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By going back to work, my children “won’t know who I am” - so says my mum!

(89 Posts)
Holywaterrr Mon 22-Apr-19 03:36:10

Obviously it’s been a late Easter Sunday night with a few drinks. But still..

My DH and I have tried to explain to my mum how it is that she was able to buy her own small house on one salary in the 70s, but how these days it’s mostly takes two salaries to buy a house.

She also knows how I’ve been striving for about eight years now to get qualified at the top of my field (doctor).

So the conversation goes, that I will take 9 months’ leave (for this imaginary baby!) and DH will take 3 months. Then we will both go back to work.

Mum was disgusted!! She took five years off with me and will not hear of anyone doing any less! “How could you do that to a child,” she said, when I said I was going to go back to work, “they won’t know who you are!”

She also maintained I would be going back part time. To be honest, (once we’ve had this imaginary child), if anyone is going to go part time it will be DH as I will be out-earning him almost 2:1. This apparently is just shocking.

She also said she wanted to move 70 miles to be in a small flat near us but that she would NOT be doing any childcare. Fine by us as we have planned our (future) budget to include £1k/mo childcare; I just though it curious that you would love so close yet still be so far.

Ah well!

Holywaterrr Mon 22-Apr-19 03:38:04

I missed out a sentence:

She also maintained I would be going back part time. To be honest, (once we’ve had this imaginary child), if anyone is going to go part time it will be DH as I will be out-earning him almost 2:1. Also I quite fancy hitting the promotion trail, which doesn’t take too kindly to part timers. I told her this. This apparently is just shocking.

Aimily Mon 22-Apr-19 03:42:14

I think you should do what's best for you, dp and your imaginary child when you choose to have it. If that's both full time, one part or one not working at all. It's not upto anyone else!
I'm not sure why she wants to move closer to then say she won't be helping with childcare. I know you can't expect the help, but planning on moving closer suggests she wants to be around for the baby and to help when/if needed (to me)

Nancydrawn Mon 22-Apr-19 03:54:09

I will tell you what I always tell everyone on these threads: I was in daycare full time from 9 months; my sister from earlier.

We both knew exactly who our mother was and exactly who our father was.

I am enormously close with both my parents to this day. I call them 4-5 times a week and see them whenever I can, even when I'm living thousands of miles away.

I also rarely get ill, am fantastic meeting new people, and adjust to new situations quickly; this may or may not have anything to with daycare, but it certainly didn't hurt.

I had a fantastic role model of a mom. There are many benefits of being a SAHP and I respect them enormously. That said, I learned a lot from her about being the kind of woman I want to be: self-reliant, successful, kind, loving, ambitious (in a good way), community-oriented, curious, and courageous. I never for a moment wished she had stayed home with me. Honestly didn't occur to me until I started reading threads like this.

Finally, I loved daycare. Several of the people I met there are still amongst my dearest friends. It took a village, and everyone in that village feels at least a little bit like family.

Tell your mother not to be ridiculous.

CoolCatKat Mon 22-Apr-19 03:54:48

I know its a dated idea but used to think its a bit much putting babies in a nursery from, say, 7.30am to 6.30pm. That's just me though and i wouldnt condemn those who do.

CoolCatKat Mon 22-Apr-19 03:56:00

Can your husband not go part time?

RebootYourEngine Mon 22-Apr-19 04:01:08

Absolutely ridiculous. My mum was a stay at home mum and we don't have a great relationship so they don't go hand in hand.

@CoolCatKat it says in the OP that her dh would go part time.

Holywaterrr Mon 22-Apr-19 04:01:48

Yes @CoolCatKat, I said that if anyone is going to go part time it will be DH as I will be out-earning him almost 2:1!

Thank you Nancy, that sounds like a wonderful childhood.

I would never ever expect childcare off my mum. She’s made it very clear that her time is done and that is absolutely fine.

Birdie6 Mon 22-Apr-19 04:02:56

I'm your mother's age . I went back to work when each of mine was 9 months old, and they were in child care from then on. They are both adults now, and we're extremely close and always have been. They've both told me that I was a great role model for them , showing them a good work ethic and work/ life balance.

Of course your kid / kids will know who you are ! My mother used to say the same tired old phrases to me when my kids were young, but to be honest, mine had a much better relationship with me than I ever did with her, since she was a reluctant mother / housewife .

You do what suits you - you've done so well to get qualified ! Don't let your mother throw cold water on your plans - you'll do great .

Snipples Mon 22-Apr-19 04:08:21

Ugh OP do what works best for you and your DH.

My DD will be one in June. Me and My DH both work full time and I took 7months Mat Leave. Our DD knows who we are. When it's the weekend or bank hols or our time off we make the most of doing special things with her and spending quality time together. We also start work early and aim to get home for bath and bed every night when we can (both lawyers so not always possible but we do try).

My mother did not work or have a career. She thinks our approach is bang on. My MIL also did not work. She thinks I am not doing the right thing. Note that her judgment is reserved for me, not DH because he is a man and in her eyes it's my job to be at home. All of DHs sisters are at home - they're all skint, stressed, have no careers and the kids are super clingy and whingey all the time. Also one had a shitty DH and ended up as a single parent on benefits after she gave up her job to stay home.

I will be teaching my DD to have her own career and maintain independence so she has more choices in life. A good friend of mine with twins the same age as my DD has just found her DH is having an affair and told me she's so glad she went back to work and is able to kick him out! Had she been a SAHM it would be harder as she would be dependent on him. That's just my view on it OP. Obviously different things work for others. Just wait and see how you feel when the time comes.

SamStephens Mon 22-Apr-19 04:10:41

Lol Jesus Christ. Both my kids were in daycare by 4months old and I’d love if they somehow didn’t know to chase me around the house with endless “Mummy! Mummy!” cries.

I’m due with #3 in October and I’ll be taking a max of two weeks off (all going well) and my husband is taking a year of LWOP to stay home so we can see how it works. I’m sure we’ll all survive just fine!

PerfectPeony2 Mon 22-Apr-19 04:16:21

Great post from NancyDrawn. It’s nice to hear it works for different families. Do what’s best for you.

Personally (and I do mean this is only my opinion) I would be absolutely devastated to put my baby in daycare full time. I think it’s too much and the ideal situation is to have one parent working part time. Id hate the idea of doing bedtime and only seeing them on weekends. I would feel like I’m missing out on their childhood. I’m worrying a lot about my daughter doing 8-5 three days a week and I would have liked to stay home another year or so.

Sobeyondthehills Mon 22-Apr-19 04:23:12

My DM was a stay at home for my elder sisters and went back at work when I was 5 months.

I don;t have a close relationship with any of my family, I don't put this down to her working, just more the way I am, I can't place that to my upbringing (which was amazing) or just that I am different and she is very close to my eldest DSis, not so much to my other DSis

PregnantSea Mon 22-Apr-19 04:41:42

The best advice I can give is to just ignore her. She's totally wrong and it's really rude and judgemental for her to speak to you like this, but in my experience people who think this way never change their minds. So if you just ignore it at least there's a chance she may get bored of saying it.

Purplecatshopaholic Mon 22-Apr-19 05:02:09

Its your life and your business! I would just ignore her!

Mummyoflittledragon Mon 22-Apr-19 05:10:03

Your mother is being melodramatic especially as you don’t even have a child! You will know when the time is right what to do and in the meantime your career may take off and your dh decide to be a sahd or even vice versa.... or both work. Who knows.

I do occasionally read threads from parents, whose child is not getting on in a particular care giving setting and the working parent desperate for advice. Usually this means they need more time settling or a different setting eg childminder not nursery. Occasionally parents of older children come on to say they have given up work for their. However overwhelmingly working parents say their child(ren) thrive.

Sashkin Mon 22-Apr-19 05:14:20

Full time doctor here, DS is 2 and definitely knows who I am. Far prefers me to DH at the moment (going through a possessive stage).

I will say though that I don’t like working full time now DS is here - I don’t have enough time with him, and I don’t have enough time to spend on my work (I can’t do any research/audit etc in my own time any more because DS needs my attention).

So you may want to go LTFT for a bit while your children are younger - I’m actively looking to do this myself, and it doesn’t seem to have held back any of the female high fliers in London teaching hospitals that I have worked with, most of whom are either LTFT now or have been in the past. I’m in a medical specialty, also know a lot of LTFT anaesthetic consultants, appreciate surgery may be different.

Your mum is being unreasonable though. My DM disagrees with me on lots of things but knows to bite her tongue when it comes to my parenting! grin

PBobs Mon 22-Apr-19 05:19:36

Sounds like my MIL. We're NC now because of shite like this. Not that I'm suggesting you do the same. We had lots of other stuffs too. I agree with you and PP. My parents worked full time and we are extremely close - a little family of 3. I have travelled with work all over the world and currently live several thousand miles away from them but we email/Viber almost every day etc. I enjoyed having two working parents and felt they were great role models for me. I'm actually taking a year off work when we have our baby in June but I'm a teacher and maternity leave is 3 months in my context. I felt that was a bit too short. I do plan to go back though. We're the same as you - I am the higher earner, more senior, more highly trained, more ambitious and on the promotion track. I suspect I'll be back at teaching etc in a year but I'm being kind to myself (something I struggle with) and giving myself the time and space to see how it goes.

1Wanda1 Mon 22-Apr-19 05:23:59

Ignore your mum. Things were very different a generation ago but there is a certain type of person who loves reminding everyone that they managed what "the youth of today" can't seem to manage, despite having less.

You may need to look at your childcare budget again. Not sure where in the country you are, but where I am (South East, outside London), a full time nursery place 8am-6pm is more like £1500 a month. And that's at today's prices.

Yura Mon 22-Apr-19 05:30:55

Mine went to a chidminder from 5 and 6 months respectively. Both know exactly who i am. they also love our childminder (same one for 6 years now) which i think
is great! Best of both worlds really

MissTerryLady Mon 22-Apr-19 05:32:05

I went back to work full time as soon as my kids were 6 months and your mother is right...they have no idea who I am. I serve them breakfast as they just look at each other and ask ‘who is this stranger in our home??’’s all very sad.

Completely kidding of course. What a load of nonsense. No one would say that to a man! Go back to work. Be an amazing role model. Your kids will be FINE.

MaybeitsMaybelline Mon 22-Apr-19 05:48:37

I went back full time when mine were 20 weeks old. I couldn’t afford not to.

I am also very close to my DC and they only have happy memories of nursery such as sports dats, trips off, the big park close by and the ducks and geese the nursery had as pets.

TipseyTorvey Mon 22-Apr-19 07:01:19

Great Post from Nancy drawn!! I may have to cut and paste that. Both mine were or still are in ft care from 10 months. They're school age now but still go to after school club til 5 each day. It was really hard for a while but both mine and DHs jobs have progressed and now we're not paying nursery fees any more we can suddenly do more than survive. We're looking at holidays and doing things to the house for the first time in years but only because we're BOTH earning. We made a decision that neither of us would be super high flyers but both do okay so we're usually both here in the morning and both here for bedtimes etc. As pp said we make a real effort on holidays and weekends to do lovely things with them. Also like pp said you should budget more like 1500 if you're based in the South. It's quite a hefty cost.

Minai Mon 22-Apr-19 07:09:37

What your mum has said is ridiculous. I am a sahm and my husband works full time. Our sons adore him. I know lots of working parents and their relationships with their babies and children are no different to mine.

AfterLaughter Mon 22-Apr-19 07:11:04

Meeehhhhhhh fuck it. My Mum was a SAHM for over 20 years. Two divorces. She’s got fuck all now. Fast approaching retirement with no property, part time job, no savings, no investments.

Yet is horrified that I’m at University and my DC are in day are from 8am - 6pm Mon-Fri, and have been since they were 8/6/1.

“What’s the point? What will a degree get you?”

I’m a STEM student. So either a PhD, or GEM, or NHS Scientist track. It’ll get me quite a lot, actually mother.

Admittedly I’m a mature student (32) so it’s taken me a while longer to get here than most, but I’ve had some significant health issues.

My elder DC who are now 11 and 9 think it’s brilliant. My youngest loves her daycare. I’m happy AF.

Anyone else can jog the fuck on.

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