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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.

ButtonBoo Tue 09-Oct-12 22:05:07

I feel your 'pain'! Going through exactly the same thing myself.

I went back 2mo ago. Work 4 days a week with slightly longer hours to accommodate not working on Weds. Am still bf morning and night. My house is a tip. My ironing is piling up. My kitchen floor is filthy and you might just catch legionnaire's disease from my bathroom!!

Trying to be a good mum, a good employee/manager, keep on top of cleaning/laundry/food shopping etc is just not happening. I feel like I am doing everything at about 50%. Sucks! And for some crazy reason...I want another baby!!!

Viviennemary Tue 09-Oct-12 21:47:05

It's just about doable if you have a cleaner. Otherwise not possible without much tearing of hair, arguments and stress and bad temper. That's what I found.

BrianButterfield Tue 09-Oct-12 21:41:39

See, DH mentioned another to me, and I thought "ooh, another year off work...mmm..."

HoldMeCloserTonyDanza Tue 09-Oct-12 21:33:57

Dishwashers are brilliant, not least because all the dirty dishes get stored away out of sight rather than stacked up on the side looking messy.

NellyBluth Tue 09-Oct-12 21:32:53

Heh... DP mentioned the other day that he wouldn't mind if I got pregnant again now, the sheer thought of it makes me shudder. I'm barely managing now!

KenLeeeeeee Tue 09-Oct-12 21:32:31

YANBU. I only worked 24 - 30 hours a week and I found that nightmarish and went back to being a SAHM after a year of it.

A cleaner is an excellent suggestion. You will find a balance if you juggle around a bit and find a groove that suits you. Could you ask your employer to be flexible over your hours, so you perhaps do an extra hour a day but only do 4 days a week? I'm pretty sure that's what my SIL says she does and although it's still nowhere near easy, having that extra day at home with her dd is nicer.

JacqueslePeacock Tue 09-Oct-12 21:31:49


thebitchdoctor Tue 09-Oct-12 21:30:52

Does anyone find it so hard that they cannot contemplate having another child?

JacqueslePeacock Tue 09-Oct-12 21:26:18

Batch cooking at the weekends - if I can find the energy this might be a really good idea. We might need a bigger freezer though <eyes mounting cost of cleaner, dishwasher and freezer>

BrianButterfield Tue 09-Oct-12 21:24:31

It is hard. I boggle at any posts that say being at home with DC is the hardest thing ever - no way, it's like a luxury holiday compared to working FT! I do enjoy my actual job but the logistics, keeping up with the housework, sorting out meals and dealing with continual bloody illnesses brought home from nursery are killing me at the moment. I mean, we do manage, of course we do, but I reserve the right to be knackered and grumpy sometimes!

JacqueslePeacock Tue 09-Oct-12 21:23:55

To be honest, I do worry a cleaner might not be able to find any surfaces to clean! I need someone to tidy really, but I guess cleaners don't do that. Gah.

Also not totally sure about putting plates "into the dishwasher", as the usual dishwasher is my DH and he might object! Would an actual dishwasher (as in a machine) really help us? Wasn't sure.

LimeFlower Tue 09-Oct-12 21:21:47

Hat off to you for holding FT job and having a baby.

Please get the blocked duct sorted out-mastitis is horrible.Put some warm cloth over your breast,gently massage it and either express or let the baby do the job.

Your mum is talking rubbish well, everyone else seems to manage it OK -quite often "everyone else" is "nobody"-if you ask to name such person it turns out they don't exist.

YoullLaughAboutIt has excellent advice.Big pot of stew/bolognese/whatever portioned in the freezer is a time saver.

Chin up,you'll manage.Good luck smile

MargoThreadbetter Tue 09-Oct-12 21:16:39

Yes YoullLaugh, I guess we only moved to our new place 2 months ago so there hasn't been any time for dirt to accumulate grin

Tailtwister Tue 09-Oct-12 21:16:09

Yes, it's bloody hard! I've only worked part-time, but that was hard enough. Having a baby changes you, there's no doubt about it. I have no doubt you are as good at your job as you ever were, but deep down you are a mother first and foremost.

I have to say that for me, I find the conflict (between children and work) almost impossible. I do it because I have to. I am trading off the now for the future. I know it's the best thing long term, but yes it's bone crushingly hard.

That said, there are things which you can do to make your life easier (already suggested). I do think things get easier in a way as your child gets older. I found going back around the 12 month mark extremely difficult. I was still bf as you are, co-sleeping and did so because I felt it offset my absence a bit (I do believe it did btw). It did make things harder for me physically though. I'm not advocating you stopping bf btw, but I do think it can make a baby more 'needy' when you are around. They enjoy their milk and they want it NOW!

Give it a bit longer. If you can take a career break then do so. If not and if it's important to you then keep going. It IS possible, but it won't be easy.

orangefan Tue 09-Oct-12 21:15:00

It's hard but it does get easier honestly. Mind are 4 and 8 now and it's definitely easier. Hang in there.

YoullLaughAboutItOneDay Tue 09-Oct-12 21:12:17

A cleaner does help, because then you aren't spending your weekends running the hoover and stuff. It doesn't fix things on work days, but it frees up weekends IYSWIM.

Plates - have a rule that a plate never touches a surface in the kitchen. Used, straight in the dishwasher.

BlingBubbles Tue 09-Oct-12 21:10:25

Yanbu, I totally know how you are feeling, I went back to work work full time ( but work a day at home a week) in may and since then I feel like all I do is rush around and to make things worse my DD 14months who has slept through the night since 8 weeks has now decided to wake at 1am and 4am!!! I am more tired now then when she was little... Hopefully things will get better, roll on half term grin

MargoThreadbetter Tue 09-Oct-12 21:09:39

Does a cleaner really help? It's more tidying up type jobs that are never ending that add up. Like putting dirty plates in dishwasher and wiping table, putting away toys. Paperwork. Emptying the rubbish. God there's a whole list.

Think I need someone here every morning like Xenia suggests. Pretty sure once a week wouldn't even make a dent.

Leedscatgirl Tue 09-Oct-12 21:06:09

I think when (and when is upto u) you finish breastfeeding that will make it easier

My hubby stays at home so I am really lucky cause he cooks and cleans

But my dd now 3 is still clingy to me so I keep her up 1 hour till 8 from when I'm home
This gives us our time together

Hope it gets better

GuernseyFamily Tue 09-Oct-12 21:05:42

Have you considered an Au-Pair? (If you have a spare bedroom?) or a mothers help! They're cheaper, they do some cleaning, some cooking, they babysit a little in the evenings/weekends.

I was an Au-Pair when I was younger & would love to have one now what with trying to juggle children at 2 schools, after school activities every day, back chat from the children, homework & play dates!

Go through that ironing pile and say to yourself "Does it really need ironing?" Bedding/Towels/Underwear/ does NOT need ironing. Fold things properly when dry or hang them straight away, you'll soon realize that not everything needs ironing. Shirts/skirts/Trousers yes but not jumpers, pjs, t-shirts etc. (Try it!)

Get DH to do some housework while you get DC into bed? Once you've established a routine that works for you you'll be fine. Pro-Plus helped me for a while! blush

YoullLaughAboutItOneDay Tue 09-Oct-12 21:05:25

I was four days, but in a pretty full on job.

Just a few thoughts and ideas:

- any way you could tweak your baby's day to a 7.30 bedtime? Some won't accept it, but many will. If you can get them waking a bit later in the morning, you can get ready quicker, and if they are a up a little bit when you get back, you get to do bath and stories, which can really help reconnect. I never got back before about 6.45, and lots of the mums I worked with did this.

-Yes, get a cleaner. Definitely!

- Batch cook. The freezer is your friend, and it takes no more time to cook four portions of bolagnese than one, etc. Shop online.

-Ensure that you are delegating. By which I mean, when nursery or babysitter is dealing with a task, let them make unimportant decisions as well as implementing, e.g. choosing pjs, not you laying them out.

-Ensure that your DH is an equal decision making partner in the home and with your son, not someone you delegate to. That said, having jobs each of you have 'ownership' of helps. Does he do much around the house?

-Do not take all responsibility for covering illness, etc. You both have to cover that type of stuff. My only caveat is that, if you are in anew job, your DH might need to take the lion's share for a few months.

The first couple of months are hardest. You will get there. smile

SoldeInvierno Tue 09-Oct-12 21:05:22

I went back to work when DS was 5 months. I had an aupair, who did cleaning and nursery runs, and a full time nursery place. And still, it was really hard. It is normal that the baby is clinging to you when you are at home. I remember that every time I went on a business trip, I would come back and have him attached to my leg for hours. It was sad, but in the end, we all got used to it and it became much easier. Do persevere with your job, get a cleaner, make easy but healthy meals and don't be too harsh on yourself. Ignore your mother's comments. She's not been helpful and you can't waste time listening to them.

Roughwiththesmooth Tue 09-Oct-12 21:05:08

It is hard, no doubt about it. I've been back full time 9 months now and it's only got easier in the last couple of months because DH has gone part time.

You have my sympathy as it's exhausting trying to fit everything in, something has to give and for us that was often housework, and like you I'd get really down looking at all the things that needed doing.

My dd is 18 months now and she still clings to me all evening and weekends.

HKat Tue 09-Oct-12 21:02:48

I know what you mean - not quite the same but I went back ft last week, and now will be on annual leave for the rest ofthe week again already as DD has bronchialitis so nursery is out and DH finds it harder to get time off :'(

DinosaurSchool Tue 09-Oct-12 21:01:45

It is soooo hard. Its one of the reasons why after having dc3 I have decided not to go back.

The house-mess thing is very hard, I was surprised how much this happened and how much it bothered me. I realised that it is a lot easier to keep on top of washing etc when you're there all day. Def get a cleaner/ironer if you can.

All babies go through separation anxiety at around 12 months. Mine clings to me all the time and I'm a sahm!

It will get easier though. Focus on getting tthrough a week at a time and countdown to your next holiday grin

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