Working Moms

DREADING returning to work.

I've been lucky enough to be off for ten weeks with our daughter, also our first child. I go back next Monday, and keep breaking out in tears in anticipation of leaving my daughter. This might seem like an offensive question, but i really hope not and honestly want to know: do most working moms really regret going back to work deep down?  I hate that we'll never get this time back when she's so small and extra precious...

Re: DREADING returning to work.

  • Nope, I don't regret it. Do I miss my kids sometimes.....sure. But I have no regrets.

    The anticipation is worse than the reality.  I like my job and like having something that is 'mine'.   I like supporting our family and showing my kids what it is like to have a successful career that they can enjoy. 

    I do miss them, and do wish I sometimes had more time....but then there are days I'm grateful I can go to work and pee in peace. Stick out tongue

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  • I have been back for 6 days. Came back last week. I hate it. I dread every night going to bed because I know I have to leave DS. He is STTN, so I know when I put him down, I won't see him till after work. This is the worst thing I have ever done. I am working on trying to go PT, since I am miserable. Right now, DS is home with DH, but he starts daycare on Monday.
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  • imagemadhatter2003:

    Nope, I don't regret it. Do I miss my kids sometimes.....sure. But I have no regrets.

    The anticipation is worse than the reality.  I like my job and like having something that is 'mine'.   I like supporting our family and showing my kids what it is like to have a successful career that they can enjoy. 

    I do miss them, and do wish I sometimes had more time....but then there are days I'm grateful I can go to work and pee in peace. Stick out tongue

    All this - the anticipation is the worst part.  It is hard somedays and other days its not, but mostly going to work and taking DD to daycare is just what we do, its not something I am constantly beating myself up about or fretting over.  If you've chosen a good daycare for your LO, you will see them blosom and begin to form strong loving bonds w/ their little friends and the daycare teachers and you will see how much they are learning/growing and how much they enjoy daycare. 

    There are days when I wish I had another 10 hours, but I don't regret working at all. (And I enjoy peeing on my own too!)

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  • I'm in the same boat - going back on Monday and not looking forward to it at all.  I am hoping that it will get better and eventually I'll have the same attitude as the other posters about enjoying their work.  Ideally I'd love to do something where I could be home by 2 or 3 every day, but 6-6:30 is the reality with my job.

    I think the best we can do for now is to feel glad that we've been able to spend so much of this precious time at home with our babies and rest assured that the day care will be just fine.  When I really think about it, I know I was in day care after a few months and I turned out just fine and have great relationships with my parents, right...?

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  • Nope - no guilt at all.
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  • Same as KatherynMD and MadHatter.

    The anticipation was far worse than the reality.

    If  I was a SAH, I would wish we had financial stability. I would worry about DH loosing his job, our single income, and us both looking for work where we'd have no seniority. I wouldn't have nice cars and home, take fun vacations, a 401K, and affordable health insurance. I would worry about DD getting the proper developmental activities and socialization that she thrives on at school. I would miss the intellectual stimulation and creative outlet that my job allows me.

    Do I miss DD some days? Absolutely. But I would be denying myself and my family what is making us happy right now if I was to SAH.

    I also have to remind myself that when I ask my SAH friends how much time they spend 1-on-1 with their little one, they say after housekeeping, errands, and other distractions, few hours. I get a few hours with DD too. I just focus on making those few hours 100% about DD.

    I didn't have my daughter to bottle her up and keep her from the world at home with me. I had her so she could experience the world. My working affords me to show her the world.

    Some day, you will see how she lights up when you pick her up at the end of the day. Last week, DD came to the train station to pick me up on my way home. I stepped off the train in my work clothes to her DD exclaim, "Mama, you take a big train to work! I want to work like that when I get bigger!" Yeah, she's not even 3 yet and I am showing her she can have it all.

    Hang in there. The first weeks/months are rough, but once you get the swing of things and focus on the positive rather than the negative, you will be ok. And if you still are not ok, you should look into every way that you can SAH or go part time. You are doing your family and your job a disservice if you are miserable all the time. The right attitude will get you far.

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  • imagejenuine:

    I didn't have my daughter to bottle her up and keep her from the world at home with me. I had her so she could experience the world. My working affords me to show her the world.

    . . .

    The right attitude will get you far.

    word!

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  • Katheryn, you are a part of why I am ok being a working mom. Suround yourself with people who encourage you and support you for being a working mom. Katheryn is one of my peeps. Big Smile

    Tthe next time I am in DC, Ella and Jackie are having a play date.

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  • I wouldn't say I necessarily regret going back to work...but there are definitely days where I wish I could SAH. We could have pulled it off financially, but I really enjoy my income. I've been back to work for about 4 months now and I'm not going to lie...there are some days that it is STILL very difficult.

    However, there are also some Sundays where I'm ready to get back to work.

    It all depends. I think I'm suddenly having a semi-hard time with it again because I'm pregnant and emotional. Embarrassed

     

  • Nope, no regrets and I'm happy to be a working mom.  I enjoy and am grateful to have an identity outside of being a mother and a wife.  I enjoy the lifestyle that our dual income family provides.  I enjoy knowing that my son is interacting with other children his age everyday, doing fun activities and learning and playing.  I cherish the time that we have together, because quality is so much more important than quantity in regard to time spent together. 

    I'm not sitting him in front of the TV or dragging him around to run errands all the time.  I'm not scrambling to find playdates and mommy groups in order for us BOTH to get socialization.  I'm not staring at the clock waiting for my husband to get home so that I can get a break.  I'm not agonizing over coupons and feeling guilty every time I buy something non-essential for me or my son.

    Nope.  While I always wish that the day had more than 24 hours in it, I'm pretty darn happy being a working mom.

    The anticipation of going back is almost always far worse than the reality.  And you can spend the next few days crying and feeling sad, or you can spend them just enjoying your time with your daughter.  When you return to work you can immerse yourself in feeling sad and bitter, or you can focus on all the positive things about your life and situation and have a happy life.  Your choice.

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  • imagejenuine:

    Same as KatherynMD and MadHatter.

    The anticipation was far worse than the reality.

    If  I was a SAH, I would wish we had financial stability. I would worry about DH loosing his job, our single income, and us both looking for work where we'd have no seniority. I wouldn't have nice cars and home, take fun vacations, a 401K, and affordable health insurance. I would worry about DD getting the proper developmental activities and socialization that she thrives on at school. I would miss the intellectual stimulation and creative outlet that my job allows me.

    Do I miss DD some days? Absolutely. But I would be denying myself and my family what is making us happy right now if I was to SAH.

    I also have to remind myself that when I ask my SAH friends how much time they spend 1-on-1 with their little one, they say after housekeeping, errands, and other distractions, few hours. I get a few hours with DD too. I just focus on making those few hours 100% about DD.

    I didn't have my daughter to bottle her up and keep her from the world at home with me. I had her so she could experience the world. My working affords me to show her the world.

    Some day, you will see how she lights up when you pick her up at the end of the day. Last week, DD came to the train station to pick me up on my way home. I stepped off the train in my work clothes to her DD exclaim, "Mama, you take a big train to work! I want to work like that when I get bigger!" Yeah, she's not even 3 yet and I am showing her she can have it all.

    Hang in there. The first weeks/months are rough, but once you get the swing of things and focus on the positive rather than the negative, you will be ok. And if you still are not ok, you should look into every way that you can SAH or go part time. You are doing your family and your job a disservice if you are miserable all the time. The right attitude will get you far.

    I am giving you a standing ovation in my cube right now.

     

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  • I actually had the opposite experience.  I dreaded going back to work and was so unhappy about it, but really didn't see how we could afford our (modest) house without me working.  So I went.  I've been back at work almost 3 years.  DH got laid off when DD was a year old; thank goodness I still had my job!  DD loves school; I love having my own thing.  My close SAHM friends have had a pretty rough time financially and emotionally (from being "on" 24/7).  In a few months, DD will have a sibling.  My DH now has a job that would allow me to stay home.  And I've decided to remain a working mom.  This might end up being great for you!  If it isn't, you can always quit your job later but it's a lot harder to quit your job now, find out staying at home isn't for you and then have to find a new job, ya know?  Hope things go well for you!  Your little one will be just fine!
  • wow, jenuine really hit the nail on the head!!!  i couldn't agree with her more.

    you will go back and your DD will be ok.  the first few days or even weeks will be rough, but its nowhere near what you're imagining. 

    i went back to work part time (3 days/week) and feel like i get the best of both worlds.  often, the days where i'm at work are far less exhausting than the days when i'm at home.  i always pictured myself a SAHM, but i love having a career and financial stability.  i often miss DD during the day, but i dont regret working for a second.

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  • I don't regret going back to work at all. To me, I'd rather work and contribute to the lifestyle we want then stay at home and just get by. If I were to stay at home, I'd still have a nanny and I'd still get out of the house for at least 5 hours a day(this is exactly what I did when I was on maternity leave). Now, I get out of the house but instead of going shopping and spending money, I'm going to work and making money;).

    DH would have to be making HUGE money for me to stay home, since I'd probably be spending a lot more money shopping for fun and still spending on childcare. I'd want to have the same lifestyle if not better since if I was home all day I'd want a bigger house. But that's just me. I love my time with LO and appreciate being with her much more because I have to be away from her during the week. I also work four 10 hour days, so I do have an extra day home with her which is nice. I guess I'm lucky that I know where I belong right now!

     

  • I don't regret it at all - I don't do well staying at home.  I need to work. 
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  • imagecindybaf:

    I don't regret going back to work at all. To me, I'd rather work and contribute to the lifestyle we want then stay at home and just get by. If I were to stay at home, I'd still have a nanny and I'd still get out of the house for at least 5 hours a day(this is exactly what I did when I was on maternity leave). Now, I get out of the house but instead of going shopping and spending money, I'm going to work and making money;).

    DH would have to be making HUGE money for me to stay home, since I'd probably be spending a lot more money shopping for fun and still spending on childcare. I'd want to have the same lifestyle if not better since if I was home all day I'd want a bigger house. But that's just me. I love my time with LO and appreciate being with her much more because I have to be away from her during the week. I also work four 10 hour days, so I do have an extra day home with her which is nice. I guess I'm lucky that I know where I belong right now!

     

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  • I had the same experience as you with my first DD.  I cried everyday until I got to work and was in agony while at work.  I guess everyone is different.  I felt like my daughter still needed me at 11 weeks old (and I know she did).  If only maternity leave could be paid and for at least 6 months.  I also felt like I screwed myself out of ever staying home because I got a masters degree so my income is 50% of our total income.  I never imagined wanting to be a SAHM.  The things that got me through work are focusing on work while you are there (it will make the day go faster), ask whoever is with LO if they can text you pictures, bring a photo, I also enjoyed time pumping because it made me feel like I was doing something for her.  It will get easier over time.  The first few weeks are the hardest.  The second time around I am finding it easier to think about going back to work (although still dreading it) partially because I sometimes need a break - 2 under 2 is tiring.  And also because my Dh and Mother who watch her while I'm at work are more seasoned with childcare...last time it was a new thing for both of them.  Anyway, good luck to you...
  • I am with you. I am 100% dreading returning to work.  Financially we could pull off me staying at home but it would require that we put off paying on DH's student loans until he gets out of residency.  With the interest in those loans I just can not bring myself to do it.  I keep telling myself that me returning to work for the time being affords DS a lifestyle that he would not have if I stayed at home right now.  I had no idea that I would want to SAH before DS was born.  I have a professional job that I worked very hard 6 years for in college...but having DS has changed me.  I will be leaving my job 16 months after I go back....and that day can not come soon enough for me. 
  • I am lucky enough to work from home and I have a part time nanny (she works 3 days/ wk) who I finally broke down and hired when LO was about 9 months old. Yes I feel guilty all the time that I have to work and wish I could spend more time with LO. I feel especially bad the days where I am working and watching her and I get frustrated with her. I dont think it'll ever go away. I have a great job and should feel lucky that I can work from home and peak in on LO whenever I want, but I still wish I didnt have to work. If I had to drop LO off at a daycare, I dont think I could do it.
  • Bravo, Jenuine! Love your response and agree completely.

    To the OP: I was in your shoes last year at this time. My first day back was Monday, Jan. 4 and even though I knew I wanted to be a working mom, I was dreading that day. I shed a few tears when I left DS that day, but I haven't shed a tear since and now a year later, I can say that being a working mom has been better than I even could have imagined. 

    Of course I miss my boy during the day. But I enjoy having a career and a life apart from DS and I can't imagine not working. He does so well in daycare, the time I have with him is amazing, and DH and I are on equal footing and are really happy in our marriage.

    Absolutely zero regrets. I love my life and I can't wait to have more kids (and still be a working mom!) Just wanted to tell you to hang in there, and that the anticipation is much worse than the reality.  You'll be ok, and like Jenuine said - a positive attitude will take you a long way.

    Good luck! 

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  • I have been back at work for 6 weeks.  It has been tough learning how to juggle and we still have a ways to go, but I know that this is the right choice for our family. This board has been really helpful, mostly because of posts like these where all these ladies remind me of the positives of being a working mom.
  • I go back on Jan. 3rd...tomorrow....and I have cried off and on all week and all day today.  I hope that tomorrow when I get to work I willl feel it is all worth it.  Luckily Grandma will watch baby but I am jealous that she will catch the precious smiles and even the crying is great.  Also, being home when my 10 year old is off work has been great too....but I guess I have no choice.  I offer no help, just consolation that you are not alone in this.  Good luck.
  • im still struggling. i just thank God that i have a good job to support my LOs needs. count your blessings.

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  • Thank you all for your honesty, empathy, and encouragement.  I'm sitting at my desk right now, first day back to work.  Time to focus and work the day away so lunchtime comes and I can go nurse her.  I am lucky she's so close...

     

    And like someone else said, I never imagined I would want to be a SAHM, but meeting this little lady changed everything. I feel like my law degree is more of a curse than a blessing, because I bring home as much or more than my husband all months of the year except Nov - January (he works full commission and those are his good months).

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