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Back to work anxiety

(21 Posts)
Squaffle Sun 01-Jan-17 14:50:52

I'm going back to work soon after the most wonderful 9 months' maternity leave with my first baby.

I really enjoy my job and for now I'm going back 3 days a week. DD is going to a childminder for 2 days and will be at home with Daddy/Granny for the other day. She is a very laid-back baby and has always been fine when I've left her before, however she's never been looked after by anyone other than me, DP or my Mum. She's doing two settling-in days at the childminder before I go back to work so that we all have bit of a chance to get used to it.

So, reading that back there's no drama, it all looks pretty simple! However I am SO anxious it's becoming a struggle to get through the day without getting teary. I'm worried that she won't sleep, that she'll be scared, that she'll miss me, that I won't be able to concentrate at work, that our lovely routine is going to get messed up and impact on the rest of the week... etc etc.

Please someone tell me it gets easier?

Elvi1 Sun 01-Jan-17 23:08:35

Hello, im so glad you posted this! I'm going back to work on Tuesday after a year on maternity leave. I'm also going back 3 days a week. I've been dreading it for months - since he was born in truth. I realise this sounds dramatic, but I feel my heart is literally being wrenched sometimes! I don't know why I feel this bad - we love the nursery we have picked and have met other parents whose children love the place, our baby is very bubbly and sociable, and has visited the nursery several times. I know it's the right thing for us - it will be great for his development, he'll get lots of stimulation through various activities (something I beat myself up at failing to provide enough of) and he will make little friends. For me, I feel working a few days a week will give me a little independence and a good time to return before I lose my confidence....Despite all of this, I feel so anxious, I know I will feel even worse tomorrow night.

Squaffle Mon 02-Jan-17 08:59:09

'Heart-wrenching' isn't dramatic, I feel exactly the same! I have had exactly the same thoughts as you: it's going to be great for her and for me, for lots of reasons... but I still can't shake the anxiety and sadness at leaving her. I never thought I'd be like this!

I guess the only way to get through it is to keep focusing on the positives, to keep busy, and to look forward to pick-up time! I hope it goes well for you both tomorrow, and that you get some sleep tonight. Come back and let me know how you got on? x

Elvi1 Mon 02-Jan-17 15:26:55

Me neither, infact, before he was born I don't think I'd even considered going part-time, I just assumed I'd go back full time after maternity leave. That changed as soon as he was born. I really feel for mothers who have no choice but to return full time, so we are lucky at least that it's only 3 days. This week is a short week for me - only 2 days - so that's another blessing! When do you go back?

Thanks - I'll let you know how it goes x

Btw - shortly after finding your post, I found a similar post which was posted a few days before yours - might be of interest to you

johendy Mon 02-Jan-17 15:49:36

It died hey easier and sticky too. In a couple of months you won't feel this way. It probably will be hard to adjust, for all of you. But if you're happy with your childcare and either enjoy your job (if you're lucky) or have accepted that working is the best deal for your family at the moment - then things will settle into a routine before you know it. It might be different than the routine you have now, but it'll need to adapt to your family's new way of life.
I love working 4 days and feel I'm a better mum for it, and my kids have thrived with the childcare we've chosen. But returning to work both times was a bit emotional.

johendy Mon 02-Jan-17 16:40:27

It died hey easier and sticky too = it did get easier and quickly too.

Poocatcherchampion Mon 02-Jan-17 16:43:29

Can I join this gang. I'm going back tomorrow and feel very anxious about it. I'm 4 days which is more than I am happy with.

I know the baby will be fine. The problem is me! I know this because ive done this twice already - but I still hate it.

It will be fine when I get started - and for you guys too

Squaffle Mon 02-Jan-17 18:57:51

Ah thanks ladies! I hope everyone gets some sleep tonight and look forward to hearing how it goes tomorrow. I have entered some kind of strange calm state... think it's hardcore denial/resignation but I'm going to have a bath and enjoy it while it lasts!

Elvi1, thanks for the link to the other post. You and I are in a very similar situation with our jobs which I agree adds to the stress massively... my job share 'partner' is leaving later on in the year so I'll be faced with the wonderful prospects of unemployment or working full time. Oh the joys!

Elvi1 Mon 02-Jan-17 19:58:13

so glad to hear from others who are going back tomorrow. The boys bag is packed. I'm getting into work mode - already thinking of a 'to do list' in my head which is (surprisingly) easing my anxiety a little as it's keeping me focussed on what I need to do, and focussing less on the worry of the little boy being in nursery for next 2 days.

Gosh squaffle - that's harsh - can your employers do that? Put you in a position where you might have to resign because your job share is leaving? I assumed once the job share position is set up, it's the employers responsibility to look for a replacement? I hope works out for you - you never know, you might find an even better part time job before now and then x

Summerdays2014 Mon 02-Jan-17 20:08:13

I'm going back on Friday after a years maternity leave. Only 3 days but I'm dreading it. It makes me so sad to be leaving my son and the worst thing is I have to work on his first birthday (teacher so I can't book a day off) I've had a really wonderful year and really feel like we've got into a good routine over the last few weeks. Here's hoping it's not as bad as we are imagining...

Squaffle Tue 03-Jan-17 19:54:23

How did you all get on? Hope everyone's ok smile

We had a bit of a mixed bag; she was fine to be left, loved the new toys and books, ate loads and seemed happy to be with the childminders (there are two). However she didn't sleep well so we had to pick her up earlier than planned as she was getting upset.

When we got home she had a nap and then she cried throughout her tea, cried at all her favourite toys, cried at the cat (usually her fave thing in the world), wouldn't be held or cuddled and only calmed down if DP stood up with her infront of Pointless! She cheered up in the bath and went to bed early.

I feel quite low now, I found today really hard and I'm dreading taking her back tomorrow despite the fact that there were loads of positive elements to the day. She was clearly very overwhelmed and overtired so hopefully things will improve once she gets used to it. I too am overwhelmed and overtired so I'll try an early night too.

Hugs to you all x

Poocatcherchampion Tue 03-Jan-17 20:01:17

I'm sorry you had a hard time! It will get easier but it is horrid. Hugs to you!

I had the opposite experience - the baby didn't miss me at all. He was sick all night so his father held him all day. He prefers his father too - the traitor.

Felt like a long day - but it wasnt - 10-5 and it is a new job so it was interesting - so that is something!!

campervan07 Tue 03-Jan-17 20:11:01

About to return from second maternity leave so in your position but been there before too. I have to work as am main breadwinner and have to work full time too.

Practically (based on my experiences) the first few weeks can be tough as they often get sick a lot due to exposure to other kids so have a plan in place of how to deal with that. They also get very tired out due to new experiences etc. As do you for that matter. Mine often stop sleeping as well!

The hardest thing is the guilt for me though. I want to be home with my kids but I also enjoy my job. Hence feel guilty if enjoying working or if the kids are ill but someone else is with them. You do miss them but if your job is interesting / busy then actually you settle back to work really quickly. I also think my kids get a lot from nursery. I see them develop so quickly.

It is scary leaving them though and the first few days can be very emotional but it soon becomes the norm. Just focus on the positives and the reality (I. E. I can't afford not to work, kids like nursery, I like my job). Won't deny that I am hoping for a lottery win though.

Hope it goes okay for you all.

Elvi1 Tue 03-Jan-17 20:43:27

campervan - I think it's commendable you are a mum working full time doing a job you live and providing for your family. I hope you don't feel any more guilty than what a father who works full-time does - you clearly have your children's best interests at heart are a great role model.

Like poocatcher, today was positive for me. I left the house in tears as my OH got baby boy ready for nursery, then once on the bus I occupied my mind writing a 'to do' list, was super busy at work, had new staff to meet and train, so keeping busy was good. On the journey home I couldn't wait to see him and when arrived he was playing on his own in a little child's kitchenette with a massive grin on his face. When he saw me he started wailing and clung to me, getting him in his pram was a blinking nightmare as he wanted to be held, but fortunately, once home he resumed his play and wasn't clinging at all. BUT this can all change tomorrow of course.

squaffle tomorrow is another day, things will get better. Focus on the positives - the biggest one is that she had fun at the CM. it's exhausting when little people are emotional, and you are super tired and emotional yourself. Maybe plan something different on your next day off, or just look forward to hanging out at home together having a good rest and play session together. I hope you get a good rest tonight xx

Summerdays2014 Tue 03-Jan-17 20:52:33

Well done to all those (Both mums and babies!) who made it through the first day. Squaffle, I hope you both get a good nights sleep. I almost wish I went back today, I'm just on countdown to Friday and I wonder if the anticipation is worse than the reality will be.

Squaffle Tue 03-Jan-17 21:11:52

Thank you so much everyone, and I totally second Elvi1's comments to you, campervan, and thank you for your advice. Definitely good to have a contingency plan for illness: I saw a lot of snot today (not just mine as I was walking down the street blubbing)!

I'm really glad things went well for you, Elvi1 and poocatcher: must be such a relief. Well done, and well done to your babies! It's also good to know there's light at the end of the tunnel!

Summerdays, please don't be put off by anything I've said: I am super tired and might be known to blow things a teensy bit out of proportion when I really should just go to bed!

It's a huge adjustment for us and for our babies, we just have to remember why we're doing it. In years to come I'm sure our children will hugely respect that they had working Mums being cracking role-models, even if there are tough days.

Summerdays2014 Wed 04-Jan-17 19:56:36

Was today any better? I very much hope it was and everyone is settling into this new 'normal'

Squaffle Wed 04-Jan-17 20:22:29

Today was brilliant! Such a relief. She was excited when we arrived, did the full day with no problems, ate well, slept well and when I went to collect her she was having so much fun that she barely looked up! She was also very happy at home, unlike yesterday evening. I know that there will be good days and bad days going forward, but that's fine. I think Monday may be tough again as she is now having 4 days at home, but once it becomes the normal routine I think she'll be ok.

Hope everyone else is ok. Thanks again for all your replies, it's lovely to have your support. Are you feeling ok Summerdays?

Elvi1 Wed 04-Jan-17 20:50:50

So glad you had a better day, Squaffle! It means you can enjoy the next few days together feeling a whole lot positive.

Our day was exactly the same as yesterday which is great. OH said no tears when he dropped him off, and when I arrive to collect him, he's happily playing but cries when he sees me (I guess he has to make it clear he's missed me ha). The only real drama I've had so far is getting him in his pram to leave on both days. he just goes wild - arches his back, screams blue murder - but as soon as we are out he's fine. I guess it's anxiety, maybe he doesn't know yet that he's coming with me and he just wanted to cling to me incase he's left again. Anyway, I'm so relieved we've got through these two days. Next week will be the first three day week for us, so it might be a little harder but we've had a good start.

Hope those who haven't returned yet are feeling a bit better.

Summerdays2014 Thu 05-Jan-17 09:15:48

So pleased for you both!

Poocatcherchampion Thu 05-Jan-17 13:25:31

Ah it's gone totally tits up here.ive had to call in sick with a vomiting and diarrhea bug. Baby had it earlier in the week but our two dds have got it too - so thankfully dh is here holding the fort.

I feel very bad for work as it isn't a good start really. And I'm not back til Monday now

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