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Hi, I am due to return to work on three days a week next month. 14mo ds keeps crying when I leave him at cm. I'm really stressed about whether I'll like my new job (I changed dept to get part time) and find it hard to enjoy my time with ds knowing I'm going to be handing him over for full days soon its almost like I'm distancing myself from ds to make the transition easier for both of us.
I just feel so stressed and depressed. I need to return to work for financial reasons, though I know if we downsized from our modest lifestyle to a very modest one I could give up work temporarily.
I feel like a crap mother for leaving ds. Does anyone else have experience of working three days and will it get better?
I work three days a week and have done since I went back to work after DC1 was a year old.
It took me ages to get used to it. It was exhausting. Looking back, I don't think I properly hit my stride at work until DC1 was 2 yo! And then there's all the organisation at home to factor in when you're out of the house for three days a week - food, laundry, bags packed etc.
1. Before you go back, sort out what you are going to wear. If your previous work wardrobe (which I imagine will be at least 2 years old, as you've been off for 14 months and were wearing maternity stuff before that) doesn't fit, or is dated or whatever, buy yourself some new things. And maybe a bag. Or make up. Whatever makes you feel good about how you look. It will give you confidence.
2. Try to organise what you can at home eg regular online delivery, batch cooking so that you don't have to cook when you get in.
3. Gradually, get your DS to spend more and more time with your cm. Are you happy with your choice of cm? Trust her and allow her to bond with him. If you can be satisfied that he is in a safe, caring and happy environment, he will be ok. It is a learning curve for him and for her too. Does he stop crying fairly quickly after you leave?
My DC1 would cry and cry when he was left in the morning, but he would always stop within minutes of being left. I was lucky in that DH did the handover, and I never had to see it, as I know it would have made me break down.
I am very pleased that i went back to work after DC1. It has been hard, and very tiring, and stressful, and at times I've felt that I was doing a shitty job at work (in terms of my performance) and a shitty job at home, and I couldn't work out what I was doing. Now I think I do a reasonable job at work and a reasonable job at home, most of the time, and anything on top of that is a bonus! Be kind to yourself, and give it a try. It does get better, I promise. And if it doesn't get better for you, you've given it a try. The things I enjoy about work are: the commute (to read the newspaper or my book - for a long time, the only time I read anything at all for me was on the train), popping out in my lunch hour to the shops for some retail therapy, drinking my Starbucks coffee whilst it is still hot, the office banter and being involved in other people's lives that are very different from mine as miost of my friends outside work have young families, using my brain (to an extent), meeting up with friends for lunch and maybe for a drink after work (very occasionally). I also really value my days at home.
I have heard of women staggering their return to work ie doing 1 day a week for X number of weeks, then 2 days, and building up to 3. is this an option for you? It was for me, but I decided it wasn't what I wanted - I wanted to see from the beginning how going back to work for the full three days would work.
Thanks very much, some excellent tips! I had a chat with dh and we've agreed to buy a fridge full of m&s ready meals and treats each week to take the stress out of meal preparation on my days off I can do some batch meals too. I'm very happy with my cm, I think ds calms down relatively quickly and he's never crying when I collect him.
Good idea on treating myself to new clothes and make up, I will do that and book a haircut too.
I returned in January - DD was 21 months old. I do 2.5 days with DD at nursery 3 days (so I'm lucky that I get an afternoon to do housework). Was dreading going back - the team had changed and I was worried about being part time as my job had been so busy. I couldn't bear to leave her.
But it is working brilliantly. At the start DD was really upset about me leaving her but after a couple of weeks got better. And now cries when I try and take her home
My tips - make lunch the night before. Get clothes out for you and DS the night before and pack bags. I am lucky that DH makes breakfast while I get dressed and then he leaves me to get DD dressed. We meal plan for the week on a Sunday night, so we know whether we need to get meat out of the freezer etc.
When I'm at work I hardly think about DD, and when with her I never think about work
And on our two days together we make the most of it. We cherish being able to meet up with friends and maintain the friendships I made when I was off on adoption leave.