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Am I doing the right thing?(7 Posts)
I am working three days a week and ds is in a nursery. I started off just doing 1 day a week when he was 10 months and now he is a year old, I am doing 3 days a week. At first he really enjoyed it and seemed very content, but now every time I leave him he cries. They say he is happy during the day. Also, he has been constantly ill with colds and infections. This means that I have to take time off work and I feel guilty about that, but not as guilty and as bad as I feel every morning when I leave him in nursery. I do a job which would be impossible to return to if I leave, and I have studied all my life for it, but leaving my son is tearing me apart. I love my job, and I love my son and I feel I am failing both of them . Any advice or people in similar positions?
I was in a similar position but sometime ago. I have worked p/t for 5 years now, and whether you work p/t or f/t, that period when you go back to work will always be quite hard for both of you to readjust....but that's what it is...just a readjustment. You've worked all your life to get a position like this and you are lucky to find it fits a 3 day schedule, so I would try it for a while longer and don't beat yourself up about it...Make sure your days off are lovely and relaxing for both you and ds and see how it goes. The colds and coughs are probably just part and parcel of nursery life - you could try some echinea or Minadex to give his immune system a boost for a while....
Its only been a little while so set yourself a target date of maybe end April to reassess it and see how it is going...I'm sure it will all settle down....
Feel so much for you Columbus1.
How are you financially? Could you return to 1 day a week, would they let you? if you were happy with this, why not?
Could you stagger times, do you have a partner? so that you go to work early, your partner drops your ds off, and you come back early? maybe do one day where your partner does all the dropping and picking and you can just work all the hours you like and really get into it? I know several dh's who have gone to four days and I am always chivvying dh to try it.
Just trying to think of a few things. I had a horrible time early on returning to work but have settled with a change in childcare and a little cut in hours - from 20 hours to 16.5 has made a huge difference to me. But around a year they do get more bothered by separations (apparently, I'm no expert) and ds does cry at me leaving a bit more.
Don't just soldier on if you're miserable - I personally believe that what looks to others like quite a small change can make a vast difference to you and yours.
I would think it will probably get better soon. Firstly if you are certain he is happy during the day then separation anxiety is common in this age group. Could you peep back through the window five minutes after you've left him.
Also the run of illnesses is almost certain to get better. I've been through this twice with DS and DD (I work 3 days and they go to nursery). And it really does get better after the first few months. They both had a run of colds and tummy bugs during the first few months. But now its over two years since I've had time off with my 3 yo (OK I was lucky he had an operation and chicken pox when I was on mat. leave but they're one off things anyway). Good job because DD has had 3 tummy bugs, several colds (still send her generally if she's not too unwell) and conjuncitivitis since November. I think that you will continue to get this until the spring but by then the combination of better weather and built-up immunity should improve things lots and by next winter he'll be a hardy 2yo.
My ds2 is a simialr age - 14 months now, and for the last couple of months has started crying when I leave him at his childminders. He didn't do it before, but I think at this age they become aware of the effect that it has, and are trying to control the situation more. With ds2 if I leave the room then he stops, so I know that it is all for my benefit. If they say that your son is fine during the day then it could be that he is doing the same.
Ds1 did something similar, but grew out of it quite quickly.
If you were happy with the situation before he started doing this I'd see if he grows out of it - maybe you could go into another room and see how quickly he calms down - maybe that would put your mind at rest?
Thanks for all your advice. It's so hard leaving him when he is crying! But I know what you all say is right and that everyone goes through it. It's really odd - I always thought I could be someone who would go back to work full time and not worry about it! How wrong was I!!! I have decided that making a deadline is a good idea and then if things have not settled down I will think again. It made me feel so much having your support!!!!
I think its a hard approach to take but you have to remember that Ds WILL grow out of this stage and you may later resent giving up you career. Remember that you had a life before and you will have one again! I was a gibbering wreck when I left Dd for the first time but I had a really supportive nursery and boy am I glad I stuck it out! Now we have ds too and its an expensive business! I am due to return to work in April, dreading the first few weeks but confident that its the right thing for me. Thats the key, remember that your needs are important too!
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