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Back at work.. so depressed.. sorry long post

(45 Posts)
bunnyrabbit Tue 20-Apr-04 09:13:12

So I'm back at work full time as of last week....

God how depressing. All I can think about is DS. He's at nursery 4 days a week and the, Grandparents take it in turns for the other day. Dh and I both work in London, so he drops me at the station so I can get in for 8, then I leave at 4.30 so I can get to the nursery before 6. I work at home the day the Grandparents take him, so at least I get to see him for a few more hours.

Poor DS. 10 1/2 hours a day we abandon him. I'm surprised he hasn't forgotten me already. I feel so guilty, but have no choice. I earn almost twice as much as DH, so there's no way I can stay at home. We used most of our savings so I could be off for 8 months. We keep saying we need to look at our finances and see if there's anyway I can go down to 4 days, but we both know I can't really.

Work is OK, but changed products which is the last thing I need now, as knowing I was going back to something I know so well was my only comfort zone. Have to start learning a new product and I'm really not in the mood!!!

I know other people do it, I know I'm being crap, I know it's good for DS to go to nursery - learn social skills etc etc .... but I'm so so depressed.

I miss him so much and it hurts so to know that he isn't missing me as he's too young to really know what's going on. He's such an angel child everyone at nursery tells me how lovely he is, which makes it worse 'cos they're seeing him being lovely and I'm not.

DH is so understanding, but I know it has to be this way. I just don't know if I can cope...


melsy Tue 20-Apr-04 09:22:05

Bunny rubbit sympathy for you. I thinkit may just get a little easier as you get used to it. What do you do ??

melsy Tue 20-Apr-04 09:24:04

When you said change of products it intrigued me.

Im sorry your having to go through a hard time with it.

I also earned a lot more than dh , but my health suffered badly even b4 baby. I am thinking about doing work part time.

Codswallop Tue 20-Apr-04 09:24:08

Poor br how old is he?
Iam sure he loves you regardless and think of lal the kids who have managed and turned out normally.

Is there no way you could downsize?

bunnyrabbit Tue 20-Apr-04 09:27:47

I'm a product manager. Software/systems in the real-time financial information business. Dealing room products etc.

He's 7 1/2 months old. If I dropped a day, things would be very tight indeed. I feel guilty that I would be denying DH the few luxuries he has for my own selfish needs.


melsy Tue 20-Apr-04 09:31:07

My father uses programmes like that, I am looking into doing work for him part time.

Your not selfish, you are supporting your family. Do you need the same salary though? If it is making you unhappy in your life. Or do you have financial ties that you cant get out of?? Im sure he will admire his mummy for what she does for you all.

muddaofsuburbia Tue 20-Apr-04 09:32:51

Much sympathy BR. Not easy, but don't get too down on yourself. However, your current arrangements are clearly making you miserable - like Coddy says - is there any way you could do things differently. Could your dh drop a day too for example? Then your ds is only away from his parents for 3 days?

Spend several evenings working out a really detailed budget of what you *really* need and what you could do without. Working full time works brilliantly for some, if they love their job, but for others and their children it's just not right. Lucky for me, my dh earns almost £30K, so I can afford to be at home with ds, but for others there needs to be a bit more juggling.

Like you said, your ds really won't know what's going on, so don't panic about his welfare too much. You, however are depressed about this new lifestyle and that is far from ideal. Money is never that important that it makes you this upset. Do you find your job satisfying when it goes well? Rambly post BR - just really feel for you.

melsy Tue 20-Apr-04 09:37:49

No you made a lot of sense their mudda. I felt the same way when deciding to change my lifestyle last year. It is a very diffuclt decision to make, a list of neccesary expenditure compared with the things we buy that we dont really need is very good to do.

motherinferior Tue 20-Apr-04 09:41:18

Oh honeybunny, big hugs.

If you do decide to downsize, please don't feel guilty. Just as if you decide that isn't an option, don't feel guilty about that. Easy for me to say, I know - guilt's part of the motherhood package, isn't it - but as Coddy says, our kids really really do turn out OK.

More hugs

Issymum Tue 20-Apr-04 09:45:14

I'm so sorry for you BR. It must be really difficult for you. I work full time (well 4.5 days per week) and it's tough. The following things help, although they may not be possible for you:

1. We have a nanny rather than use a nursery. A nanny means that I can ring her up in the middle of the day just to find out what they are all up to, discuss my daughters endlessly with her and generally set the agenda so that she feels more like a 'surrogate me'. Also, the daughters are based in our house and I feel that I'm kind of there in spirit, if not in person. Nannies are expensive, but you may find a nanny share is not much more expensive than a nursery.

2. I work from home for two to three days per week. Could you increase your home-working? Would it be possible to spend an hour in the middle of the day with your son on the day(s) you do work from home or work for a half day at the weekend or in the late evenings so that you can spend more time with him during the day?

3. You are not being 'crap', you are quite reasonably feeling very sad at being separated from your gorgeous son.

I do hope that things get better. If they don't, then maybe it really is time for a radical rethink. There is rarely only one way!

bunnyrabbit Tue 20-Apr-04 09:46:38

Yes my job is very satisfying, or at least it was.

We earn quite a lot between us (working in London has its advantages) but we have a house and a big mortgage. 30K a year wouldn't even cover the mortgage, let alone bills, food, pensions etc. We don't buy expensive clothes or anything really..... paid off the car before DS was born so we don't owe anthing except the mortgage. I don't know, maybe I will be able to drop a day, but as I said , it would make things very tight.

If anyone was to give up work, it would be DH and not me. It just makes sense.


bunnyrabbit Tue 20-Apr-04 09:47:41

Forgot to add I came on yesterday so am probably not in the best frame of mind to cope with this!!!!!

bunnyrabbit Tue 20-Apr-04 09:51:30

Meant to say thanks for all the hugs and sympathy.....

Issymum, couldn't really afford a nanny for the hours that we work, and none of my friends work full time so I couldn't share. Looking at it objectively, I sort of like the idea of nursery really. But whose being objective!!! Not me....


Marina Tue 20-Apr-04 09:51:34

BR, hugs. I know just how you feel, I'm in a similar position minus useful grandparents. My ds is nearly 5 now and was a nursery veteran and I promise you his personality and relationship with us has NOT been adversely affected by being in daycare five days a week. He is a lovely, loving little child. I missed him dreadfully and now miss them BOTH but can't downsize due to mortgage commitments and my salary being a substantial chunk of the income. We blew a financial gasket on maternity leave too.
It does get a little easier, I promise. But I'm thinking of you right now.

goosey Tue 20-Apr-04 09:52:19

I can feel your desperation through your post bunnyrabbit, and your feelings of missing your son are no different, I'm certain, to those of hundreds of working mothers when they first go back after mat. leave.
I went back, although only for 2days (but 12hr shifts) when my son was 4mths old and it was heartbreaking. I really feel for you, and I know that the panicky desperation to be with him as you have been since his conception, is overwhelming and upsetting.
What I would say is to allow yourself these feelings - they are completely normal and to be expected - and to keep going with the support and understanding of your dh, parents, in-laws and nursery.
These first few weeks will be the worst for most people who readjust to the working environment and to not being there for their baby at all times - even though they know their baby is being very, very well looked after.
If you are still feeling the same and just as down and depressed about the situation in a few weeks time, then I think that would be the time to really examine any other options for your family's sake.
But don't panic about your son if you can help it - he really is fine and will have no ill-effects from being loved and cared for by people otherthan you whilst you are work.
((( hugs )))

bunnyrabbit Tue 20-Apr-04 09:53:00

Marina, what hours were your DS in nursery?


melsy Tue 20-Apr-04 09:53:54

Ahhh that chestnut , always colours everything for me too!!!

That was the same for me bunny, It was not wise financially for me to give up. I was 50% of a very nice income, but I had to weigh up company car/bonus/pressure/deadlines/commuting/8:00 meetings in centarl london with serious, serious unhappiness and declining life force!!!!

melsy Tue 20-Apr-04 09:56:22

I second goosy, very wise way of looking at it.

muddaofsuburbia Tue 20-Apr-04 09:57:25

Ok - wait a week and in the meantime eat much chocolate.

*Then* sit down and work out a 5 year plan or even 10 years. Where do you want to be, what's important for you as a family (holidays abroad), is there anything new you'd like to be doing (re-training/Masters degrees etc), are there any big projects to be tackled (extensions/conservatories etc). It might even come down to the mundane like swapping Waitrose for Asda.

In all seriousness if you're still unhappy with your work arrangements then it might mean drastic action. I know this'll sound odd, but when your ds is 18 and away from home, you won't sit down and wish you'd spent more time at the office. Give it a week first though

melsy Tue 20-Apr-04 10:00:40

Yeah chocolate and a week sounds good Mudda. Can i have choccy too, on my last day of af!!!

CountessDracula Tue 20-Apr-04 10:10:44

BR I do feel for you - I went back to work f/t when dd was 6 or 7 months and even though I do work from home a lot it still killed me (still does and she is 19 months now).

I agree with Issymum, having a nanny is great (but v expensive) - it does make a difference knowing my child is in her own home (or the nanny's sometimes) as I feel she gets some stability. Having said that I know many many babies who went to nursery at that age and are happy and well adjusted - and there is a school of thought that it's better to have many carers rather than one, less risky and also means that you won't have your ds crying for the nanny

I am in a v similar situation to you re the money side of things, both dh and I have good, well paid jobs, we earn almost identical amounts which makes it harder to give up work as we would lose half of our income immediately which would mean we would have to move house/area, though it is something we are always considering.

I have worked out that if we send dd to nursery when she is 2.5 I can then go down to 4 days a week as the saving will be substantial. At the moment we pretty much spend what we earn every month, I think that the mortgage and childcare alone come to nearly 4k, we could get that down to under 3 easily with the nursery option but I'm not ready for that yet.

Have you considered your dh giving up work instead of you? I think you need to think more closely about the 4 days a week option too - there must be some areas where you could make savings (eg holidays, bills, food etc) to make up the cash. Also don't forget that if you are a top rate tax payer and you go 4 days a week you are only losing 60% of the day's salary IYKWIM - that does make a huge difference.

Codswallop Tue 20-Apr-04 10:13:15

go CD!

aloha Tue 20-Apr-04 10:21:07

You do have choices, you know. You can choose to have your current lifestyle and work full time, or you can work less and change your lifestyle. It's not an easy choice, but it is a choice. I have cut my income pretty much in half by going from fulltime work to working from home three (short) days a week. It would be lovely to live in a four bed house in a more glam area, but it would mean working full time. I am NOT having a go at you, really I'm not, and neither am I saying that your child will suffer because you work, but you as a mother also have needs for a certain amount of mother time - I get very unhappy if I can't do enough mothering for *me*. Assuming you 'have no choice' is a recipe for depression IMO. If you don't want to make the changes that a drop in salary would entail (which can be hard) then you might feel happier if you look at ways to make you feel more comfortable with your childcare situation. It's not easy though.

bunnyrabbit Tue 20-Apr-04 10:26:17

You have a point CD. I know that losing 20% of Gross doesn't mean losing 20% net, so pay roll are working out for me what my take home would be.

At the moment, we still need DHs money so he can't afford to give up work yet. The other thing is, he may be made redundant soon. Not too horrific as he's been there a long time so we could pay of some of the mortgage with the payout he gets, which will reduce our monthly outgoings.

We don't have expensive holidays and I am already a bit of a penny pincher (only buy wipes when they're 2 for 1 etc.) but we do drink a lot of wine, so that's the first thing that'll go. We're also changing all our insurance to save as much monthly out goings as we can. My friend also mentioned that Sky phone is cheaper than BT, so will look into this. The only thing I won't budge on is my pension.


Sonnet Tue 20-Apr-04 10:47:30

Can I add my voice?
I have 2 dd's and over the years have been a Full time Worker. SAHM and part time worker.
I agree with what Aloha said - you do have choices, honestly. It will mean a change from what you know and expect now BUT it can be done and I am living proof. I too went back to work full time after DD1 as I felt I had "no choice" and in one way I was right - I did have no choice if I wanted to continue the lifestle of before children. I have since been a SAHM for a short while but did need to earn some money and now work 3 days per week and 2 days in the school hols. I have sacrificed (if I could call it that) my position on the career ladder, but hey, my children are more more more important than that. I feel no guilt if I take time off if they are ill or leave early ifthey have school plays, sports days etc that co-incide with a time I am at work. I have learnt to develop a thick skin. It works the other way too, The company get a very experienced manager for a fraction of the cost and last week I got a "fantastc" appraisial - so I must be doing something right...

Good Luck in sorting a solution out - your children are young for such a short period of time - they will remember spending time with you, not that they could have lived in a bigger house and gone on holiday..

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