Working Moms

Working Moms ???

Hi, so I will be returning to work next week.  I'm kind of upset about it all because I'm worried I will lose my connection with DD and she will be closer to her grandma (MIL) who will be watching her every day (and who lives with us). When DD is 2 she will be going into day care because I really want her to socialize with other kids and learn how to share because we don't have any friends with children her age or close to it. Anyways, I guess this is a 2 part question, do you feel like you are missing milestones with your LO and also just wondering how many of you grew up with a mom who worked and how is your relationship now with her? I have no insight on this really because my mom passed away when I was young. *tia*
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Re: Working Moms ???

  • I work 3 days a week and 2 days a week from home. My grandma watches my LO so I know he is in great hands. It is really nice because I can see how much she loves him. I haven't missed any milestones yet, but I ask my grandma to send me a picture (or a few pictures) of my LO daily. It really helps to see him smiling throughout the day. And it melts my heart to see how excited he is when I go pick him up. 
  • If you take 5 minutes and read some of the threads below, you'll see that your question has been asked and answered several times on just the first page of this board.
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  • SAHM's miss milestones too.  So... you're going to miss stuff, regardless if you work or not.

    Past that, quite honestly, I've found that many milestones are kind of in the eye of the beholder.  what REALLY counts as a first step?  Rolling over is a process - it's not just something that happens one day w/ no warning what so ever.  I could feel his first tooth before we saw it.  So- what really counts as the real "first"?

    As for your relationship w/ your DD - yes, she will grow closer to your mom by being w/ her every day.  But she isn't going to grow closer to her than she is to YOU.  Mom is mom is mom is mom.  Trust me. 

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  • In terms of milestones, my kids never missed any so I did not miss them either. :-) Look at it the positive way.  Reaching a milestone is not a one time event.  If it bothers you a lot, ask your MIL not to tell you if she sees something for the first time. 

    No matter who watches your child, you are her mom period, and she knows it.  To give you an example.  My sister has always being a working mom and my mom has always watched her kids because she retired at the time my sister had her first (the oldest is 14 years old!). Sis went back to work after 8 weeks and works long hours.  Therefore, her kids have spent a LOT of time with my parents.  They have a great connection with my dad in particular but their mom is #1.  It has always been like that. 

    I grew up with a working mom.  Our relationship is great and I have a lot of respect for her. She worked really, really hard so we could have a better future. 

  • I work as a guidance counselor, so I have a pretty flexible schedule with time off etc.  I would LOVE to be home fulltime, but financially, it is just not doable.  Now, I do have the summers with my kids, and last summer it was just DS and I.  It was PLENTY of time for me to be with him and still feel like I worked and it benefitted us.  By the end of the summer both DS and I were ready for a change :-)

    I dont feel like I have less of a connection to my kids bc I work.  I do know that if my MIL lived nearby, she would be our childcare, and I may feel differently with that scenario, but I honestly think it would work out ok.  DS loves going to the babysitter, and really enjoys spending time with the other kids.

    My mom was a SAHM, while my husbands mom worked.  We both are extremely close to our moms.  His grandma cared for him while his mom worked, and he is very close to her as well.  My grandparents took an active role in my life too, so I am also very close with them.

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  • hocushocus
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    No I never feel like I'm missing out. In fact I often find work a reprieve from some of the drudgery of child rearing. But my child is 18 months and starting to throw tantrums.

    After one year my mother worked most of my life (with some brief periods of unemployment). We're very close and I think she's an excellent mother. We had nannies when were very little and then I went to daycare around 3 which I loved and still remember.

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  • First, let me reassure you, you are not going to lose your connection to your daughter.  YOU are her mother.  I've always worked full-time and although my kids love their aunt who watches them it is not as though they have the same relationship with her as with me.

    As for milestones, no, I don't feel as though I am missing them because I am there for them.  So what if your daughter takes a step while with your MIL?  You'll pick her up and then she'll take her first steps with you that night.  That's good enough for me.  Even if I wasn't working I wouldn't be with my children 24/7 and so inevitably I'd still miss some "firsts."  Anything they do with your MIL they will do with you and that will be your first.

    My mother always worked full-time and we have a good relationship.  We're not the kind of mother/daughter best friends that I know some women are, but my mother just isn't that type of person and that wouldn't be different had she not worked.

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  • My DD has been in daycare since she was 12 weeks old.  She has had the same provider everyday.  She has no questions who her mommy is and that's me.  She loves and trusts her dcp but once mommy shows up to pick her up, she would much rather hang out with me than dcp.

    And I didn't miss any milestones, I saw her first steps and heard her first words.  Its such a process that you won't miss anything.

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  • My Mom worked full time from when I was 4 weeks. We have a fine relationship.

    TBH, I really don't think it makes that much of a difference. By the time, they will  have solid memories of you, they will be going to school every day.

    DS definitely knows me as "momma" even though I work full time. We have a wonderful bond. His face lights up when he sees me, he loves to be held by me every afternoon after he gets home from DC.

    As far as milestones, I agree that it is a process. It is not like in the movies, when suddenly they take their first steps and the music cues and heavens shine down. You could be turned around, in the shower, in the bathroom when it happens. And that's OK. To me, that's not what is important. It's making the most of the time you do have together. Working makes you really cherish that.

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  • I definitely think I would relate less to my mother as a fellow adult if she hadn't worked. So many of our conversations are career-related. And she gives invaluable advice in that area.

    Some of that can be related to the age at which you have your first child, of course. I didn't have LO until 40. 

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  • ai&Jasai&Jas
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    I think what you are feeling is very normal. Many women (not all) do feel this way in the beginning, but the it does get easier. I think that with the first baby, milestones are such a big deal. I was so excited when they happened and frankly I didnt care if they happened at daycare or with me, because It was the first time I had seen it. My DD rolled over and did a bunch of stuff when I was home and yet still missed them. Now that she's 3.5 yrs I honestly don't remember when she did crawl or smile, or say mama.. I do remember her walking by her self 3 days before her birthday, but she had done it before for my DH when I was in the shower.

    I've worked full time since she was 12 wks old and she stil gets so excited to see me after work. She definitely knows who her mother is. My mother was a SAHM and I wish she had gotten out of the house more. When my parents divorced, her life changed dramatically because she couldnt get a job and had lost a lot of her confidence in the work force. She ended up being a daycare provider to make money. I'm close to her, but I dont remember doing lots of fun stufff. She was always doing chores and we watched TV or educational videos!

    Anyway-- its more about quality then quantity to me and I try to enjoy evety moment i have with her. Mind you, I love her daycare and am so grateful that she has friends, amazing teachers and she does all these wonderful projects that i could never come up with myself! I love that she's independent and has a strong personality :) And she loves that we go to work and she cant wait to do the same when she's a grown up :)

     

  • Thanks everyone for the support. I guess I'm just most nervous about DD being closer to MIL then me because MIL lives with us so it's not like I can just pick DD up at the end of the day and bring her home. I am excited when DD is a couple years old that she will go to daycare because like a pp mentioned they do so many fun and creative activities that I would never ever think of.  This is my first and I am very sad that I feel like we have this special bond that is going to get broken when I go back to work, but I probably am over thinking all of this and to be honest it will be nice to have some adult time. I may consider bumping my hours down though so I can spend a little more time with DD ;)
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  • image kristennd:

    I definitely think I would relate less to my mother as a fellow adult if she hadn't worked. So many of our conversations are career-related. And she gives invaluable advice in that area.

    Some of that can be related to the age at which you have your first child, of course. I didn't have LO until 40. 

    Full disclosure - I'm barely out of first trimester, and haven't parented yet, although I am very one with the choice to continue my career and have my child attend daycare.  What I wanted to address was your question about relationships with moms who worked full time.  My mother was SAH with my two sisters and I until I was 13 years old until she went back to school to get her masters and start her career.   She was a reluctant SAHM - she wanted to be working, I think, but just didn't feel that she could until we were older.  As a child, I could feel her unhappiness, and I internalized that.  I will never forget the day my mother started her masters program - I was so happy for her, but more happy for ME because I didn't have this woman relying on me anymore to be the source of her identity (not sure I could have articulated that at 13, but in hindsight, that's precisely how I felt!).  It was when my mother got her first full time job that our relationship actually became good, and she could be somebody I could relate to (this was when I was a grown woman).

    So, I don't know if this helps you, but I just wanted to let you know that being a SAHM doesn't guaranty a great relationship or connection with your child.

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