Returning to work books(14 Posts)
I know mn isnt a place to wallow or expect sympathy esp when I am lucky enough to have a good paying job in such an unsettled economic climate, but I am finding even the thought of returning to work esp FT unbarable. Floods of tears unbarable.
I feel like I'm failing her.
Are there any books out there that mners can recommend about returning to work after mat leave to help the transition?
It's probably not quite what you're looking for but I read Half a Wife by Gaby Hinsliff shortly after I went back to work.
It's not a self help book in any way, it looks at the issues around balancing work and family life, for men, women, employers & society.
It helped me because it looks at loads of different ways that people approach the issue, lots of ideas about how things can change in individual families, workplaces & society generally.
It made me feel less trapped just knowing there were other options available and other ways to shape our life.
I hope other posters will suggest other books too. I wasn't expecting to find it hard to go back to work and I have struggled. Three months on and I've made my peace with it and our new life is settling down. Give yourself time if you struggle at first. Good luck.
Thank you for taking the time to reply citizen...i feel like being a full time employee equals part time mum...less than part time even. Feel such guilt when I look at dd knowing I'll be abandoning her soon. Great. Yet more tears.
So sorry you feel like this. I don't have any suggestions for books as I tend to come on here for advice! Please don't think you are abandoning your baby. Provided you are securing appropriate childcare for her, she will be fine. Am I right in assuming that you need to return FT and that there is no other option? Is Dad on the scene, can he provide childcare? I work 3/5 days and find it a really good balance both financially, for the kids and for me - I had a year off when DS was born and was chewing the carpet by the end of it! Please don't feel guilty, the way the world is today, most parents do have to work.
For the first two months I felt my heart would break every time I left for work in the morning - even though I was leaving him with his dad - but I mostly don't any more. He's happy with other people & has lots of fun without me.
It was a culture shock returning to work but DS was absolutely fine. I was an emotional wreck but he was fine!
My local NCT group runs a return to work support group. I've never been but you could see if yours does, or start a meetup for others in the same boat. Or see a coach or counsellor to help you through (I've done this through work).
Try to think about the range of options open to you so you feel more in control of your life. Can you work compressed or reduced hours? Can you share childcare with your partner? Work from home regularly?
You can do it. Be kind to yourself.
I think being on Mumsnet and talking to people is better than any book.
The reassurance and support I got when I went back to work when DS was a nine month old who wouldn't take a bottle was brilliant.
I got loads of guidance and support from people who had already been there and done it. Now we are here to make you feel better.
My DS is two and has been in nursery since 9mo old. He is the child who hugs me with huge bear hugs and tells me "mmm delicious hug" when we cuddle. He is the child who lights up my day when I get home from work and I am rarely snappy or irritable with him as I enjoy his company so much.
I could and sometimes do feel guilty about our time apart. But then I think how I am working to ensure he has a good life and opportunities and how he is not unhappy. And then I can go and enjoy lunch quietly at my own desk with no-one demanding I read them a book about Peppa pig.
Oh yes! Eating lunch. Drinking cups of tea while still hot (sometimes made by someone else). Going to the toilet in peace. My commute, when I read or think or doze, all on my own. Not changing nappies all day.
There are some really good things about going back to work
Yes returning to work FT Mon-Fri FT hrs. Dd will be with mil as oh has has to work FT too - work will not allow me to go back PT. Every other working mum I know has gone back PT and I feel like mil will be raising dd....my heart aches. I don't mind the not eating lunch and not having me time, I would dedicate my life to her if I could I know that its healthy to have me time just feel like that"s all I'll have.
You are dedicating your life to her - dedication doesnt have to mean not returning to work. I returned full time when dd was 9 months old. I'm currently on mat leave with dd2 14 weeks, but will return full time when she's 1. Honestly it will be far harder on you than your child.
You don't stop dedicating your life to your child just because you work. I am a full time worker but a full time mum too. My son is my life and working is part of how I care for him.
I think you are very lucky to have MIL to help with childcare. Not only will that save you a fortune (£14K a year around my way) it is lovely for your child to be with someone they know and love.
My son goes to nursery as we have no family help or support and I desperately wish my mum or MIL were around. Not that his nursery is bad - it's lovely - but I'd love him to be looked after someone who loved him like me.
On a practical note too, DS got ill all the time when he first started childcare. That meant DH and I had to take off lots and lots of time which was not popular with work. A granny would have been perfect for times when it was just a feverish cold.
When I joke about being able to eat lunch, that's because I have been back at work nearly two years and so it is normality now for my family. So I can see the really good things about work along with the bad. I quite understand that when you first go back and feel very emotional, it doesn't feel like that.
Lots and lots and lots of people work and have kids. I know almost no-one who can afford to be a SAHM or part time. Or the people who started off part time have decided to increase hours as their kids get older.
Of course it IS terribly terribly sad to leave your baby when you love them so much. Remember though this may not be forever. Your DH may get a new better paid job in six months. You may have another child. You may get a new part time job. I am a working mum right now but perhaps not forever. So that is also something to remember.
I absolutely agree its harder on you than your baby. The first few weeks will be so tough but it gets easier, the routines get established and you work out how to make your time together special. Keep talking on here - there is so much support you can get if you suffer any wobbles
Thank you all, your very kind words and support have been lovely to hear. I just hope the reality isn't as bad as my imagination. Definitely very lucky to have mil help with childcare.
Honestly, the first few weeks are really hard but it does get easier and lots of us do it. I read 'How to be a great working mum' but found it quite patronising [I am happy to post you my copy if you PM me though].
Agree with the others that the first few weeks for us were full of illness but DS was at nursery rather than with family.
Just a thought but although your work may not want to accommodate p/t hours it is more difficult to reject a 'Parental Leave' application. I have always taken a couple of weeks of unpaid Parental Leave each year and, if you can afford to, it gives you some extra time with DD over and above your annual leave.
Keep on talking to us, mn has much more practical advice/support than a book!
I work FT as well, and happy to add my support. I find that if it's something you've got to do (which for me it is), then it's somehow easier to accept.
My DS has been at nursery since he was 10 months, and really loves it. It means that I get to be like a lot of dads are, the 'one who does no wrong' because he's so pleased to see me every evening and at the weekends and I don't have to do the day to day grind. It also means I really really appreciate all the time I have with him. Quite a few friends either don't work or work PT and want a 'day off' for them-time at the weekends, whereas we do lots of family stuff all together at the weekend, which I prefer.
From a different perspective, my mum went back to work when I was very young (6m I think) and I was with my grandparents (her MIL). As a result, I had a really close relationship with them, and still (thirty years later) have many many fond memories of this time (whether actual or reported memories IYSWIM). They died when I was still quite young, but I feel I got much more out of the relationship with them than I would've otherwise.
Practically speaking, hopefully working means you'll have a little spare money to consider outsourcing some of the tedious life stuff - shopping online, maybe a cleaner/help with ironing, which means you can make your time not at work all about your DD rather than having to drag her round Tescos/plonk in front of the TV to get the washing done etc etc. I do my supermarket shop online during my lunchhour, and it's delivered after DS's bedtime. I do all my household paperwork during lunchbreak at work/visits to shops for boring stuff etc.
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