Looking for support... — The Bump
Working Moms

Looking for support...

Hey everyone! I am a FTM. My son was born at 32 weeks and had a 2 week NICU stay. He is healthy now for the most part just issues with GERD and milk protein allergy. I go back to work on February 3rd and I am absolutely dreading it. I have already cried and cried and cried. He will be staying with my sister Monday-Thursday and with my mom on Fridays. I work at a bank so I have set hours and don't work nights but I just hate to leave him. After the whole experience of him being early and going through the NICU I don't want him out of my sight. I just feel like as his mom I should be the one taking care of him everyday. I have this huge guilty feeling for leaving him. I'm scared he will forget me or not bond with me as well since I won't always be with him. But staying at home just isn't an option right now for me and DH. Any positive encouraging words would be greatly appreciated!

Re: Looking for support...

  • Most moms feel this way. It's hard but the anticipation is much worse than actually going back. Your LO will not forget you or not bond with you. Push chores and all unnecessary things until after your LO goes to bed and just spend every minute you can when you get home with him. Doing that helped me feel like I wasn't missing out on as much. Good luck!!

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    sdlaura
  • Yup - the anticipation is much worse than the actual experience.

    Before you go back I'd recommend a couple of afternoons or mornings to go shopping and get some new work clothes, get your hair cut/colored, get a mani/pedi, get a massage - basically do something nice for yourself. It will help you get out of "new mommy" mode and back into "kickass career woman" mode.

    I know you're going back on a Monday, but the advice I got and am glad I followed was to go back in the middle of the week. My first two days back were a Thursday and Friday, and I only worked half days. It made for a nice transition and didn't seem quite so daunting.

    And don't worry about the bonding issue. My son spends the day with my mom and it is a wonderful arrangement, but I have never once doubted that he is the most bonded to my husband and me.
    VegasGal1978[Deleted User]Meery82
  • I'm sorry that you went through so much. Having a baby in the NICU is a traumatizing experience even if everything turns out fine. Try to go easy on yourself and know that you are doing the RIGHT thing for your baby by providing the income that your family needs right now. 
    You can do this! Take it one day at a time!
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  • Wow. Seriously, switch your perspective. You are leaving your baby with family members so you can provide a good life for him. You are valued as an employee, a wife, a daughter, a sister, and you will be valued as a mom. It's hard, but if you can fake it til you make it as far as your outlook goes, you are all going to be better off. Be your own cheerleader here. You can do it! (And you are your baby's mom. He's always going to know that and love you for that.)
  • You got this! With time- you'll start to find your new 'normal' and you'll appreciate the time you have with him. As PP said, push chores to after he is asleep so you can spend all the time with him. You are lucky you have family to watch him so you don't have to worry about transitioning to a day care, but I understand that it will still be tough. See if your sister or mom can send you pictures throughout the day, that always helps me when I have sad days (which I still do!).
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  • It can be hard and I totally understand about the guilt, but remember, you are a great mom!

    It doesn't matter if you can't be there for him 24 hours a day. Everything you do is in the best interest of your son. Working however many hours a day doesn't make you less of a mother to him.

    Everyone else said this - but you just make the most of the time you have with him, as fully engaged as you can be.


  • Ditto what people said above about pushing off chores until after he is asleep. You may have done some kangaroo care while in the NICU. It certainly something that you can keep up doing when you get home whether it's 20 or 30 minutes of your daily quiet time together and it will be great for him too.

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  • I work crazy hours AND nights and my LO is a MOMMA'S BOY! :) you will bond just fine and all will be OK. I felt the same way when I went back but it is much better when you get back in the groove and establish a routine.

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