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I'm pg, going on mat leave in a few months. With DD I looked after her until about 18 months and then got v down and found a one day a week job. My mum looked after her. With this baby I know I'm going back two days a week after a year. The baby will have to go into paid childcare, which I've started looking into now.
I feel so guilty already. I feel like I should stay at home with the baby, but I know I can't hack being a SAHM indefinitely, and I like my job. Is this just how it is? Do other people feel like this? How do you deal with it?
Hmm - maybe really look at why you feel guilty - is it the whole 'all children need a parent mother at home belief espoused by so many people? As with everything else to do with humanity, some children do and some don't.
From an outside perspective (well, mine at any rate) it sounds like everyone gets to benefit if you're working outside the house two days a week.
My reasoning for the above is: a) Your children will have your attention five days a week and will also have time with other people, thus developing their social awareness and ability to manage in more than one social structure. b) You get to have time to switch off from childcare and think about different things meaning you're enthusiastic and focused on them when you are at home.
I think one of the downsides of using extended family as childcare is that it can sometimes give people a jaundiced view of paid childcare. They demonise it and think there must be something wrong with it.
This is about your feelings , not based on anything rational. I went back to work when my kids were 6 months old, they both went to a childminder then nursery and I can tell you I felt they got a whole load of extra things out of that than they got from being with granny. Don't get me wrong, they loved spending time with granny too, but that's a different relationship.
I also agree it sounds like for your whole family it's best that you work- many mums would get really isolated and down at home 24/7. Don't feel guilty- you are serving your child's and families needs
It is totally a weird idea that I (or DH, or failing that, family) should be looking after them. And I think you're right, I do have a fairly grim idea of paid childcare because we've never used it. But I know I'm much nicer to be around when I'm working, even just two days a week. And I know it's not that long to be away. It is irrational. Your posts have made me feel better, thank you. I need to keep them in mind when I get all hung up on this stuff!
It's par for the course, I still feel pangs of guilt for going back full time and mine are 6 and 7!!! Completely irrational as they have a fab nanny and my job benefits all of us. 2 days is perfect IMO.