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?

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.

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?

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.

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.

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

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

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?

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??

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

Great post, blueshoes. smile

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.

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 .

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.

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.

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 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.

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.

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)

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 14:19:58

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.

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

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

Snap Spicemonstor!

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.

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.

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.

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.

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?

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