Feeling so guilty...baby at nursery 5 full days a week

(86 Posts)
London7 Thu 21-May-09 22:03:46

Hi, my one-year-old baby goes to nursery 5 days a week from 8am to 6pm. I'd love to be a stay-at-home mum but financially it is just not viable. I feel so guilty about leaving her at nursery for so many hours a day (it feels so wrong that somebody else will be doing all those things her Mummy does every day for her...) Anyone with the same dilemma?

Is there no way you can reduce your hours so get a better balance? that's an awful lot of hours in nursery.

CMOTdibbler Thu 21-May-09 22:08:21

My DS has been at nursery full time since he was 4.5 months old - was 3 this week.

He loves it, and the nursery staff are like his aunties. They have genuine affection for the children(like one of them was babysitting for me this week as I was late back, and she said she had been looking forward to it as she missed him now he'd moved up). DS is very attached to me and DH, and is very confident, well mannered and bright.

Were you off for the full year ? I think that it is hard at first - my friend had a year off with her DD before going back ft, and it took her a good 6 months to settle into work again

angel1976 Fri 22-May-09 10:10:42

Hi London7,

My 15-month-old DS goes to nursery 4 days a week (I have Wednesdays off). I genuinely believes this is good for him. He started going at 11 months and by then, I really felt he needed more stimulation than just mummy at home. He is very happy in nursery. Today, he rushed into nursery as soon as we got there, ran into the breakfast room and waited to get into his chair and tucking into breakfast with gusto. When I pick him up, he always tries to show me stuff in the nursery.

Is there any way you can reduce your hours just a little? I have Wednesdays off and I think that helps a great deal. It breaks up the week for him and we go and see our friends etc and he really enjoys that as well. I fully understand your guilt but you have to see all the good stuff about your DD being in nursery. If she has just started, it will take a while for you both to adjust. But she will start enjoying it soon enough. And to be honest, I really enjoy being at work too and being able to enjoy my lunch everyday (instead of wolfing down what I can when I can) is such a luxury! grin


MollieO Fri 22-May-09 10:17:46

I wouldn't worry. Lots of us are in the same position. My ds was with a CM for 4 days a week and loved it and friends of mine had their children at day nursery 5 days a week through choice rather than need. Our children are now nearly 5 and don't seem to have been affected in any way at all.

Should add Lyra if you read the OP you will see that she doesn't have a choice so I'm not sure your comment is particularly helpful.

MollieO Fri 22-May-09 10:18:34

I should add that ds was with a CM from 7am to 6.30pm too so during the working week I only saw him for about an hour a day.

It's tough but you have to do what you have to do. My dd3 went to nursery at a year old - four days a week for a few months and then 5 days. She's fine and doing well, I've been very happy with the nursery I picked.

You have to make your peace with this though. Sending her to nursery doesn't make you any less of a mother. It will not mean that she loves you less or that you are 'losing' her. It just means that some of her time is spent with carers you have chosen to do a good job - but I firmly believe that you are still caring for her even whilst not present. Don't let anybody run you down - you are doing fine.

purepurple Fri 22-May-09 15:59:27

I don't have any words of wisdom but will just point out that she probably spends more time at nursery than the staff.

I work 8-5 in a nursery and finish at dinnertime on one day a week.

Is it not possible to reduce your hours a little while she is so young?

worley Fri 22-May-09 16:25:56

not a lot to add really, i know its hard not to feel guilty, as its natural to but dont worry.
my ds2 was full days then i went down to just mornings but come sept i will be ft again so he will be going 8.30 till 5.15 every day again (unless i can wrangle to do just 4 days!) this time i dont feel at all guilty about increasing his hours again as he loves it and even asks to go play there on the weekends with his friends and his keyworker. so i know he is happy there. if i ask him and give him the choice on weekends after he hasked to go play with his friends, i say, do you want to play with * or play with mummy and he normally chooses * then changes his mind and wants to stay with me!, nice to know im second choice. he will be 3 soon and doesnt know any different and knowing he does things at nursery i wouldnt let him do at home yet makes it better! i get away without letting him paint everywhere and build junk models!

ds1 went to nursery full time for 3 years and he loved it, he still mentions it now and again, (he is 10 and doesnt hold it against me!)

elliepac Fri 22-May-09 16:33:09

Nothing new to add to the discussion just some reassurance. DD has been at a childminder 5 days a week 8 - 5 since she was 5 months old through necessity. SHe loves it there and is a very happy sociable baby. Long term it does absolutely no harm. DS is 5 and has always been with a childminder since the same age as DD. He is a happy confident little boy. It has not , as I was worried it might, harmed our relationship in anyway. He is very secure in the love of his family if that makes sense and always has been. Don't let anyone tell you that you should be feeling guilty or listen to anyone who says that working mothers are neglecting their children. I went through a phase where I was sure my children would hate me for leaving them, mainly brought on by articles etc. in the media. You are doing this for your family, your baby will always love and adore mummy no matter who looks after them during the day

Purepurple - the op said she does not have an option other than full time. How exactly do you intend your post to help her feel more at one with her decision? I jolly well hope you don't work in the nursery I use!

purepurple Fri 22-May-09 17:03:43

Why should I try to make her feel better?
I am just giving her a different view point.

alfiesmadmother Fri 22-May-09 17:07:06

what about a couple of days with a Nursery, a coulpe with a childminder?

MarlaSinger Fri 22-May-09 17:09:34

Why should you try to make her feel better?

Because she has said she has no choice. Why NOT try to make her feel better?

FiveGoMadInDorset Fri 22-May-09 17:15:37

There will be lots of people in your position around the country, times are tough at the moment and needs must, your DD will love you just the same.

Purepurple - this is the second nursery thread that you have made disparaging remarks about the way they are run, that children would be better of at home of with CM's are you sure you are in the right job, because you make everyone feel so much better about the decisions that they make hmm

purepurple Fri 22-May-09 17:18:23

Because she posts on a public forum in an attempt to ease her guilt that she feels.
She is hoping that we will all jump in and tell her she is a fantastic mother(which she may be, I don't know her)
I wasn't judgemental and haven't told her she is doing the wrong thing (her baby, her life, her choice)
I merely pointed out a fact.

hf128219 Fri 22-May-09 17:26:38

What a load of utter toss - purplepurple.

Well if that's you not being judgemental then I'd hate to see you posting when you were judging!

Ok - you're not being judgemental. Ot tactful or supportive or considerate or imaginative or empathetic - but hey at least you're factual! hmm

Purepurple I have to agree with fivegomadindorset that perhaps you're not in the best job if you can't be more sympathetic to the OP. Would you say that to one of your key children's parents if they were upset? hmm

OP, TBH, the vast majority of the children I work with are a minimum of 4 full days a week, from 7:30ish to 6:30ish, many of them 5 days. IME the children who go full-time are the ones that are the most secure in their environment, those that come for a few hours here and there can get very upset as they aren't settled into a routine and never really get used to the staff or other babies.

Have you spoken to your key person about this so you know how she is getting on?

In reality, I wouldn't say nursery staff are doing the things parents are meant to do, whilst we may pick them up and hug them to reassure them, or kiss away a grazed knee we are not nursing them when sick, waking up with them in the night, tucking them into bed with a story in the evening, spending weekends at the park etc etc. Maybe you should set yourself some special times for you and her where you can just relax completely and enjoy her, hire a cleaner, send your ironing out, anything to make the boring but necessary jobs disappear so the time you do have isn't swallowed up?

gonaenodaethat Fri 22-May-09 17:38:39

VQ that's a lovely post. I totally agree with everything you say.

rubyslippers Fri 22-May-09 17:41:33

great post VS

my DS went to nursery from 6 months and he is coming up for 3

things which have made it easier is knowing the nursery is excellent and the staff brilliant

lots of them have been there since he started and they do care

London - are you happy with your nursery?

do you have a partner? guilt is part and parcel of motherhood = doesn't always mean you are doing the wrong thing though smile

Lulumama Fri 22-May-09 17:46:00

purepurple, if parents did not put their children into nursery, you'd be out of a job

DS went to nursery from 6 months old, 3 days a week, gradually built up to 5 days. it was needs must. you can make sure the time you spend with her of an evening, mabye have a bath with her so you can play in the bath together, and so on... is fun times.

for a lot of parents there is no choice , you have bills to pay, food to buy , a mortgage to keep up with.

you don;t know how hard it is until you have to do it, you are certainly not alone and him being at nursery does not make you a bad mother

purepurple Fri 22-May-09 17:58:05

I have not said that children should not be in nursery, I do need to pay my mortgage too. (Which would be easier to pay if I didn't work in a nursery on minimum wage, incidently, so I'm not exactly doing it for the money)
I just have a problem with the amount of hours that some children spend in them.
I just wish that we lived in a society that valued motherhood and the important job that we do. A society where children could spend more time with their parents.

Lulumama Fri 22-May-09 18:01:00

i do agree with that. unfortunately, staying at home and raising children is not given the value it should be given.

Lulumama Fri 22-May-09 18:01:11

i do agree with that. unfortunately, staying at home and raising children is not given the value it should be given.

If people have no other option than to put their child in childcare whilst at work what should they do? Quit their job?

It might be that she spends more time at the nursery than some of the staff but the OP isn't HAPPY about them as it is!

MrsMattie Fri 22-May-09 18:12:49

I don't think this is the right thread for you toair your views, really@purepurple. Maybe save them for another thread.

London7, I have seen both sides of the fence, as I have been a WOHM and a SAHM (and now going back to working full time after nearly 5 years at home). I can honestly, honestly say that the main impact working/not working has had in our lives has been on me, not on my children. Children are flexible, adaptable little things. As long as they are receiving good care at nursery, there is no reason for you to feel guilty.

You must, of course, weigh up all the factors in your life. Your happiness, how you feel your little one is getting on and how much money you need to bring in to make it all work. If you are truly miserable at work, then maybe it is time to sit down and work out how you could do things differently.

But just don't feel that because you are working full time your little one is automatically suffering. I have not found this to be the case ^at all, with either my own children or the children of other working parents I know.

purepurple Fri 22-May-09 18:19:12

I am sorry for making you feel guilty, it wasn't my intention.
As for the others, you are all perfectly entitled to your views, just as i am to mine, you just don't like what i have to say, doesn't make it any less valid.

nappyaddict Fri 22-May-09 18:25:00

Well looks like she's been scared off

purepurple Fri 22-May-09 18:30:18

And I'm handing in my notice tomorrow.
And I'm never going to post on mumsnet ever, ever again.

Pannacotta Fri 22-May-09 18:33:56

purepurple I do agree with you about the hours.
I also think that 8-6 is too long for a one year old.

OP if you feel really bad you could look at leaving work a bit earlier perhaps a couple of times a week to shorten the day for your DD.

juuule Fri 22-May-09 18:43:36

"If people have no other option than to put their child in childcare whilst at work what should they do? Quit their job?"

VS- that's what I did. We looked at what the minimum we could get by on and decided that it was a better option for me to sah.
Perhaps, if the op is so unhappy with the current situation she could see if there were other options - part time work, cut back expenditure?
Obviously, if there is no room for manouevre then the current situation will have to continue. However, the op could still look round for alternatives.

I also agree with purepurple that 50hrs a week in a nursery is more than ideal. If someone has no choice, then there's not much that can be done.

I have lots of sympathy with the op having been in a similar situation myself.

navyeyelasH Fri 22-May-09 18:54:14

Ok sorry but I'm sort of going to side with purple purple. I too am a childcarer and I used to do supply in nurseries before I decided to stop because I disliked how they were run. I have also met terrible nannies and awful childminders, so it's not a straightforward case of this is bad this is good!

You're child will not be psychologically damaged/upset/hate you/grow up to be weird etc etc going to a nursery 5 days a week. But there are better alternatives if you HAVE to work 5 days a week. Many parents are not aware of other childcare options.

Did you know for eg that % wise there are more outstanding childminders than outstanding nurseries and each setting has to jump through the exact same hoops. (Will try and find link of this if anyone is interested). Also ratios in a nursery are higher with carers often moving between rooms and with high staff turnover. As with anything in life you get bad eggs and good eggs - but if you look at it on a scale of probabilities a childminder will often provide a better setting. <awaits onslaught> When children are a bit older nurseries are just as good if not better than childminders because (for most children) at an older stage they are more interested in socialising rather than forming deep bonds with care givers <simplistic>.

Could you get a relative to do one day or 2 half days or something similar? Or have you considered a local childminder? Or if you can stretch to it a nanny or a nanny share?

Like I say putting your children in a nursery is totally fine, they will not suffer any long term devastating effects and certainly a child will always love their parents more than anyone else in the world so do not feel guilty about the choices you have made, you are not going out to party and have fn you are going to work to provide for your child.

Scarfmaker Fri 22-May-09 22:18:40

The poster has probably been scared off - from the beginning everybody has been on lyrasilvertongue and purepurple like a ton of bricks just for joining in with the discussion.

They gave some helpful advice like maybe collecting early or reducing hours.

London7 you are in the same position as thousands of other mums and hopefully reading the views of others in the same position will make you feel better.

Do the nursery keep you well informed about your baby's progress, daily activities, eating and sleeping routine. Worries about this can add to your anxiety.

Good luck for the future.

Because of course, the OP hadn't considered redusing her hours or anything, just went in blind and took on a full-time job willy-nilly.
Goodness knows why she's feeling the guilt eh? It's not like she has to do it, silly woman, just cut down your hours!


MollieO, the OP said it wasn't financially viable to be a SAHM, she didn't say whether or not she'd considered part-time working. There may be things she can do to cut her hours and therefore also her guilt.

Oh I see Lyra - so only full time work outside the home mothers should feel guilty should they? hmm The less hours you work, the better job you're doing and the less guilt you should therefore feel?
Is that how it goes?


She said she was feeling guilty about the number of hours her child was at nursery. Therefore, if the child was at nursery fewer hours, she would feel less guilty.
It's really not a hard concept to grasp, northernlurker.

luvoneson Sat 23-May-09 00:06:02

Oh for god sake leave purepurple alone, she was only giving her opinion. Purpurple i'm always getting people having a go at me for not saying what they want to hear.
Now getting back to the point in question, I do feel sorry for London7 as she does not have a choice, that is what makes the situation worse, because she knows she HAS to go to work full time. I am fortunate to be in a position where i dont have to and quite frankly after reading this I do feel quite guilty. I wish you luck.

There are times and there a replaces to air views, to a mother who is obviously struggling with something she and her family feel must be done, is not that place. That is the only reason people (including myself) have picked up on purepurple's unnecessary posts that have probably just made the OP feel worse.

are places* stoopid space in the wrong place! grin

Plonker Sat 23-May-09 00:23:12

I think some of you are getting a little het up here. I don't think Purepurple was exactly scathing was she? I'm not saying the 'fact' was helpful, but she's hardly skinned the OP alive here has she?

Northernlurker - I actually think Lyra has a good point. She hasn't said that only full time work outside the home mothers should feel guilty - where have you drawn that from? She only pointed out that yes, less hours may equal less guilt. Lots of people (I have found) aren't aware of the option to ask work for reduced hours, or flexible working. These are just suggestions to try to help OP ...it doesn't mean she's getting slated ...

Why is everyone leaping on Purepurple and Lyra just for not doing the whole "there there" thing?

What they're saying is true. Those hours are just too much for a 1 year old. The reason the OP feels so guilty is because she must know this deep down.

There must be some sort of compromise the OP can reach for the benefit of her baby and her self. I refuse to accept this is categorically impossible.

Oh and I'm just about to quit my job rather than put dd in a nursery or with a cm for 4 days a week (employer wouldn't go lower than this).

Yes it will be very hard financially but these first few years of her life are irreplaceable and I want to be the one with her when she walks for the first time, says her first word etc not a cm/nursery worker.

I can't bear the thought of a nursery worker having these experiences/memories instead of me.

ssd Sat 23-May-09 07:25:19

I hope purepurple doesn't leave MN, all the posters who think leaving a young child in nursery all day is great hate hearing from someone who doesn't makethemfeellessguilty agree with them, but we need 2 sides to every arguement, it gets boring otherwise

purepurple Sat 23-May-09 07:38:28

thanks for the support
to the others, the truth hurts, doesn't it?

Bunny, you are so right, you will never get those years back.

spicemonster Sat 23-May-09 07:42:45

I love the way it's women without children or who have the luxury of being able to be SAHMs who are giving the OP a real kicking on this thread hmm

"There must be some sort of compromise the OP can reach for the benefit of her baby and her self. I refuse to accept this is categorically impossible." Bunny - that is a very blinkered statement to make.

Not all of us have the choice of flexible working or indeed a partner to support us while we devote every second to our offspring.

ssd Sat 23-May-09 07:44:43

purepurple, I've worked in childcare for years and I agree with you

as you know there are lots of mums out there who try to get you to make them feel better whilst dropping of their babies for a 10 hour stint at nursery, thats their choice, but they shouldn't expect us to hold their hand and say there there

ssd Sat 23-May-09 07:46:56

oh God "the luxury of being a SAHM"

trust me, when you stay at home with the kids and live on one crap wage the luxuries are long gone

if you have no partner and have to go out to work thats different

spicemonster - it's hardly a "luxury" to commit to no holidays, no meals out, no new clothes and a weekly food budget of £40 for 2 years now is it?

It's a choice that my DP and I have made for the benefit of our family.

Unless the OP is a single parent (which she doesn't state) then surely there must be some flexibility in her working arrangements?

Even if it's only as someone else suggest finishing a wee bit earlier a few days to have a bit more time with her dd.

purepurple Sat 23-May-09 07:56:47

I work full time but I have half hour dinner breaks so I can finish early one afternoon a week to be home when my DD gets home from high school.
I feel guilty that she comes home to an empty house, I can't imagine what it feels like to hand your baby over to a complete stranger for 10 hours a day.

foxinsocks Sat 23-May-09 08:18:19

had put money on you looking for opinions for a piece in a newspaper but just checked and you have posted before (I know, I know, shouldn't doubt people).

Look, 8 years ago, my baby was in nursery from 7.30/8 till 6. I shouldn't have done it, it wasn't the right choice and I realised this fairly quickly. She was only 4 months at the time so it's a bit different and I think at one, it's not SO bad but if I could do it all again, I'd get a nanny right from the start.

You might think it will cost you a lot more but nurseries are so expensive now, that I doubt it will. Really search, properly search, for someone you really like. Check their references and double check. And then entrust them with the care of your little one. You'll be happier and your baby will get care in your own home which is probably far better at that age (in my opinion)! Or look for a childminder if the nanny option is too expensive.

But don't feel guilty. If you have to work, you have to work. As long as it's a decent nursery, tbh, she'll probably be fine. I just don't like them for babies as I feel they don't get enough attention.

foxinsocks Sat 23-May-09 08:20:08

and it is fine to work you know wink

but you must be happy with your childcare, well as happy as you can be, because not have peace of mind over that while you are working will drive you insane

foxinsocks Sat 23-May-09 08:21:22

and as I said on another thread, if the OP is in London, as I am, a 50 hour week once you take into account the commute is not unusual at all

frasersmummy Sat 23-May-09 08:31:35

ssd.. thats exactly what the nursery staff do in my nursery

ds is there 3 days a week 7.45 till 5.30/5.45. He loves the balance of time at home and time at nursery. But he had a wobble last week said he didnt want me to go The staff were brilliant, not only did they distract and engage him , they called me mid morning to say he was having a ball

When I picked him up at night the staff took time to tell me how smiley he was all day and that he was just trying me and not to feel bad

glad you are not one of the staff in my nursery ...

willowthewispa Sat 23-May-09 12:30:20

I think it's a real shame that any discussion of childcare isn't allowed to be in the least bit critical in case in upsets working mothers. It's important to discuss childcare and what can be done to improve it for children.

I have worked full time in a nursery, and I agree that full time nursery care for babies in not the best choice. There were babies doing longer hours than I was, and it did make me and other nursery nurses sad for them. Obviously we do our absolute best to care for them, but group care is just not geared up to meet a baby's needs - that's the unpleasant truth of it. As children get closer to about three you see such a change in how they cope with the environment and actually enjoy and get lots out of being in nursery. Under 2s don't generally. Some of the more robust ones cope really well, but most don't. It's certainly not an environment I would choose for a baby of mine, and certainly not full time.

A crap nursery is probably better than a crap childminder, but a good childminder is better for babies than the best nursery in my opinion.

willowthewispa Sat 23-May-09 12:34:50

Btw, I don't think all mum's should stay at home. I don't think there is anything wrong in working full time. I think good childcare can be a really positive force in a child's life, and I'm not at all anti-nurseries!

But, we do have to consider what kind of childcare is best for children, and I do not believe that nurseries are in a baby's best interests.

silkcushion Sat 23-May-09 12:46:41

this is such an emotive topic.

My dd has been in nursery f/t since she was 4 months old.

Please believe me when I say I can't work reduced or flexible hours. My dh and I earn the same money and we also have to support his children from his first marriage. To work p/t in my company I would have to take a much less senior job - so salary would reduce in both ways (then we couldn't afford our bills). We don't go on holiday or have an extravagant lifestyle.

IMO it is easier to jack in your career/job to be a sahm if you earn less or have a partner who earns loads. Women like me have a much harder choice. I also like working.

I agree that maybe nursery is not a great environment for a baby (but my dd has always loved it) but how many sahms or grannies give a perfect environment either? We should support other mums/ parents not constantly bloody think we are always right - it pisses me off.

OP - fwiw my dd (18mo) is happy, sociable, confident and loving. She adores the staff at nursery but I am pleased to say she is far more attached to her mummy and daddy (that was one of my biggest fears).

LupusinaLlamasuit Sat 23-May-09 12:53:00

I try not to get involved in this debate too much but I'd just like to offer a different perspective. The key I think, is knowing whether your baby and you are happy. Everything else is just noise. If you're not, and she/he is not, then perhaps a change is warranted.

But everyone else staing bluntly 'it's fine' or 'it's too much' have no real idea aout what is fine in your situation.

Most nurseries are good, some are awful. Are the staff loving and caring to your child? Does she have a keyworker who pays attention to her needs? And to yours? Is she stimulated and having a routine that works for her and enough sleep and the right food? Does someone pick her up when she cries and cuddle her? Do they follow the suggestions and patterns you want for her, within reason? Do the staff stay on or do they constantly change? Do they have training and breaks and a good manager who is responsive to comments?

'Too long' for a baby is often based on personal gut feelings but which are in reality based on ideologies of parenting, motherhood in particular. The 'stay at home' mother is a peculiarly modern phenomenon since the Victorians invented it. Before middle class women had husbands wealthy enough to keep them at home, they simply went out to work with their kids, farmed them out to their mothers or other mothers or older kids. Communal childrearing in this sense is far more 'natural' and historical than the individualist, romanticised version people idealise today. It doesn't mean it is better or worse either way but I don't think the choice of a well-regulated, kind nursery with enthusiastic staff should make anyone feel guilty.

lisad123 Sat 23-May-09 12:54:44

wow what a kick off! I used a private nursery with dd1 once she hit 2 years old as she was bored at nannys house I worked as alittle as I could, and hated leaving her there tbh. I work less hours with dd2 now and it works for us.
I know OP said she had no choice but to work FT but sometimes it is possible to change some things. Like cutting back, working though lunch hours, working from home ect. Its a long day for little ones, and having worked in some terrible nurseries, its not always nice But there is also some fab ones too.

LupusinaLlamasuit Sat 23-May-09 12:59:06

PS second what others have said about having some flexibility if you can: could you work your lunchtimes in order to take Friday afternoon off? Or work weekend evenings in order to do 4 days midweek? You might find this just makes `you happier.

Nancy66 Sat 23-May-09 13:04:56

it does look like the Op has fled, which is a shame.

But nine hours in a nursery for a baby is a very, very long time. that's actually a longer day than most adults work.

I don't know what - but there has to be a better solution doesn't there? The mum is distressed and the baby is missing out - nobody's happy so why continue?

frankbestfriend Sat 23-May-09 13:43:06

I always find this is the only topic on mn in which anyone with a less than completely supportive attitude to the op is flamed.
The only posters given a 'real kicking' on this thread have been the ones who asked the op if she had really considered every option with regard to working hours and childcare.

And as for the 'luxury' lifestyle of sahms, it is, ime, often sahms who have sacrificed luxuries in order to be at home.

I have lots of symathy for the op, who clearly has few choices, but find it very irritating that giving your opinions on this subject deems you unsupportive/unsisterly.

ssd Sat 23-May-09 13:52:57

frasersmummy, to ssd "glad you are not one of the staff in my nursery", I don't work in a nursery now so I won't be working in your nursery so you can stop worrying!!

but just ask yourself, if your son was crying all day do you really think the staff would tell you? how would you react? would you think "oh, I'll cut down on the amount of time ds is at nursery" or would you think "they can't handle him well, I'll try him elsewhere"? hmmm, I'm glad your son is settled, but don't ever forget, these nurseries are run for profit and they won't make any profits without a good quota of kids attending, so its in their interests to tell the parents how happy their kids are there.

spicemonster Sat 23-May-09 13:56:07

I don't see many examples of totally supportive posts, saying 'well done you, your baby's fine, stop worrying'. Most of them are asking about the possibility of more flexible working or asking about other ways the OP might manage things, alternative childcare etc. But what isn't helpful is a blanket 'that's far too long for a baby to be in childcare'. What is the point of that? To make the OP feel more guilty? She's feeling like that already. Of course the OP has fled - what's the point of her posting again when she's already been tried and convicted of being a dreadful mother on the strength of three sentences?

And it is a luxury to be a full time SAHM - not all families can afford the additional expense of having children and drop a wage. I'm not talking about having holidays, for a lot of people it's about having a roof over your head.

And Lupisina - thank you for making the point about Victorian constructs - I've made that point several times in the past on these sorts of threads and they always get ignored unfortunately.

DrNortherner Sat 23-May-09 14:04:11

Knew this would kick off. I totally empathise with the OP. My ds was in nursery four full days a week as a baby, I had no choice, we needed my wage, being a SAHM was not an option for me.

Some women do not work for pocket money, they work to contribute to keeping the roof over the head of the family and pay the bills. If I geive up work we do not have enough money to live in the house we are in, and before anyone asks it's a modest 3 bed terraced house, not a mansion.

So it's not always about giving up a few luxuries.

And being able to have the choice to be a SAHM is a bloody luxury imo.

DrNortherner Sat 23-May-09 14:05:07

Snap Spicemonstor!

ssd Sat 23-May-09 14:05:08

spice, the only folk I know who never have holidays, wear Oxfam clothes, have 1 car and a house too small for their family (thats never done up with new furnishings) are SAHM's who gave up an income to be at home for their kids or who changed jobs eg. working term time for crap money to be there at the school gates.

all the 2 income families I know live a more comfortable lifestyle than than the 1 income families

its a hard choice but to be told you have the luxury of being at home really grates

frankbestfriend Sat 23-May-09 14:19:58

Agree ssd.

The only WAG style sahms I have ever seen have been in the media.
Spicemonster, we couldn't 'simply afford to drop a wage',we downsized our house in order for me to be able to stay at home, I gave up my car and cut back on luxuries.

Not for everyone, I'm sure, but I find it irritating that those sacrifices are dismissed by those who have chosen not to or are unable to make them.

spicemonster Sat 23-May-09 14:32:27

I'm not dismissing the sacrifices you've made to stay at home! I know it's hard for some people. But although all the SAHMs I know are very wealthy, it isn't beyond my wit to know that it isn't the case for everyone. Just as I'd hope it isn't beyond you ssd/frank to realise that it isn't always the case that all two working parent families live the life of reilly.

Best not to make assumptions that everyone is the same as you really

frankbestfriend Sat 23-May-09 14:37:20

Agree spicemonster

Where I live, wealthy one income families are few and far between (I am in Yorkshire btw)

juuule Sat 23-May-09 14:44:03

I would just like to add that when I was agonising about leaving my job, I would have been relieved to have some support in that. As it was I was surrounded by people telling me how it would be foolish, that we couldn't afford it, that I would regret it, that I would be bored, that my child would be okay and I was being self-indulgent. All things of that kind.
I did eventually find someone who didn't think that I was mad to consider sahm and I found that a huge support when I finally did make the decision.

silkcushion Sat 23-May-09 14:45:40

despite my earlier ranting post I want to say that this is exactly what I meant.

We ought to support all parents in whatever choices they make for the families. There is no right or wrong answer to any of this.

willowthewispa Sat 23-May-09 14:48:30

silkcushion - I disagree, there are better and worse choices to be made. The quality and funding of childcare in this country needs to improve massively, but there are still better and worse options.

silkcushion Sat 23-May-09 15:16:36

obviously some nurseries/childminders/parents are better than others at looking after children.

Parents generally try and do what they feel is right given their particular circumstances though. There is no 'one size fits all' solution to this problem.

elvislives Sat 23-May-09 15:21:12

I went back to work when my DD was 10 months old. For the first 5 months she went to nursery 2 full days, had 1 day at home with daddy and had 4 days with me. That was the ideal for me but it could only be temporary (we were lucky to be able to get a mortgage payment break, or I couldn't have done it at all).

Me and DH earn the same so cutting down or giving up work loses us a huge % of our income. With 3 older children at home we couldn't "downsize" from our 3 bed terrace. I think it's great that some people can do it, but just because you can doesn't mean other people's circumstances will enable them to do so. It's not a case of cutting out luxuries but losing the roof over our head.

DD has been in FT 8-4.30 nursery since she was 15 mo. She goes in with a smile every morning and is full of what she has been doing. I'd rather not have her in FT daycare but I'm happy with her nursery and the staff there.

foxinsocks Sat 23-May-09 15:59:23

are you new willow wink? I seem to agree with everything you say

ssd, for us and several other people we know, both dh and I work full time because neither of us can be sure enough that our jobs are going to be there in a year's time. Dh's job is far more fragile than mine and I daren't scale down my hours in case at some point, he gets made redundant and we desperately need the money (as we earn similar).

It's not always because of the lifestyle if you see what I mean .

blueshoes Sat 23-May-09 18:13:16

To pick up on a point VictorianSqualor raised earlier, IME children who attend ft nursery have a better chance of settling than those who attend part time. And I know lots of ft children, my dcs as well as their mates.

Both my dcs started at about 1 year old. Dd started pt, building up to ft at 17 months. Ds went in ft straight away because I was quite reassured about ft attendance from experience with dd.

There is a certain status from being a 'lifer'. Far from bothering my dcs, everyone knows them and they are immensely popular amongst children and carers, frequently recognised out and about in the community.

OP, I hope you are alright. Unless your baby is not settling, I don't think the long hours per se is anything other than an artificial construct in the minds of parents who don't feel comfortable with nursery to begin with (includes some nursery workers hmm).

For parents who use ft childcare to good effect, it is not an issue.

LupusinaLlamasuit Sat 23-May-09 23:42:48

Great post, blueshoes. smile

Can I just add, many of the parents that put their children into our care full-time were put into nursery too, and they have no issues, they are happy, secure adults with loving relationships with their parents which is why they are so secure in their choice.

If the OP ever comes back (which I'd like to think she would, even just to read if not to answer) I'd like to ask if she was at home with Mum when she was a child and that is possibly causing part of the guilt??

hf128219 Sun 24-May-09 07:12:42

This discussion could go on and on. Let me mention the forbidden phrase again: 'Happy baby, happy mummy'

or suggest a polish nanny?

willowthewispa Mon 25-May-09 21:51:54

foxinsocks - I've been around for a few months!

op - have you looked at some calculations on wages if you drop a couple of days? I only ask/ suggest it might be worth going through some figures because personally with my job I work two days a week, and found that if I was working full time, by the time I took the extra childcare and the tax into account, I come home with the same money for 2 days as if I was working five. try this tax calculatorAlso childcare vouchers will reduce the tax you pay too. Sorry if you have already tried this.

Lolasmummy1 Fri 14-Mar-14 08:58:15

I am in the same situation. I have had to back to work ft after maternity leave and have been refused pt hours. My daughter is in nursery from 7:30-5pm 5 days. I feel so guilty that I'm not doing everything for her, missing helping to develop her. I am missing all this precious time and feel horrible about it. I know that she's fine, but I'm not.

betty10k Tue 01-Apr-14 15:00:06

Hi Lolasmummy1 - my ds (20months) is at nursery 4 days a week 8am - 6pm and has been since he was a year old. Grandma had him 1 day a week but he will soon be going 5 days a week 8am - 6pm. They are long days but we have no choice, no family who can help regularly and we have to work to pay the bills.

My ds loves nursery - it was difficult in the beginning and i felt very guilty because he refused to eat and drink (very hot August last yr) - he was just being stubborn and would smirk when he pushed his beaker away. He quickly got over it and now he runs in doesn't say goodbye, he's straight off to the toys. Really likes his key worker but loves mummy and daddy more - i think we all worry they will replace us but they don't.

If i dwell on it i feel like you do but i can't afford to - Monday's are always a bit hard as we've had lots of time together over the weekend but it's only hard for me not for him. You will be okay. How long have you been back at work? Do you like your job?

Tanith Wed 02-Apr-14 07:51:07

I have a full time toddler with me (I'm a childminder) and she's been here since she was a baby. I know her mum was absolutely gutted at having to go back full time. I, too, feel very guilty that I look after her lovely little girl when I know she'd prefer to be at home with her.

Meanwhile, the child has no such worries smile
She has a great time with me and has bonded strongly, but I will never, ever be "Mummy". The appearance of Mummy or Daddy at the end of the day is always the same - she completely forgets about me and is delighted to see them.

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