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

Ax

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.

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