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Help, am I going to screw up my baby?

(44 Posts)
susie100 Wed 11-Jul-07 16:17:40

Hello all,
I have not posted on here before but on the childbirth thread as am due to have my baby in 5 weeks. I was having dinner with my mother last night and we started talking about interviewing nannies as I plan to go back to work somewhere between 6 to 9 months after DC is born and 4 days a week.
My mother had a real rant at me about how I will never get that time back again, someone else will bring up my baby, child will be insecure, will miss first steps and words and she says when I hold the baby in my arms I won't want to go back.
All very supportive I am sure you will agree but is she right?
Financially I can't really afford not to go back to work but equally we would not be on the bread line if I did not work.
She made a few comments about how it was a shame dp did not earn enough to be the sole breadwinner which really annoyed me. I just don't think that is an option for many people these days, espcially living in London with mortgage but it did make me start to question my decision!
I do think I would miss the intellectual stimulation and I work for a great, small company where I am valued and well paid, I really like the social side so I will think very carefully about giving this up, I don't think I would find anything similar easily.
So is she right? Will I regret going back to work? I am crazy for worrying about this now? Should I tell mum to but out?

nailpolish Wed 11-Jul-07 16:19:57

Tell her to BUTT OUT big time

she is talking utter fucking shit. How dare she worry you like this

good luck with the birth and your new baby


chevre Wed 11-Jul-07 16:20:55

tell her to butt out, god it is upsetting enough without your mum going on about it. also you should enjoy the maternatiy leave without feeling guilty.

i will not lie going back to work is hard but it is just something we have to do. you will find a lovely nanny your baby will be happy.

if you are lucky enough to have a job you find bearable hang on to it.

good luck with the birth!

HedTwigg Wed 11-Jul-07 16:21:56

only you will know if you will regret going back to work .. and you will probably only know once you've done it

the great thing about living is that you can make choices on an ongoing basis

of course your mother should butt out .. but she won't

I really don't understand this line "Financially I can't really afford not to go back to work but equally we would not be on the bread line if I did not work." but it doesn't really matter because the only person who can make decisions for your life is you (oh and your partner / child)

For me: I chose to go back to work and did so when DS was 6 months old, I then chose to resign and leave when DS was 17 months old .. I now have DS 6 and DD 3 and am pleased I have made the decisions I have (budget tightly to afford to live in London and be a SAHM)

But I tell you this in the firm realisation that that was my life and our decision for our family and has no bearing on your choices


stealthsquiggle Wed 11-Jul-07 16:22:33

You know the answer to this really..

No you will not screw up your baby

You will still spend lots of time with him/her and will always be Mummy

You would do neither of you any favours by being bored and frustrated at home

Your mother (a) doesn't know what she is talking about and (b) is probably trying to justify her own life choices

Having said that, the only aspect in which she is even slightly right is that, IMHO, you shouldn't make any irrevocable decisions/committments before LO arrives (I appreciate you may have to make some, but have a back-out clause if you can - and work legally can't ask you to commit) I only say this because I have seen some people have spectacular changes of heart on the subject after the baby arrives (I didn't, BTW, I always knew I would go back to work ad I did - twice)

nailpolish Wed 11-Jul-07 16:22:39

sorry for outburst

i am just fed up with people telling other people what to do all the time

we all try to do our best as parents, we all do the best we can for everyone, for our families as a whole. And everyone is different, what works for some doesnt work for others etc.

its just hard enough as it is without folks nipping our heids aobut stuff

Tigana Wed 11-Jul-07 16:23:23

Don't worry about this now.
Everyone reacts differently to becoming a mum and for soem the prospect of going back to work is greeted warmlya nd with great enthusiasm, others find they simply cannot consider it. I suspect the majority come to a compromise between what the need to do financially, personally and parentally.
Your mum is being very insensitive and inconsiderate and deserves a slap in the face with a wet nappy.

Lizzylou Wed 11-Jul-07 16:24:26

Please don't worry, you may feel differently once you have had your DC, but may not!
I always thought I would gve up work totally once I had children but after DS1, I rushed back when I was offered 2 days per week. Now I am a SAHM (after DS2) and do miss social and intellectual side of work (and the bloody money!), but it isn't practical for me to work.

See how you feel, enjoy your newborn baby and please don't concern yourself with it at all now!

sweetheart Wed 11-Jul-07 16:24:38

oh susie,

just the sort of comments that you DONT NEED!!!!

I am a working mother of two and yes I have days where I'd rather be at home and days where I feel guilty about someone else looking after my kids....


Most days I feel great that I've been out of the house and done something for myself. I go home ready for lots of kisses and cuddles rather than being ratty old mum thats stuck at home.

If your the sort of person that needs all the things you listed I.e. intellectual stimulation, social side etc then your not going to be a happy mummy at home


Your right! In "the olden days" women did stay at home but it's just not an option anymore for most women!

Tell her to bog off

butterbeer Wed 11-Jul-07 16:28:02

DS has been in FT nursery since he was 8.5 months. He's not faintly insecure, I don't consider that I'm not bringing him up any more than I would consider that DH wasn't bringing him up if I were a SAHM (at the same time, I give the nursery staff huge credit for the fact that he's so happy and secure and well-adjusted). I saw his first steps and heard his first words.

(Tangentially, IME the "first words" thing is a bit of a misnomer -- what actually happens is that their babbling gets more and more word-like and eventually you and your DH start having conversations along the lines of "It sounds almost as though he's saying 'duck'" ... "You know, I really think he's saying 'duck' when he makes that noise..." ... "Right, that's it, it's definitely 'duck'". It's rather like when you start feeling the baby move -- you've actually felt it a few times before the first time you knew immediately that that was what you were feeling, but you need the benefit of hindsight to identify it)

I was actually quite keen to get back. In retrospect I'd have preferred to go back 4 days a week rather than 5 if I could have managed it, and now he's 2.5 I do sometimes wish I could just stay home with him more often, but overall working is definitely the right thing for me, and for DS -- I don't think that, personally and with no intent to generalise, I'd be nearly such a good mother if I was with him 24/7.

RubySlippers Wed 11-Jul-07 16:28:48

was this outburst out of the blue? Sounds like you took a bit of a battering from her which isn;t what you need
I, like you, live in the very expensive South East so i always knew i would have to go back to work (although i also really wanted to)
what i would say is this:
stick to your plans and find a nanny
then give your return 3 - 6 months to see how you are all adapting and re-evaluate then

mslucy Wed 11-Jul-07 16:29:06

I take it she has no intention of offering to look after your baby so you don't have to find a nanny?

No, I thought not.

Or helping you out financially so you can extend your maternity leave?

No, I thought not.

It's your choice and none of her bloody business.

bundle Wed 11-Jul-07 16:29:28

not only is she wrong, she is being rude. ranting at a pg woman is a real no-no

my girls are 7 and 4 and i've worked 3 days a week since they were both 7 months old - a perfect time to return to work imo.

doggiesayswoof Wed 11-Jul-07 16:30:08

at your mum's comments.

I hope this thread doesn't turn into the same tired old SAHM/WOHM debate...

IMO this is partly a generational thing, especially given your mum's expectations of your dp.

The truth is that you will not know the answer to your own questions until you are actually in the situation. Your priorities are the important thing here, not your mother's.

FWIW, I felt the same as you do about work, and I did go back after 6 months - I haven't regretted my decision once. My dd is nearly 3, loves nursery, and if we are screwing her up in any way, I don't think it's because we both work!

RubySlippers Wed 11-Jul-07 16:30:10

oh, and by the way you won't screw up your baby by returning to work

TheMuppet Wed 11-Jul-07 16:33:04

Thats a silly thing for your mother to say.
I went back to work 4 days a week, is good for me and great for my DD, she has great communication skills and is alot better with ppl and has learnt alot.

mistlethrush Wed 11-Jul-07 16:33:36

If it helps, I went back to work when ds 6months. I always knew I'd go back, and had already arranged with work to cut back my hours to only 3 dpw. By the time i was nearing this I was dreading leaving ds in nursery (even though we'd found one I liked) but also starting to go spare at home looking after ds all the time.

Ds is very happy at nursery and I have had no issues with it. I am much happier being in work some of the week - and then I make sure that we do fund things the rest of the week. I feel that my time away from him means that I am refreshed and ready to be more positive with him when I am at home.

However, as already posted, don't burn any bridges - if there is a choice, you might find that you change your mind when the time comes.

Tell your mum that she is very welcome to come and take care of your dc for 24hrs per day for 7 days in a row sometime during your maternity leave (allowing breaks for bf if you're going to do that of course, although you might be able to express enough for the night feeds for her to do!) - perhaps this will help her to change her tune!

doggiesayswoof Wed 11-Jul-07 16:34:57

And I was there when dd walked for the first time, and I heard her first word. Anyway it doesn't really matter - if you have a nanny and she happens to witness the first ever step your baby takes, you will still have your own "first" with him/her IYSWIM.

My dh wasn't there when dd said her first word - just me - but he doesn't beat himself up about it!

mozhe Wed 11-Jul-07 16:37:26

She is will not regret going back to work,( and neither will your baby/partner )...try not to worry, enjoy your pregnancy and yes tell your mum,( tactfully may need her !), to but out...

butterbeer Wed 11-Jul-07 16:41:29

And you will definitely be the first one to hear "I love you, Mummy" which in my very recent experience is better than first words anyway...

doggiesayswoof Wed 11-Jul-07 16:43:23

Hear hear butterbeer.

Dd has recently taken to saying "I love you now mummy" usually with reference to recent falling out/disagreement/tantrum...

HedTwigg Wed 11-Jul-07 16:49:52

actually mozhe I think the point is if she does regret going back to work she can always adjust her decision .. it is her choice

Anna8888 Wed 11-Jul-07 16:51:46

Wait and see. If you have a great job, plan on going back but don't feel guilty if, after all, you decide that you want to prolong your maternity leave/take a leave of absence/resign or whatever.

I don't think many women know with absolute certainty how they are going to feel about their baby until it has arrived.

meandmyflyingmachine Wed 11-Jul-07 16:53:53

You don't know until it comes along.I was adamant I was going to go back to work. I didn't. My friend was equally adamant she was going to stay home until her youngest started school - she was back 6 months after her first was born. You can't tell how it will take you.

The only thing you can be sure of - it is a decision for you and your DP. Not your mother.

susie100 Wed 11-Jul-07 18:56:46

Thank you so much for your replies, very reassuring and so many interesting points. I can tell I am going to get hooked on mn!

To answer some of your questions in terms of what I said about financials is that we could pay the mortgage if I did not work and bills but would really have think about having any kind of fun at all and I think I am too young to never go on holiday or out for dinner again!! I also want to think about the quality of life I want to give dc, money certainly not most important thing but I grew up financial insecurity and would love for it to be different for my dc. So yes we could live i.e. move to a small flat and be very careful but I would not want that live necessarily!
My mother is certainly..shall we say blunt and controlling. I generally have a good relationship with her but I agree I think it says more about her and her hang ups than me. I suppose it just really upset me in my hormonal state (crying at Pamper's ad etc)

I loved the comment about first words - first time dc says I love you mummy will be priceless (that made me cry too!!) and will the first time for me you are right. I will definitely play it by ear but obviouly need to get the ball rolling.
Thanks again for your input

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