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Help! Need to know I'm not the only one(9 Posts)
I am 38 and until my DS was born 1 year ago was SO focussed on my career and not ever maternal. I was worried when pregnant that I would not cope without work etc and had v low expectations of being a mother. However I have loved every second of my maternity leave with my DS, love being a mother to him (I know this is all so obvious but it wasn't to me before he 'popped out!). Anyway I am due to return to work.. DS is with a lovely childminder (a friend) who has one other little boy... but I am having a melt down. My work has agreed to part time hours but I am panicing that I'll not be able to do it. I feel like I'm letting my son down... he is crying a lot more (he has been with the childminder this week for the first time). Is this normal - do they get sadder?? Will he settle? Am I damaging him? We don;t live near family so he has been with me pretty much all the time since he was born. He has never been a good sleeper but now he is worse and as I'm still breast feeding he is attached to my boob most of the night.Is this normal?? I don't want to change everything of comfort in his life but I'm So knackered too. I feel totally lacking in confidence ... and have to return to a job where I used to be happy to do 60 hour weeks, travel at the drop of a hat... I am dreading it. I have a new boss and team (recruited in my absence) who all expect me to be as focussed and I'm just not! I feel in a constant state of panic and worse of all I feel that I have become incompetent at knowing how to make my DS happy. Does it get better? I have made myself sick this week just by stressing out. I feel like I've lost all perspective. Please help!!
Yes this is totally normal.
Yes he will settle in time (almost certainly, if he doesn't try a different childminder or a nursery)
No you are absolutely not damaging him.
However, there are other options out there if longer term you feel it's not the right arrangement.
How about giving your old job a "trial period" of say 3 months, see how you and DS are at the end of that period? You can then make decisions about your job/DS's care based on how things have been after a longer period rather than the initial first week (which is always hard simply because it's a change).
Easier said than done I know!
Have you spoken to your work about flexible working eg finishing work earlier and doing a bit from home in the evenings (if that is possible)?
Before having my DS I was very career driven, I'm now a SAHM as I just couldn't leave him to go back to work, my priorities just completely changed after having him.
We have had to change the finances a lot, and I now do some voluntary work to keep my mind active, but DS is 16 months and it's the best decision I ever made! I know it's not right for some families but it certainly sounds like you should consider it as an option
OP - I think you are very brave. Before I fell pregnant I had the best job in the world - a fun but challenging career with inspirational colleagues. Lots of interesting projects, loads of travel. I was convinced I'd be bored to tears at home with a dribbling baby and had images of trotting back to work after a couple of weeks with my baby in a papoose.
I ended up taking a years maternity leave and just wasn't ready to go back at the end of it. I wasn't brave enough to face up to my emotions and wasn't strong enough to see DS cry when I left him at nursery. I know most of my friends think I'm bonkers and all say that their babies settled into childcare beautifully after a week or so.
I don't regret being a SAHM at all. We've had to make a few cutbacks financially and I do voluntary work to keep my CV ticking over. When the time is right, I will get myself a job somewhere, but right now I'm loving watching DS grow up.
Thanks so much for you responses... I feel better that it isn't just me (rationally I knew this was the case but my rational side is buried away somewhere!) I don't really have the option to stay at home as I'm the 'breadwinner' in our family. I can really see why people do (and I NEVER thought this way in my former life). Minipie... your point about a trial period is really sensible and I will definitely put this forward. I have arranged partime working (4 days a week with an early start and early finish) but there is an ongoing pressure to travel both to client offices overseas and to other offices in the UK. I suppose I need to see how it goes. Thanks
Yes, normal. Your son will settle just fine, it might take you a bit longer. There may be a hormonal element too, I think, as in my experience, when I stopped bf (after 2 years!) I felt better about work again, and less torn.
We have 2 DC now and I've been through the whole cycle of going back to work twice, it was as you describe both times, but marginally better the second time because I went back to a better job.
Totally understandable OP. Please don't beat yourself up about it.
You can't change how you feel, all you can do is take it one day at a time.
I went back about 6 weeks ago. I only work 2 days (long days but I'd rather condense the hours as much as possible)
I cried my eyes out the night before I went back, sat up most of the night staring at DS as he slept In my defense I've been an LP since he was 4 months old.
I'm sure it will get easier, as everyone says "you've got it cushy, only working 2 days a week".
In truth, I hate it. Cry every evening before I go, cry all the way there and at least twice during each day.
I do it because I have to. I don't get anything out of it anymore at all.
Being a Parent makes you weird. Fact.
It will get easier OP, because it has to.
I can't offer any advice or help, but just wanted to say that I feel completely the same way! I could have written that post and I would have never have predicted how guilty and useless I feel.
My DS has suddenly started to refuse his bottle and I am in a complete panic about how he is going to feed when I'm back at work. He, like your DS is breast feeding pretty much constantly - I think he senses my panic and is looking for comfort. He's also teething - good timing!
Best of luck and please let us know how you get on
Hi all, thanks for the encouraging messages and I hope those of you who were feeling the same as me are coping ok. I'm getting used to being back at work but its not the same... I think I have just come to terms with feeling sad about it! I am under lots of pressure to travel so that is the latest challenge...I've had a few melt downs whilst sitting on a train heading to a client's office for a meeting! It's just so hard..trying to earn your living whilst caring for your child etc. I realise now though that my DS is not going to be psychologically damaged by this process...so that's a relief! Currently trying to get him off the boob but taking that slowly (but firmly) for both our sakes. Thanks again for the support ... it meant v much at a dark time! x
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