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Guilt about working

(11 Posts)
Portlypenguin Wed 24-Oct-12 21:50:05


My LO is 16mo now and I returned to work full time when he was 9mo. He goes to nursery every day. I have no concerns about the nursery - it is fab and he generally has a great time. He is usually there about 7.30-5.30 (highly variable but not usually longer).

I feel SO guilty about not spending more time with him. After work I am so busy with dinner, packed lunches, washing, bathtime etc etc and tend to get quite irritable. I feel I only real spend decent time with DS at weekends. I feel like a bad mum because of this.l

Any wisdom?

ElphabaTheGreen Thu 25-Oct-12 07:39:44

The curse of the full-time working mum sad

I'll be going back full-time when my PFB DS is 8.5 months and I'm already feeling guilty. The only informed comment I can make is as a child of a full-time working mother myself. She had to put me into full-time nursery from the time I was 6 weeks old in the very bad old days of non-existent, unpaid maternity leave. It hasn't affected our long term relationship one bit. My prevailing memories of my childhood are of the times I spent with my mum, which would only have been weekends, and I can only remember fleeting bits of nursery, and not a thing about any of the staff, not even their names, despite that being where I would have spent the majority of my time.

You will always be the go-to and the favourite. Nothing you do (or feel you don't do) will change that.

chchchchanges Thu 25-Oct-12 08:49:24

STOP beating yourself up - guilt is futile! What is your partner/baby's dad doing in terms of his share of housework/pack lunches/bath etc?

Honestly give yourself a break - you're doing what's right for you and your family in earning an income to provide a good standard of living and your child is happy.

It's NOT a curse of the full-time working mum! The more you think of it that way the worse you'll feel.

I speak as a full time working mum - I look at it this way - my DD is happy - I am happy - we are not living in poverty - I am really blessed to be able to provide a good life for my family.

Portlypenguin Thu 25-Oct-12 18:44:48

Thanks guys.

My husband also works full time (both doctors) and generally tries to amuse DS whilst I get things ready. Problem is if we swap around I can't seem to keep out of the kitchen and so it works out even worse!! Daddy does bathtime most days.

I suppose I do just need to get over this stage!

nm123 Mon 29-Oct-12 16:07:22

I'm due back to work in dec, part-time initially then I suspect work will want me full time from April. The conflicting emotions are doing my head in....

I'm trying to look at it in terms of me working provides ALL of us (me, DD, DH) with more stability, opportunities and choices in the future. I want to be a good role model for DD and also want to keep at the career I've worked pretty hard for. I think she'll benefit from spending time with the grandparents and socialising at nursery. But I still can't imagine that I'll be comfortable with not seeing her. Evenings and weekends will be precious.

My mum worked full time and I do think it negatively impacted on us a bit, specially in terms of schoolwork. She simply didn't have the time to be involved and I think we could've done better if it'd been mum asking us about homework and what was going on rather than a nanny. I could never tell my mum this though; I know she felt terribly guilty about it.

Madelinethepumpkin Wed 31-Oct-12 10:35:37

Well, what us the point in feeling guilty? You are obviously doing what you feel is right after considering all the options so stop second guessing yourself.

I went back to work when dd was 7 weeks old, full time. I worked hard on my career and have happily reached a point where I can take a year it so out with savings etc and do some consultancy work to make ends meet while dd gets through what us proving to be a bit of a needy age (7/8). Had I waited and gone back to work when she started school I would have gone to the bottom of the ladder and no hope if having a break for a good long while (if at all given what has happened to the economy!). I firmly believe that she needs me more now than she did as a baby.

As someone else said, my mum worked (as a teacher actually) and I have many memories of long holidays with her. None of any of my childminders or nursery workers at all. We are very close, my mum and I. And I appreciate the sacrifices she made for me by leaving a lucrative career in IT to be a teacher so she could spend more time with me.

Your dd will be just fine, OP.

Get a cleaner though wink

AlexanderS Thu 01-Nov-12 11:45:51

You might find reading How Not To F* Them Up by Oliver James clarifies your thoughts and gives you more confidence in the choices you've made. It helped get my head round my guilt at going back to work.

Issy Thu 01-Nov-12 12:06:04

If it helps at all, I think the full-time SAHM who can devote almost all her energies to her children is a relatively new phenomenon. My social history is a bit shaky, but I think that pre WWII, most working-class mothers would be too busy either working in the factories or fields to spend much time with their children and those that weren't would have been too busy slogging through the enormous task of running a household without washing machines, supermarkets, cars, any form of convenience food, fridges, running hot water etc. to be taking their children to Magical Musical Monkeys. The small slice of middle class and upper class mothers mostly outsourced to nannies.

There are of course exceptions to all of this, but I like to think of myself not as an aberration but as part of an unbroken line of mothers who have worked, compromised and done their very best to keep the whole family afloat.

Issy Thu 01-Nov-12 12:06:54

And I agree. Get a cleaner. In fact, with a decade behind me as a full-time WOHP, get as much help as you can reasonably or even unreasonably afford. grin

GoldPlatedNineDoors Thu 01-Nov-12 12:12:57

Make the packed lunches after ds goes to bed.
Do alternate bathtimes. I find it so lovely to do bath-bottle-bed with dd but work shifts so only there to do it once a week or so.
While one is doing bath-bottle-bed, could the other one make dinner? Does your ds have his tea at childcare, if not, see if he can, then it doesnt eat into playtime with you.

Madelinethepumpkin Fri 02-Nov-12 12:39:03

Yes, I feel much more guilt when I'm doing housework instead of spending time with dd than when I'm working grin

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