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Going back full time after 6 months

(27 Posts)
madeindevon2 Mon 11-Jul-11 08:17:07

After my first pregnancy I was prob slightly naive re returning to work. Anyway all attempts to reduce working day failed (hours were 7am til 6pm) I really couldn't get someone to have my baby 6am to 7pm (hour commute to work too) anyway during the course of meeting my boss said let's face it this job not suitable for mums! Ended up taking a pay off and redundancy.
Anyway I have a new job. Similar but much smaller company. And my boss is far more understanding than the last. And hours are 8 til 5.
After last time and basically feeling like I had to start again after baby I'm keen to avoid that. So I intend to go back after 6 months. 12 months out really was too long.
Many others gone back full time after 6 months? As long as you have the right support network it's ok isn't it?
We have live in aupair who is more of a nanny. Is 27 perfect English and already been with us two years. And will use nursery too that ds1 went to and thrived in. He went full time at 14 months and is such a happy confident child.
I stayed off 14 months for ds1 just hope that dc2 will be ok with me returnin to work at 6 months.

mrsduff Mon 11-Jul-11 18:23:55

with DD 1 i went back to work, full time, at 5.5 months. it was fine in many respects, DD settled well at nursery and was so little there wasn't any issues with being clingy etc.. work were very accommodating and let me work from home where necessary and after six months of it initially being tough it worked out ok.
sounds like you have a really strong support network in place so i'm sure you'll be fine. i don't have any regrets about DD being in nursery full-time as she has always thrived there.
however, i'm about to go on maternity leave in october for DC 2, and am tempted to take longer off, maybe a year, if funds permit....

fraktious Mon 11-Jul-11 18:27:25

Well I'm going back at 4months and have a nanny lined up. Of you're happy then they'll be fine as long as you have good childcare, which it sounds as though you do.

anniemac Mon 11-Jul-11 22:52:36

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

madeindevon2 Tue 12-Jul-11 09:10:06

Thanks! I know will be tough to start but you have reassured me it will be ok! Asking myself why I'm doing this again?! Ds1 starting school September an life is so much easier. Now going back to baby stage again!

gourd Tue 12-Jul-11 10:12:01

I'm full time after 9 moNths and I hate it. I miss my baby terribly. In the morning we get 20 minutes to play and Read a book together as we are up at 5:30am, but don't need to leave the house till 7am. However, in the evening we get home at 5:30 and there is time only to eat (I don't cook except at weekends now, we eat something I cooked at the weekend and froze, as there is no time to cook) then there might or might not be half an hour left to have a walk or a play before bath and bed and that's it - less than an hour a day with my little girl that doesn't include eating (or her carrying on eating her tea/breakfast whilst we clear up) or a few minutes a day breastfeeding my little girl (she only has 10 minutes morning and evening now). I am shattered as I get home from a busy day at work, having cycled 12 miles each way (saves half an hour by public transport) and I'm then on my feet (except to eat for ten minutes) till I go to bed. Once LO is in bed at around 8pm, I get her food, change bag and my clothes (I cycle to work to shower/change when i get there) and my food ready for the next working day then I have 30 minutes to talk to partner (I don't watch any TV or read anything non work related) before falling into bed for 8 hours then up again at 5:30. I can't say it's worth it - at the moment I'm not sure that it is. i hope you have a better time. I tend to cry a lot recently when in bed or on the loo at work (I'm OK though at work unless someone asks me about my baby). I miss my little girl so much that I feel sad when i see her each day and find it hard to enjoy those precious moment with he which is mad, I know! Good luck!!!!!

cjbartlett Tue 12-Jul-11 10:23:41

Back in my day we all had to go back after six months so my two were five months when they went to nursery two days a week
It worked out fine

ladykay Tue 12-Jul-11 12:47:10

Yes so it would be a bit harder having to go back full time than two days. I really feel for you gourd and I hope it gets easier. I will have to put my baby girl into nursery soon and it makes me well up just thinking about it. Big hug to you.

gourd Tue 12-Jul-11 16:36:15

Thank you. I am feeling rather low at the moment. Work itself is absolutely fine - it's an easy "nothing" job and I do not feel I have missed anything at all, and although I do have a very high workload this just means the day passes quickly as I am so busy I often don't have a lunch break. I prefer not to have breaks though, as I can't eat anyway, and just walk around feeling sad or crying. It's just that I feel I'm missing all of my baby's development as during the week we hardly see her at all except to feed and bath. She is shattered too, it's not just me - she doesn't nap at childminder's, so spends a lot of the weekend crying with tiredness, rubbing her eyes and sleeping a lot, trying to make up for not having any naps during the week - it gives me time to cook for the week (and cry into the food rather than in front of my little girl), but it means I still don't see all that much of her. I had thought everyone else seems to manage fine and that I'm just being a saddo, but actually no-one at my work has done this - they all went back part time or didn't go back at all till 12 or 18 months, but I can't afford to do that. I guess many people do have to go back full time even earlier than I've done though, so I know I am lucky really, as she's nearly 10 months old now and needs me less. She does always scream when we drop her off at the childminder's but my partner finds this a lot more upsetting than I do. I can see she is generally still a happy child so i don't worry about the drop-off, I know it's normal for babies to cry when dropped off with a carer. It's me that has the problem with my going back to work full time,not my LO - she's fine and seems very happy with the childminder.

matana Tue 12-Jul-11 17:30:59

I really feel for you gourd and completely understand where you're coming from. I return full time in August and my DS will be 9 months. I'm really happy with our childminder but am plagued by doubts about leaving him for so long. I worry he won't love me as much any more or that he'll feel neglected as he gets older. But more than anything i am just going to miss him so, so much having spent virtually every day with him since birth. He's not a clingy baby and is happy, content and very laid back so i know he'll thrive on interaction in the childminder's environment. But i'm going to miss out on so much of him, all his developmental changes etc. I wish i could go back part time (i don't feel i could ever give up work competely) but just can't afford it. If it doesn't work out i'd seriously consider my lifestyle so i could go part time, downsize, get rid of a car etc etc - anything to be with him more often, even if it only gained a day. Is this something you could perhaps consider?

chutneypig Tue 12-Jul-11 18:05:49

I went back just before 6 months, full time, with twins. We had a great nursery but no family etc around. It wasn't easy but it was manageable and got more so as time went on.

You know you've got a nursery you're happy with too, as well as your au pair. Knowing they're good will help a lot. My two settled very well into the routine, no problems with drop off, more at pick up trying to get them to leave smile.

ladykay Wed 13-Jul-11 09:41:50

Hi Gourd, I've been thinking about you - it's really great that your daughter is happy with your childminder and I'm sure that in the long run she will get a lot of confidence and enjoyment from this. I have an older boy too and I have seen him flourish. But for you, assuming that you can't go to four days a week, is it possible to do a slightly shorter day, even by an hour? Is your employment quite rigid? It seems that any time in the day you could claw back would help. I am exactly the same as you in the wanting to be with my child and wondering if everyone else finds it easier, and I think some do, but I realised that the older women at work who were chivying me along about how it's a relief to have some 'time away' at this age and how 'they know how to play you' (re crying at drop-off - ???) had effing well stayed at home with their kids. The other ones with kids are men or don't have children yet. So I felt, and will feel on my return, quite isolated too, and weepy when people ask about her.

ladykay Wed 13-Jul-11 09:45:01

"The other ones with kids...don't have children yet". Nice.

Cosmosis Thu 14-Jul-11 12:17:04

gourd 

Poor you, you sound so sad. A couple of things off the top of my head though, can you get the CM to feed her the evening meal so that when you get home it’s just play time? I am back ft with a baby the same age as yours and that is what we do. He has his tea about 5 with the CM, and I pick him up at 5.45 – we get home at 6 so have a whole hour to play before bed time.

Also, you say she won’t nap at the CM’s – why not? For me this would be a huge issue, and if she slept at the CMs I’m sure you’d have a better playtime when you picked her up.

OP I went back when DS was 7m and I was told it was quite a good age to go back as it's before they start with separation anxiety.

anniemac Thu 14-Jul-11 15:27:20

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

anniemac Thu 14-Jul-11 15:28:15

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

gourd Sat 16-Jul-11 17:20:35

Everyone's so nice, thank you for your kind messages - sorry to hi-jack OP's thread... I can't work from home. I cant go in late as the commute is 60-90 minutes each way so if i went in late I'd have no time with my LO in the evenings at all, in fact I wouldn't be able to breastfeed her to sleep if i went in late. I have asked for a four day week based on 80% salary. I have put in a formal request but have yet to hear the outcome. Another Mum at work is taking a full year off and going back 3 days a week though so I don't see how they can refuse my request - especially as it will save them money. they wont replace me for a day a week, I'll have to do 5 days work in 4 days. It will make things tight at home financially but we can just about manage on 80% of my salary. We only have one car between us, but mostly cycle to work anyway so it only gets used to drop off LO and stays outside CM's house till we pick LO up again - she hates a baby seat and screams when we try to cycle with her, and the road is so busy (I was hit by a car (me on bike) on our road three years ago) that I worry every time we try it with her, so we'll probably have to keep the car for the time being. It's the only way we can see her grandparents (she only has one set) anyway as they live 2 hours drive away. We can't "downsize" as we live in a 2-3 bed bungalow with no mortgage so any move would result in a large (full) mortgage and my partner is in his 50s so I doubt he'd get one! Our major expense is a bank loan we took to fund our kitchen extension which resulted in an extra bedroom (now we have 3 bedrooms, as we can now eat in the kitchen). I really hope they accept my 4 day week request - just one day a week with my baby would be wonderful and give me the opportunity to have days out with her and especially to take her swimming - weekends are so busy she wont get to do it at all otherwise.

gourd Sun 17-Jul-11 11:13:13

The evening meal thing wouldn't really work at CM's as LO eats every 2-3 hours anyway (her last snack at CMS is around 3:30 when her kids get on from school) so she would still need feeding at home before bed anyway as she doesn't go to bed till after 8pm. She seems to wake at about 5:30am regardless of what time she goes to bed, unless she is really really tired from a few days with no naps, and then will sleep an hour later if it's the weekend or a day off work. Luckily that fits in quite well with our pattern, as we always got up at 6am on work days anyway, before she was born. It just means I get half an hour in the mornings to play with her and we're not rushing, which is great.
I think she doesn't sleep at the CM's 'cos it's just too interesting with other children there for her to sleep much, if at all. As soon as she hears something going on she'll want to join in (our house is always fairly quiet as we have no other children, so it's a big change). I assume this will sort itself out as the novelty wears off. I am feeling more positive about the time we do have with her, even when it's shopping or eating- I've realised that our LO enjoys going to the market with all the colourful stalls, and different people, then she enjoys watching me cook the food we've bought and I've realised that eating together is also an important part of family life and i enjoy that too, so even though it's not a specific activity with my LO, or reading a book with her, it's still an enjoyable part of my day with her. I still want that day off a week though. I really want to do some of the things we used to, like playing in the garden with water and pouring from cups, or picking strawberries and eating them, trying to use wax crayons, building things out of playdough, going to the park to see the ducks etc. I can't relax or sleep properly till i know whether I've got that day or not!

summerfreckles Tue 19-Jul-11 16:56:13

hi, no advice from personal experience, but thought I should share this with you anyway- my friend lives in Italy and her son is 2, she gets home around 7 every night, cooks and they eat together as a family around 8! Little one goes to sleep around 9......anyway you can push the hours?

ladykay Wed 20-Jul-11 11:41:05

That's brilliant news gourd! It will make a big difference I think. It does look promising as someone else has arranged three days, but if there is any problem, look into the law about employers having an obligation to provide flexible working. Good luck!!

choceyes Thu 21-Jul-11 16:06:36

My heart goes out to you Gourd, it must be so so hard.

I have a DS who is now 2.8yrs old and I went back to work full time (but short days finishing at 3.30) when he was 10 months old. I missed him terribly and felt guilty everytime I dropped him off at nursery. The weekends were rushed and I felt I was not spending enough time with him (although I did have about 4hrs everyday after I picked him up from nursery till he went to bed). It was unsustainable for me and I applied to do 4 days week. Luckily work was sympathetic and when DS was around 14 months old I did 4 days a week.
Hope your flexible working request is successful. It really makes a difference having a day off to do things with the baby.
Now I am back at work 3 days a week after the birth of my DD now 11 months.

I really think you should address the not napping at childminders. My 11 month old still needs about 2.5hrs sleep during the day and I can't imagine her not napping during the day...gosh my 2.8yr old still naps in the day.
Why can't the childminder get your LO to nap? Don't the other babies nap? Are they much older than your DD? Sleep is essential for their wellbeing and development.
And it will mean you spend much more quality time with her when you are with her.

chocolateteabag Fri 22-Jul-11 00:09:11

Gourd - If you do get the 4 days agreed make sure your role is downsized to take this into account. Otherwise if you are going to have to do 5 days work in 4 but be paid 80% can't you see if your employer will agree to you doing 5 days work in 4 days but for 100%?

gourd Fri 22-Jul-11 09:39:45

I have no idea if they will agree or not to my request for 4 day week on 80% salary, and this is going to take months not weeks to sort out, so I have been working all week. I am finding it hard emotionally and physically. I expected to be physically exhausted of course and that's not the real issue, although it doesn't help as tiredness, headaches, twitchy eyes and aching body makes me even more weepy and make it difficult to concentrate on work - I tend to make mistakes when shattered. I certainly can't aorry on like this for long as something will give - I expect to be ill fairly soon and have to take time off work then anyway, so as soon as my compulsory 12 weeks after mat leave are up I'll be giving 4 weeks notice if they havent accepted my request for 4 day week by then. I will just accept theh financial consequences and implications for future emplyment/pension etc. No time with my daughter is something I will look back on on many years time and regret with many tears. Working longer hours and having more money/pension is not. I think our relationship has actually already changed which I am very sad about but hope it can be mended if I can get some time with her. In terms of finding a job once LO is at school I know I need to at least work part time whilst she is a baby so I will try to find part time low paid work straight away (I won't be working for the money). If I can get something nearer to home, even if I still have to work 3-4 days a week, at least I won't be spending 2-3 hours per day commuting on top of the working day).

Thank you everyone for your kind and supportive messages.

gourd Fri 22-Jul-11 09:43:43

Oh about sleep, CM has mentioned it as an issue and so have we, so I think she is trying. LO has had a few naps there, but only 1 a day and less than an hour long at a time. LO seems to try to make up the lost sleep time at weekends by having 2 x 2 hour naps every day. The other kids there are 2 and 3 years old, plus her own 8 and 9 year olds who are there before/after school.

notlettingthefearshow Fri 22-Jul-11 22:24:22

It sounds like a really tough situation and you must be exhausted, you poor thing. It is hard to know how you will feel until it happens, though, so good on you for trying to make it work full time.

It sounds like the commute is the main difficulty - 2-3 hours is a huge amount of lost time, especially since you are cycling which is tiring and probably a bit stressful - can't be good cycling so far when you feel so run down. I would try to find a job nearer home, definitely.

The other option is to move closer to work, although given that you want to cut your hours, it may not be worth it if you are happy where you are. You would be given a mortgage, by the way, but to be paid off by the age of 65.

Good luck with whatever you decide. I can't comment on the childcare as I'm only just pregnant with my first, but I have a lot of experience of working in different jobs and commuting etc!

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