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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.

collectingcpd Mon 22-Apr-19 07:15:36

I think some of it’s a generational thing. I’m a doctor(Cons). I do 3 days a week. Every time I see my mum she tells me she thinks I work too much and should spend more time with the children. I have asked her why she sent me to a highly academic school and placed huge emphasis on my education if she thinks I should give it all up now. The only answer I get is ‘ they are only little once’. You are very wise to delay motherhood until you get your CCT.

sighrollseyes Mon 22-Apr-19 07:22:39

Tell her to sod off! Congratulations on your excellent career. I've done the same!
My son went to nursery at 8 months and absolutely loves it. We have the best relationship - he gets to do all the things I wouldn't ever think to do with him at nursery and then we have 3 days a week together.
I too earn more than DH and when MIL said I shouldn't be working so much I suggested DH go part time as I earn more than double. She didn't like that idea but did finally shut the f**k up about it. We are now expecting second child and I've already had some comments about why I'm not having full year off - blah blah blah. Ignore them you're doing great!

BeanBag7 Mon 22-Apr-19 07:25:58

Presumably your dad worked full time in order for your mum to take 5 years off? And you still knew who he was...

seeingdots Mon 22-Apr-19 07:26:14

How could you contemplate this OP, and you a woman and all?! Working full time is for fathers, not mothers. In fact you should pack in your hard built career altogether and become financially dependent on your lower earning DH for the rest of your life otherwise YABVVU.

Mumberjack Mon 22-Apr-19 07:36:00

Tell your mum it’s none of her bloody business, and don’t open up the particular conversation again. The judgements and unsolicited advice will only continue and worsen once D.C. are here.

user1486915549 Mon 22-Apr-19 07:38:45

Stop giving your mother such full details of your life plans !

Carpetburns Mon 22-Apr-19 07:38:44

I think it's easy to make these future plans. When baby is here, you might not want him/her to go to nursery full time. Priorities change.

LTFTsurgeon Mon 22-Apr-19 07:40:41

Name changed for this post as very outing.

I totally agree with the majority of posters on this thread that your children absolutely will know who you are, assuming you take the time when not at work to build a positive relationship with them. Fantastic post from @Nancydrawn

I have a fantastic relationship with my 2 sons aged 11 and 13, as does dh. He worked full time until they were 8 and 10, while I worked LTFT as a surgical registrar. Now I'm a consultant (working full time) he has his own business working from home, and was a SAHD for the first year I was a consultant.

Listen to @Sashkin though. She speaks a lot of sense. You may not be the same, and love working full-time, but the balance is fucking tough to get right with full-time working, small children who are very dependent on you and the need to do all the portfolio extras to progress. It's not like being full-time in most jobs. As a 60% LTFT trainee I was working similar hours to most non-medical full-timers, and that's without the extras. If you choose to stay full-time be prepared for sacrifices in other aspects of your life (which are temporary, while the kids are small, but can make for a shit work life balance). For me taking longer to train has been hugely beneficial as I started my consultant career, as the extra maturity and time taken gave me a confidence in myself and my abilities that has made the transition much more seamless.

I have to say this sentence of yours, which you didn't include in the initial OP, is utter horse shit (with respect to medicine, not speaking about other careers): Also I quite fancy hitting the promotion trail, which doesn’t take too kindly to part timers

It might have taken me 12 years to get my consultant post rather than 6, but I am a surgical consultant and the LTFT lead for the school of surgery in the region where I work. Being part-time has absolutely NOT held me back. It's not for everyone, and I'm not trying to push you into this if it's not right for you, but it absolutely can be done without detriment to your career if you want to. For me it gave me fantastic work life balance while training and I hugely valued the time I had with my sons while they were small.

You also have to ask yourself if you'd want to work with colleagues who think it's ok to belittle and disadvantage you for making this choice. They do exist, but in my experience they are very few and far between. Frankly, I think their outdated and ridiculous attitudes do a lot of harm to the profession in terms of talented women sharing your views on part time working, which causes many not to choose careers like surgery because they don't believe it is possible to work part time or to have work life balance.

In the interests of balance since I became full-time in my last year of training and since (for necessity in reaching CCT without changing curriculum) I have found my career much more rewarding. But the hours I now work would have been (for me) impossible when the boys were small. So I go back to my earlier comment that LTFT training isn't for everyone, and it might not be for you for financial or personal reasons, but please believe it IS possible.

Feel free to pm me if you want more info on LTFT training, especially if you're a surgeon.

glenthebattleostrich Mon 22-Apr-19 07:46:54

As a childcare professional I can assure you that children always know and adore their parents. I love my charges as though they are adored nieces and nephews and they are very much part of my family and treated as such (one of the main reasons families choose me and I have 3 babies waiting to start with me)

The children have a lovely time with me, playing in the woods, walking country trails, trips to softplay and toddler group, libraries and activities. But their excitement at 5:30 because mummy is coming soon is wonderful and seeing the adoration between parents and their children is lovely.

You honestly have nothing to worry about, and to be honest, more and more dad's are going part time or parents are both doing condensed weeks to be with their kids, it's becoming more 'the norm'.

The polite way of putting your mum is talking out of her bottom is that parents often feel the need to justify the choices they made and for you to do things differently to them is perceived as you rejecting their parenting.

TestingTestingWonTooFree Mon 22-Apr-19 07:49:31

Planning finances to allow for full time child care is a good idea. Mine started from 6m. Both know who I am. You also should plan for the baby to be off nursery a fair bit with bugs in the first 6m. DH and I had to negotiate on who could best take leave if my mum couldn’t help out.

I am lucky that I got my dream job while I was pregnant. Having babies (and getting to where I wanted) has killed my ambition. I choose to work at 80% and prefer an extra weekday at home over whatever career advantages there are at working full time.

Cbatothinkofaname Mon 22-Apr-19 07:57:46

She sounds threatened and possibly envious by the fact you have a great career. Of course your child will know who you are. Would anyone even suggest that about a man working full time?

sounds to me like she’s desperately trying to convince herself (as well as you) that there will be something ‘wrong’ with you pursuing your career rather than giving up. I would imagine that’s because on some level (perhaps even subconsciously) she feels she’s missed out on something

woollyheart Mon 22-Apr-19 07:59:51

She made her own choices on childcare and career, and wants to believe that she made perfect choices. She probably is hoping to move closer so she could relive her happy first five years with baby with you and your baby all together.

If this is the reason that she is moving, she should consider more carefully. She will be moving away from friends, in the hope of spending loads of time with you and baby. If you are at work and baby is in the nursery, you will all be busy and not available most of the time. She will have plenty of time to resent that it isn't going according to her cherished plans and to complain that you are doing it all wrong (in her opinion).

hellotoyellow Mon 22-Apr-19 08:11:42

I am a doctor, as is DH, and both my parents. My mum returned to work FT in hospital jobs and as a GP at 6, 12 and 16 weeks PN in the late 80s. Both parents worked FT plus (OOH shifts/ academic) and we had nannies FT. I always knew who my parents were and am close to my mum now. I would not hesitate to do that from a baby perspective.

However, I'm now in the late stages of pregnancy. I'm going to take 6- 9 months off and then return to academic work FT; DH will drop to 80% at next rotation as will I when I go back in. This is more for us than the baby, I think. We both want a tiny bit more flexibility while the baby is small and we can't afford a nanny for one child. While we both had FT childcare as small children, we both also had grandparents who were very involved and could pick up random slack, and we aren't really expecting that for us.

IceCreamAndCandyfloss Mon 22-Apr-19 08:11:59

Given the majority of people have no memories when older of the pre school age, then childcare or a parent it really doesn't matter as long as the child's needs are met. Presumably she tells men the same thing or are they different because that's who funds the household (or the state).

Keep to your plan. Use your education and show your children they can have it all. You'll be an amazing role model for them.

NancyJoan Mon 22-Apr-19 08:14:17

By her reckoning, you had no idea who your Dad was. Ask her if that’s the case.

NewAccount270219 Mon 22-Apr-19 08:14:33

Sadly, she's right. That's why most children have no idea who their father is. 'Who is this man, who is only here morning, evening and every weekend?', they ask. 'Is he some sort of friend of mummy? She is the only adult who I know, as I do not know any adults who are not here all day every day, so I guess he must be?'

Longtalljosie Mon 22-Apr-19 08:14:54

They get used to it. My MIL was very upsetting about me returning to work during my mat leave (while she thought it was all to play for presumably) but once i’d gone through with it things settled down

Loopytiles Mon 22-Apr-19 08:17:42

If your DM expresses these views again, ask her to keep them to herself!

Working PT was stressful and IMO derailed my career (not medicine/science!) , but FT has its challenges too.

Loopytiles Mon 22-Apr-19 08:18:15

“Most children have no idea who their father is” gringrin

NewAccount270219 Mon 22-Apr-19 08:18:24

Incidentally someone asked me the other day if I was 'worried that DS would think the childminder is his mum' hmm

Their solution wasn't actually that I give up work, it was that he goes to a nursery. A nursery is an equally valid option, of course, but to choose it specifically to make your child's attachment to their carers less secure seems selfish to me.

JohnnyMcGrathSaysFuckOff Mon 22-Apr-19 08:23:36

My children have no idea who I am..... oh no wait, that would explain the constant ma ma ma ma MA MA MA and Mummeeeeeee which follows me to the toilet every time hmm

I am not a dr but an academic (head of dept). I will say that life has got easier since DH went PT. I do not know how much control you have over your hours but I do "long days" of c 15 hours on the 2 days DH is at home with the DC and then "short" 9-5 days the other 3 days when I am doing nursery runs. I will also frankly say I have lowered my standards at work in the sense that I don't get all stressy and perfectionistic over it in the same way. I am never fully on top of work tbh but I do a "good enough" job and the sky hasn't fallen in yet.

HBStowe Mon 22-Apr-19 08:26:03

You could be me OP! My mum is forever banging on about how once I have the baby I will understand and choose to go part time. She also cannot comprehend that if anyone went part time it would be my husband since I earn more than him.

She’s also adamant that she wants to do three days of childcare per week - but that we have to get the baby to her and pick it up at the end of the day. So that’s 2 hours of driving per day to drop off and pick up the baby, on top of the 3 hours a day we already spend commuting. That’ll work, mum...

This is all also for a baby which has not yet been conceived btw!

I just shut her down now by very obviously changing the subject. She clearly finds that a bit rude but there’s not much she can do about it if I just start talking about something else every time she mentions babies.

NewAccount270219 Mon 22-Apr-19 08:26:33

I do think it was probably unwise to get into all this for a hypothetical baby, though! Your DM was probably a lot blunter than she would have been if it was 'really' the choice you were making. Also, she probably thinks you're being naive. When pregnant I got a lot of 'ah but as soon as the baby's here you won't want to go back to work'. They were wrong.

Cbatothinkofaname Mon 22-Apr-19 08:26:42

“She made her own choices on childcare and career, and wants to believe that she made perfect choices.”

Woollyheart is spot on. And that’s the sign of someone who isn’t 100% secure so they have to convince themselves that there is only one possible way of being a mother and any other way would be fraught with all sorts of problems. It would be equally ridiculous to say that all mothers ‘should’
Work full time because otherwise their children are going to be harmed.

Fact is, there are multiple ways of parenting, and whether children grow up happy, well adjusted and with good relationships with their parents has far more to do with other factors than whether their parents work.

I worked 3 days a week and then returned to full time when the youngest was 4. Dh and I also chose careers where we could both progress and earn decent money but without being all-consuming or involving loads of travel etc. It worked brilliantly for us, enabling us both to be pretty hands on with childcare and running the home as well as both having a career. But that’s as far as it goes: it worked brilliantly for us. The moment anyone starts telling others that this is what they should do with their family is a sure sign that they don’t feel secure in their own decision. That’s why I suspect on some level, conscious or not, the OP’s mother is perhaps a tad envious or threatened by the prospect of her daughter being a working mum of a young child.

Also OP on a reassuring note, my kids are all adults now. Looking at the now grown children of my friends who gave birth when I did, some had one parent working full time, some had both, some had a parent working part time... every combination under the sun. You wouldn’t be able to tell who had what! It’s perfectly possible to grow up into a happy successful adult with working parents or SAHP. Indeed I’m sure mine would be just as fine if I’d been a SAHM. The claim I’ll make about being a WOHM is that it’s enabled me to have a great career... nothing to do with my kids being ‘better’

And I would try to dissuade your mother from moving nearer you. She sounds overbearing and opinionated already and things will only get worse if she’s on the doorstep, having left her friends behind, criticising all your parenting decisions.

AmIRightOrAMeringue Mon 22-Apr-19 08:32:10

Fully involved father who does his fair share of childcare and as a result has a really close relationship with his own child - now shocking!

It's easier said than done, but you just have to ignore her, she clearly doesn't live in the real world. I do know two people who gave up work when they had kids - one hated it so much she went back as soon as she could, the other is happily a SAHP. However literally every other single person I know has gone back to work, mainly 3 -5 days a week, and there are increasing numbers of men doing condensed or part time hours. Most kids are in childcare some of the time (some a combination of being with grandparents). Its the norm now.

I'd be worried she is going to be like this for every parenting decision you make so I think I'd ask her now to stop criticising your choices

AndItStillSaidFourOfTwo Mon 22-Apr-19 08:35:52

Hmm. I wonder if your mother would have actually quite liked to go back to work sooner, and would like (perhaps subconsciously) to clip your wings a little? I think 'revenge' (mostly at quite a mild/subtle level) by mothers on daughters who are reluctant to repeat their perceived sacrifices is quite a common phenomenon.

Calmingvibrations Mon 22-Apr-19 08:41:47

When someone is so intent on arguing what was right for them, being the right thing for others I often wonder if they are trying to convince themselves they did the ‘right’ thing. Wonder if your mother is secretly envious of your ability to manage a career you love and have a family.

It’s not rocket science to understand that different things work fit different people and in fact not only are you different people you’re a generation apart. Things change.

Of course your kid, should you have one, will know you! I was totally fine putting mine in childcare at 11 months. In fact he seems so happy there, eats better, does lots of interesting things, I’m thinking of upping my hours.

I find that when I’m at home with him, I’m running around doing housework, cooking, lifemin, tidying up etc - so not sure how much of my attention he gets anyhow!

Just do what’s right for you and your DH.

AJPTaylor Mon 22-Apr-19 08:43:28

Give her a cheery
"You are so right. Best not bother then"

And carry on with whatever you planned.

stucknoue Mon 22-Apr-19 08:47:00

Before I had kids I thought I would be like you, but I couldn't leave them, even once in school they need their parents. Whilst plenty do work full time, and there is nothing wrong with dad's being the one that stays home, your mum knows that how you feel before you have kids may change! I hear the kids crying being dropped at nursery at work, I also see little kids yawning at 6.10pm and their mum still hasn't arrived to collect - the real world isn't as neat and tidy as the imaginary one

Unfinishedkitchen Mon 22-Apr-19 08:47:52

I think you should discourage your mother from moving closer tbh. She’s already interfering and you don’t even have a child yet.

She’s also said she doesn’t plan on ever helping so what does she want? Does she want you to be off work so you can present the children to her daily and she can coo over them for a bit before you take them back home? Does she want to be closer in her old age so that whilst you’re a SAHM you won’t only have to look after the kids, you’ll be expected to run her around and do errands for her everyday you know seeing as you’re not at work.....

JellySlice Mon 22-Apr-19 08:55:06

My dm was a trained professional, but never returned to work after having dc. She did WFH during our teen years.

While I was pregnant with dc1, and explained that I planned to be a SAHM, my ddad tried to persuade me not to do this. He maintained that returning to work would be better for my mental health, and better for my future relationships with my dc, as they would see me as a 'whole' person, with interests, responsibilities and commitments outside the family.

He was 100% right.

Monkeyssplit Mon 22-Apr-19 08:58:27

I don't know why you would think it odd that she has better things to do with her day than look after your imaginary child when so have you.

Itstartedinbarcelona Mon 22-Apr-19 08:58:43

Just ignore her. I was having a chat with DHs aunt at a wedding last year and she asked about my work so I told her about my recent promotion. Mil immediately crashed the conversation with well we didn’t have the childcare when I was younger but I would have had a great career if I had but I would have felt far too guilty to leave mine. Given that she obviously dislikes small children (based on her behaviour when our DC were small) I’m guessing she just feels like she’s missed out. I agree with PP that maybe your mum feels the same.

user1493413286 Mon 22-Apr-19 08:59:56

Nancydrawn great post, really nice to read.
I work full time and my DD runs to me each evening shouting mummy and is very attached to me. I’d like to work part time but we need two incomes for our mortgage and I didn’t spend years studying and working my way up in my career to give it up now.
Also my mum worked full time and it made me far more independent and resilient than my DH whose mum stayed at home.

noworklifebalance Mon 22-Apr-19 09:06:38

Without knowing the ins and outs of your relationship with your mother, I would suggest that she should not move any closer to you once you have a child. If she is already so forceful with her opinions during a hypothetical discussion she could be a lot more interfering once you really do have a baby.

OneOfOurOwn Mon 22-Apr-19 09:13:15

I went back full-time and ds was never in any doubt who I was. No commute so not a long day for him.

Wellandtrulyoutnumbered Mon 22-Apr-19 09:15:17

It's hilarious really that people can be so opinioned. I was a SAHM for about 5 years until recentlybut had done the work/ study juggle with young children previously.

My mother HATED that I was at home and doing all the school stuff and kept telling me I was lazy, the kids needed me to work. It's was completely her projecting her experiences on me when she was a single mother working full-time. As a child I felt completely abandoned but that was because of how she behaved as a mother.

I'm now working full time. It's easier than being a SAHM but this job is easy as way below my skill set. I still haven't managed to get the flexibility I need for the family.

GuineaPiglet345 Mon 22-Apr-19 09:20:32

Your mum is being ridiculous. My own mum didn’t go back to work until I was 15 as her and my dad thought it was important for her to be there when I got home from school and I get digs from them about putting DD in childcare 4 days a week (she went in at 12 months old) but DD loves it there, she’s got a group of friends she talks about non-stop, they do fun activities and have play equipment we don’t have room for at home and she definitely knows who I am.

BestIsWest Mon 22-Apr-19 09:22:01

I went back to work full time when DC were 3 months. They are now adults living away from home. They call or message us both almost ever day. They definitely know who we are.
There was a point where I cut down my hours so I could do some school drop offs and pick ups - DH also cut down so we could manage between us.
DH was a very hands on dad who also pulled his weight with the housework and, vitally with the mental work, the organisation.

BestIsWest Mon 22-Apr-19 09:26:35

Does she think your DC won’t know their dad either or is it ok for him to go back to work full time?

Cbatothinkofaname Mon 22-Apr-19 09:27:52

‘I think 'revenge' (mostly at quite a mild/subtle level) by mothers on daughters who are reluctant to repeat their perceived sacrifices is quite a common phenomenon.’

The above is so true.

I also think that because previous generations of women didn’t have as many options available to them, there may be some level of resentment. Not all the sacrifices were made willingly. My own mum is a very bright, able woman but never had the options available when me and my siblings were small (she’s now late eighties and I’m in my fifties, for context.)

I know when I returned to work, just 3 days a week, but my dd was only 3 months old because that was what Maternity leave was back then, my mum didn’t actually pass comment but I did detect a negative vibe... I’m sure she felt it wasn’t ‘right’ to be leaving a baby with a childminder. But then she didn’t really have a choice as very little proper regulated childcare existed back in the 1960s, so she was a long term SAHM and then got a little bit of part time work later but never achieved what she was truly capable of. Ability wise, she could have had as successful a career as my dad did, but of course for her generation it wasn’t the norm.

Aozora13 Mon 22-Apr-19 09:31:01

There was a whole thread yesterday from a mother who was despairing at her adult daughter planning to give up work and become a SAHM. We can’t win! FWIW I went back to work FT when my DD was 1 (she’s now 2.5). She’s really thrived at nursery and somehow still manages to recognise me.

EL8888 Mon 22-Apr-19 09:39:10

Always helpful when people who had it easier criticise your choices. To me it feels like she wants the benefits of having family near her so they can help her but she won't help them. I coped fine with childcare while my Mum worked, so did my partner and all of my friends work with their children being unaffected. One friends little boy loves his nursery so much he's sad when he's off ill and can't go. Great if you DH goes part time, if my partner liked his job less than l liked mine then l would suggest that. It would be yourself and your husbands choices. Quite possibly there is some projection there from your mother -l know my Mum does that to me a lot

CupOhTea Mon 22-Apr-19 09:44:48

When someone is so intent on arguing what was right for them, being the right thing for others I often wonder if they are trying to convince themselves they did the ‘right’ thing. Wonder if your mother is secretly envious of your ability to manage a career you love and have a family.


She is being a total dick. Do NOT listen to her.

Yours sincerely, CupOhTea, a happy SAHM.

PS: I love being a sahm, but there is no way I would be doing it if I had spent years training as a doctor and wanted to get promoted some time in the near future. No fucking way. My jobs have all been fairly low paid and not terribly interesting which is why it doesn’t make sense for me to go back to work. After childcare for our two dcs we would be losing money overall as a family.

HopefulAgain10 Mon 22-Apr-19 09:51:34

Tell your mother to get a grip. Does she realise that in many other countries ML is only a few weeks and millions have no option than to put their kids in childcare. They all know who their parents are.
Sounds like she knows she didn't really make much of a go of her own life and is trying to bring you down.
How ignorant is she to even think this. And the cheek of her to clearly state shes not going to help out yet give her two cents.

wibbleee Mon 22-Apr-19 10:00:52

well my mum was a SAHM. 2 out of 3 of us haven`t spoke to her for years!!

Do whatever feels right for you. Theres no right or wrong way!

PoppyFleur Mon 22-Apr-19 10:04:24

I returned to work when DC was 7 months old on 4 days a week (in hindsight I should have returned FT as only the salary was 80%). My child certainly knows who I and DH are!

DH and I found the early years in nursery far easier than school to be honest. Yes, the first 6 months of nursery is tough as they come home with so many bugs. But you know you have committed childcare in place for 51 weeks of the year.

For us personally, juggling school and careers has proved challenging. We wanted to be there for sports days, assembly, etc but with both of us traveling for work that was challenging. Additionally I have a life limiting illness and require regular hospital treatment which is a further complication and another constraint on time.

Due to this and DC needing a bit more parental support as he became older, I have gone freelance. However this would not have been possible if I were not already established in my field so I’m glad I went back after maternity leave.

As an aside, both my parents worked full time, mainly due to financial necessity. I am exceptionally proud of my parents especially my mum. I was a very unwell child and my life expectancy was not good (thanks to fantastic Drs and medical advancement my 60s is now a very real possibility). My parents were pro education and never let on that adulthood might not be a reality for me. It is only due to their encouragement and the example my parents set of true partnership that I have succeeded in attaining qualifications and succeeding in my career. My mum faced constant criticism of her choices, especially with an unwell child, this was in the 1970’s and 80’s, it’s so sad that society still hasn’t moved on and women continue to be criticised today.

IWannaSeeHowItEnds Mon 22-Apr-19 10:09:10

When you have kids every bugger has an opinion and they all feel quite free to share it, whether you asked or not! Someone somewhere will always think you are doing it wrong, so my advice is to do what you think is best.
The truth is that kids mostly grow up fine, whether they have a sahp or are in childcare.

The one other thing I'll add is be wary of your mum moving close by if she's going to criticise every choice you make and refuse to help you. You'll be getting worst of both worlds there!

CupOhTea Mon 22-Apr-19 10:16:10


Spot on. A mother’s (parent’s) place seems to be in the wrong!

Sahps are frequently slagged off on here. It’s horrible to see it happening to WoH mums too. Honestly, what are we expected to do?

I think the answer to that is, you can’t please everyone and someone will always have a negative opinion, no matter what you do. So just do what works best for your family and ignore. BUT, what stinks about this situation, is that the ‘someone’ with a negative opinion is the op’s own mum, who should be proud of her achievements and supporting her angry.

CupOhTea Mon 22-Apr-19 10:17:05

Also agree I’d hate having her near by “refusing” to help with childcare and giving her horrible opinions. I bet she’ll be expecting you to quit work to care for her in her old age too!

MyMumDimensionJumps Mon 22-Apr-19 10:27:07

You need to write down your outgoings including childcare in paper so she can actually see it doesn't work and that working is a necessity, not a choice.

A lot of people our parents age don't get how difficult it is these days for families, thankfully my family understand and offer to help with childcare (they are broke themselves and struggled, which is why they understand). To be honest, if they didn't volunteer, it would be very hard for them to see the baby, as we are usually out and about weekends and have other commitments. Your mum will soon realise this.

Her comments are really insensitive and stupid. Most mother's on here who work will vouch that their children know exactly who they are!

MyMumDimensionJumps Mon 22-Apr-19 10:33:37

I bet she's one of those people who is constantly saying 'why are you renting and throwing your money away, why don't you just buy' as if you can just walk in to a bank and get a mortgage like a pint of milk.

I also get the 'why are you bringing up a family in a flat, surely you need a house with a garden' like it's in everyone's financial reach (on mat leave currently!)


CMOTDibbler Mon 22-Apr-19 10:34:09

I went back to work FT when ds was 4.5 months old, back to travelling for work when he was 6 months, and we used FT nursery. DS is 12 and incredibly well attached to both of us.
I have found everyone has an opinion on working and using childcare, and the only important thing is that both parents are confident in their own choices and work together to make their family life work. Everyone else can bog off.

Heyha Mon 22-Apr-19 10:40:41

Didn't want to read and run without saying thank you @nancydrawn for your post as it made me feel a lot better about my DC going to nursery 8-4 for 3 days at week at 7 months old (that's the plan anyway). I know I will be crap at going to the usual groups so I'm hoping nursery will be good for those sorts of things and I think I'll be better at being a mummy if I also get a bit of time at being 'me'. Doesn't stop me being wracked with guilt and considering other options but I just keep coming back to this being the way for us at the moment. Could all change when baby arrives of course!
Haven't had the same objections as you OP luckily, but I don't think YABu at all

nokidshere Mon 22-Apr-19 10:44:23

As a childcare professional of over 40 years I can honestly say that I have never once looked after a child who preferred me over their parents.

I love looking after children, so when I had my own 20 years ago I gave up work and started childminding from home. I have had children from 1hour a week to 30 hours a week over the years and there is absolutely no difference in terms of how much they adore their parents regardless of how much they do or don't work. As a pp said upthread, we could do the most wonderful things during the day and they would still be chomping at the bit when the parents are due to arrive. Many of "my" children are now driving, going to uni, starting to explore the world. They are lively, independent young adults who have not "suffered" one iota because they were in childcare. Lots are still friends with my boys and they visit us regularly.

My own two have never "suffered" from having me at home all the time and are also strong, curious, independent young adults now.

In my experience any settling in problems have mainly come from parents who are apologetic to their children "for leaving them" and beginning the journey on a negative note.

reetgood Mon 22-Apr-19 10:54:23

I think practicing variations of the ‘I’ll bear that in mind’, and proceeding exactly as you intend to would pay off here.

Also realising that some people just say things that represent how they feel at that very moment, and bear no relation to reality. It’s good you’ve realised this now, so you can get practice in of not taking any of it too seriously.

In the space of a day, my MIL told me that I was an anxious mother who would raise an anxious child (no evidence of that); having him in childcare and other people caring for him was too confusing and too many people; but (and I admit, I totally led her into this one) when she raised her kids and used childcare it was totally fine as it all helped with socialisation. hmmgrin

In the nicest possible way, your ma is similarly full of nonsense. She can think what she likes, it doesn’t change your plans. Equally, you’re allowed to have your plans change and what she thinks still doesn’t matter!

randomchap Mon 22-Apr-19 11:10:01

Of course your children will know who you are. You will be their mum who's also a doctor.

My DC absolutely loved daycare, they got to play with their friends, socialisation is important.

Your mum is wrong, do what's right for you and your family.

Contraceptionismyfriend Mon 22-Apr-19 11:26:11

Unfortunately regardless of both me and DH working full time (Him working nights and weekends) our children are very much aware of who we are.

If anyone has any hints on how to make them forget us I'd be very appreciative. It's not even mid day and I'm sick of hearing mum.

Ihatehashtags Mon 22-Apr-19 11:35:29

It’s a very outdated attitude and just shows her age. Is she also mortified your child won’t know their father either? Since he’ll be working full time ? 😂 Or is it a guilt tripping the woman/mum thing?

outpinked Mon 22-Apr-19 11:40:32

Just outdated antiquated views, ignore and move on.

2BoysandaCairn Mon 22-Apr-19 11:51:29

Not rtft, only 1st 2 pages. Where op is wrong is they had the consveration whilst drunk and with a nonconceiced child.
When, if they ever become pregnant, and the baby is born, we had a miscarriage and know 5 others too. They can then decide.
Until then pointless, we know no family who have followed their non child ideals.
Most of us share the task.
Many of us, dad here, even changed jobs to facitate child care.
Why the f*ck fall out with a parent over a ideal. Life is too short.
I lost my dad before I was 21, mum had psp before kids born
I would love my parents to have a view on my kids.
Wife dad also died before she was 21.

We have the best advice from MIL and great aunties. Listen and dont judge, they have a lifetime of experience.
Only on here does everyone hate their parents and inlaws and ignore their ideas.

Cbatothinkofaname Mon 22-Apr-19 11:57:12

Being drunk isn’t the best time to have a conversation I agree. But this isn’t about ‘hating’ parents and in-laws, it’s about respecting other people’s views. It’s really unpleasant for a parent to be denigrating their adult child’s views like that, and to actually suggest the child they plan on having won’t know their mother if she works full time is plain malicious.

Cbatothinkofaname Mon 22-Apr-19 12:26:19

And while I agree that priorities and views can change after having a child, I think it’s vitally important to have these conversations beforehand about ‘ideals.’ More couples should IMO.

Time and again you see on MN posts from mums who realise only after the birth that their dh isn’t the hands on Dad they assumed he’d be. Or the women who bemoan that they can’t work because their dh does oh such a high flying important job. These situations don’t arise from nowhere. Discussion about ideals and values would be helpful earlier.

One of the most important discussions I had with dh before trying for a baby was that I didn’t want to have to do all the childcare drop off and pick ups because this would be too restrictive. This meant that he had to forego some of the work opportunities which might have meant lots of travel and being away overnight. For us, both having ‘middling’ careers and having time for the children, was more important than one of us having a jet setting career and the other having no career. Other couples choose differently but surely the important thing is the kind of open discussion the OP is having now.

And yes things do change... it was only when my dc was a month old and I realised I really didn’t want to be leaving her 5 days a week in two months time, that I negotiated with my work to return 3 days a week. That was about me rather than her though... I’m sure she’d have been fine if I’d worked full time or not at all.

So while you may want to tweak your plans further down the line, it totally makes sense to discuss your expectations with your partner. If more couples did, there would be fewer miserable people posting on MN that parenting isn’t how they thought it would be

EnglishRose13 Mon 22-Apr-19 12:35:55

I went back to work when my son was 11 weeks old and my husband then took over, and remains a SAHD. While I massively regret that decision as I felt like I didn't get time to enjoy the baby days, there is absolutely nothing wrong with our bond. He is now, and has always been, a "mummy's boy".

As an aside, the dog prefers me too.

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