I feel so awful about having to go back to work :-(

(19 Posts)
Doodledumdums Mon 14-Oct-13 21:45:15

I know this topic has probably been done to death, but I just need reassurance that it will be okay sad

Seven weeks today and I will have to leave my beautiful little DS from 7am-6pm every day, and this means I will spend a total of 5 hours with him Monday-Friday. This is going to be awful. How do people do it?

I feel so terrible, I am his world at the moment, he gets up and spends the whole day with me and he has no idea that things are about to change. I want to go back part time, but DH and I earn the same (pitiful) amount, so we can't manage everything on one salary, so I have to go back. I knew this before we even had a baby, and I thought that I would be okay with it because it was something i've known all along was going to have to happen, but not I am facing the reality of 5 hours a week with my baby and I can't do it.

It is evil isn't it? Five hours a week with the person who he will have spent the last eleven months with, pretty much exclusively. He'll be distraught, as will I. My DH and DM are sharing the childcare between them, which I know is the next best solution (from my perspective anyway), but they are not me, and this doesn't help my guilt/jealousy.

We have possibly got the opportunity to move house somewhere which will basically slash our mortgage and bills by about 3/4, and would potentially mean I could get a new job and do part time hours, but it involves living with my parents, and DH isn't 100% sure he wants to do it (which I do understand, they are my family, not his). Even if this does happen, it isn't likely for about another year anyway, so doesn't help the immediate going back to work issue.

It would help if I was going back to a job I am good at, but i'm not! I'm going back to a stressful job that I suck at sad

I am seeing a counsellor at the moment as I am so anxious about leaving him.

How do you do it? How do you get rid of the guilt of leaving them? The only benefit here is financial, I can't shake the feeling of guilt as I know that this situation isn't in DS' best interest. sad

littleoaktree Tue 15-Oct-13 00:30:55

It is very hard I won't deny it and the first few weeks will be v tough but it will get better and you (and he) will get used to the new routine. Your ds will also benefit from time with his dad and granny. I had to leave both mine in nursery at 12mo (though PT) as have no family to provide childcare and they've both thrived and it actually made the days I do have with them more enjoyable and more special.

Have you looked at options such as compressed hours so doing say 3 long days/2 short days, working 90% of hours so you get 1 day off a fortnight but without too big a pay drop. Also have you used your accrued annual leave up? Otherwise you could use that to ease you in gently so work 3 days/take 2 days AL each week until you use up your AL or 4days/1 day.

Sarahforever2201 Tue 15-Oct-13 20:20:48

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ceeveebee Tue 15-Oct-13 20:30:59

It is very hard, there is no denying that. I have 2 yo twins and went back to work when they were 10 mo. I used annual leave to go from 2 days a week, to 3 and now 4.

Can you adjust his routine so he stays up until 730/8? I did this as I'm rarely back before about 7, when I get home they are in their pjs and I spend an hour or so with them, and 1/2 hour in the morning

Can you work from home one day, or do compressed hours?I have Fridays off, am very lucky, and really make the most of the day. Could you use annual leave to take every other Friday off?

Also you will have weekends too? That's another 24 waking hours?

Doodledumdums Tue 15-Oct-13 21:20:47

Unfortunately i've used all of my annual leave as I needed the money, so I don't have any left :-( The trouble with doing longer hours on other days to enable me to have a day off, is that while that would give me an extra day with him, it would also cut into the hour that I am going to have with him on the other four days, so it means I would hardly see him at all on those days. Unfortunately I can't work from.home as my job requires me to be in the office. That is a good idea about adjusting his bedtime though, at least then I will get a bit more time with him, and you are right, I will have weekends.

I just wasn't expecting to feel so sad about it, I thought I could be pragmatic about it but I can't. I am just adopting a childish 'it's not fair' attitude, which isn't helpful. I just can't see how I am ever going to accept that this is how it is going to be from now on. I know he will benefit from time with Granny and Daddy, but they aren't me and I will miss him so much. My mum was always a SAHM, and I loved her always being there and I feel terrible that my little boy can't have the same. sad

Sarah I didn't see your message before it was deleted?

ceeveebee Tue 15-Oct-13 21:52:28

It wasn't anything offensive, just a bit spammy- Sarah was trying to recruit you for her home selling business.

I cried for weeks leading up to going back to work. I stayed awake at night looking at their photos and videos sad but it was pretty short lived, after a couple of weeks I was back into the work routine, and now I actually look forward to work - I get to dress up, I get a 1 hr commute each way to have an actual cup of coffee and read an actual newspaper without batting two pairs of sticky hands away. I go to the gym or have my nails done at lunchtime, and I have proper conversations with other adults that don't involve poo or singing nursery rhymes.

You'll be fine

Doodledumdums Tue 15-Oct-13 22:07:31

Haha, maybe a home selling business is what I need?!!

That is good to know that you were okay after a couple of weeks. Gosh if I am finding it this hard facing leaving one, it must be doubly hard to leave two!

I guess i'll be okay because I will have to be okay, there is no alternative. I just feel so bloody guilty and sad about it. I am going to end up ruining the last few weeks that I have left at home with him just by worrying so much about what is coming.

Sometimes I wish I lived in the 1950's, when it was normal for women to stay at home and men to go out to work. I think I was born in the wrong era! (Also, I think 1950's clothes are lovely- so win win all around!)

MortifiedAdams Tue 15-Oct-13 22:10:41

Is it worth you looking for a new job?

Doodledumdums Tue 15-Oct-13 22:34:33

I have thought about it, but I think I would owe my current employer quite a significant chunk of my maternity pay back, and I haven't got the money to give them. I probably will look for something else when I am able to (once I get past the point of having to pay them back), but unless I am able to find something which is better paid, and therefore enables me to work less hours for the same money, then I will still have to work full time, and because of where I live, it will more than likely involve an hours commute each way. sad

Firsttimemummy33 Wed 16-Oct-13 21:02:46

I've just gone back to work this week, was dreading it and distraught at the thought of leaving ds. (10 months). It is hard but nowhere near as hard I imagined it was going to be. I have to go to work financially there is no other option. Been back 3 days now ds seems fine and truthfully I've enjoyed being back.

Doodledumdums Wed 16-Oct-13 23:34:12

I'm glad that is has been better than you thought it would be and that you are enjoying itfirsttime smile Have you gone back full time?

We have no other option financially either sad, I keep desperately hoping that something is going to change in the next 6 weeks to make it possible for me to quit, but it is looking increasingly unlikely.

I feel for you.

I don't know if this will help (and I'm not commenting on anyone's choices at all) but when I went back to work after DD an older and wiser colleague said to me 'she'll be fine, it's when they go to school they need you most'.
It was fine, really, when they were babies, and it did get so much harder when they hit school age. But by that time we were financially better off and I am now mainly a SAHM. People have asked me why on earth I gave up work just as they started school, but when it came to my children, that colleague was right - DD especially needs me more (to feel secure) much more than when she was tiny.

I suppose what I'm saying to you is, you might not always be in this boat. And he will be fine until you can get out of it.

Doodledumdums Thu 17-Oct-13 00:27:04

Thank you Iheart, that is helpful smile I really hope that things do change and I can at least work part time in the future rather than full time. I guess at this age, their needs are fairly basic, so I suppose I am attaching my emotions to the situation, whereas in reality, once he is used to the new routine, he will probably be fine. I just wish it was easier for me! I am hoping to have a second baby around the time that DS starts school, so that would definitely be a great time for me to be part time at work, or even a SAHM, that would be the ultimate dream for me!

jelliest Sat 19-Oct-13 18:52:37

Hi, I'm surprised you say you would have to give the company money back if you left. I left my company 6 months into my maternity leave and they carried on paying statutory till 9 months when their obligation ended! As far as I know, your maternity pay is yours in the same way that your salary is yours, and although it's a bit shitty for the company if you leave at the end of the maternity period, there isn't really anything they can do about it.

Doodledumdums Sat 19-Oct-13 23:01:42

Hmmm, maybe that is something I should look into further then. Having said that, the likeihood of me finding a job with different hours is unikely, and i'd need the same amount of money, so even of my employer let me go with no payback obigation, i'm not sure there is much I could do to better the situation elsewhee. sad

lotsofcheese Sat 19-Oct-13 23:20:42

Please don't beat yourself up, OP. We all do our best, whatever that may be. Very few of us have the luxury of choice nowadays.

(also to say I work for the NHS & you do have to owe back your maternity pay if you don't go back at the end, I think it's fairly common amongst employers).

Chunderella Sun 27-Oct-13 09:03:25

It depends on the amount of maternity pay and what's in your contract. If you're entitled to maternity pay, they have to give 6 weeks at 90% plus 33 weeks SMP and any annual leave you accrue. This is the legal minimum, and they can't claim any of this back whether you return or not. If they offer anything on top of this, they can put a clause in your contract stating that it's repayable if you don't return, or if you return for less than x amount of time. If OP has had maternity pay above the legal minimum and has signed a contract agreeing to pay this back if she doesn't return, she could be liable.

joyhg Mon 28-Oct-13 16:35:51

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2ndtimemummyNYDU Tue 29-Oct-13 10:29:41

Hi,

This article from the Working Mums Coach gives many strategies on coping with going back to work after maternity leave.

http://www.mumplusbusiness.co.uk/blog/how-to-cope-going-back-to-work-after-maternity-leave-strategies-to-take-control/

I hope this helps.

x

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