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Am I selfish for returning to work full time?

(103 Posts)
starship1999 Mon 04-Nov-19 11:01:09

I’m currently in the process of informing my work of my intention to return after maternity leave. My DD is 6 months old now. My maternity pay stops on 24th Jan (DD would be 9 months old) which will be the earliest date I can return, and my leave ends on 24th April (DD would be 1) which would be the latest date for me to return.

Originally I was planning on taking off the full year and returning to work part time but I have found myself wanting to return back in January and on full time hours - does this make me really selfish? sad

I don’t ‘need’ to return for financial reasons I just genuinely like (for the most part) my job and the company I work for. I was only there 3 months before I fell pregnant and had quite a difficult pregnancy so had a lot of time working from home etc.

I love my little one so much and love spending time with her but I do find it increasingly hard to keep her occupied in the daytime. We spend a lot of time at home especially now the weather has turned and she’s at the age where she still can’t play as such.

I feel so sad for her that she will be going to nursery as I’m sure she would rather be with her mummy but I’m hoping for reassurance that maybe they do actually enjoy nursery?

I have no childcare so nursery is my only option and I’ve found a nursery I’m really happy with.

Anyone with any experience of returning to work full time/starting their child in nursery full time at 9 months old I’d really appreciate your opinions as nothing is set in stone yet and I really don’t want to regret my decision.

Thank you 😊

OP’s posts: |
BackforGood Mon 04-Nov-19 11:06:54

Of course you aren't selfish. A fulfilled parent is a happy parent.
There are as many good reasons for working full time as there are for staying at home with your baby (I'd argue more reasons).

If you've found a Nursery you are happy with, then I don't see what the issue is.

Anyone with any experience of returning to work full time/starting their child in nursery full time at 9 months old I’d really appreciate your opinions as nothing is set in stone yet and I really don’t want to regret my decision.

Can't help you with the 9 months - when I had my dc we had 3 months maternity leave.
I now have 3 adult dc - all well adjusted and all with fond memories of their time in childcare (still keep in touch). My dc went to Childminders rather than Nursery, but all had fantastic experiences, and did, I'm sure, a lot more than they would have done staying at home with me.

GrumpyHoonMain Mon 04-Nov-19 11:07:54

Almost everyonr at my workplace returns full time after the maternity pay stops (9 months) and all of their children are well adjusted. I think this is partly because returning to work full time allows them to afford a better quality nursery.

Fandabydosey Tue 05-Nov-19 14:28:11

As a parent of older children.... I wish I spent more time with my children. I regret not doing more and handing over the responsibility to 'strangers' for the care of my eldest. They were lovely of course they did their best for them. But I regret it so much. I know this is not what you want to hear. Having worked in various child care settings, a nursery can not provide the love you can. Nursery is so tiring for children some children don't cope well in such an institutionalised setting where targets and pressure from ofsted and profit often leave children as a product rather than a person. Even good nurseries are not a replacement for your time and love. Your child will be competing for the attention of one adult with 2 other children, as they get older it will be with 3 other children then 7. Then they are at school time goes by so fast and you will always be able to pick up your life after they have left but you can never get that time back. There will rarely be any time for 121 interaction at nursery, this is what young children thrive on. Time is such a precious gift to give a child above any material object. This is just my opinion based on my life events and personal experience. Everyone is different and what suits one person doesn't always suit another. I know this won't be a popular opinion with some people but it is my opinion based on 20 years parenting. Good luck what ever you decide xx

Lazypuppy Wed 06-Nov-19 19:15:40

Yep i returned at 9 months full time, i couldn't wait to go back!

Dd did well at nursery, settled quickly, seperation anxiety isn't normally as bad at 9 months, it gets worse the older they get.

I wanted to go back and earn my full time salary. I am not a stay at home type, i could't have coped and it wouldn't have been any good for my dd. She loves nursery

CaramelWaferAndTea Wed 06-Nov-19 19:20:57

Going back at 9mo and have found a childminder I am really happy with. I have worked one day a week since my baby was 3mo (now 6mo). I had full time childcare from 6 weeks of age (nanny) and I’m still in touch and don’t feel damaged by it. Do what is right for you.

MollysMummy2010 Wed 06-Nov-19 21:04:04

I went back at five months as I was climbing the walls. I was not into mum & baby groups or anything like that so my nearly ten year old is far more sociable and confident than she would have been at home with me. She had one childminder from 5 months to nearly four when she started school, and has had her current one since and will stay there until end of primary. Both wonderful so have been very lucky. I do pick up 3 times a week though so do have a balance.

Wildorchidz Wed 06-Nov-19 21:09:59

Honestly? I’d go back part time.
That’s what I did and it was the best of both worlds. We also had our children cared for in our own home so no stress getting them out the door and no issues if they were unwell

CallMeOnMyCell Wed 06-Nov-19 21:21:19

Can you work part time in your role? I work 3 days per week and as PP has said, it really is the best of both worlds.

IrregularCommentary Wed 06-Nov-19 21:24:48

Returned full time when dd was 10 months and have never looked back. She's 3 now, adores nursery and is a bright and happy toddler with lots of confidence. My relationship with her has never suffered.

Me1986 Wed 06-Nov-19 21:24:56

No advice but I'll be doing the same! My lg is 6 months too and I'll be going back when she's 9 months. Money permitting I may go back when she's 10 or 11 months. My employer doesn't cater for part timers, but I'm a teacher so I do get good holidays. I'm dreading it but everyone I work with also put their little ones in full time nursery or childminder and they love it. I just keep thinking that we will still have loads of quality time together. I also think she will get much more out of nursery than the things I do with her in the house. Xx

merryhouse Wed 06-Nov-19 21:35:38

you will always be able to pick up your life after they have left

To Make A Hollow Laughing

CosmoK Wed 06-Nov-19 21:39:05

Of course you aren't selfish.
I returned f/t when DS was 9 months. He went to nursery full time and thrived. He's just started school and is a super confident and sociable little boy. I'm a much better mum because I work staying at home wasn't for me.
However, I'm very lucky as I have a very flexible job which allowed me to work from home as well as flexible days so we could avoid too many long nursery days.

Wildorchidz Wed 06-Nov-19 21:42:33

However, I'm very lucky as I have a very flexible job which allowed me to work from home as well as flexible days so we could avoid too many long nursery days.

So he wasn’t in nursery full time really? He didn’t have 9 or 10 hour nursery days 5 days per week for 49 or 50 weeks per year?

Curtainly Wed 06-Nov-19 21:47:18

No, it doesn't make you selfish.

blahblahblahblahhh Wed 06-Nov-19 21:58:41

I went back FT after child 1 and I will be going back FT again in Jan after child 2.
All good!

starship1999 Wed 06-Nov-19 21:59:44

Thank you for all the responses smile

I’m not the stay at home type either. I love spending time with my DD but I feel like both of us would just be so bored being at home. I’m hoping the time we spend together on weekends we will end up making so much more of and then the same with my annual leave. I do get to work from home one day a week but I can’t see how I could manage to do any work with her at home at the moment but hopefully as she gets a bit older I can keep her at home on that day.

My job role isn’t really a part time role and although I would ideally like to do 4 days a week I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t be allowed. Also, I was only with the company for 3 months before I fell pregnant and then had a lot of time working from home and off sick with my pregnancy in the later months. I feel like to start trying to negotiate a change in hours is just not going to go down well.

I guess there is guilt with any option and there really isn’t a complete win-win.

OP’s posts: |
eurochick Wed 06-Nov-19 21:59:57

No. You need to do what is best for you. We used a nanny rather than nursery but did it from 8 months. We had no issues at all. Our daughter loved her nanny and she took her to lots of playgroups so she got some socialisation with her peers. My bestie put all three of hers in full time nursery from six months. They are all bright, well-adjusted children.

SallyWD Wed 06-Nov-19 22:02:36

I know many will strongly disagree with me but I believe part time would be better for you and your DD

GleamInYourEyes Wed 06-Nov-19 22:05:35

Full time nursery is a lot for a baby to cope with. I'd look for a childminder/nanny for such a small child.

LisaSimpsonsbff Wed 06-Nov-19 22:06:05

I went back full-time at 6 months - DH then had four months leave before DS started in childcare (a childminder initially) at 10 months.

Overall it works well for us. I can't imagine not working. We do have some factors in our favour though:
1) family provide childcare one day a week so he is only in paid childcare for four days (he now does two days at nursery, two at childminder)
2) DH is a teacher so DS is term-time only in childcare
3) I changed careers a few months ago - I couldn't make my former long hours work. I now work still full-time but 9-5 and that's massively more doable (I find it amazing how easy work is if you just do 8 hours a day and then leave it work and go home, but I think this is still novelty after my old job!)

There are days where I have pangs. Today was one because I've just had a week of annual leave and it was hard to leave DS this morning. On the whole, though, it feels like the right decision for us all.

trilbydoll Wed 06-Nov-19 22:07:51

I would recommend asking for 4 days, or maybe 4 long days (eg doing 35 hours so nearly FT) just to give you that extra day, bit of breathing space so you don't feel like you're chasing your tail all the time. If it's not possible, so be it, but you've got nothing to lose by asking.

LisaSimpsonsbff Wed 06-Nov-19 22:07:53

People talk a lot about part-time being the ideal best of both, but at my work at least it comes with a lot of downsides - people who work 4 days essentially do the same work and just get paid 20% less for it, but are also taken much less seriously for it.

Parker231 Wed 06-Nov-19 22:09:41

My DT’s went to nursery full time from six months old. Excellent nursery, two of the staff became our babysitters and we’re still in touch with the staff even though DT’s are now 20 and away at Uni. No regrets - my career flourished and DT’s have turned into lovely adults.

Pandaintheporridge Wed 06-Nov-19 22:09:45

Ours have always gone to nursery but three days a week not five. There is a lot more to do with an inquisitive toddler at home than a baby, I really enjoyed those days (they are at school now). As to whether they enjoy it - we used several nurseries, I took ds out of one as I wasn't happy with how they spoke about the children, I have had dc happy to go and dc clinging to me and sobbing about going. I think a kindly childminder and a school nursery (when old enough to go to one) is the best combo, unless you can afford a nanny when that would be better. A lot of the people I know who returned full time had family looking after the dc for at least some of the week.

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