Other mums returning to work full time- want to support each other?

(476 Posts)
Tweet2tweet Sun 29-Dec-13 21:52:01

I just wondered if there are any other mums returning to work full time in the next few months who want to start a support thread? I am and I'm feeling really anxious. I'm also fed up at the shocked looks I get when I say I'm going back full time. It's not a choice but a necessity.

So anyone want to join and we can talk about how we are feeling and give some virtual hugs when needed?

Parentingfailure Sun 29-Dec-13 21:54:33

I'm in. I've just dropped my hours to 41 over 4 days so I at least have one day off. Have been working 50-60 hour weeks prior to this.
The guilt is enormous, mutual virtual support would be great!

Tweet2tweet Sun 29-Dec-13 22:01:20

Wow- 41hrs over 4 days, that's incredible. I hope that you're able to switch off from work completely on your day off and weekend. Don't feel guilty, I'm sure you're working because you need too. You've also juggled things to get that extra day so well done for that.

kiwikaterpillar Sun 29-Dec-13 22:04:30

Count me in. I go back to work in February (full time) as I am the main breadwinner. I'm dreading missing my beautiful baby girl and anxious about things as she hasn't really taken enthusiastically to solids (lucky if she eats two mouthfuls) and we tried replacing a bf with a sippy cup and formula yesterday and she only drank 20mls. Feel like when I go back she'll starve hmm- even though I know rationally she won't. (She is just a boob monster). Just adds to the stress. We are lucky that DH will be able to become SAHP but I still don't want to leave my wee one, although to be honest I do love aspects of my job so hoping it will go ok. Wish I could have my cake and eat it wink.

Parentingfailure Sun 29-Dec-13 22:37:09

I went back full time when Dd was 10 months and would only take the boob. I was working 60-70 hour weeks as a junior doctor and although it was a blur she coped and bf till 3. It was a good way to connect after work. She is 6 now and doesn't remember me working those hours, nights and weekends, birthdays and Christmases.
Ds is 3 and I worked part time for a bit (30 hours) but as I was still a junior doctor I just wanted to finish my training and be a consultant. I also felt like I wasn't doing anything well (home or work).
I currently work 3 long days and one short (8 hour) day and things are better. This is classed as part time in my career!!
Ds is 4 and still breastfeeding, but I also feel guilty about that as I think he won't give up as I am damaging him by working so much.
Very few mums in our area work so it is difficult to have a moan!
I am finished in under 2 years so will earn more and work less. Doesn't stop the never ending guilt though!

chanie44 Mon 30-Dec-13 06:41:22

I'll join you.

I have two, 3.5 and 1. When I had my first, I felt like I was the only person to return to work full time and all the other mums I knew returned to work part time or not at all.

When I had my second maternity leave, I realised how much ds had benefitted from being at nursery, even if he didn't like me leaving him initially. He is a happy, well adjusted boy.

My niece and nephew also went into full time childcare (as did me and my siblings ad cousins) and we've all turned out okay!!!!!

Tweet2tweet Mon 30-Dec-13 06:46:24

My dc won't take formula either kiwi, I agree it just adds to the stress! Have you tried fruit puree to start the solids going? Sometimes sweet food helps. Great that your DH will be with little one, we both will be working
sad

Sounds tough parentingfailure, though try not to be hard on yourself. The fact you're still bf is amazing.

noisytoys Mon 30-Dec-13 06:57:27

I've been back at work full time for 3 months now once you get in feb swing of it you'll be fine. I wouldn't go back to part time because part timers are seen as a nuisance at work and not pulling their weight. Even people working condensed hours are seen as part timers! Thankfully I have a 9-5 job so it fits around school hours.

kiwikaterpillar Mon 30-Dec-13 08:51:20

Thanks for the tip on the fruit purée Tweet and also the reassurances about the ability to continue breastfeeding when I'm back at work Parentingfailure. I'm hoping that I can continue to bf morning and night (and probably all through the night knowing DD!)
I know what you mean about part-timers being viewed in a negative light when back in the work force. Despite my work place playing lip-service to flexi-working and work life balance in practice the culture doesn't support that at all. Especially if you want to progress any further up the greasy pole. It is a very male dominated and alpha male/aggressive environment and I'm worried that I may struggle with that upon my return, it has been nice being at home and not having to be "on" all the time.

Tweet2tweet Mon 30-Dec-13 21:00:45

I work in what is supposed to be a very friendly family environment and they won't let me adjust my working day by 1 hour. It's surprising how organisations can be when they are asked to put words into practice! I've really enjoyed being with my family too. I have to say though I think I would find it hard being a stay at home mum. It's just a shame there's no way to able to get the first 3 years off like they do in some Scandinavian countries!

BraveLilBear Tue 31-Dec-13 04:46:07

Hi I'll jump on board if I may. I'm going back to work first week of March, DS will be 7 months.

I feel like a doubly bad mother as I'll be full time - and he will be in nursery full time too.

The only positive is that the nursery is literally 5 mins from my office so I'm considering a lunchtime breastfeed. I had planned to day wean but have recently read research about how boys should never be put in daycare until at least age 3.

I'd love to work part time but there is a precedent tjat mothers returning to my role in the past have been made to do a different job if they want part time hours. DP also wants me to be full time so we can move to a better area before DS is in school.

It seems that everyone I know is going back part time and has family childcare - I suppose it is jealousy but I just feel really sad that I'll be abandoning DS!

I also feel pressure to get him onto solids quickly.

Glad it's not just me smile

IceNoSlice Tue 31-Dec-13 05:03:28

Reading with interest. I'm in a different position as returned to work FT last August but about to go off on mat leave again in Feb.

Please don't take research into the 'damaging effects of childcare' too much to heart - I'm sure there is other research that supports childcare are being beneficial for their development. I know that DS gets a huge amount from nursery - the social interaction, socialisation, stimulating activities and seeing his peers develop has helped him in many ways, eg eating with cutlery, sharing etc. I am planning to keep him in nursery for a few days a week whilst I am on mat leave with DC2 as I really feel it is good for him.

As for how it feels to go back to work - take it easy on yourself. Imagine it a bit like a new job and give yourself time to readjust. Not all return to work experiences are bad- I was happy with how my bosses treated me. No condescension. And they have been flexible when I needed it in return for me being flexible for them (working after putting DS to bed on occasion etc).

I also work in a high pressure, competitive, male dominated environment. But I have found more confidence in my abilities and greater efficiency (less likely to put up with crap from colleagues or to engage in nonsense office politics). So have a bit of faith, you can do it.

Polyethyl Tue 31-Dec-13 05:17:09

I'm going back full time from Monday and miserable about it. But I'm the breadwinner. It all seems so pointless - sitting in an office and moving bits of paper around, endless meetings and agreeing with whatever the boss' s latest idea is.... when I would rather be at home playing with my baby.
I'm confident I have picked a nice childminder - but it's still going to be a hell of a change for the baby to adjust to.

Kelly1814 Wed 01-Jan-14 16:12:54

Yes, me! I'm in a country with 45 days maternity leave. My DD will be 4 months when I go back in feb 1st.

AHardDaysWrite Wed 01-Jan-14 20:37:52

I'll join in please. I'm back on Monday, FT. I'm a secondary teacher, head of a key department, and at the moment I'm wondering why the hell I am putting myself under this huge pressure when I have two small children (eldest is 3, youngest is 8 months). I went back on a four day week after dc1 but I've now changed jobs and my new position is FT. Even the extra money won't help as it's being swallowed up by another day's nursery fees! We have no choice though - I'm the main earner, we have a huge mortgage, and I live in an area where jobs like this one are in short supply - if I didn't do it now, I wouldn't have another opportunity like it in a hurry. Plus, I don't think I could be a SAHM - but I would ideally work a three or four day week, not FT. It is hard when all my friends with babies work PT and I'm the only one going back FT.

I worry that dc1 had me for an extra day as I worked a four day week on my return from his mat leave, and then he's had me whilst I've been off on this mat leave, but poor baby dd has only had me for 8 months and now I'm going back FT (and she will be my last baby, so no more ML in the future with her) - I keep fretting that this will affect my relationship with her and mean she's not as bonded with me in future as ds is sad I really hope I'm being stupid thinking this, but it's hard not to. I'm still bfing and hoping I can keep that going morning and evening and probably all night so that will help a bit.

Sometimes being a modern woman feels really crap - I would actually love to be a 50s housewife right now, just for a few years!

daisywaisydoo Wed 01-Jan-14 20:44:43

Ah I love that I've found this thread smile I'm going back mid-March fulltime because as others above have said, I can't not go back fulltime.

BraveLilBear I'm exactly the same, they all either live at home anyway or have their mum/aunt nearby who is going to watch baby while they work. As much as they sympathise and act like they're in the same boat I just want to scream at them that they're not!!

Tweet2tweet Wed 01-Jan-14 21:40:29

Don't worry, aharddaysnight. Research says being with your children for the first 6 months ismost important. You and I sound like we are in similar set up. Wishing you the best for Monday.

I'm back in March too. Does that make a few of us back then? In many ways I'm dreading it, more so than after last mat leave. However I'm hoping will be better once back. I just wish my department were more supportive. I already feel overlooked and not even back yet!shock

BraveLilBear Thu 02-Jan-14 01:00:04

Daisy I think that's the hardest thing - having to be sympathetic to everyone with their part time hours and family childcare when I just want to scream 'I should be so sodding lucky!'

But then I know that's mean because it's crap to have to leave your baby in any circumstances.

AHardDay I'd also trade in my independent career woman past to be a 50s housewife right now. Never thought I'd say that!

kiwikaterpillar Thu 02-Jan-14 06:40:31

I know what you guys mean re people complaining about having to work part time... It is completely irrational but I can't help but seethe inside. My ideal would be to work a 3 or 4 day week but I should stop torturing myself with that dream now. Out of my antenatal group I am the only one who is returning full time. I feel incredibly guilty but on the other hand I have worked hard to get to this point in my career and it will be a positive influence for my DD to see me working. Well that's what I tell myself when crying myself to sleep again when counting down the days to my return.
I am really beginning to worry about the possibility of resenting DH who will get to be at home, God that makes me sound like a bitch. I should really count my blessings.
Do any of you have to travel with work? I travel on occasion but I have managed to at least have the travel put on hold while breastfeeding. Will just videoconference in from office/home depending on time difference. Never know, work might end up preferring it as would save on flights/hotels.... Wonder if u could convince them of that?wink

EagleRay Thu 02-Jan-14 09:52:12

Hi - what a great thread! I've got 11mo DD and am going back to work in just over a week's time. It's actually a new job as am self employed and so didn't have a job to return to.

I feel like I've been preparing to return to work forever as started applying for jobs back in October (DD started part time at nursery then too). It took longer than I thought to find a job and will be working 5 days a week as wouldn't have got past the interview stage if I'd said I was looking to work any less than this. It feels a bit daunting starting a new job, but on the other hand there's nothing invested emotionally and I will just be a new starter rather than someone returning to work after having a baby (but god the pressure!) Oh, and it's a fairly short contract (3 months) and so it doesn't feel like it will go on forever. Am hoping to take some time off again with DD before finding more work (although not sure how things with work with stopping then starting childcare again)

Kiwi I've been told that there may be some travel with work but I'll cross that bridge when I come to it! DP works away most of the week and I don't have any family nearby so support is very limited. Despite not having family help, some relatives haven't held back in their opinions of me returning to work full time hmm

Oh, and on top of everything else, there's one day of the week that the nursery is full and so I'm busy ringing round today to try and find a childminder, who seem to be non existent around these parts.

Very interesting hearing everyone's stories and wish you all good luck.

scottishmummy Thu 02-Jan-14 10:54:39

You'll never be one of the mother superiors who never misses a precious moment.because you'll be at work
Mummy guilt is setting self up for constant angst.the biggest myth we ever get sold as women was have it all
You need to be pragmatic,you'll not be there 24-7 if your working,but you'll not have given up career,or your vocational stimulation
You'll not be singing wheels on bus,but you will be maintaining your career

You compartmentalise you slip effortlessly Into work mode,because you can because you need to

You need to toughen up to the face That the precious moments crew have
You need to be impervious to the comments,like choosing not to let strangers raise your kids
You can have fun and ham up the avaricious mum stereotype who cares not for the kids

I'm happy to maintain my hard worked for career and be a good role model
I didn't want to enact the mum at home,dad work familial patriarchy

Chacha23 Thu 02-Jan-14 11:08:47

I refuse to feel guilty about returning to work. Historically, babies have always been cared for by a whole group of people, not just by their mother. And as a woman, I actually really want my DD to grow up with a mum who is not defined by motherhood, but who has a career and a life of her own.

scottishmummy Thu 02-Jan-14 11:20:43

I see the boys in daycare is getting referenced,If you mean steve biddulpph raising boys, do be aware its not universally accepted research.
Big hoohaaa on publication,but subsequently when looked it the research methodology is poor,his summary and conclusion has been challenged.a cursory google you'll see. But he is the go to author on mn for the precious moments crew. as it adds bit ooohh it's science to their nursery is like a gulag speech.
the author has a vehement anti nursery bias. Interestingly he did used to be advocate of nursery and write books supporting it
He did a mn webchat,didn't present well at all

There is no good robust research that definitively proves working is detrimental. The jist is get good,reliable childcare and it'll be okay

Do lose the mummy guilt,honestly stop it
Housewife is a middle class affectation, it's a post war thing.women have generally always worked.

Just wanted to offer thanks because that was me this time last year. I was absolutely dreading it, but it has all worked out fine. I'm sure it will for you all too.

ElfontheShelfIsWATCHINGYOUTOO Thu 02-Jan-14 12:03:15

If its any consolation op, it does go the same the other way too. I am Sahm. And I choose to be but in real life I can never actually say that for fear of offence!

I was questioned about 6 times by a mother who went back to work as a matter of course at 9 months. "So when do you go back" "Why are you not going back" " But what job did you do?" " is it because of the expense of child care"

on and on, I wanted to scream I don't want to work for these few years while they are little!

As a sahm I have had this too many times to mention, as painful for you to say your going back, its just as painful for sahms to say, I choose to stay at home!

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