Help! Can't face leaving my baby

(17 Posts)
coveredinflour Mon 30-Sep-13 22:25:44

I am due back to work in 3 months time. DD will be 12m by then. Work have been super flexible and agreeable, allowing me to go back part time, work flexible hours etc. etc. basically perfect. I am planning to do a nanny share, just need to find the nanny now.

So, everything is great! But I feel sick at the thought of leaving my baby. I keep thinking I will feel differently when she is a bit older... But I don't.

I worry that if I don't go back to work I will get bored at home, plus I could use the self esteem, identity and money work brings. On top of that I will need to repay my additional maternity pay if I don't go back (which is quite a lot, like ALL my savings). And of course it might be harder to go back to work later.

We could afford for me to leave work but it is only part time so I should go back for at least 6 months but I just can't imagine leaving my DD (plus I am still bf A LOT!)

Does everyone feel this way? And if so, how do you know you've done the right thing?

batteryhen Mon 30-Sep-13 22:34:47

I went back today for the first time and my DS is 13 months. I did have a few tears but it was ok the way I look at it is that my son has a fab time at his CM. They do messy play, visit play groups etc He really has the best of both worlds.
So even though I find it difficult, he really does benefit, and I look forward even more to our time together x

defineme Mon 30-Sep-13 22:34:57

Some people like being at home and some people don't.
Tbh, if you've enjoyed it for a year, I doubt you'll suddenly get bored.
If you gave up work, what would the likelihood be of you finding work later?
How does your dp feel about you thinking about giving up work?
Could you try it and see how you go?
Some people like part time, but some people find it hard...is your job the kind that you don't bring home with you? If it is then I think part time works well.
I'm not sure if anyone knows they've done the right thing...you can only do what feels right at the time.
Sorry if that wasn't helpful...I always knew I would be a sahm, but I do a job which was very easy to get back into after a few years (I kept my hand in with a little bit of evening work)and I very strongly wanted to replicate my happy childhood with a sahp.

jellybeans Mon 30-Sep-13 22:39:18

I would stay home to be honest unless you really want to get back to work. If you don't want to and can afford not to then why put yourself through all the stress etc.

beachesandbuckets Mon 30-Sep-13 22:41:05

Go back for 6 months,see how you like it, give the new arrangements a chance. In this economy, unfortunately such flexible job arrangements are still rare.

I felt like this after both dcs, went back 3 days a week, found it a great arrangement (but everyone is of course different). I still have days at home to enjoy time with my dcs, to do housework, go to toddler groups etc, but 3 days when I am part of a different world, use my qualifications, get to wear a suit, get involved in interesting work and have office banter and have a 'Friday night' knocking off work feeling. Best of both worlds.

You may also want to consider that whilst being in a fortunate position of not having to work, what happens if your dp's job becomes at risk, or you have a few years 'off' work and then find it difficult to get back into your area of work? With childcare costs, my take home pay is not as much as before dcs, but I find it reassuring to keep a foot in the job market until I can resume a career again when kids are older. But again only my personal opinion, and its what suits you. Good luck!

Ps if you are going back in3 months, I would start making the childcare arrangements ASAP!

morethanpotatoprints Mon 30-Sep-13 22:52:38

Ok, this is maybe what some people might not like but it was how I felt and the decision I made.

I too felt like the OP and likewise the feeling made me vomit (literally). I had a fantastic career and dh and I were very happy and have had his support whatever I decided.
I couldn't do it when it came time. We struggled but got by, I gained self esteem as my time was mine to do as I wished, ok childcare and domestics came into it, but its never made me feel as though I am missing something. We are better off now and I know I made the right decision. The money that dh earns has always been our money as it was when I worked, savings are back again now too. Harder to get back to work, well yes if you want a career. Not necessarily if you have kept your skills, charity work, hobbies, courses etc. If you have imagination, enjoy finding things you like to do with your time, then you won't be bored.
Good luck, whatever you decide
Just thought I'd say its not the end of the world if you are a sahm if you enjoy it.

coveredinflour Mon 30-Sep-13 22:53:48

Thanks!

Later on if I went back to work I think I would want to do something else, of course not sure what!

Main problem is that I would need to pay back all of additional maternity pay... Which would clean out savings and of course nothing would be coming in. That and I am a bit worried about how I will feel about myself - self esteem and all that.

DP is supportive of whatever I want to do.

It is possible to do what I do PT, but it isn't always something you can leave at work and be home on time - I would probably have to do bits and pieces out of work.

Wish I could just stay off for another year or two and go back to the same job but sadly it doesn't work like that!

Thewhingingdefective Mon 30-Sep-13 22:54:56

Can you go back on a three month trial ( or however long you need to to avoid paying back the mat pay) and then see how you feel?

coveredinflour Mon 30-Sep-13 23:03:03

Yes, my plan is to go back for at least 6 months and see how it goes - give it all a chance.

Which is all totally rational and sensible, and I feel OK about it, UNTIL I realise that I will have to leave by daughter for 3 days a week for those 6 months.

I really need to start looking for a nanny but I think I am putting it off...

ceeveebee Mon 30-Sep-13 23:09:58

I felt like you - I was previously a senior manager and had 12 months off after having twins. I really did not want to go back - laid awake crying at night, looking at photos of them etc. But I did go back and am glad - I went to a slightly lower grade job so I could get PT (3 days) and find it the perfect balance between being a parent and being a professional. Most of my NCT group work part or full time too so the coffees/play dates were starting to dry up and I really was starting to be in need of adult company

It really helps that our nanny is wonderful and the DCs love her, so I feel at ease in leaving them. And I really look forward to my non-working days as I really make the most of our time.

I personally would go back - you can always leave if its not working, whereas it is very hard to find a PT job where you get the same kind of flexibility that your existing employer will offer whilst still being financially worthwhile ie at least enough to pay for childcare (for me anyway, with two DCs to pay out for)

Good luck with whatever you decide

coveredinflour Tue 01-Oct-13 17:05:11

Thanks all! I guess it will come down to feeling comfortable with the nanny we hire and just giving it a try - or deciding not to. Just so hard, but then there's no easy answer is there!?

ZiaMaria Tue 01-Oct-13 17:10:52

You are right - it's not easy. But I think you are right to go back for the 6 months. You can then assess properly how you feel about work. You might find it enjoyable, or it might cement that you'd rather stay home. Bit you will know for sure. It will also allow you to save up a bit hopefully (which will come in handy if you do decide to stay home).

morethanpotatoprints Tue 01-Oct-13 17:21:54

coveredinflour

I think sometimes the decision can rest on what you are like as a character.
I think people find it hard being at home if they looked to their job/career to give them esteem, confidence, security, independance, rather than just being like this anyway, iyswim.

Artandco Tue 01-Oct-13 17:29:20

Get a good nanny and you will be fine as part time. Nanny can always bring baby to your work/ cafe nearby at lunch if you wanted to bf still for a while. And nanny can stick to whatever schedule you want baby to be in. Ie longer day nap so later bedtime to allow her to be awake in the evenings for you to see/ play on yor days off. So if home 6pm, bed 8pm instead of 7pm, with day naps to accomadate

Thurlow Tue 01-Oct-13 17:45:29

Yes, give it a try. It is hard to imagine leaving your children before you do, and that can colour your thinking. And IMO it can take several months to settle into your new routine, so don't make any snap decisions.

The best advice I got before returning to work was that if you are missing your DC, think about the amazing time they are having with their new friends at nursery, CM or with the nanny-share. It does help and I think most children, even when they are just 1yo, benefit from mixing with other adults and kids.

duchesse Tue 01-Oct-13 18:03:34

I felt like you, 20 years ago. In the end the career took a massive backstep and I took 5 years out of the job market to look after my 3 young DC. I actually regret doing that now. I feel as though I've lost ground I can never get back. My children are all lovely and settled but it was pretty much entirely at the expense of my career. With DC4 I've found a good happy medium but the career progression is minimal and likely to remain that way. DD3 has had a variety of methods of childcare and is a happy, well-adjusted child with excellent social skills (unlike her siblings tbh). Obviously if she hadn't been happy to go the au pair/ nursery things would have been a lot harder.

I think that if you have a good job to go back to, I personally would seriously think twice before potentially taking a back seat in my career. It's not an easy decision to make though.

Bottom line is, you never know if you've done the right thing. The right thing is a compromise between what's best for everyone in the equation, including you.

beachesandbuckets Tue 01-Oct-13 18:42:33

Another thing to remember is that if you are planning on having another dc, you may well be off again for a year in a year or so's time with a second batch of maternity leave. I was off when my pfb was 3, and to be honest I kept him in nursery a couple of days during that period to give him the interaction and me the rest/peace. This is something I would NEVER have contemplated before leaving him at 12mths to go back to work in the first place, I was sobbing at our 'last supper' smile.

And on my third maternity leave now!! So i can be the mum at the school gates 5 days a week, which can be a bit boring, the 2 days I normally do when working part time is actually quite sufficient!

Also, if you are feeling anxious, why don't you explore other childcare options. Do you feel nervous handing over your baby to another woman (the nanny), would a nursery (less personalised, more interaction with other children) maybe suit you better? Personally, I wanted to be the 'main woman' in my dcs life, so didn't consider the nanny/childminder route. I even washed my dcs hair if they came back from nursery smelling of the perfume of one of the nursery ladies!! silly I know.

Ceeveebee made a good point - most of the women I met on maternity leave went back to work, so the companions for walking/going to park/swimming etc dried up.

Good luck. The first time experience of being a mummy is very intense, I never had such soul searching with my second dc before going back to work, and now - with 8 week old twins - they are already booked in for childcare for 9 months time!

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