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To not want to go back to work?

(46 Posts)
Sunandseaside Tue 09-Apr-19 09:49:23

Interested in different perspectives and opinions on this- good or bad of course!

I have a 9 month old and I’m due to go back to work in June. Work have been great and offered me 3 days a week- I know I’m very lucky to be able to do this.

The issue is that my daughter doesn’t sleep and it is getting worse. She is currently awake every 1-2 hours.

I’m used to it and I can get through the day if we are at home- able to wake up a bit later etc.

I’m just incredibly anxious about being out the door by 7.45am having been awake all night and then having to go into work all day then do pick ups/ drop offs at nursery. She is also quite a difficult baby and I’m worried about how she will settle in.

DH will be working away 2 days a week so that’s added pressure.

I just feel like I have to ‘have it all’ - be a working Mum but the thought of it stresses me out and I’d like more time.

My work may offer a career break ( 1 year) but DH wants me to go back- I understand where he’s coming from but he doesn’t do most of the night wakings and is gone early in the morning so won’t have to get the baby up/ fed and ready.

AIBU to want more time off? Or should I just get on with it?

continuallychargingmyphone Tue 09-Apr-19 09:50:54

Take the career break if you want to but whatever you do I’d sort out your child’s sleep, for her sake as well as yours.

flamed12 Tue 09-Apr-19 09:53:45

I’d take the career break if you can afford to. I’ve tried to “have it all” and was absolutely miserable. It’s difficult and my child sleeps.

NoKnit Tue 09-Apr-19 09:54:20

Tell your husband you need a trial run of him doing the night waking starting next week he does 3 nights a week and you do 4, just to make it fair. See how he takes that. If he refuses then you've got your grounds for staying off work longer.

I'm with you OP, your baby is still so little and it's normal for mothers to want to stay at home.

As for having it all you'll have all the nursery hassle, drop-offs, night wakings, childcare and housework. Do you want that to be your all?

PlainSpeakingStraightTalking Tue 09-Apr-19 09:55:28

I'd go back - you're isolating your self from your employment, not to mention pension. They might not offer you 3 days a week in a year. Babies learn to cope.

The issue is that my daughter doesn’t sleep and it is getting worse. She is currently awake every 1-2 hours. why is this? wet? hungry? noise related? reflux?

acciocat Tue 09-Apr-19 09:58:30

Well, I assume your dh hasn’t been doing the night wakings and early mornings because you’ve been on ML and are able to grab later starts and naps. We were the same. While on ML I did the nights because I had greater flexibility. You need to talk to your dh and plan a way of sharing the load. Clearly your dh is keen for you to share the financial load so it’s reasonable that he shares the domestic stuff. And as you say you’re only going to be part time anyway. I would absolutely go back to work... you just need to recalibrate things to reflect your new routine

FWIW I returned to work 3 days a week after dd1 (though this was back in the day when you returned when the baby was 3 months old) Until I did the first ‘dry run’ to the childminder I totally didn’t believe I could bf my baby, get us up and dressed and out the door by 7.30. But honestly once you get into a routine it just works. The thought is far worse than the reality.

I would really try to work on the sleeping though because at this age your child won’t need feeding in the night; it’s perhaps just a habit of waking and not self settling? Sleep deprivation is a bastard and you’ll feel so much better about getting back to work if your nights are less disturbed

Siennabear Tue 09-Apr-19 09:58:56

I went back to work with my son when he was 1. He didn't start sleeping through until he was 2. He woke around 5 times a night. It is tiring but most of the time for me I am better if I get up and get on with my day. I worked 2.5 days a week and it worked quite well. I am off on mat leave again right now and go back in September. I know it will be the same. The sleek does get better! And you still need a job at the end. 3 days is not too bad you still get 4 days to lay in.

MindyStClaire Tue 09-Apr-19 10:03:08

It's very personal, and there's no right answer, only right for you. I've gone back, and I'm much happier being at work. Being at home just isn't for me, and my DC loves nursery thank god. A friend is the opposite and would struggle to work, she loves being home (in a way I wish I felt like that!).

A different friend went back at the same time as me, but with a terrible sleeper. She's found it tough but she's hanging in there. Luckily she has great flexibility with her work as her husband doesn't. She is planning on some sort of sleep training in a few weeks when her DC is a year as quite frankly she won't be able to function much longer - but that would be the same if she was off.

From a practical pov, not working (and indeed working part time) doesn't just affect your income now, it will affect your pension contributions, your career progression, salary growth and have knock on implications for retirement. All of which may be worth it, but it's worth bearing in mind rather than seeing it as a short term decision.

Also, going back to work is hard, the transition is tough on everyone. Logistically before you even consider the emotional side. So if you do go back and struggle at first, cut yourself some slack and give it a few months before making any decisions.

Best of luck whatever you decide. flowers

BurrSir Tue 09-Apr-19 10:03:39

You absolutely can get you and baby out the door by 7:45 three times a week. I did it with a 16 week old 5 days a week with DP working away. You will find a way people always do.
The issue is do you want to go back to work? If you can afford to then take the career break if that’s what you want be be very aware you might not get offered three days again.

Morgan12 Tue 09-Apr-19 10:06:12

Why does your DP want you to go back?

Sunandseaside Tue 09-Apr-19 10:07:57

Thank you everyone.

I’ve made DH sound like he doesn’t do anything. He does. He will get up with DD but she often just cries and only wants me. When I go back to work we would get a cleaner so there would be less work to do in the house.

Sleep issues- it’s hard to say what it is tbh. We never recovered from the 4 month regression. I hope that the 1-2 hours is teething and that we will go back to 3-4 hours but I just don’t know. I still breastfeed in the night a lot. I just can’t do controlled crying or any of that. I feel shit because most of the NCT babies I know are sleeping 12 hours. I feel like I’ve really failed on the sleep front.

I do enjoy my job. I’m just worried about juggling both as I’m quite prone to anxiety/ depression.

AnemoneAnenome Tue 09-Apr-19 10:08:42

Whatever you decide, sort the sleep. You need to so you can make rational decisions! Is she waking to suck?

MindyStClaire Tue 09-Apr-19 10:12:39

The sleep is so tough. DD was a terrible sleeper until we moved her to her own room at 7 months. One night in our room she was up every two hours (BF every time), the next in her own she slept 11 hours straight. And 5 months later she's still a good sleeper. Just letting you know miracles do happen if you haven't moved her yet, might be an easy thing to try. Easy to move her back after a couple of nights if it doesn't work. But everyone will have a different suggestion as different things work for different babies!

Sunandseaside Tue 09-Apr-19 10:13:20

Yes she is. She sleeps in my bed most nights as I give up on putting her back. She just wants to be latched on to me all the time. Although the past few nights have been particularly bad I think due to teething. Sometimes I rock her back to sleep but it depends how exhausted I am!

We’ve tried a dummy but it was no help.

AnemoneAnenome Tue 09-Apr-19 10:16:58

Ok try this. Decide you're going to let her go, say, 3 hours between feeds, ok? Happy that is not starving her? If not pick 2.5 hours or whatever.

When she wakes before the agreed time is up, your DH takes her in a darkened room. He's not trying to get her to sleep particularly, just keep her comforted, entertained whatever, but not fed. When the 3 hours are up, he hands her to you to feed to sleep. Repeat every time she wakes - she gets comforted but not fed until the time is up. It worked like magic with our 2. I think DH had 2 nights of hell then all fine. A few weeks later we did the same to extend to 4 hourly intervals. No controlled crying, just lots of cuddles and a bit less feeding.

They were very long nights for DH but it was very, very few nights. And anyone can do this, whether they normally help at night or not.

acciocat Tue 09-Apr-19 10:20:40

Please don’t feel like a failure on the sleep issue. Some babies are just more difficult over sleep than others. I had 2 good sleepers and 1 shocker. But for your baby’s sake and yours, I would work with your dh to try to get a better routine over the next few weeks. That may mean controlled crying, moving her into her own room if you haven’t already, working on self soothing rather than bf. At this age the feeding is for comfort not hunger. Or maybe offer milk in a sippy cup so your dh can do it?

You like your job, you’ve been offered a really good deal with 3 days and by continuing to work you’re doing yourself a massive favour long term with pension contributions and keeping your place on the career ladder. As pp said if you leave and then restart in a few years you may not get such a good deal and you may need to start lower down the ladder. It sounds as though you would ideally like to go back, it’s the practical worries over sleep etc that are the issue- and these are sortable. It may mean a couple of weeks of working at it but honestly it is sortable. First thing to do is let go of the guilt and feeling you’ve failed and make a plan to get the sleep back on track.
And importantly your dh clearly doesn’t want to be sole earner which is fair enough- I would hate that responsibility. You seem a good team so work on it together

Sunshinegirl82 Tue 09-Apr-19 10:21:21

If the career break is something offered then presumably you could see how you go for 6 months and then request it if needs be? The thought is almost always worse than the reality!

I went back to work 3 days a week with a rubbish sleeper and it is hard but you do manage. I would say you need to get DH 100% on board. Can he tweak his hours so he can do a couple of drop off or pick ups? Or work from home one day to help? In my experience it's far more common for men to say/believe that their employer is completely inflexible but quite often they don't even ask!

Can you/do you co-sleep? I found it worked for me as I got the maximum sleep although I appreciate it's not for everyone.

I'm now on mat leave expecting DC2 and whilst it was tough at times I'm really glad I did it now. I've been promoted and had a significant pay rise since returning and once we got into a routine it really wasn't that bad.

Good luck!

IceCreamAndCandyfloss Tue 09-Apr-19 10:24:56

If your DH doesn't want to be the sole earner then you don't have a choice unless you go against him and that won't make for a happy marriage.

He needs to share the three nights before you have to go to work though where possible.

Sunandseaside Tue 09-Apr-19 10:28:26

Wow thank you anemone that’s really great advice and I’m going to try it.

Also thank you to everyone else for your lovely comments.

DH is usually out the door by 6am but I think we could change that a few days so he could do some drop offs (he’s a morning person and prefers to go in and get his work done so he can finish early).

I think he just doesn’t want to be the sole earner- which is fair enough. He does earn good money but we’d be £400-£500 better off a month if I go back.

I may look at going back for 6 months like a PP mentioned and if things don’t go well consider a career break.

It’s just all quite scary. It feels like only the other day I was starting maternity leave.

SeriouslyStrongCheese Tue 09-Apr-19 10:30:47

Honestly do proper sleep training it usually only involves 2 or 3 nights of difficulty before they sleep through. It's amazing how babies adapt so quickly.

MindyStClaire Tue 09-Apr-19 10:31:32

The thought of it was definitely worse than the reality for me anyway OP. I had such guilt over DD being in nursery fulltime. Within about three weeks we were starting to dread weekends as she was missing the stimulation so much. grin It's also nice to be me again, rather than just mummy. But again, it's different for everyone.

Sunandseaside Tue 09-Apr-19 10:34:44

*Honestly do proper sleep training it usually only involves 2 or 3 nights of difficulty before they sleep through. It's amazing how babies adapt so quickly.*

I honestly don’t think it will work. She’ll just stand up in her cot/ scream/ be sick. I just can’t do it.

LaurieMarlow Tue 09-Apr-19 10:40:45

When you're knee deep in maternity leave it's normal to feel that you'll never be able to make it out of the house to work for a certain time.

But you'll be surprised what you can achieve when you have to and you're forced to become more organised.

You going back to work is absolutely the right time for DH to step up and do his share. Sort the sleep out and give it a go. Three days is a great deal. I'd bite their hand off for that frankly.

LaurieMarlow Tue 09-Apr-19 10:41:34

I honestly don’t think it will work. She’ll just stand up in her cot/ scream/ be sick. I just can’t do it

Then get in a sleep consultant.

acciocat Tue 09-Apr-19 10:41:42

Just put your faith in it and try it. I had a brilliant sleeper first time round and it was a huge shock to have a terrible one. I spent a while thinking ‘this is just how it is, I’ll have to put up with it.’ It’s easy to feel you just have to accept it. Working on sleep training was the best thing we ever did. It made for a happier baby too - you just have to get through those difficult few nights but you’ll soon forget those. Some babies are naturally better than others around sleep but that doesn’t mean you can’t work at improving things. Talk to your dh and bite the bullet

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