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To think working F/T with a baby is REALLY HARD?

(56 Posts)
JacqueslePeacock Tue 09-Oct-12 20:33:18

I don't know if it's just me being rubbish but I am finding it so so so bloody hard. sad

My baby has just turned one and i've gone back to work full time. I say "gone back" but actually it's a new (quite stressful) job, with a commute. DH is also working full time. My baby is in nursery and that's OK - he's settling in well when he's there. But at home he clings to me like a desperate little limpet and wails if I have to put him down, which is heartrending and at the same time maddening.

Often I don't get home from work until 7pm when he's just going to bed. I'm still breastfeeding morning and night, and now frequently throughout the night - which I think is down to my baby's new separation anxiety. He just won't settle for DH at all.

My house is a tip which makes me depressed just to look at. Today I seem to be starting with a blocked milk duct or (hope not) mastitis, because I didn't have time to express at work. I'm also getting over a bug that DS picked up at nursery (par for the course I know). I just feel like quitting. I love my career and know that I am not cut out to be a full time mum, but my god, I didn't expect it to be this hard. Success in my field depends on meeting certain kinds of performance targets, and I just don't see how I can do that. I'm struggling just to stay afloat.

Am I being unreasonable? My mother thinks I'm just (i'm paraphrasing) lazy and need to toughen up. She's a bit of an old cow so I'm not taking her too seriously, but it has got me wondering.

JacqueslePeacock Tue 09-Oct-12 20:34:06

Crikey, that was long sorry! It was cathartic though!

Annunziata Tue 09-Oct-12 20:34:57

YABU, it's very hard. Don't listen to your mother.

Annunziata Tue 09-Oct-12 20:35:23

Shit, YANBU!

onedev Tue 09-Oct-12 20:35:31

It will get easier so stick with it & try not to worry about the state if the house. You'll be fine.

Mintyy Tue 09-Oct-12 20:36:43

Yes, it is hard. It is also hard to work full time when you have a toddler, a primary school aged child, a teenager. And worse when there's more than one of them. Sorry.

BlueberryHill Tue 09-Oct-12 20:37:49

It is bloody hard work, you mother has no idea. Did she do a demanding job with a 1 yo? Not only is it hard work but I felt that I wasn't being able to work or be a mother very well.

It does get easier, babies incrementally seem to get easier, you look back and realise that it is getting better, with the odd bad day thrown in. Give yourself time to settle in and ignore your mother.

Lonecatwithkitten Tue 09-Oct-12 20:39:00

I went back to work when DD was 3 months old. I can tell you it will get better.
Can you afford a cleaner? If you can it will solve the house problem.
Can you save expressed milk and get you DH to do some of the night feeds?
Take a day off just to do something for you be it hairdressers or massage.
I am alive 8 years later, DD is well and happy.
It will get better.

WorrisomeHeart Tue 09-Oct-12 20:39:31

YA-so-NBU! It's a bloody slog and I say that as someone who went back 4 days a week and not bfing so you have my sympathies! What I will say is it does get easier. Your baby will get older and more and more settled at nursery. You will get used to the hours and commute and things will settle down. Can you get a cleaner to tackle the housework? Is there the possibility of dropping back to 4 days a week?

thebitchdoctor Tue 09-Oct-12 20:39:50

I've been back at work since April PT then went FT in August. It's a fucking nightmare to be frank. I work in a very demanding and responsile job, im exhausted, my house is a shithole and I feel so bloody guilty as a mother, I feel like I'm failing her.

So no YANBU. Here's a hug, because being a full time working mummy is hell xxx

thebitchdoctor Tue 09-Oct-12 20:40:53

I agree with Worrisome heart, I think I will get a cleaner.

NellyBluth Tue 09-Oct-12 20:43:22

Nope, it's hard. I've been back f/t 3 weeks. I'm EXHAUSTED - and I'm not breast-feeding and am lucky to have a baby who (touch wood) sleeps through. You have my sympathies if you're up during the night - brew

But you look as though you have said the most important thing in your OP - I love my career and I'm not cut out to be a SAHM. That's me too. I know that staying at home wouldn't be for me in long-run. And it sounds as if, like me, you are in a career where part-time work isn't particularly an option if you want to continue in your career once the children are older.

Sod the house - just make sure it's clean enough for the baby <evilly eyes own rather grimy floors>. Look in to getting a cleaner, its surely the one thing that is worth scrimping on something else for if you aren't sure you can afford it. Get an online shop delivered at the weekends. Meal plan in your lunchtimes at work, learn new recipes that don't take much cooking. And I'm focusing on being knackered during the week - coming in, rushing around making food and doing the washing and that - so that I can spend the whole weekend with DD.

But it's shit at times. Come and whinge!

Goofymum Tue 09-Oct-12 20:45:00

It is really tough, don't be hard on yourself. Is there any way possible you could negotiate one day a week working from home? This is what I now do and it helps loads, I work just as hard at home but can spend my 'lunch hour' doing a couple of housey chores and it means I am at home when DCs come home. Also when my DCs were at nursery my parents looked after them once a week. While they were at mine Mum did the ironing and a bit of dusting just to help out. Is your mum around to help (rather than offer unhelpful comments?!)

ConstantCraving Tue 09-Oct-12 20:45:47

YANBU - I went back when DD was 5 months and I look back and don't know how I coped - she was still breastfeeding frequently at night and i was permanently exhausted. The good news is that it does get better - it takes time, but this stage will pass. Can you co-sleep? I found that helped DD feel secure and made the night feeds easier. Good luck.

SoleSource Tue 09-Oct-12 20:46:19

Yabu lol

<feeling mischievious->

Levantine Tue 09-Oct-12 20:48:05

I haven't worked full time since I had DCs, just four days a week. The hardest thing for me is coping withi the sleep deprivation and the one thing that made that easier was just giving up on evenings and going to bed at 830 quite a lot of the time. I started doing that after dc2 and it has kept me sane. But I am still shattered and the house is a tip and I under perform at work. It is bloody hard

tattyteddy Tue 09-Oct-12 20:49:49

I've been back at work full time, since January. I agree it's totally hard.
My house also looks like a shit hole and I have piles of laundry to iron sad

I'm decorating too, so it feels like bedlam! I think I would consider getting a cleaner in the future x

zookeeper Tue 09-Oct-12 20:49:57

it gets worse when they're school age and you ahve the headache of finding care in the holidays and making sure reading/homework is done. However, you do get used to it and better able to manage

WhenLifeGivesYouLemons Tue 09-Oct-12 20:52:06

No offence but your mum is being really mean and you shouldn't take her seriously at all.

RubyrooUK Tue 09-Oct-12 20:56:01

It is a massive slog and anyone doing it will feel the same. But from my experience it does improve.

I went back full time at 9mo and bf till nearly 18mo. Didn't express during the day though. DS ate meals (didn't like regular milk till about 15mo) all day and bf at night. That period of combining bf and work was the most difficult for me - glad I did it though as I believe it helped DS feel better about everything. It was really important for me. But when I stopped and DS learnt to settle with his dad too, I felt a big sense of relief at being able to share that when we were so tired.

It is so so hard. I remember DH and I both arguing about who would take time off on that occasion as DS was ill so often that first year. My first week of a new job was once spent in hospital with DS.

But DS is now two and although it is still hard, it is also normality. It is totally different from those early days with a clingy baby. He still loves me more than nursery (good) but I see him singing, dancing and having a great time there.

So anyway, it was all beginning to be not quite so appalling so now we're having another one. Oops. blush

MargoThreadbetter Tue 09-Oct-12 20:56:01

It's bloody hard. I've been back six weeks. My house is clean. But I have picked up seemingly two different bugs from nursery in the last week, plus an infected cold sore and all manner of dental problems. So clearly my immune system isn't coping with the workload sad

SeriousWispaHabit Tue 09-Oct-12 20:56:06

It gets better. But while your baby is so young it is just the hardest thing.

Mine are 4 and 2 now and I work full time (but over 4 days) and it is only in the last few weeks that DD2 has started to keep through the night. I am still breastfeeding and found that co-sleeping was the only way I could be functioning in the morning.

Do you have a cleaner? And someone to do ironing? The only way I manage is that on a Friday when I get in, the house is tidy, the washing and ironing done and put away and often there is something made for dinner. I have an amazing nanny though, and if she ever leaves I will quite possibly be in more of a pickle than if DH decides to go.

JacqueslePeacock Tue 09-Oct-12 20:56:20

Thank you everyone! (well, except maybe SoleSource - a lone voice of dissent!grin) I feel strangely so much better hearing other people admit it is tough. None of my friends with babies are working F/T so I have no RL points of comparison.

No, my mother did not work at all until I went to school. And when my older brothers were born she was a SAHM with a nanny! So she is definitely not speaking from experience, except for that "well, everyone else seems to manage it OK".

I do already work from home a day (or sometimes 2) a week. I know I should do some chores then but I just have so much work to do! And no, going P/T is definitely not an option in my field.

Am devastated to hear it doesn't get easier when they're older, Mintyy! I was relying on that.

MrsWobble Tue 09-Oct-12 20:56:40

No idea if this helps but I went back full time after each of my 3. I have a demanding job. My dh also works full time. my eldest was 18 last week. We have all survived. Hang on in there - it gets better, or at least you get used to it. Good luck.

JacqueslePeacock Tue 09-Oct-12 20:58:54

And getting a cleaner is a great idea, thank you to everyone who has suggested it. Well worth scrimping for, I should think.

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