Feeling Guilty About Returning to Work.

Updated on August 25, 2008
J.H. asks from Chesapeake, VA
6 answers

Hello Ladies. I'm having a case of the "guilts" about returning to work after 11 weeks of maternity leave. I am very comfortable with the childcare center we have chosen, but I just can't help wondering if my son will miss me during the day. I wonder if I am worrying too much and could use some words of wisdom from experienced moms!

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answers from Norfolk on

Congrat's J.!!
Women suffer from depression 2-1 compared to men. We feel like we are supposed to do everything in life...be strong and independant and have a career as well as be everything to the family members, and constantly the caregiver.
You will find this tourmoil is your cross to bare.
If you want to go to work then that's awesome. Some people are blessed to know what they want to be when they grow up and have found a job that gives them great fulfilment and if you really like your daycare giver than you are blessed. However, if you are looking for a reason to stay home then just sit down and figure out everything you as a stay at home mom does and then figure out what you would pay each person per day to do those jobs and then try to figure out how you would put worth on the kisses and the giggles and the playtime and cuddle time and that is a probably a fraction of what it really is worth. You could never afford to work to pay for people to cover what you would do for free. It's just a normal thing to never be sure if you are better served staying home or off at work. I've never regretted being a stay at home mom...I think my teen and I are much closer than most because I'm a constant. My hubby being a Navy career man comes and goes but I'm always here...an anchor for the children. I've always been big at volunteering and have brought my daughter and son into that....another thing that needs to be done that has no price tag on the surface...time is priceless.
Hope this helps. I don't think there is a wrong answer. Whatever your heart tells you, and yes you can change your mind, but don't ever beat yourself up for the decision you made at the time you did it.
T. K.



answers from Colorado Springs on

I also felt guilty when I had to return to work (teacher) after my son was born. He was about 4 months old at the time and my mom came to watch him so I could avoid daycares. I hated every minute I was away from him and I actually missed the first time he crawled and that just broke my heart. I finished out that school year and started looking for something to do from home instead. I just didn't want to miss any more firsts and I wanted to be the one to raise him. I'm sure you can relate. Anyway, long story short, I found my WAH team and business and haven' tlooked back. I love it. The best part is, i get to be home with my son and we're expecting baby #2 in the summer. There's just something to be said about being your own boss and setting your own hours.



answers from Washington DC on

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answers from Dover on

I think any young child is going to miss mommy when their time together shortens throughout the day. My 5 year old started kindergarten this year, and she was so sad and crying everyday when I came to pick her up because she just missed me! Beaks a mommy's heart! But of course, she has to go to school, and get her education. Just an experience we both have to get through together. I am not sure what the circumstances are around your going to work and leaving your child in daycare...but as the last person stated, if there is a choice, it is good to weigh out everything with both choices. And if your worrying is something you will continue to carry, take great note of that. I am all for moms staying at home and enjoying their children as much as possibe, but I know in the world today...many moms don't have that choice. For my daughter, we purchased a little locket, and made a necklace together to put it on, and put mom and dads picture inside it...so that if she misses us at school, she can flip it open and feel better. On top of that, I have a matching necklace that I wear as well! I know something like that wouldn't help us as moms feel better when we worry, but think of what might. If going to work is the right choice for you, then maybe started out at half days or something, so you can pick him up early the first week...so you can see how he is doing, and just how much he is really torn up about you being at work. It will either put your worries to rest, and you can start with your full days..or make you re-evaluate decisions so that everyone will be happy. I have never worked since my kids have been born, but I can imagine it would be no easy choice to make! Let us know how it goes. Oh yeah, and my hubby is AF.



answers from Washington DC on

I know exactly what you are going through, I am a first time mom myself and also work full time. I started taking my daughter to work at 13 weeks old and it was the hardest thing I've ever had to do, but trust me when I say that it will get better. It will most likely take a few weeks, but it will get better. The fact that you feel good about the daycare provider that is watching your child is certainly a big thing. At this stage in your baby's life, they have no sense of separation yet. Even if you are still nursing your child and are pumping at work, he still will be okay and not feel the "loss" that you think he may. I have several friend who all work full time and still are fantastic mothers. Just because you go back to work full time doesn't at all take away from the relationship or connection you can have with your child. Just hang in there, you are only normal to feel guilty in the beginning and trust me when I say that it will get better!



answers from Washington DC on

You probably are worrying too much if you are worrying about how much you are worrying!

I have a 14 month old son and went back to work when he was 4 months. In my job, I also travel for about a week every six weeks and it can really be hard. At the same time, the separation will get better for you. It did for me. I found that having pictures of him and getting updates by email during the day from the sitter were very helpful.

One thing that has really helped me is to realize that for my family situations are constantly evolving, and the best that I can do is make the right decision for our family with the information that I have at the time. Looking back only second guesses my decisions and the "what-if" scenarios don't provide any insight, only worry.

Comparing my decisions to others only brings more stress into my life. When I finally whole heartedly accepted that my life's plan is just that "MY life's plan," I was able to shed the guilt that comes when those mothers that are able to stay at home share that they have never missed a "first."

Enjoy the blessings that you have, the opportunities that you have, and the time that you have with your little boy. Feel confident with your decisions and make changes in your situation if and when you feel they are needed.

All my best!

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