Babies: 3 - 6 Months

Working Moms

I want to start by saying that I have a wonderful child care situation.  My MIL is retired and is caring for my LO during the day at our house.  She is actually living with us right now, but when she moves out she will still come to our house to keep him.  I feel so incredibly lucky to have this...BUT...

As a working mom, I'm constantly worrying about being away from him so much.  Will he develop a closer relationship with her than with me?  I'm sure this is a very commom issue with parents who work (maybe I can also post this on the working mom board), so I want to know if anyone has any advice.  The sensible part of me keeps saying, "You're his mother and that relationship can't be trumped by anything.  Of course he's going to love you the same!"  But then the other side of me just feels horribly guilty and sometimes even jealous that she gets him all day and I only get him for a short time in the evenings and on the weekends.  Sometimes I find myself watching him interact with my MIL and comparing it to how he interacts with me.  It makes me crazy!

 Just looking for some kind words of advice...

Re: Working Moms

  • I work full time.  DD is in daycare two days, with MIL two days and my mom one day (but mom picks her up from daycare after work).

    I'm not going to lie - it's hard.  I had to accept that I would probably miss some firsts.  But I have to work.  DH doesn't make as much as I do so until that situation changes, we need child care.  I have never felt that someone else was raising her, or that she would get closer to them than me.  Others are caring for her until she can be with me again.  She smiles big when she sees me after a day away and she reaches out for me.  It makes whatever crappy day I've had completely worth it. 

    It's really hard, but you'll be ok.

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  • Trust me and others when I say that he won't forget who his mom is. Yes, he might interact with your MIL differently then he does you but, it isn't because he loves her more or sees your MIL as his mom. Rather, it is just a different relationship he has with her compared to you. I see that with DD1 all the time...even with people who don't care for her on a regular basis. She just has a different relationship. When I pick her up at the end of the day she could be sitting on our in-home providers lap eating a candy bar (for example), but the second I walk through the door she would drop what she is doing and run over screaming MAMA!

    I think it is harder when they are younger at this age then when they are 2-3 because when they are small like this, they tend to focus on whoever is infront of them and it might seem as if they would rather be with their care provider then with mom.

    Being a WM can be tough, but just remind yourself that it isn't about the amount of time that you spend with your children, but the quality of that time spent. I think as a WM my time is very precious with my daughters since I am gone 5 days a week. I make a point to try and devote all my non-working/non-sleep hours to my children the best that I can.

    "Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body."
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  • I don't really have any good advice except to tell you that you're definitely not alone. I feel the same way, except we go to an in-home as both our families live a couple of hours away. It makes me sad to know that when he's upset somebody else is the one that is comforting him. At first it wasn't so hard for me because I was BF and I had that bonding time/connection with him. But now he refuses the breast and only takes a bottle, so it really stinks. I had the same thought as you, though, on what if he sees his daycare lady as a mom and not me. And I know when he starts talking and if he calls her mom, I'll probably go to my car and cry.
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  • You're definately not alone. This is my first full week back and it sucks knowing that I'm missing out on most of his waking hours. However, I try to remind myself of the reasons why I work and then try not to cry when I leave in the morning:)
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  • No kidding, I worry about the same thing.. but when I walk in that house.. my little guy is waiting for me!  As soon as I walk in.. he's smiling ;)
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  • I worried about the same thing with my DD.  We lived with my parents at the time and my mom watched her for me a couple days a week while I was at work.  I thought she would think my mom was her mom and call her 'mama'.  That didn't happen at all!  Babies know who their mom is, even if you work a lot.  It will be fine!
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  • I know what you mean, I feel the same way, sometimes, but some how my son knows I am  his mom, and not her.

    Just try to expend as much time with your baby as you can, playing and getting to know him, that is what really matters.

  • I work full-time as well and my mom is LOs care giver. I have thought the same things as well. I actually talked to my mom about this and she was so sweet. She reassured me that grandma is grandma, not Mom. She actually put up pictures of me and DH next to his diaper changing table and points to each of us when changing his diaper and says "there is mommy/daddy, don't pee on mommy/daddy" (my LO loves to pee as soon as the diaper comes off). 
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