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Please make me feel less sad about going back to work

(12 Posts)
iwouldgoouttonight Wed 24-Jun-09 09:07:06

I'm going back to work on monday and get upset every time I think about it. When I was on maternity leave last time with DS I had 7 months off and was desperate to get back to work. He was quite a cry-ie baby and I was quite lonely and think I had a touch of PND. So when I started maternity leave this time I told my boss I'd be back after four months, partly because we need my salary and partly because I thought I wouldn't enjoy the baby stage again.

But this time is so different, DD is such an easy baby, I'm so lucky this time. After last time spending all day pacing the house rocking DS to get him to stop crying, this time me and DD just sit smiling and playing. It helps that I have other friends on maternity leave this time too so I get out a lot more.

So I told my boss I'd like to have a bit longer off and would take six months but its all come around so quickly. DD is only 5 months old and I keep crying at the thought of leaving her. I'm actually looking forward to going to work, I enjoy my job and I'll only be out of the house 3 days a week, but I just want to take her with me!

I think part of me feels guilty for going back so soon (all my friends are taking the whole year off) and just sad that its the end of our lovely days at home together. At a push we could afford for me to take longer off work but DP is already working all hours and is really stressed and I want to share the burden. And its too late to tell work now anyway if I wanted to take longer off.

I know if I left it another few months I'd probaby find it even harder as DD would be doing more thing and would become more attached to me. And DS goes to the same nursery and enjoys it and its really helped his confidence so I know its not a bad thing, but just thinking about it now has made me cry again! Has anyone else gone back to work when their babies are this young?

womma Wed 24-Jun-09 16:11:29

Oh blimey - I go back to work on Tuesday and DD has started at the CMs this week and I'm a mess! I burst into tears looking at a picture of her today and I'd do anything to have another year away from work.

So no advice for you, just feeling your pain.

EllieG Wed 24-Jun-09 16:15:48

I went back to work 2 months ago - honestly, the build up was worse than when it actually happpend. DD has settled brilliantly into nursery and is happy there - she is such a happy little girl I was terrified of her being less happy, but it hasn't happened. And though I miss her, the time I get with her I make sure I am focussed on her 100 per cent, and we still have loads of cuddles and love and fun.

It'll be fine. Worrying about it beforehand (and believe me, I did SO much and was crying most of the time) was worse than going back. Once we were both in the routine of it we were both fine.

Have a not-very-MNetty-but-will-do-it-anyway supportive hug from me x

TheOldestCat Wed 24-Jun-09 16:16:32

Sorry you're feeling so sad about it. I went back full-time when DD was six months and it WAS hard. But I had no choice and slowly but surely we all got used to it and it was OK.

I'm sorry that's not massively enthusiastic! But really the thought of it was in some ways worse than the actual going back. Good luck and don't be too hard on yourself - look how happy DS is at nursery.

HeadFairy Wed 24-Jun-09 16:17:47

I was the same, but try to focus on how you'll be able to eat a meal without having to share any of it, go to the loo without an audience, you can actually sit and read a paper/magazine/book uninterrupted.

I went back when ds was a bit older than your dd, he was 7 months old, but I'm not sure it makes any difference. Leaving them is always hard, but you have to think about the positives. You're sharing the burden with your dh which is a wonderful thing, you are working to give your dcs a better life, and it's only three days a week.

I still hate leaving ds, but about 30 seconds after I've left the house I really do enjoy the time I get to myself. I feel a bit more human too, less mummy, more me again.

Make sure you leave time to do lovely things on your days off, try and get boring chores done in the evenings so you can spend the days doing nice things. That's what I do, and ds and I really enjoy our time together. I also think having good childcare you trust really makes a difference.

elliepac Wed 24-Jun-09 16:20:01

Not sure if this qualifies as advice but have been in a similar situation. I went back when both of mine were about 5 months. With DS I was quite happy to go back because he was quite a difficult baby blushalthough he is now the most adorable loving little boy. Completely different experience with DD who was the most angelic baby and I would quite happily never have gone back to work (if only that had been possible). From a 'placing them in childcare at a very early age ' perspective it has not adversely affected either of them to go so young. They go to the same childminder and are happy, secure children. The guilt, as a good mum, will never completely go away but it will lessen as you see her settle in and know she is being cared for and is happy. Plus you still have more than half the week at home with her and therefore you will still be able to see your friends on maternity leave. You will also find yourself getting back into a job that you enjoy and that will also ease the pain a little. It's never easy but as a full time WOHM, you can find a happy balance. Good LUck I hope it goes well.

womma Wed 24-Jun-09 22:07:50

I'm not the OP, but thank you for these words of encouragement. Hearing that the anticipation is worse than the reality makes me feel much better.

iwouldgoouttonight Thu 25-Jun-09 11:48:41

Thanks for all your comments, reading them has made me cry again! blush I'm such an emotional mess at the minute!

I think part of the problem is I'm thinking of it as though I'll never see her again! She's actually only going to be at nursery for two days a week, and my mum is having her the other day. I'm going to work four days a week but one of them I'll be working from home so me and DP are going to share the childcare on that day.

Its just the days I'm not at work I'll have both DD and DS (DS is still at nursery the days I have off with DD at the minute) and he is quite demanding so I hardly get to give DD any attention.

I think its the guilt thing of leaving her so young - we could have got by with my maternity pay for another couple of months but I thought I'd be ready to go back by now. But I don't feel ready a all and its too late to change my mind now.

Just left DD for an hour at nursery for a settling in session and I just wandered about outside trying not to cry! I don't know whats going on with me, I wasn't like this with DS at all!

womma Thu 25-Jun-09 12:12:32

Oh love! I'm the same, a mess and I cry a lot of the time. I drove past the cm's house yesterday, I'm stalking my own DD fgs!

It's very hard but we just have to get through it and as everyone else here has said, it gets better so we have to take comfort in that. And we've still got time to win the lottery and take early retirement before next week.

womma Sat 27-Jun-09 00:55:01

I'll just talk to myself then

iwouldgoouttonight Sat 27-Jun-09 20:46:22

Sorry, not ignoring you! I've not posted on here again as every time I write something about leaving DD I collapse into an emotional mess! Last night DP got home to find me in floods of tears after I'd spent the entire evening doing searches on the web for the soonest anyone had gone back to work, to try to make myself feel less bad about leaving DD at only 5 months!

I know what's done is done but I so wish I'd said I'd take nine months off. I have to give two months notice if I want to change how long I'm taking off work, and two months ago I really thought I'd be ready to go back by now, but now its come around I don't, and I obviously can't ring my boss the day before I'm going back saying I'm not going to be there (although did seriously consider texting him last night to ask!)

Its not the going back that's upset me, as I know I don't want to be a SAHM, it the fact that its sooner than I really have to. I could have three more months to enjoy with DD and then I think I'd feel more ready and some of my friends would be going back then too so I think that would help. Also DP didn't help when he told me he's earnt more in the last couple of months so we could have actually afforded to have three more months on my maternity pay!

I have to try and think of the positives - leaving her younger might be easier for her as she's not got to the separation anxiety stage, if I took three more months leaving her might be even harder, I'll be able to chat about things that don't involve consistency and frequency of baby poo, I might lose some weight as I cycle to work (really clutching at straws now!)

See, when I write all that I think its not so bad so why am I sobbing my eyes out again??! If I didn't know better I'd think I was pregnant the emotional wreck that I am!

womma Sat 27-Jun-09 21:31:37

I do understand how you feel, it's like a bizarre form of emotional torture. My friend went back to full time work when her DS was 5 mo and she found it difficult initially but now she says she's glad she did it and they've sidestepped the seperation anxiety problem completely, so there are some consolations!

After DD's first week settling at the CM, I've come to the conclusion that although I'd love another few weeks of ML, the longer I leave it the harder it's going to be. So even though last week was hellish I feel like we've done it now and we have to get on with it. I'm going to be a mess on my first day at work next week, but we'll get through it...remember to wear some waterproof mascara!

Please bear in mind that your DD will not suffer in any way by you going back to work now, and you'll have 4 whole days a week at home to enjoy her. I hope it goes well, fingers crossed for us both xxx

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