how do you cope with the guilt?(11 Posts)
so my DS is 14 months old and I started back to work about a month ago doing 2 mornings a week with family providing childcare. this is fine with me, I am comfortable leaving my DS I know he is well looked after and I don't have to worry I Can just focus on my job. I have been with my company for 7 years and have worked my way up to a high position and love my job.
I have a little bit of guilt leaving my DS but nothing I can't handle at the moment. however, my boss has talked to me about going back possibly 5 mornings a week Monday to Friday as he would really like me there more. a big part of me would love to be there 5 mornings and get stuck in properly, but another part of me is very nervous about leaving my DS that much as he is used to being with just me, and I would be reliant on family to look after him which means it could Be a different person each day!
I just don't know what to do. I know I am incredibly lucky to even have a choice about working as my DH earns a good wage and if the situation was different I might have had to go back full time to help support us financially and that would be that. but I think its the fact that I have a choice and I would be choosing to go to work and leaving my DS that is causing me the guilty feelings. I absolutely adore him and love being a Mum so there's no issues there at all.
has anyone been in my situation? what did you do and how did you feel?
I'm not in exactly the same situation as you as I need to return full time next week (DH also works full time) and ds will be in an excellent nursery.
I think 5 mornings sounds good as you'll be there each day so will know everything that goes on but then you'll have every afternoon to have fun with your ds plus weekend.
He's with family so people he knows so I don't think it will matter that it's not the same person each day.
I would give it a good go ( a month or two) and then reassess whether it's working or not.
It's hard leaving them but do try to think long term as well. If you work you are still paying NI which contributes to your state pension plus any other pension scheme you pay into.
You are keeping up with what's happening in your industry and will continue to develop professionally and have current experience.
I'm not saying you can't get back into work after being a SAHM but lots of people do find it hard judging by threads on here.
Sorry just realised you didn't mention being a SAHM
thanks for your reply. I just found out that my employer will be interviewing for the position I had so if I don't take it someone else will be. feel like I have to choose between my son and my career
I work 4 days a week. DH earns enough that I don't have to work. I work because I choose to. I have 2 DCs, aged 4 and 18 months. I left a high pressure, long hours career to join the civil service, but I am on a graduate scheme that involves years of training and exams so it is still a challenging job (although regular hours, flexible and family-friendly on the whole).
I do occasionally feel some level of guilt - it wouldn't be human not to. BUT - I enjoy my job. I like going to work. I enjoy the extra income that lets us have treats and not worry about buying what we want at the supermarket, always being able to say 'yes' to nights out or family trips.
My DMum gave up work when she had me (having previously worked when my DBro and DSis were children) and ended up having a long, difficult and acrimonious divorce from my father when she was 60. Financially she was crippled. It was enormously stressful for her (and for everyone else), my DSis and DBro had to subsidise her financially for years (I was at university at the time). I vowed then that I would never end up in that position. I am now at an age when people who married in their late 20s are starting to get divorced. I don't plan to leave DH and I hope we will stay happily married for ever, but I like knowing that if anything were to happen I could rent myself a house (and buy one once the finances were sorted and split), pay the bills and get by on my own. I would not like to feel reliant on another person. I have read plenty of threads on here from women left in the lurch after many years of taking care of the home and children. That's not for me.
In a few years when I finish my grad course (assuming I pass all the exams!!!) I plan to reduce to term time only and spread my hours over 5 days so that I can collect the DCs from school and be with them in the holidays.
I think working 5 half days a week is great. It's a short amount of time each day, you will still be able to do the school/preschool run when your DS gets older and you will have plenty of time with him every day. I can't imagine feeling an ounce of guilt about those hours but we're all different - I'm sure plenty of women couldn't imagine working 30 hours a week with two young children as they don't want to feel they're missing anything.
Sorry, that is a rather inarticulate ramble - but in short, there will always be something making you feel guilty when you're a mum in my experience. If you enjoy your job then don't give it up.
emsyj thanks your message makes a lot of sense to me and is just how I feel. I do really enjoy my job and the extra money would be great. my DH earns enough for us to manage, but I would like to do more than manage IYSWIM.
if I'm honest with myself I think I want to go back, but don't want my DS to feel passed around
my family have all always worked and I want to set an example to my son also. and I love having my independence and knowing that I am also contributing to the household.
5 mornings a week sounds like a great opportunity. I say try it and if it doesn't work out (guilt-wise), then at least you gave it a shot.
I doubt that your DS feels passed around. He just plays out with different relatives and then you comes home and he plays with you. I would also say do it now rather than leave it because you may find he has more trouble settling with a minder or at nursery if you leave it until he's 2 or 3.
Are 2.5 days an option?? I have worked with an early finish and to be honest found the afternoons difficult as I never really had time to do much with my dd, specially as she'd nap from 1pm-3pm from about 15 months.
Getting up and out 5 days pw can be gruelling. If you could do 2 full days and one half day it might give you more if a break / quality time on your days off.
As for dealing with the guilt - if you find the answer please let me know, it's pretty hard going and you can't help feeling like something is a compromise.
This is obv a way off for you and all sorts of things could change but working mornings would mean you'd be able to do school collections. Many mum's feel that is the Holy Grail - a part role that works with school hours.
You also mention you are senior. By being there everyday you increase your visability which is a good thing if you are looking for more responsibility/promotion opps etc.
It sounds like your DS will be well looked after and will still have 5 afternoons a week with you. My DS seemed to have little concept of time/days when he was at nursery.
I would try it, don't let your employer give it to someone else. I can guarentee they'll be inundated with applications for a part-time senior role - they are like hens teeth....
Have you read the 'High earning mothers' thread in Employment Issues? Lots of inspiration on there about not feeling guilty.
It shouldn't have to take a 6 fig salary for us to not feely guilty. I imagine most of our DP's do not feel any guilt. I work 4 days and occassionally I put our DD (1) into nursery on my day off if I have to work. I always feel bad about it, DH struggles to understand why.
Anyway off on a bit of a tangent there. I'd try to make it work, if it doesn't at least you tried and you you need to find another role etc.
thanks to everyone for replying, I think I am going to do 4 mornings as I cannot find childcare for the 5th, and unfortunately can't do full days as my MIL has him 1 morning and works the afternoon, and my aunt will have him another and again works the afternoon.
I think I will try it and just see how it goes
Good luck! If you can, get him into a nursery so he gets a bit more opportunity to socialise outside the family - useful for school even though it seems like early days now.
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