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I can't believe I'm crying about this.

(23 Posts)
MrsDoolittle Sat 15-Jan-05 20:50:20

Okay I knew the score. When I got pregnant my plan was return to work full-time after my baby was born. Infact, I never considered anything else. Dh wanted to wait another year until we were better able to afford it, but I felt the biological clock ticking and I was adamant I wanted to start a family.
We were absolutely thrilled when dd was born. I had a blissful 5 months at home with her and after careful consideration I placed in her a lovely nursery.
There was nothing that could possibly have prepared me for how I feel now.
I know, it's winter and we all get coughs and colds at this time of year but after a lovely Christmas break when everything seemed to get better I feel like we are back to square one. I am absolutely snowed under at work and I really should be enjoying the challenge as I love my job. Besides I can't go part-time, we were hoping to buy a house this year and we are going to bloody need two full-salaries to raise a mortgage.
Poor dd is really not well enough to be in full-time nursery and when I picked her up on Friday dh and I were both shocked at her wet, snotty face, red-rimmed eyes and gutteral (?) cough. There is no-one else to look after her.

There are loads of mums at work but none of them work-full-time, even with one child. Infact, they all say "I don't know how you do it, I really don't". Given the circumstances this really doesn't help and only serves to make me feel worse.

How did this happen to me? Was I really so stupid not to see this coming?

Why I am sitting here crying at the moment because I can't look after her?

jrsmum Sat 15-Jan-05 20:55:55

Mes Doolittle I know exactly how you feel i was the same when I first left ds and he was poorly. Have you spoken to the staff at the nursery about how your dd is during the day ? She might well be fine all day as colds do tend to seem worse later in the day. I used to ring the nursery all the time from work when my ds was poorly just to be reassured that he was fine.

it does get easier once you get used to it but I still worried if what I was doing was right. My ds thrived being in the nursery.

Lots of hugs and sympathy your way. Hope your ds is feeling better soon !!!!!!!!!

TracyK Sat 15-Jan-05 21:01:54

can you go part time for a month or so - better than a complete leave of abscence. I know 2 mums with ds same age as mine that went back to work at 6mo in Sept and ended up taking unpaid leave till Jan as both their ds' ended up in hospital and they were phoning in sick constantly.

shrub Sat 15-Jan-05 21:03:04

dear mrsdoolittle - you are doing and have been doing your best!
if you are at the crossroads and are reconsidering going part-time, but the thought of buying a house is stopping you i would say that have you considered all options? the market is definately slowing so it maybe in your best interest to wait. and during this time you could be enjoying your daughter. another option if you feel you couldn't wait could be getting an interest only mortgage - we have done this with the abbey originally 5 x my dh's salary but in 9 months his wages have gone up 4 k and once my children are all at school i will be returning to work and then we will go onto a repayment mortgage.
what do you want to do?

TracyK Sat 15-Jan-05 21:06:43

go part time till spring and then we'll all feel much better! our babies are growing up fast - don't miss out and beat yourself up - you'll only stress yourself out.
what kind of company do you work for - are they sympathetic?

tillykins Sat 15-Jan-05 21:34:31

I know just how you feel - nothing prepares you for it
The new flexible working policy is law now isn't it, perhaps you could arrange to reduce the days you work but not the hours - do your week in 4 days maybe, or arrange to do one day a week at home (which will probably mean you do no work that day and slave every night to catch up!)

Beccles Sat 15-Jan-05 21:37:27

Message withdrawn

pabla Sat 15-Jan-05 22:01:02

I really sympathise - when my dd was a baby and at a (lovely) nursery, she was always catching colds, conjunctivitis, having high temperatures, etc. I think they catch more bugs at nursery as the come into contact with more people than at home. And it's always just at the time when you want to catch up after being on maternity leave. My friend had to take most of her first week at work off as her son was sick!

My dh and I used to take it in turns to take time off if dd was too sick to go to nursery, depending on how busy we were, what meetings we couldn't miss, etc - could your dh help out? It is a very hard thing to do I know, sending your baby in to nursery when they are not 100%. I still feel guilty about the times I did this (eg cleaning the gunk from her eyes just before I got to the nursery so they wouldn't know she had conjunctivitis because I just couldn't afford to take another day off )

They do build up a resistance after a few months (the first winter is probably the worst) and if it's any consolation, my dd has rarely been ill since she went to school so she must have had all the bugs as a baby!

If the nursery staff are good, they would phone you at work if they really thought your dd should go home so maybe she was not as poorly as you thought? Hope she is feeling better soon - maybe wait until then before you make any decisions? It might be easier to be more objective then.

bottle Sat 15-Jan-05 22:11:46

mrsD know how you feel, it is so hard leaving little ones, i work four days had hoped to drop these but not possible at the moment to be more pt
there is a right to take off time unpaid for children up to five or six years - have a look on maternity alliance website as not up to speed on the regs - this way you could take a few weeks off unpaid and still have the right to return ft to your job re raising the mortgage - know may not be a very practical re work
i found it so hard re ds at first but feel things are getting better re nursery etc..

MrsDoolittle Sun 16-Jan-05 13:46:49

After logging off last night I went to check on dd and discovered she had been sick all over herself and her bedding. This has reaffirmed that I feel she is not well enough for nursery. I can't not go to work at the moment. So with a heavy heart I have called my mum who lives two and a half hours away to come and take her for a week. I feel awful but I don't know what else to do.
Dh says I will miss her badly and I know he's right, but I have got myself into such a pit of gloom about this at the moment I can't see another way out.
She's awake , best go.....

aloha Sun 16-Jan-05 13:55:29

Mrs Doolittle -nobody knows how they will feel about their baby until he or she arrives. It's impossible. That's why nobody can really tell a woman what it's like to be a mother.
I do think the work thing sounds as if it is tearing you apart atm and it's honestly not worth it. I think it might help you to sit down and work out what you want out of life right now - not what your boss wants or anyone else. Do you need to spend more time with your child for your own happiness? If so, then sit down and work out how you can make that happen. It may mean going part time - maybe just dropping a day a week. Remember it's your right to apply for this and they have to have a bloody good reason to say no.
As for the house thing, a/the market is crap atm and I don't see that changing so waiting might even be a good thing and b/losing a day a week won't make that much difference to the mortgage you can get anyway.
Don't make any decisions until you feel happier and calmer. Your dd will get better soon poor mite, and she is very much loved which is the most important thing. But you have to consider yourself in this too. I think the best advice re work is to always think of yourself as working for your own business (You Ltd) and work for your own benefit and never sacrifice yourself to your employer. They'd get rid of you without a second thought if it was in their interest, I bet, so don't make a martyr of yourself. And also, it's a cliche, but if you were run over by a bus tomorrow, they would have to cope without you, so they would cope if you took time off to care for your dd. I am so much more confident about this sort of thing since starting to work for myself.

Blu Sun 16-Jan-05 14:09:50

Mrs Doolittle - huge sympathies, this is something that I went through, too.
In our case we took DS out of nursery and found a lovely nanny who had a child exactly the same age as DS. We paid hre less than the going rate as she was effectively a shred nanny, which made it about the same price as a nursery for babies. But I felt that at that young age, DS was getting more 'cuddleosome' care. It also meant that I could leave him when he was a bit poorly - the flipside was that we were stuck when the nanny was ill (but this tends to be less than babies).
Now DS is 3.5 and back at nursery 4 days a week - in the meantime we have both worked all manner of flexi-time / worked from home one day a week etc.
I can't say it has been easy - I am constantly be-devilled by guilt and exhaustion and general overload, but isn't that the JD for 'Mother'?
Good luck - I hope you can find a solution that suits you.

TracyK Sun 16-Jan-05 14:13:50

I agree with Aloha - no-one is indespensible - so they would have to learn to cope without you. Plus it's amazing that when an employer is faced with a crisis - they manage to delegate some of the work around, whereas they have no incentive to do so right now as you are taking the full load on your shoulders. Why should they wilingly take it off you? Could you maybe take a day off during the week and work a day at the w/end with dh caring for dd? that's what I end up doing - only 4 mornings a week - but really have to work a couple of hours sat/sun and evenings to keep on top of it. but i know ds is being looked after by dh.

Blu Sun 16-Jan-05 14:20:06

I went down to 4 days a week, too, for about 6 months.

DissLocated Sun 16-Jan-05 14:39:02

Bottle is right about parental leave. You can take a max of 4 weeks per year to a total of 13 weeks in first 5 years of child's life. You have to give your employer 21 days notice but you have an absolute right to it. They can negotiate with you about when you take it but can't refuse to let you take it.

You can also take time off for dependent care. Again it's unpaid but you can take a day or two to care for your dd when she's ill. You don't have to give notice of this one, can just ring up and say 'I'm not coming in today cos I have to care for dd'.

Tillykins' suggestion is a good idea, we do this for a lot of people at work (I work in HR) but it's very tough on the 4 days you're there. You have to work long hours and it does wear you down after a while. A slightly gentler option is the 9 day fortnight, ie 2 weeks full time hours in 9 days instead of 10.

Would they consider a career break for you? Give you 6 months or a year to be at home??

fwiw I agree with aloha though.

MrsDoolittle Sun 16-Jan-05 18:52:22

She's gone. Left me a gibbering mess standing outside the house as she went but atleast I know she is going to be well cared for, if not, spoilt rotten for the next few days. She has a terrible grotty cough and a constantly wet face, I am pleased she won't be left sitting on the floor in nursery next week. I hope she is okay though, she is only 9 months old. How could I tell her I would be seeing her again in a few days?

Thank you all for your lovely messages, I always appreciate your posts Aloha. You are all right of course, I need to think. I was sure I would beable to carry on full-time until maybe we could have another baby, now I am not.
As you say Aloha, I need to think when I am calmer.

aloha Sun 16-Jan-05 19:20:26

I'm sure your daughter will be fine and have a lovely time being cared for by her grandparents - though I expect she will miss you too - after all you are her mummy. But it's you I'm concerned about. I think we often think about what our bosses 'need' and what our children need (which is a very good thing of course) and about how we have to have a bigger house (fair enough, me too!) but sometimes we forget to factor in what we need emotionally in terms of time to be a mother to our children in order to be a happy mother. I am not saying the only good or indeed happy mother is a full time one - far from it. Good mothers come in all shapes and sizes but I think we often assume we will be happy as a f/t mother or, indeed, happy as a f/t working mother and find that we aren't. And finding a balance is really, really hard. Try to relax in the knowledge she is being cared for and treat this week as a time to have a breather and think about what you want and also talk to your dh about it all. Why not really take advantage of this time to go out to dinner and stuff together as well? Build a few treats into your week as you may not have another one without dd for a very, very long time!

hewlettsdaughter Sun 16-Jan-05 22:50:18

MrsD - sorry you have been feeling so torn . I hope dd has a lovely time with your mum this week and you find a long-term solution that suits you both xxx

lunavix Sun 16-Jan-05 22:55:25

MrsD - noone feels they are coping when their lo is really poorly.
At the end of the day, if you decide you need to be at home with her, then you will make it work, there are so many people who do. Even if it's only part time, you seem so torn at the moment and you need to go with your instincts, that's what being the mum is about

Think about it this way - in 3 or 4 years time, if you look back on this now, will you deeply regret missing those years at home? Or will you be able to reason and say that you made sacrifices for the good of your family? I think that will help with your decision.

Thinking of you xx

hewlettsdaughter Sun 16-Jan-05 22:55:29

FWIW, I think things are always hard when either you or your child is ill. I hope dd's cough improves soon.

Frizbe Sun 16-Jan-05 23:00:53

Don't forget you also get so many days per year off in dependants leave as well, so this helps out a bit too! Dh can also take dependants leave, so you can share looking after your little one when unwell.

Cardigan Sun 16-Jan-05 23:29:37

Can you get sometime off work when your dd comes back from her grans? Could you work partime? It's you & your little one that need each other at the moment. Being a baby is only once - go with how you feel. Hope you're ok. Best wishes

MrsDoolittle Mon 24-Jan-05 15:32:59

She's back! Bright eyed and bushy tailed, and bouncing away on my knee as I write. Infact she has just bitten my finger with four dangerous front teeth, she's laughing delightedly because she made me jump.
I am feeling so much more positive now. I was so upset last weekend - Thankyou for the support ladies.

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