older brothers were born she was a SAHM with a nanny! So she is definitely not speaking from experience, except for that "well, everyone else seems to manage it OK".

I do already work from home a day (or sometimes 2) a week. I know I should do some chores then but I just have so much work to do! And no, going P/T is definitely not an option in my field.

Am devastated to hear it doesn't get easier when they're older, Mintyy! I was relying on that.

MrsWobble Tue 09-Oct-12 20:56:40

No idea if this helps but I went back full time after each of my 3. I have a demanding job. My dh also works full time. my eldest was 18 last week. We have all survived. Hang on in there - it gets better, or at least you get used to it. Good luck.

JacqueslePeacock Tue 09-Oct-12 20:58:54

And getting a cleaner is a great idea, thank you to everyone who has suggested it. Well worth scrimping for, I should think.

RubyrooUK Tue 09-Oct-12 20:59:19

Ps. Sorted the house cleanliness issue by getting a cleaner when I'd been back at work six months. Otherwise DH spent all his spare time cleaning instead of rubbing my feet and listening to me complain. grin

trixymalixy Tue 09-Oct-12 21:00:33

YANBU, I also started a new ft job when DD was 13 months old. She was up at night bfing and I was just exhausted.

I ended up being ill constantly as I was so run down.

NumericalMum Tue 09-Oct-12 21:00:57

Yanbu! I only cope with a cleaner and now that DC is at school an au pair. It does get easier. It got easier when she started sleeping through (age 3 hmm) and when I started to get Dh to pull his weight more with picking DC up from nursery once a week. My mother also preaches to me but she never worked and had a full time cleaner.

Teamthrills Tue 09-Oct-12 21:01:17

It is really hard - YANBU.

I worked full time when only had 1 dc & it was really hard work. We now have 3 dcs and I work 2 days a week.

Nowadays I have mountains of ironing, lunch boxes to fill, meals to cook, homework & music practise to get through each night aswell as ferrying dcs to clubs. There is no way I could work more days, without being seriously unhappy & stressed.

Your mum has probably forgotten what it was like.

JacqueslePeacock Tue 09-Oct-12 21:01:20

More than one?! <faints> I can't imagine how anyone can manage it.

trixymalixy Tue 09-Oct-12 21:01:24

Oh and I agree, get a cleaner.

DinosaurSchool Tue 09-Oct-12 21:01:45

It is soooo hard. Its one of the reasons why after having dc3 I have decided not to go back.

The house-mess thing is very hard, I was surprised how much this happened and how much it bothered me. I realised that it is a lot easier to keep on top of washing etc when you're there all day. Def get a cleaner/ironer if you can.

All babies go through separation anxiety at around 12 months. Mine clings to me all the time and I'm a sahm!

It will get easier though. Focus on getting tthrough a week at a time and countdown to your next holiday grin

HKat Tue 09-Oct-12 21:02:48

I know what you mean - not quite the same but I went back ft last week, and now will be on annual leave for the rest ofthe week again already as DD has bronchialitis so nursery is out and DH finds it harder to get time off :'(

Roughwiththesmooth Tue 09-Oct-12 21:05:08

It is hard, no doubt about it. I've been back full time 9 months now and it's only got easier in the last couple of months because DH has gone part time.

You have my sympathy as it's exhausting trying to fit everything in, something has to give and for us that was often housework, and like you I'd get really down looking at all the things that needed doing.

My dd is 18 months now and she still clings to me all evening and weekends.

SoldeInvierno Tue 09-Oct-12 21:05:22

I went back to work when DS was 5 months. I had an aupair, who did cleaning and nursery runs, and a full time nursery place. And still, it was really hard. It is normal that the baby is clinging to you when you are at home. I remember that every time I went on a business trip, I would come back and have him attached to my leg for hours. It was sad, but in the end, we all got used to it and it became much easier. Do persevere with your job, get a cleaner, make easy but healthy meals and don't be too harsh on yourself. Ignore your mother's comments. She's not been helpful and you can't waste time listening to them.

YoullLaughAboutItOneDay Tue 09-Oct-12 21:05:25

I was four days, but in a pretty full on job.

Just a few thoughts and ideas:

- any way you could tweak your baby's day to a 7.30 bedtime? Some won't accept it, but many will. If you can get them waking a bit later in the morning, you can get ready quicker, and if they are a up a little bit when you get back, you get to do bath and stories, which can really help reconnect. I never got back before about 6.45, and lots of the mums I worked with did this.

-Yes, get a cleaner. Definitely!

- Batch cook. The freezer is your friend, and it takes no more time to cook four portions of bolagnese than one, etc. Shop online.

-Ensure that you are delegating. By which I mean, when nursery or babysitter is dealing with a task, let them make unimportant decisions as well as implementing, e.g. choosing pjs, not you laying them out.

-Ensure that your DH is an equal decision making partner in the home and with your son, not someone you delegate to. That said, having jobs each of you have 'ownership' of helps. Does he do much around the house?

-Do not take all responsibility for covering illness, etc. You both have to cover that type of stuff. My only caveat is that, if you are in anew job, your DH might need to take the lion's share for a few months.

The first couple of months are hardest. You will get there. smile

GuernseyFamily Tue 09-Oct-12 21:05:42

Have you considered an Au-Pair? (If you have a spare bedroom?) or a mothers help! They're cheaper, they do some cleaning, some cooking, they babysit a little in the evenings/weekends.

I was an Au-Pair when I was younger & would love to have one now what with trying to juggle children at 2 schools, after school activities every day, back chat from the children, homework & play dates!

Go through that ironing pile and say to yourself "Does it really need ironing?" Bedding/Towels/Underwear/ does NOT need ironing. Fold things properly when dry or hang them straight away, you'll soon realize that not everything needs ironing. Shirts/skirts/Trousers yes but not jumpers, pjs, t-shirts etc. (Try it!)

Get DH to do some housework while you get DC into bed? Once you've established a routine that works for you you'll be fine. Pro-Plus helped me for a while! blush

Leedscatgirl Tue 09-Oct-12 21:06:09

I think when (and when is upto u) you finish breastfeeding that will make it easier

My hubby stays at home so I am really lucky cause he cooks and cleans

But my dd now 3 is still clingy to me so I keep her up 1 hour till 8 from when I'm home
This gives us our time together

Hope it gets better

MargoThreadbetter Tue 09-Oct-12 21:09:39

Does a cleaner really help? It's more tidying up type jobs that are never ending that add up. Like putting dirty plates in dishwasher and wiping table, putting away toys. Paperwork. Emptying the rubbish. God there's a whole list.

Think I need someone here every morning like Xenia suggests. Pretty sure once a week wouldn't even make a dent.

BlingBubbles Tue 09-Oct-12 21:10:25

Yanbu, I totally know how you are feeling, I went back to work work full time ( but work a day at home a week) in may and since then I feel like all I do is rush around and to make things worse my DD 14months who has slept through the night since 8 weeks has now decided to wake at 1am and 4am!!! I am more tired now then when she was little... Hopefully things will get better, roll on half term grin

YoullLaughAboutItOneDay Tue 09-Oct-12 21:12:17

A cleaner does help, because then you aren't spending your weekends running the hoover and stuff. It doesn't fix things on work days, but it frees up weekends IYSWIM.

Plates - have a rule that a plate never touches a surface in the kitchen. Used, straight in the dishwasher.

orangefan Tue 09-Oct-12 21:15:00

It's hard but it does get easier honestly. Mind are 4 and 8 now and it's definitely easier. Hang in there.

Tailtwister Tue 09-Oct-12 21:16:09

Yes, it's bloody hard! I've only worked part-time, but that was hard enough. Having a baby changes you, there's no doubt about it. I have no doubt you are as good at your job as you ever were, but deep down you are a mother first and foremost.

I have to say that for me, I find the conflict (between children and work) almost impossible. I do it because I have to. I am trading off the now for the future. I know it's the best thing long term, but yes it's bone crushingly hard.

That said, there are things which you can do to make your life easier (already suggested). I do think things get easier in a way as your child gets older. I found going back around the 12 month mark extremely difficult. I was still bf as you are, co-sleeping and did so because I felt it offset my absence a bit (I do believe it did btw). It did make things harder for me physically though. I'm not advocating you stopping bf btw, but I do think it can make a baby more 'needy' when you are around. They enjoy their milk and they want it NOW!

Give it a bit longer. If you can take a career break then do so. If not and if it's important to you then keep going. It IS possible, but it won't be easy.

MargoThreadbetter Tue 09-Oct-12 21:16:39

Yes YoullLaugh, I guess we only moved to our new place 2 months ago so there hasn't been any time for dirt to accumulate grin

LimeFlower Tue 09-Oct-12 21:21:47

Hat off to you for holding FT job and having a baby.

Please get the blocked duct sorted out-mastitis is horrible.Put some warm cloth over your breast,gently massage it and either express or let the baby do the job.

Your mum is talking rubbish well, everyone else seems to manage it OK -quite often "everyone else" is "nobody"-if you ask to name such person it turns out they don't exist.

YoullLaughAboutIt has excellent advice.Big pot of stew/bolognese/whatever portioned in the freezer is a time saver.

Chin up,you'll manage.Good luck smile

JacqueslePeacock Tue 09-Oct-12 21:23:55

To be honest, I do worry a cleaner might not be able to find any surfaces to clean! I need someone to tidy really, but I guess cleaners don't do that. Gah.

Also not totally sure about putting plates "into the dishwasher", as the usual dishwasher is my DH and he might object! Would an actual dishwasher (as in a machine) really help us? Wasn't sure.

BrianButterfield Tue 09-Oct-12 21:24:31

It is hard. I boggle at any posts that say being at home with DC is the hardest thing ever - no way, it's like a luxury holiday compared to working FT! I do enjoy my actual job but the logistics, keeping up with the housework, sorting out meals and dealing with continual bloody illnesses brought home from nursery are killing me at the moment. I mean, we do manage, of course we do, but I reserve the right to be knackered and grumpy sometimes!

JacqueslePeacock Tue 09-Oct-12 21:26:18

Batch cooking at the weekends - if I can find the energy this might be a really good idea. We might need a bigger freezer though <eyes mounting cost of cleaner, dishwasher and freezer>

thebitchdoctor Tue 09-Oct-12 21:30:52

Does anyone find it so hard that they cannot contemplate having another child?

JacqueslePeacock Tue 09-Oct-12 21:31:49

Me!

KenLeeeeeee Tue 09-Oct-12 21:32:31

YANBU. I only worked 24 - 30 hours a week and I found that nightmarish and went back to being a SAHM after a year of it.

A cleaner is an excellent suggestion. You will find a balance if you juggle around a bit and find a groove that suits you. Could you ask your employer to be flexible over your hours, so you perhaps do an extra hour a day but only do 4 days a week? I'm pretty sure that's what my SIL says she does and although it's still nowhere near easy, having that extra day at home with her dd is nicer.

NellyBluth Tue 09-Oct-12 21:32:53

Heh... DP mentioned the other day that he wouldn't mind if I got pregnant again now, the sheer thought of it makes me shudder. I'm barely managing now!

HoldMeCloserTonyDanza Tue 09-Oct-12 21:33:57

Dishwashers are brilliant, not least because all the dirty dishes get stored away out of sight rather than stacked up on the side looking messy.

BrianButterfield Tue 09-Oct-12 21:41:39

See, DH mentioned another to me, and I thought "ooh, another year off work...mmm..."

Viviennemary Tue 09-Oct-12 21:47:05

It's just about doable if you have a cleaner. Otherwise not possible without much tearing of hair, arguments and stress and bad temper. That's what I found.

ButtonBoo Tue 09-Oct-12 22:05:07

I feel your 'pain'! Going through exactly the same thing myself.

I went back 2mo ago. Work 4 days a week with slightly longer hours to accommodate not working on Weds. Am still bf morning and night. My house is a tip. My ironing is piling up. My kitchen floor is filthy and you might just catch legionnaire's disease from my bathroom!!

Trying to be a good mum, a good employee/manager, keep on top of cleaning/laundry/food shopping etc is just not happening. I feel like I am doing everything at about 50%. Sucks! And for some crazy reason...I want another baby!!!

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