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Upset/guilty about returning to work

(11 Posts)
whitewineforme Wed 22-May-13 13:18:57

I am due to return to work in a couple of weeks after a year's maternity leave, and am feeling really down about it. I am having to go back full time as my request for working part time was turned down. My DS is nearly one and will be attending nursery 5 days a week.

I feel really guilty that he will be in nursery full time and I will not get to spend much time with him except at weekends (he will be there 8-5.30 on weekdays). Most people I know seem to have had no problem at all with their workplaces agreeing to flexible hours which makes me feel worse.

I would love to get another job that is part time but they don't seem to exist in the industry I work in. So I feel like I'm stuck - I don't want to work full time but giving up work isn't an option financially.

Sorry for the moan - just keep getting upset about it now that the date is looming! Has anyone recently gone back full time and found it ok with their DC in nursery?

fedupwithdeployment Wed 22-May-13 13:20:55

Not recently, but did when DS2 was just 1, and I went straight into ft after a break of about 3 years. It was daunting, but if i am honest, I really liked it. good luck. I hope you are happy with your nursery - we were - and I think that probably made a big difference.

Patiencedeficit Thu 23-May-13 13:26:26

Hi whitewine, I'm going back full time next week after 1 year maternity leave too. I'm not feeling guilty as I know my DD will have a great time with or without me, however I am sad. I also requested flexible working and was turned down so I know how you feel. The best thing to do is put a positive spin on it somehow. It's absolutely the only way you will survive it. So easy to wallow in it but go and buy some new clothes and try and enjoy it. I work longer hours and will be away 7am-7pm and my husband works overseas so it's tough. You'll be fine, please don't worry and definitely don't feel guilty - you are doing what is best for your family. x

DuelingFanjo Thu 23-May-13 13:31:43

I went back full time when my son was 10 months old. He is 2 years and 5 months now and he is in nursery 4 days and with my mum 1 day. Sometimes I wish I could drop a day but I haven't requested it yet. He is really really happy in the nursery and I am lucky in that it is very close by. Settling in was awful though as I follow an attachment parenting style of parenting and literally had to leave him crying with the nursery workers - it was awful.

it's all good now though and I survive by being super organised about clothes/breakfasts/packing bags etc, with everything prepared the night before so I can spend as much time in the mornings with my son.

We make the most of Weekends, making sure we have lots and lots of fun.
The last couple of years have gone really quickly and it's been great to be back in work. I also managed to keep on breastfeeding.

Just wanted to give a positive story though I was keen to go back to work and always planned to so maybe it's different for you if you really don't want to.

whitewineforme Thu 23-May-13 16:26:23

Thanks all - that has made me feel lots better. I do enjoy my job (realised it doesn't sound like I do from my original post!) so hopefully I will be fine once I'm back in the swing of things again and we get used to our new routine. It's nice to have reassurance that I'm not on my own as I'm definitely a minority among other mums I have met! I am really happy with the nursery we have chosen, so at least I don't have to worry about that.

I will definitely get everything organised the night before to minimise morning stress, thanks for the tip Dueling! And good luck Patience - wishing you all the best for your return to work too.

Neverending2012 Sun 26-May-13 21:40:15

Nurseries can be great, kids do loads of things and he time you do spend with them will be positive as you'll want to be spending that time with them. It'll be the norm for the kids, it becomes what they know. Happy mum means a happy child. Don't feel remotely guilty about doing what you feel is right.

RubyrooUK Sun 26-May-13 22:06:37

My DS1 went to full time nursery from nine months. Settling him in was hideous (he was very clingy, co-sleeping, breastfeeding) but I came to appreciate the balance between being a working person and a mum. I liked having the days when I could eat lunch unmolested by a toddler and the nights when a hug from him melted away all the work stress.

As he got older, he enjoyed nursery more and more. Sometimes I desperately wish I could work part time, sometimes I am happy with the situation. But mainly I have a wonderful little boy who is happy and loves me, so I think all is well.

Plus I think life is sort of what you make it. I am quite a relaxed mum, don't shout very much and relish every second with DS1 because of my time at work. I just genuinely enjoy him so much. Plus I kept on breastfeeding him for a year and a half, as it was important to us both, so I discovered that just because you use full-time childcare, it doesn't mean you suddenly give up all the snugglier sides of motherhood (if you don't want to).

I'm on maternity leave now with DS2. Which is fun as DS1 is now only part time at nursery, which I love but am aware how exhausting being a SAHM is, as well as being a WOHM! There is no easy option!

Plan is to go back full time again. I'm sure I will feel horribly wracked with guilt and hate leaving him. But this time I will know that it can work out too and whether this is how life carries on for a few months or years, it can be very rewarding.

Good luck!

whitewineforme Sun 09-Jun-13 19:58:56

Sorry, I've only just come back to this thread and seen the new comments! You have made me feel really reassured so thankyou to everyone for commenting. The first week has gone smoothly - DS has settled in really well to nursery and our new routine is going fine. I always get excited to go and pick him up after work and see his little face, I definitely appreciate the time we have together in the evenings more, and we will be making the most of weekends as a family.

You are right Neverending - they seem to do loads with the children in terms of activities so I don't feel bad that he's not doing the groups that I used to take him too. Rubyroo, you seem to have it sorted! I would love to have another DC in a couple of years and will have even more to juggle then, so it's nice to hear your experience.

Beachcombergirl Sun 09-Jun-13 22:56:31

I'm back to work next week. 12 month old Dd is starting nursery and I'm dreading it. My mum died suddenly a few months ago and I have found being a SAHM wonderful and has helped so much in grieving mum. I don't feel ready to move on yet but financially have too. I haven't spend more than a couple of hours away from dd yet and noone apart from me and dh have ever even changed her nappy. I hate the idea of a stranger doing this. Please I need reassurance it will all be alright!

Vinividivino Mon 17-Jun-13 12:21:26

It will be fine - try not to worry. I had to go back when my DD was 3 months old and I cried for the weeks leading up to it but when it came, it was fine. The anticipation is often the worst part. A few things I learned from that experience which I plan to use when I go back in a few weeks after DD2:
- tell yourself that you are not going to think about it at all until the week before/the day before and then you will allow yourself a proper cry/wallow. Then blot it out. It's easier said than done but if you can do it, it means you don't have days and weeks of dwelling on it and feeling dreadful in the lead up.
- book some annual leave days for a few weeks after you return. Even just a Monday and Friday for a long weekend. Then you have something to look forward to/console yourself with.
- tell yourself that it doesnt have to be forever, and if you go back and worse comes to the absolute worst and you hate it, you will look for other options later. It almost certainly won't come to that but it will make the return to work seem less permanent/daunting.
- make a (mental or physical) list of all the nice things about being at work. Simple things like having a lunch-hour, friends in the office, getting dressed up smartly again can all help to make it seem a bit nicer. You are not letting your DCs down by looking forward to these things.
- if you're worrying about the sudden decrease in time spent with your DC, write a (again, mental or physical) schedule and 'book in' times when you are all theirs. Eg an hour before work, a special phone call from the office, picking them up from nursery, dinner time, bath time, bed time stories etc, weekends, etc. you'll soon see that the time mounts up and it will all be quality time because you'll be extra happy to be with them.
- remind yourself that lots of kids have working parents and that working mums can be a positive role model for them in the future, just as much as SAHMs can be.

I hope these help. I am no expert and know I'll still be very very sad myself in a few weeks but these helped me and I hope they do you too. Finally, I would say that the loveliest thing about going back was how excited I got every single day as I got near home, knowing that I would see her smiling her face and be able to give her a big hug. Nothing and no-one at work can touch you when you have that to look forward to!

Best of luck.

Goingdownthegarden Tue 18-Jun-13 15:02:44

I definitely agree with booking some days´ holiday a few weeks after starting back.
The other thing is has your dh/dp whatever looked into the possibility of him getting a few flexible hours - even if it´s not possible in your industry, maybe it is in his. My dh did this when dd was small and it was a wonderful experience for them both.

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