going back to work - cant sleep, feeling weepy and panicky

(11 Posts)
1stbaby Thu 14-Aug-08 09:40:13

Hi Ladies

Hoping you can all make me feel better and lessen my anxiety a bit!
I am going back to work full time in 6 weeks (my job cant be done part time) and I am feeling incredibly anxious about the whole thing. I wake up at night panicking and cant get back to sleep. I break down in tears if anyone mentions it to me - its ridiculous! my DD will be almost 12 months when I go back and she is going to a lovely childminder (at least I think she is lovely - thats half my problem I dont trust my own instincts - what if she is horrible and i am an idiot?!?!)
I have loved being off with DD but I am spoiling my time left by being so miserable!
I am just so torn - I never thought I would feel like this as I was not that maternal before I had her but now the thought of her being away from me is awful. Equally though the thought of giving up my career is hard. I worked hard to get into a job I love and if I am out of it for much more than a year I wont be able to get back into it because the industry changes so fast. But then thinking about my career makes me a selfish cow right? GOd I am all over the place - sorry this is so rambly!!
Being a mum is hard!! I dont see my DH weeping over his cornflakes before he goes to work!!
PS it doesnt help when there is always something in the press to tell me what a bad person I am for going back to work

LittleMyDancingForJoy Thu 14-Aug-08 09:46:41

Don't worry 1stbaby - everyone feels like this to one degree or another before they go back to work. I was exactly the same, but it's amazing how quickly you adapt to the new arrangements.

If you like this childminder, then she is almost certainly lovely. Your instincts are strong things. And DD will have a lovely time with her, and do lots of things she might not do at home, and although for the first year it's good to be the Mummy-daughter team, it will be good for her to socialise with other children and learn to be somewhere else. But you MUST be calm and happy about leaving her, or she'll pick up on your anxiety.

(And if you find your CM doesn't work out, you can get a different one - these decisions are not final)

As for your career - it sounds like you really enjoy your job, and that's allowed! You are not a selfish cow. I found once I went back I really enjoyed having time where I was just me again, and not a mummy - it made me much happier and more able to be a good mummy when I was with DS.

Is there any way your employer would let you do a phased return? Start on three days a week for a month, and then work up to full time? It might help with the anxiety and getting everyone settled into the new arrangements.

But honestly, don't worry too much - you'll be amazed at how it all falls into place once you start, and you know what, if it doesn't - then you can stop! Nothing is irreversible.

HTH

LittleMyDancingForJoy Thu 14-Aug-08 09:47:41

ps all those articles lambasting working mothers should be taken outside and burned. IMVHO, what matters is the quality of the time you spend with your children, not the quantity.

dinkyboysmum Thu 14-Aug-08 10:01:03

i totally understadn where you are 1stbaby. i was like that when i went back to work full time when ds1 was 6 months. i'd hoped to go part time but my employer made it impossible, so was forced to do full time to keep the job i loved. i was an emotional wreck! cried for the last 2 months of maternity leave at the thought of it. i love being back at work when i'm there, adult comapny is good, and reminds me of what 'I' do. getting there is a drag & so heart wrenching every day though, lets not lye about it! but it enables the time we do have together to be special. like littlemydancingforjoy ssaid, its quality not quanitity. i just hired a cleaner, so that when i am with ds he doesnt just see me doing washing/ironing. we also have the finances to go and do those rediculously expensive swimming courses/trips to the aquarium/family holidays etc.
i also think it can be good for you &baby to have a little distance. your DD will love being with CM, different people, toys, places to go. My CM is great, i give her my digital camera & she takes photos of DS throughout the week so i can see what he has been up too. i also make all his lunches &snacks, so i know exactly what he's eaten, it helps me feel like she is just a 'child minder', not a sole provider iykwim.

Talk to your CM about your concerns too. i'm sure she's experienced it before, might be able to give you some tips or advice? mine was great with me. could you pop and see DD at lunch time maybe? i was still bf ds when he started with cm, so went to feed him at lunch (wouldnt recommend though...it meant i had to 'leave' him twice!)

I'm hoping to review it all soon. i do honestly believe that as they get older the time is more importnat then. when they are old enough to remember and enjoy it. perhaps when he is 3, then i might try go part time again?

give it a go & good luck.

YoungYolandaYorgensen Thu 14-Aug-08 11:00:54

1stbaby, I had to go back to work when my ds1 was 4 months old. I was crying in the hospital about it! But you know what? He was absolutely fine! He loved his nursery and didn't seem to miss me at all!hmmgrin And after a week or so, I was fine too.

cmotdibbler Thu 14-Aug-08 11:08:49

I think it is harder if you've had longer off - more time to worry about it. I went back ft when DS was 4.5 months old (I love my job, like you it can't be done part time, and a career break would mean no career, but I didn't have any mat leave cover so going back early stopped all the work building up). DS adored nursery (and at 2 still does), is extremely confident and outgoing, and I have no regrets.

Prioritise family time when you are together - do your grocery and all other shopping that you can online, and make sure that you and DH share all the chores as much as humanly possible. A cleaner is a real boon.

You and she will be fine - honestly !

1stbaby Thu 14-Aug-08 14:02:24

Thanks so much for your support and kind words. I know you are right and she will be fine. She is a very sociable little thing and is quite happy to stay with friends for a few hours - she is also at that age where she LOVES other kids so the CM will be good for her. Its just fear of the unknown I guess and I am one of those people who always thinks of worst case scenarios which doesnt help!
Am hoping to get a cleaner (though DH not terribly supportive of that plan as he reckons he will do the housework hmm!)

Just need to get a handle on the crying and insomnia!

1stbaby Thu 14-Aug-08 14:04:36

great idea about the camera dinkyboysmum! think you are right too that I should talk to the CM am sure she will make me feel a bit better about it.

woodstock3 Sat 16-Aug-08 17:26:27

god i remember this feeling so well! rest assured it doesn't last. the only one who suffers from you working will be you - cos you're knackered and cos you feel guilty even when there's no need - while your dd will be happy as a sandboy (sandgirl?). i was crying my eyes out about leaving ds at 8 months but he adores his nanny and has not looked back.
i know it's hard but try to enjoy the time you have left. DEFINITELY get a cleaner if you can possibly afford it - ruthlessly prioritise so that when you're not working, you're with her.
and if it helps tell yourself that you will do the job for three months and then if you really hate it, you'l think again. after three months you'll no doubt be fine but somehow it helps to think of it as just three months rather than the rest of your life...

findtheriver Sun 17-Aug-08 12:14:54

Agree that having had a year off with your baby, it is going to feel harder to leave her. In some respects, that's the one downside of the increased maternity leave available now! It is definitely an easier stage to start leaving a child when they are younger. However - it will be fine! The worries are totally normal. The reality will be that your child will settle fine, you will quickly realise the nice things about getting back to work, and you'll be amazed that you ever thought it would be so hard!

dinkyboysmum Mon 18-Aug-08 20:05:11

haha 1stbaby, just read that bit about dh saying he'll do the housework. good luck with that one! my dh said that...hence we now have a cleaner (well, two actually!). let me know your tips!

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