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Going back to work - am I selfish?

(17 Posts)
melon1 Mon 07-Feb-05 12:25:40

Just wondered how soon other Mumsnetters went back to work after their maternity leave? When dd was first born I couldn't bear to be away from her, but now (5 months on) I'm going out of my mind at home and I can't wait to get back to work (part-time). Am I selfish for wanting this time away from her?

motherinferior Mon 07-Feb-05 12:29:33

I went back at four months. I'm self-employed so in many ways I didn't have an option, but first time round, in particular, I was very glad, secretly, to get back to something I knew how to do, to get away from the 24/7 responsibility of the baby and to feel that at last I had some sort of handle on my life. Second time was rather different, but still manageable.

I feel quite guilty about feeling this way.

Flossam Mon 07-Feb-05 12:31:29

Some people have told me that I will feel like that too, melon. Still a couple of months to go but think I will be able to relate to you. Not a bad thing, I think it would be worse to be completely dreading going back to work and to have to leave dd. When do you return?

Springchicken Mon 07-Feb-05 12:33:19

I am back at work for my first time properly today and i understand how you feel.

Up until now i have work casually from home to help out when needed but today i am at work.

DD is in nursery which is something i said i would never ever do but i spent alot of time at the nursery with her over the last week or so and i feel like i have a good understanding of how things run. Dp is not happy about it and would rather i didn't work but this just isn't feasible financially - so now we are constantly arguing about it

Anyway, no you are not selfish - my reasons are different to yours. I would love to stay at home with DD if we could afford it as i am just not a driven career minded person.
As long as you are comfortable with it and it works out in your circumstances then go for it.

Joolstoo Mon 07-Feb-05 12:35:28

I never felt the need to return to work - and I didn't consider myself particularly maternal - but I just loved being a mum to my 3 - even if I didn't always get it right and they got on my wick sometimes.

Only returned to the workplace when dh made me

Mum2girls Mon 07-Feb-05 12:37:07

Nope - absolutely normal but guilt goes hand-in-hand with motherhood, so you'll have that in spades when you do go back. I went back 8 months after DD1 (and I was sooooo ready) and 6 months after DD2.

There is no right and wrong, you do what you need to do for your baby and your own sanity.

Good luck.

Marina Mon 07-Feb-05 12:37:42

No of course not! Please don't feel guilty!
The most important thing is that as a parent you recognise your "limitations" (can't think of a better word, it's not meant to be critical) and your need for some time away from your child.
If you have to go back for financial reasons it's much better for all of you that you feel comfortable about it, and ready for it.
I didn't want to go back either time, to be honest, but I was noticeably less unhappy about the situation when my two turned five months than when they were younger...
FWIW I think p/t working outside the home is the perfect solution - you get that "hot coffee and adult conversation" fix but also more than just the weekend and evenings with your family...
Good luck with the return.

myermay Mon 07-Feb-05 12:39:23

Message withdrawn

Lonelymum Mon 07-Feb-05 12:41:36

When I (briefly) went back to work, I found it made me appreciate the time I did have with my children. Eventually, it made me realise I didn't want to work as much as I thought I did and I was glad when I stopped again. Going back to work might make you see things differently too, either way. (ie you want to work more or you want to stay home). Whatever you want to do, don't feel guilty about it. Your dd will be happiest when you are happy too.

catgirl Mon 07-Feb-05 12:44:33

No, you are not selfish. I went back to work when my ds was just over 7 months old - I think some people make better parents because they go back out to work, but agree with whoever said motherhood and guilt go hand in hand!

otto Mon 07-Feb-05 12:45:09

I don't think there is anything at all selfish about working. I returned to work full time when ds was 6 months. I always feel a bit sad when I drop him at nursery, but I do enjoy many aspects of being at work such as the ability to have a normal, uninterupted conversation with another adult. Another plus side is that I never experience that total frustration that some sahm's go through as I don't spend all day with him and am always glad to see him. He's well looked after at nursery and he does seem to enjoy his time there. I do wish I could work part-time though, but can't at the moment as I earn more than dp and we need to move to a bigger house.

melon1 Mon 07-Feb-05 12:49:10

Thank you everyone, you've made me feel better! Myermay, that is exactly how I feel - there IS only so much shopping, cleaning, ironing etc. you can do! I'm lucky that my mum is going to have dd - I'm going back for 3 days a week, which I think (I hope!) is going to be the perfect balance - 3 days at work, and then 4 days off with dd. I am going back to my old job (medical secretary) and I can't wait to get my brain going again and have some adult conversation!

Surfermum Mon 07-Feb-05 12:56:35

I had a year's maternity leave. I didn't want to go back to work but I had to go back for at least 12 weeks or repay my maternity benefit, so decided to give it a go for 8 weeks then decide if it was for me, and take finances etc into account. I'm lucky in that my parents have dd, but I don't think I could have left her with a nursery.

As reluctant as I was, I found I really enjoyed it, I only work 2 days and I call them my days off! I find that I enjoy my weekdays on my own with dd, but I'm not sure I would if I was at home all week, and for me, I think having some time away from her makes me a better mum.

Surfermum Mon 07-Feb-05 13:02:19

Melon - I'm a med sec too, have been for years. I work in a drug and alcohol team now as office manager. Where do you work?

melon1 Mon 07-Feb-05 20:40:17

Hi, sorry Surfermum, got caught up with dd and chores! I work in my local hospitals Pathology Department - we deal with cancer biopsies etc. We also type post mortem reports which can be a bit grim, as I can imagine yours is at times!

Surfermum Mon 07-Feb-05 20:53:17

It certainly has it's moments! There's far more people being referred for help than we can offer appointments to, so I'm constantly having to explain to desperate people why they are having to wait. But despite that I love the work.

When are you due to go back?

melon1 Mon 07-Feb-05 21:12:09

I go back in 3 weeks and can't wait, although, apparently, there is lots of office politics going on at the moment! I went for a job with a Drug & Alcohol Team a few years ago but I think my age put them off (I was only 21 at the time) - do you think that may have been the case?

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