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Starting to settle DS in nursery before going back to work. Feel really sad.

31 replies

Wigglesworth · 23/04/2009 12:18

I go back to work next week after 10 months maternity leave and I am settling DS in nursery at moment. I am leaving him for an hour today and I just feel so desperately sad about it all. I feel guilty and sick at the thought of leaving him. The nursery is lovely and I am happy with it but I just feel dreadful, almost like I am abandoning him.
I may be being a bit PFBish and soft and I know it's probs normal to feel like this at first but I just don't want to spend my first few weeks back at work in tears thinking about him. Did anyone else feel like this, does it get better, please help me feel better about it all.

OP posts:
RebeccaP · 23/04/2009 13:58

I know exactly how you feel. I have just returned from my DD's second settling-in visit and I feel really down and sad. She got upset when I left her for an hour, so that is obviously making me even more worried. I'm sure it will get easier for us - I just think the next few weeks will be very hard.

clothaddict · 23/04/2009 14:02

No advice but I am currently doing the same- as I write this my DS is at nursery for the 4th time! I had 3 settling in sessions progressively longer and he has not enjoyed the process much, crying on and off. In this afternoon. I am supposed to be studying but can't concentrate! I do hear that it does get better! I wanted him to start getting used to afternoons just now as I return to work in couple of months and these couple afternoons supposed to allow me to study. Guilt is a mothers constant companion I am starting to feel! Hugs to you I feel the same. Now someone else come along and tell a really nice positive story o fhow they love it after a few weeks...

clothaddict · 23/04/2009 14:04

The fact we are straight on to mn nursery forum says it all!

Pinkjenny · 23/04/2009 14:04

It does get better. I remember the nursery manager hugging me at the door on more than one occasion as I sobbed when I was leaving dd . She is 23mo, and I no longer sob on the way out, and neither does she.

Most days she wants to stay and play when I pick her up! It takes some getting used to, but once you do, it'll be fine.

alexdrake · 23/04/2009 14:14

My DS has been going to nursery for 8 months, 3 days initially and now 4, he loves it.

I can remember feeling awful when initially leaving him to settle but he was fine as soon as I left, he cried the first few mornings he went full time but that stopped within two weeks and we've never looked back.

It will get easier I promise, when you collect them spend time talking to the girls about what your little one's have been doing, how they were, what they ate etc and you'll soon get a feel for how they're really getting on. Bet they're fine!

jaz2 · 24/04/2009 13:04

I know exactly how you feel - I felt the same when DS (then 8mo) was settling into nursery. In the weeks running up to him starting I used phrases like "I've got 3 weeks left with him" - subcontiously thinking that someone was taking him away from me. When he started I felt dreadful, and realised it was the same feeling of emptiness/greif I had when my mother died.

However, he gradually got used to the (lovely) nursery, I began to trust them (I won't bore you with the irrational worries I had!), and nearly 2 years on he LOVES the place - and it has helped him become a friendly, confident little boy. There have been ups and downs, but by being a very "involved" mother, and taking an active interest in the staff and what happens at the nursery, I feel that it is a sort of family.

I occassionally worries about him when I was at work, but I am ashamed to say that that wasn't very often. I'm sure if you are happy in your job you will feel the same.

I am sorry you feel so sad, and hope that things get better very soon.

PartOfTheHumphreysGroup · 25/04/2009 15:41

I am going through this too! Had three settling in sessions so far and have one more next week before she is there for three days a week. I have had some days when I feel very down too. It's like they'll be out there doing stuff and you're not with them, very sad.. have to keep reminding myself that I will still see her every morning etc, it's not like I'll never see her, just not as much as now. I think we'll be ok.. Most people seem to say a good couple of weeks before they settle and I presume that is once they are going for their normal sessions.

I have to say dd does seem to be slightly better each time, she wasn't crying when I got there the last 2 times (although not exactly happy!) but she still cries when she gets there as she doesn't recognize the place or the people yet and it's all different. I'm fairly confident she'll get used to it though. The longer sessions seem to be relatively better than the first 1 hour session as there is time for a nap and food (always going to cheer her up) so she gets to do normal things and it's a distraction of course.

I also spent a day in work yesterday, kind of a settling in session for me and it really wasn't too bad. Dd stayed with dh so I didn't have to worry about her but it really felt like the end of maternity leave so I was dreading it. I cried driving to the station and nearly again on the train when I saw a sign for a baby change
but once I got to work I was busy and didn't have much time to miss her and then come hometime I was just super excited about getting home and it was so lovely to get home and squeeze her :-D
I'm feeling far more relaxed about going back properly in a week now and I'm sure we'll all be fine.

foxinsocks · 25/04/2009 15:44

I think it's normal tbh. I had a few teary days in the loos at work when dd was a baby and going to nursery.

Thing is, you get over it. Time passes so quickly and you learn to really enjoy the time you have together.

It's a learning process and it's just like moving to the next stage tbh.

Hope you are ok when you start back and everyone is nice to you!

gardeningmum05 · 25/04/2009 15:50

of course you are are a mum and its our job to feel guilty, and if you are like me, you are very good at it
unfortunately we have to work, but its for your family you do it for!

like fox said, you will get used to it, they will enjoy it and there is no better feeling in the world when you collect them and they run at you and give you a big hug

cityangel · 27/04/2009 13:51

I am finding this really tough too. He has only spent 4 hours at the nursery and has already had vommiting, diahorrea and now conjunctivitis so isn't even at his settling in session today I am emotionally coping as badly as I expected and keep wishing I could be a bit stronger.

giantkatestacks · 27/04/2009 14:00

Am the same - started settling in today and am really quite unhappy about it - there's loads of little pfb things that I would like to change and yet know I cant.

HaventAClue · 28/04/2009 14:59

It's normal and it will get better, my DD started nursery 3 days last summer when she was 7 months and I went back to work, felt terrible leaving her and thought I'd be damaging her for life etc.
Now she's 15 months and whenever we tell her it's a nursery day she's pointing at the front door and her buggy and gets quite cross if we dither getting ready to go! She loves it and I suspect she's even slightly disppointed when it's not a nursery day...
She did catch lots of lurgies for the first few months but we got through it and now she's only ill when a tooth is imminent so once every couple of months or so, and it's much less scary now she's older.
hope this is some consolation, it does get better and you will get back into the flow at work and get your confidence back (that took me a few months as well) and stop worrying constantly,
good luck

FCH · 28/04/2009 15:08

I cried the night before DS's first settle session, and after I picked him up, and for the next couple of days, and was in floods the night before my first day back at work. He didn't cry about it at all!

11 months on he still loves nursery and I enjoy work (except today when it is rubbish and I am on here trying to avoid it!). He has had every bug going, but he doesn't seem to mind that either!

giantkatestacks · 28/04/2009 16:37

At the end of our second settling session today (and the first one where I had left dd) it was clear that she hadnt actually noticed I had been away - am not sure if this is better or worse

Wigglesworth · 28/04/2009 20:32

Hi everyone, thanks for your support, sorry not returned sooner, had internet issues all sorted now though.
My DS had his first full day session today and he seemed to enjoy it. He didn't even know I had gone. I dropped him off at 8:15am, I managed to hold it together but burst into floods of tears when I got into the car . I went to get some shopping and started crying in the baby aisle of Tesco, luckily it was 9am and I was wearing a baseball hat so no-one could see. When I came home I went into his room and just sat down and sobbed holding his blanket .
I went to pick him up at 3pm and he was sooo happy to see me, he gave me a huge smile and was being really noisy and shouting and all excited. I think he enjoyed his first day, he was really knackered tonight and fell asleep half way through his bedtime feed.
Thanks for all your support, I go back to work on Thursday , it feels like the end of an era really I never thought this time would come.

OP posts:
PortAndLemon · 28/04/2009 20:37

I started back at work mid-February and felt exactly the same (except that DD is a second-born). It is pretty much fine now, though -- I'm actually enjoying what I'm doing at work now and DD is happy going to nursery and isn't even slightly tearful when being dropped off (although she's gratifyingly pleased to see me at the end of the day). In a lot of ways it was easier once I was back at work than it was during the settling-in period when I was mooching around missing DD.

giantkatestacks · 29/04/2009 08:50

Good luck at work wigglesworth - I go back thursday as well. I cant believe its come round so quickly and am terrified that I wont be able to get back into the swing of things. I remember feeling very much like this last time though and it went in a couple of months.

Darkmere · 29/04/2009 13:42

Hoped you ladies wont mind me joining... this is exactly the thread I have been looking for. My DD has just started nursery and is doing 3 full days a week. I don't go back to work for another few weeks but when I do her days will be so long... 8.15 to 5.30. ATM I pick her up around 3 and she is absolutely shattered

Dropping her off is just unbearable. The first couple of times it wasn't so bad but she now seems to recognise it and knows I am about to leave her so she clings and clings and gets very upset. I call about 10 mins after I leave and they say she is fine but it is so hard.

It just feels so wrong to not know what she is doing every minute of the day... to not know how she got her clothes mucky or when she got the food in her hair. All parts of her day that the staff tell me about and that goes in her little book but it is not the same as actually watching her myself.

Im afraid I am not much help to you Wigglesworth but I wanted to let you know you are not alone. I feel desperately guilty about it but know I have to at least give this a go. I need to work and I do my love my job... just hope it gets easier.

clothaddict · 29/04/2009 14:42

Well today is my DS third week (2 afternoons at the moment), still cried (he did!) when dropped off today but I feel a bit more optimistic.

What do you do at drop off? I go into room and hand over bag, say hello, then I've been going quite quickly but not sure whether should hang around for 5 mins or so rather than a drop and leave. What do others do, or what are other nurseries like about drop off?

One thing is for sure from the replies, sounds like we are all in the same boat, feeling sad at leaving them and them upset at being left. At least not the only ones!!

I just feel sad that we spent lovely time together all day pottering around, doing garden, chatting away, out on la la and all of a sudden it feels it stops, but of course it doesn't! (and for me at least at the moment he is very part time, but that will increase).

HensMum · 29/04/2009 14:53

I do drop off and leave fairly quickly otherwise DS gets upset. I would like to hang around for a couple of mins but if I got into the room with DS he thinks I'm staying and doesn't want me to go but if I wave him off at the door he's fine.

Wigglesworth, it's a horrible feeling isn't it? I dreaded coming back to work but it's not actually been that bad (been back 6 months now). Once we got into the swing of things, and DS settled into nursery, it was fine. Of course, there are days when I don't want to drop him off but we're all used to it now.

londonboots · 29/04/2009 20:21

i had the 2nd settling in session for DS today and left feeling awful! i rang DP and told him i changed my mind, i didn't want to go back to work and wanted to stay home! it is a lovely nursery and they are lovely people but it really hit me today that it's just not the same. i know there are plenty of upsides to nursery - for both me and DS - but the guilt and, as clothaddict says, the thought that all that special time together ends, even though it doesn't... anyway it's comforting to know that other people are going through the same thing! x

clothaddict · 30/04/2009 15:06

Wigglesworth, how are you doing? How was return to work? Londonboots we are all the same!

I'm slowly feeling th nursery thing getting easier on me. Not quite so for him yet but they say he was more settled, although still a bit wobbly yesterday. In today again.

clothaddict · 30/04/2009 15:08

Do you think the age makes a difference? Some people have suggeste dto me the younger ones (6-10 months) settle maybe a bit easier but the 12-18 month can find it bit harder to separate?

My DS is 12 months and he is certainly finding it a bit hard yet many friends who put their children in earlier had less/ no problems.

PortAndLemon · 30/04/2009 16:16

I certainly think it's harder if your DC is slap bang in the middle of a separation anxiety phase, but when exactly they have those phases varies.

Something I found with DS was that changing rooms can set them back into a tearful mindset in the mornings, no matter how gentle the transition is made by the nursery. It wasn't until he was nearly three that we managed a room change without a week or two of clinginess in the mornings.

And (while I sympathise on the not having seen the mud-paddling experiments or the Weetabix-as-hairgel technique first hand) there is something reasonably satisfying about the long list of pooey nappies that you haven't had to experience first-hand (DD is cooperating in this regard; DS used to save up his poos for morning and evening while he was at home )

giantkatestacks · 30/04/2009 20:55

My first working day was ok - very uncomfy in the boob dept as the day went on but then I expected that...and good grief isnt the tube terrible - even worse than I remember it...

dd hadnt slept all day even though she normally has 2-3 hours all told but she was happy and making all kinds if new noises when we got home so it cant have been that bad.

I have a feeling shes going to get more clingy when she realises that its not a new, exciting and novel thing but a thing that happens every week.

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