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to not feel guilty about returning to work?

(25 Posts)
Boglin Fri 21-Feb-14 10:34:13

I have never felt a moment's guilt about returning to work after DS, I never cried when leaving him at nursery, I don't even really miss him whilst at work. I think about him a lot but I don't pine for him. My friend on the other hand feels like a failure at work and at home and thinks she's being a shit mum, she feels guilty all the time for having gone back to work. AIBU to think that if mums are going to return to employment they should let go of the guilt? Or I am a KT Hopkins-esque monster for not feeling the same as my friend?

LaurieFairyCake Fri 21-Feb-14 10:37:30

You feel the way you feel.

Comparisons to anyone else are pointless.

StealthPolarBear Fri 21-Feb-14 10:37:57

I think dads happily swan kff to work without guilt or analysis. Because men work. That's what they do. Women work if they can fit it in with their children/childcare/home/other responsibilities/supportkng their high flying husband's career

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 21-Feb-14 10:38:17

YANBU smile Personally, as I've been a lone parent since birth, I feel nothing but pride that I've managed to keep our little family afloat single-handed. Guilt is for the birds.

StealthPolarBear Fri 21-Feb-14 10:40:05

Cogito yet on another thread women are saying they simply cant work as their dh works long hours

TeamWill Fri 21-Feb-14 10:46:32

I have never felt guilt for working - I love my children but my career (that Ive worked long and hard for ) is part of what I need to be happy and fulfilled.

curiousgeorgie Fri 21-Feb-14 10:50:50

You should never feel guilty for working...

I'm a stay at home mum with a 3 year old and a 7 month old and am desperate to get out and have a change of life... Financially we're fine, I have loads to do and lots of mum friends to see in the day but I usually feel quite worthless.

I'm jealous of you going to work wink

georgesdino Fri 21-Feb-14 10:51:51

With dd1 I just put her in nursery at 4 monthd without a second thought. I didnt even do settling in, and she was not bothered as so young. I was only young and it didnt even cross my mind to get upset as I was only seeing her that night, not in 10 years time

ziggiestardust Fri 21-Feb-14 10:54:19

YANBU. For so many women, being a SAHM isn't living the dream and that's perfectly acceptable.

I'm a WOHM by choice, not necessity smile

TheScience Fri 21-Feb-14 10:55:38

I didn't feel any guilt/worry either - but I knew DS was in good childcare and he had the right personality for it. He never cried being left at nursery so there was nothing to feel guilty about. Also I was part time until he was 3 - I expect if I'd had to leave a distressed baby full time I'd have felt differently.

WellHelloThere Fri 21-Feb-14 10:59:26

Everyone is different - nothing wrong with not feeling guilty and nothing wrong if you do, at the end of the day if you are doing what you feel is the best thing for you and your family then you cant go wrong. I feel bad for those mums who really dont want to go back but have to for financial reasons but I guess you have to weigh this up when you are thinking of having kids. Just my 2 pennies worth!

TeamWill Fri 21-Feb-14 10:59:56

I agree with Stealth and if the normal expectation for you is that women only work if it "fits in" with everyone else and SAH is seen as" the norm" then WOH can be seen as something to feel guilty about.

I had 3 episodes of Mat leave and loved it but always knew I would return to work.

RuddyDuck Fri 21-Feb-14 11:00:04

I felt exactly like you after ds1 was born. I went back to work when he was 6m old, left him 3 days per week with a lovely childminder and really didn't feel guilty. However, I felt completely differently when I went back to work after ds2, I felt like I was the worst mother in the world.

georgesdino Fri 21-Feb-14 11:03:28

It really doesnt matter as your children wont even remember where they were when they were little. I went to a childminder, and my nans all the time. I cant remember any of it before age 4ish. Its made much more of an impact on my life my mum working as thats the reason I fulfilled all my ambitions. She is someone to look up to as she had a great career, and was/is the best mum ever.

JoinYourPlayfellows Fri 21-Feb-14 11:03:57


On a recent thread someone was saying that "all mothers feel guilty".

I don't feel guilty, I never have.

It seems a completely pointless emotion to me.

Unless I've actually done something I think is actually wrong, e.g. hurting someone. Then I take steps to right the wrong.

But I don't think there is anything wrong with working and I'm not into being a martyr to pointless feelings and angst.

I like working. I like my kids.

I guess the other thing is that I don't think I'm a wonderful mother. I think I'm probably just about passable. But I love my kids and I'm doing my best and I expect that I'll mess them up about the average amount.

Boglin Fri 21-Feb-14 11:06:08

Oh Laurie, I know it's pointless to compare, I just meant am I odd for not feeling any guilt at all about it when she is riddled with it.

TheScience, that's it, I knew he was in good hands, he did cry at first but we had a long settling in period and every time I rang after half an hour or so he was always happily playing away. He is also absolutely thriving, something I am sure is down to his particular mix of childcare (parents, gparents, nursery).

I never wanted to be a SAHM, financially it's not really an option, we could technically survive on one wage but we wouldn't want to, plus I knew that I wanted to return to work. Perhaps that's why I've never felt guilty, I'm comfortable with my choices.

Cogito you should be proud! I am in awe of lone parents!

curious, it's not at all worthless though to be primary childcare, I couldn't do it! Maybe you and my friend should do a job-swap?!

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 21-Feb-14 11:09:13

Thanks but don't be in awe smile Truth be told, it solves a hell of a lot of those awkward dilemmas and daft things like guilt when you are 'it' and there's no partner in the picture to shift the blame or responsibility onto. I don't have to fit round anyone. Ha!

Boglin Fri 21-Feb-14 11:12:16

X posted with lots of you there!

Join, I think that's exactly it, I think guilt is pointless too. If you have to return to work for whatever reason then what is the point of feeling guilty?

I also don't have high expectations of me as a mother, that is a big reason why his childcare is so varied, I don't believe I can give him everything he needs so I involve other people so that he gets the things that I can't give him.

ziggiestardust Fri 21-Feb-14 11:14:07

Agree that guilt is pointless. People often allude to the sense of guilt I surely must be feeling... Odd. Very odd.

VulvaBeaker Fri 21-Feb-14 11:14:34


First reply said it the best. smile

RiverTam Fri 21-Feb-14 11:15:21

no guilt here, I tried being a SAHM and hated it. We need the money, but I also need to work. I don't actually think I'm especially good at either working or being a mother, but I don't feel guilty about taking DD to her excellent nursery full of children she likes to play with and adults who know what they are doing and are very caring and nuturing to the children. I have to say I hardly think about her at work!

ziggiestardust Fri 21-Feb-14 11:16:19

I also believe that children need interaction with people of their own age; I do after all! Why would my son be any different? Surely he finds my company lacking sometimes; I don't like talking about DocMcbloodyStuffins and pretending to be Buzz Lightyear all the time. Just as he doesn't appreciate a nice glass of wine and a chat grin he has his own little circle of friends and I respect his need for that.

TeamWill Fri 21-Feb-14 11:34:02

"Guilt- an emotion that occurs when an individual believes they have violated the moral code that they believe in"

So its your beliefs that decide whether you feel guilty or not- but I have to say that sometimes the expectations of others can influence those who feel vulnerable or low.
I used to take DC to school and stop to buy a newspaper to read on my break at work.
Once a woman I knew asked me if I felt guilty for reading it confused grin

JoinYourPlayfellows Fri 21-Feb-14 11:37:25

Sure, but beliefs are changeable.

They're not something you're stuck with.

You can think through your "moral code" and figure out that it makes no sense for a parent working to earn money being a transgression.

You can reject any morality that demands guilty feelings for doing things you are doing because you either want to or need to.

TeamWill Fri 21-Feb-14 13:26:32

I agree with that Join and would go so far as to say that those with rigid, fixed beliefs can struggle the most.

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