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to be cacking myself about going to work five days a week and to ask for some positive stories and to have my hand held. Please be gentle.

(19 Posts)
Beastofburden Thu 18-Jul-13 16:58:44

@Katespade smile thank you!

Beastofburden Thu 18-Jul-13 16:50:20

hugs, dont feel guilty. Honestly, it is normal for your kids to have another life- school, nursery, behind the bus shelter (only joking!). It is good and healthy that they come home all proud and independent with lots to tell mummy about, and a sense that they have their own little life that they are leading.

TBH it can be quite hard to imagine that they can be perfectly happy without you. Especially if they are like your DC, and like my eldest DS, who was a right nightmare at nursery and howled his little head off aged 2, when I tried leaving him for a bit of socialisation, ho ho. I partly wanted to believe that he was bound to be miserable without me, because of course he loved me best, etc etc. As an adult I think he still does love me best, but not least because I am very happy for him to have parts of his life that are private, offlimits to mummy, and girlfriends etc that he loves too.

Have confidence. Your DC will enjoy having her own tiny space and telling mummy all about it. She doesn't have to be a massive extrovert for this to be true. Sometimes we think if our DC is not up there yelling and playing with others incessantly, and "having fun", she is unhappy. She may just be an introvert.

Have you read a book called "quiet" by Susan Cain? it is very interesting on how happiness in the quieter child looks like sulks/unhappiness in a more extroverted child, and sometimes we expect behaviour in nursery that, if we were to stop and think, we would never do ourselves.

beingneurotic Thu 18-Jul-13 14:13:19

This is the thing, you can't win, can you? my mum gave up work to look after my sister and I and basically never got back into the job market and has been resentful about this ever since. (And drummed into me obsessively that whatever I did I should never, ever stop work.) Thanks, though.

Lweji I've noticed this already.... on the weeks when I do a lot of work in the office she goes off without any problem. When she's had, say, a weekend off followed by two days of my working at home she pushes back against going in. Maybe a more stable routine would help this...

I just feel so, so guilty....

KateSpade Thu 18-Jul-13 14:13:00

My DD was has been at nursery full time since she was 1, she bloody loves it & asks to go at weekends, hmm

I nearly killed myself working when DD was little, but it really was worth it for the experience/learning/references, so just think of the long-term aspects.

It's lovely staying at home, but children grow up & I'm looking at these 'non remembering' years like beast said (great song-name btw) as a stepping stone for the future, if that doesn't sound like I'm being heartless!

Lweji Thu 18-Jul-13 13:54:40

You may well find that your DD will settle better and be more comfortable with the people there if she goes the 5 days.

Beastofburden Thu 18-Jul-13 13:41:14

I made all kind of sacrifices to stay at home until mine were 6,4 and 2 and then I went back to work. Part-time, full-time, local, commute, yadda yadda, did it all, felt guilty about all of it in different ways. DC are now 21,19 and 17. DS, at 21, has NO memories of all the years I half killed myself trying to stay home and do mummy stuff. He actually said to me, "oh, did you used to be at home with us full-time?" He has one memory-one- of his first five years-of how much he hated his pushchair leg-warmer thingy.

So my lesson is: she will grow and change over time, going to a good nursery from a loving home does not have the power to ruin her life, honestly it doesn't. She won't remember three quarters of what you do for her anyway. So do what you have to do, to have a stable family life with a happy mother.

Because what she definitely would remember, is a depressed mother doing a job she hates and a family with just not enough money to survive.

hugs, it will be fine, this parenting thing is for the long haul.

On survival- only one tip. Be bloody good at your job. Within a very short time, people will show you some flexibility. What you promise at interview to a newbie you know nothing about, and what you in fact offer to a trusted colleague, are two very different things.

beingneurotic Thu 18-Jul-13 13:26:41

this strategy is extremely tempting, but the fact that I've been looking for so long for another job -- over a year on and off -- without success makes me think its not sensible in the long run.

In a perfect world I'd stay here until six months to a year, collect the payout and then find a better job. But the job market is punishing and particularly in my sector and there's no guarantee I'd find another job quickly or easily. What I don't want to have to do is to run down my savings supporting myself while looking for work.

I'm also trying to reposition myself because the industry I work in has a lot of structural challenges which don't work in my favour so moving into an adjacent but related industry which isn't in quite the same position.

The pay isn't great in this new job but it allows me to basically learn a new skill in a new industry while I'm being paid so I don't have to go back to school. And the employer itself is very stable and won't go under, though can't be that sure of the job itself. But my current industry is up shit creek challenged.

I don't have any family members who can help, unfortunately -- my parents are both old and one of them is quite ill and they live a fair while away.

I think we just have to deal with it as best we can. If it ends up being a total nightmare I can start looking around in 9 months to a year and hopefully find something better paid or more flexible.

ChippingInHopHopHop Thu 18-Jul-13 12:50:24


It's never easy is it?

I'm one of life's optimists - I'd probably stay where I was until they made me redundant, then look for something else. It might not happen and once things have settled down it might go back to the way it was when you enjoyed it?!

DD will cope, kids just do. Like adults, they have no choice but to, do they.

If you do take the new job you will just have to 'prove yourself' as quickly as you can and between you just try to drop DD off a bit later and collect her a bit earlier when you can and that's all you can do. Unless you have a friend/family member who could have her one day a week or pick her up earlier and give her her dinner etc a couple of nights a week. But yes, as you said, lots of babies/toddlers are in nursery full time and they survive it smile

What do you think of the new job - does it excite you?

beingneurotic Thu 18-Jul-13 12:34:21

Wilson smile
That's more or less exactly how I see it. Still isn't stopping me feeling guilty though. But thanks anyway.

Up to a point. In my new job I'm likely to have to do a task several days a week which I will have to do from home as it will have to be done early and they hinted that I will be able to go in later on those days.

Also my boss-to-be indicated that once I've bedded in there will be some flexibility to do between two and four days a month from home, depending on the schedule. But they made it clear I can't expect that from the getgo.

DH in theory has some flexibility but the problem with his job -- which isn't office based -- is that he generally only finds out where he's working 24 hours or less before. He averages about two days a week outside London, where we live, and on those days leaves the house very early and rarely gets back before 8pm. So it will happen here and there but I can't count on us being able to put together a reliable schedule.

Thank you all, though.

redskyatnight Thu 18-Jul-13 12:28:56

Do you and/or DH have any flexibility in your hours? DH and I generally manage to work it that one goes to work early and finishes earlier and the other starts late and finishes late. So the DC get time with one parent in the morning, and the other in the afternoon.

WilsonFrickett Thu 18-Jul-13 12:17:12

Well I'm one of life's pessimists so how I would look at this is:

I am going to get made redundant. That means we won't be able to afford the mortgage and the market will be flooded with my skills, at least short term. That's shit. DD will be pissed off at eating beans for the next five hundred years till I get another job. I'll probably never get another job and we'll end up living in a tent. I hate camping. I should look for another job. Look! I found a job. It's not perfect. DD might not like going to nursery 5 days a week though. Well, that's tough for DD, she'll like eating beans and living in a tent even less. Yay me. I have saved the day!

Seriously, she will be fine and you will deal with your feelings. But if ^ is the alternative to moving jobs, then ^clearly you are doing the right thing.

beingneurotic Thu 18-Jul-13 12:09:04

ginpig thanks, that's really helpful. I realize that most of the problem is with me, not with her and that as long as they are in a loving environment children generally acclimatize to being in full-time daycare.

I think in a way the fact that I work such odd and unpredictable shifts -- often working up to four days out of the office at a time -- actually exacerbates it as she gets used to being at home with me, making it confusing when she then has to go into nursery.

But thanks anyway.

Dahlen Thu 18-Jul-13 12:08:13

She'll be fine. My two were in full-time childcare from the age of 1 and part-time up until then. I don't want to sound like I'm bragging, but I was often told how well-adjusted, well-behaved, happy, popular and clever they were, so it obviously never did them any harm.

I did, however, use a CM for the first 2 years and a combination of the same CM and nursery up until school age. Continuity of care and consistency in style across all venues is very important IMO.

Congratulations on the new job.

ginpig Thu 18-Jul-13 12:02:06

My DD has been in full time nursery care since she was six months- financially we couldn't afford for me to take more maternity leave.

The first few months were difficult- for me, not her. She goes to two different nurseries and absolutely loves them both- so much so that she now runs towards the doors in the morning. I know she's having a great time and she gets far more stimulation than I could ever have the patience to give her myself at home. She seems genuinely please to see me at the end of the day and although we have had a few tears when saying goodbye when she was about 1 it doesn't happen at all now- she can't get away quick enough!

I too am having a shitty time at work, mostly due to internal politics. It is now fun at all and you have my sympathies- it makes leaving DD more difficult knowing that I'm not even doing something I enjoy- but you are heading to an exciting new opportunity. It will be massively worth it in the end.

As for tips for coping? Lists. Lots of lists, and careful diary planning- it is the only way. That and on-line grocery shopping

AnotherStitchInTime Thu 18-Jul-13 11:15:38

If she gets on with the nursery staff and the other kids, she will adjust fine with time. As she gets older she will come out of her shell a bit anyway.

beingneurotic Thu 18-Jul-13 10:35:55

I have wondered about that quite often but as she is pretty settled where she is and gets on with the childminders and most of the kids I think its probably not the best course of action. I'd prefer to maintain the status quo on that front rather than have disruption on two fronts at the same time.
If I could afford an actual nanny I think that would be a good solution but I think its out of the question. We couldn't even afford a nanny share on my current salary and I'm taking a pay cut for my new job.

wibblyjelly Thu 18-Jul-13 10:30:50


I have just gone back to work after maternity leave (ds is almost 10 months). I was dreading it, as ds would be in nursery full time, and I felt guilty. I do still feel slightly guilty when I hand him over in the mornings, but he loves it! And I get the added bonus that he is so tired after playing all day that bedtime is a breeze now grin

AnotherStitchInTime Thu 18-Jul-13 10:29:49

Just a thought, but would a childminder suit your dd better as a sort of home from home environment?

beingneurotic Thu 18-Jul-13 10:24:33

Have name changed for this as my situation possibly recognizable and posting in AIBU for the traffic. I've worked for nearly 9 years for a company where I have generally been really happy but due to internal politics and structural changes its become a horrible place to work in recent months and I'm doubtful that I have a long-term future. There's a redundancy program going on at the moment which -- officially -- doesn't affect people at my level but the writing is clearly on the wall for us and my boss hasn't been able to give me any certainty that my job won't be affected longer-term.

So I've been offered a new job. Its not perfect but there are various reasons why its a good move for me long term (not least that I've been looking for over a year.) My current job is, at the moment, pretty cushy. The pay is good and I've been able to exploit the dysfunctional situation in the office by working from home a lot and have basically averaged about two and a half days a week in the office even though I'm being paid to work full time, allowing me to spend as much time as possible with my dd while also earning pretty decent pay. Sorry if that sounds smug. But its too good to last and I know I need to reposition myself before the rug gets pulled out from under me.

My new job -- unsurprisingly -- won't let me continue this situation and have said while there may be some flexibility after I've settled in, I basically have to assume I'll be in the office five days at least in the first few months. My DH works full time (we need the money from two incomes) and its unlikely he would be able to reduce his hours.

I'm terrified, basically. My dd, who is two and a half, is at a nursery where she's basically happy but she's very shy and takes a long time to feel comfortable with new people. I'm dreading having to be away from her for eight hours a day, five days a week and worried about the possible impact on her.

I know loads of people do it and the bottom line is I'll have to suck it up and get on with it. There isn't really any alternative.

But please, people, can I have some positive stories about people whose small kids are or have been in full time childcare and who are OK? And some tips about how to cope?

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