Full-time Job = Full-time Guilt

Updated on April 09, 2008
J.R. asks from Chicago, IL
83 answers

I have a 9 month old at home and every morning when I leave for work I pray that "today" it won't be as hard to say good-bye. But it doesn't seem to get any easier. In fact, today I found myself crying in the car on my way to work after my daughter practically threw herself out of my arms and into the very familiar arms of her Nanny. Don't get me wrong, I love our Nanny, but I swear to you most days I feel like my daughter thinks I'm the baby-sitter and that her Nanny is Mommy. I want to believe that it is all in my head but days like today it's hard to. My work does not allow much consistency as far as hours and there are days I am here from 9am until 10pm and am unable to even kiss my daughter good-night. The guilt consumes me. I think about leaving my job for a couple of years until she is in pre-school and getting back to work then. But what if that is the wrong decision? What if I give up my successful career and then I am never succesful again? What if I am no good as a stay at home Mom? What if, what if, what if! I'm confused and looking to anyone who might understand what I am feeling. Can any of you relate?

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So What Happened?

Thank you doesn't even begin to cover my appreciation for ALL of your responses. What wise words from so many WONDERFUL Mothers. There is a huge comfort knowing I am not alone. I have much to think about before I make any decisions, but it seems clear that some kind of change is needed. I will continue to read and re-read your responses for added support. Thank you again for your time and thoughtfulness.

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S.S.

answers from Chicago on

Hi J.

i had the exact same issue until i realized two things...1) if i could be successful once i could do it again (i was an assistant principal at a middle school) and 2)my daughter will only be this small once so i'd better relish in this time now because it will not come again. good luck on whatever you decide.

S. s.

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T.C.

answers from Chicago on

I feel the same way. My daughter is 5 mo. and I work full time. She seems happy to see the babysitter and her two young children when I take her there in the mornings. And I am happy going to work. However, I feel sooo guilty. I feel guilty that I'm not spending enough time with her. I feel guilty that I like going to work. I worry that it will eventually be like what you describe where she runs to the babysitter and I'm left feeling like an inadequate mom. Are there lots of moms that feel this way?

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R.B.

answers from Chicago on

Wow, I'm shocked how many women on this site are telling you to stay at home. I don't think being a stay-at-home mom is right for every mother or every child. It would not be good for me, I know that for sure. I don't like housework and I would get depressed. As it is, I have a ton of positive energy for being with my kids because I have a stimulating life at work. Many stay at home moms that I know have a very hard time with it, so don't assume it's necessarily better for you and your daighter. That said, it does sound like you're working too much. My advice is to think flexibly about your options, beyond either staying at your current job vs. staying at home full time. Can you look for another job that has less hours or less days a week? Can you go back to school and pick up another degree for these few years while your daughter is small? Think what options you have that can keep your career from petering out (and keep you stimulated) while giving you time with your daughter.
BTW, it's great that your daughter loves your nanny!
Good luck, it's so tough to combine a meaningful career with good parenting. You have to be creative. There's a book called Composing A Life and it's all about women who were creative and nontraditional in making meaningful lives in light of various constraints.

R.

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M.M.

answers from Chicago on

Hi, J.. Whewwww, this is a tough time, I know. Go ahead and cry today, tomorrow.... here's a kleenex, hon.

I was 24 when my son, Noah, was born and I worked full time. I took 8 weeks of maternity leave and had to return back to the office. So from very early on, he was in a daycare situation.

And yes, I hear you and feel you. My heart felt ripped from my chest every day and all through the day. Especially the mornings he had a fever or cough.... and then the "walking on eggshells" with work when I had to ration my "call in sick" cards. You know what I mean; they're not always "understanding". Add to this, I was one of the few employees under 50, so no shoulders to cry on, save a grandmother or two.

I missed my son's first step, his first word and his first "out of diaper" experience. This KILLED me and I decided I didn't deserve to be anybody's mother. I almost entered a form of depression, but was too frikkin' busy and exhausted to have time for it, good lord.

so, I stuck it out. We had to, I was the benefits provider, my husband a carpenter with "iffy" winter work, etc...

A bit later, I gave birth to my second child - by THAT time my husband's career path stabilized (we were very young, understand) and he could now provide our benefits. I gave my notice and switched gears to SAHM (but also WAHM doing minimal consulting for friends with small businesses and computer issues... it's not an easy transition suddenly cutting off one income).

In the long run, I witnessed Grace's first steps (9 months old - brother helped teach her), first words and initiation into toilet use (17 months old - again, brother taught her). I was grateful to "witness this FINALLY"... for about 3 minutes until I realized all the fanfare her brother had received for these achievements; hell, a virtual PARTY in his daycare setting. And here's the 3 of us clapping our hands, saying "yeayyy" and me making phone calls.

Noah definitely had the better "first" experiences, I have to say. It's not about me anyway, it's about them.

I digress, sorry.

So for 2 years, my son spent every week day two doors down from our house at a little daycare center (run by ANGELS, absolute angels).

On the days I'd show up at 6pm and my son would be in the arms of one of the retired Grandmothers, in a rocking chair, it was hard when he clung to her and didn't want to come to me.

But because of that, I NEVER worried about him or his safety; his innocence... none of it. My heart ached, yes - but there was a "surety" in what I was doing, as well (bittersweet, I know).

J., in time - truth be told - I learned about the comfort of strangers, that family goes beyond blood and that I don't "own" my children. I couldn't expect him to place me above this "other family" of his just because we have the same genetic code. I learned a lot in that heart wrenching, 2 year boot camp of life lessons. It made me look at my children as individuals with individual dreams, passions, rights.... creatures of life I had to learn to "engage" and not expect to "mold, shape or control". I learned A LOT, thank God. And I don't believe I could have learned so much in such a short time from ANY other experience. Some things can't be learned in the absence of humility and faith.

Now, had I not done this - worked, had my heart broken every day - we might not have had Grace.... or 4 years later, Elisabeth. At least not with the ease that we did.
My job paid 100% medical. It covered Noah's birth, my pre/post natal care AND the same with Grace. My job afforded me the path I ultimately took. It was ONLY a job - but it was a necessary bridge. I never had to worry about health care for any of us. By no means was "that job" anything I was passionate about. It was good money and, like I said, a necessary bridge - for that time.

Twelve years later, I can write to you and look back on that time and tell you I fully understand and accept gratefully "how that went down", despite my tears, my heartache.... all of it. I have NO regrets.
Why? My son spent 2 years being socialized and loved by strangers who turned out to become family. By the time Grace was born (they are 18 months apart) he was potty trained and pretty self sufficient, never saw his baby sister as competition, he actually tried to parent her, became very outgoing and outspoken (especially now).... Bonus: He got all his colds/flu's out of the way early and had the immune system of a cockroach by the time he was 4. :-)

Noah is my oldest and my only son - perhaps he needed to become an independent authority figure in our dynamic. He and I are very close today and he knows I rely on him to be a third voice of reason around here sometimes. He's good at that, though.

That's how those few years played out and it was supposed to be that way, I understand that now. I believe everything happens for a reason and you can't force necessary situations. If something isn't right, J., warnings go off all around you. Things fall apart, you begin to feel distant, you begin to "not care".

Guilt is a form of warning, sure - but it's also a strong sign of love. It activates your conscience.

Your daughter knows and loves her mother. Her nanny is her friend/playmate the way an older sibling is. She loves her nanny, too. Try to accept that your child can love and love and love many people the way you know you have limitless, undivided love for her, your husband... future children. Love has no limits.

In my opinion, you will be able to use this experience years from now when you tell her, with full conviction, that a woman can make her mark in the world, that she should be able to depend on herself first and that she will do anything for the welfare of her family. This sounds impertinent now, doesn't it? But time flies and you are merely a vehicle for her. You are her teacher. Mentor-ship is right up there with LOVE.

A good teacher does not instruct, a good teacher inspires a child to want to learn. You are setting a good example, J., even if you won't see that until it's in your rearview mirror.

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H.R.

answers from Chicago on

Dear J.,

I am a stay at home mom with a 13, 11 and 7 year old. I left a fulfilling teaching career ( and I had just got my masters degree) when I was 32, when my oldest daughter was just born. It was difficult to do, but I knew it was the best choice for my daughter and I can tell you I have NO REGRETS. There are many people who can do your job, but you are the only mom for your daughter. You will always be able to go back to work, but you will never be able to get back the years you have when you daughter is young. You worry about being "no good" as a stay at home. You are her mom, you are what she needs. The concept out there that you can "do it all" is a lie. I would highly reccommend that you let your career and financial gain be the things that you put aside right now, not your daughter. There are great resources and support for stay at home moms. Here are a few books I would recommend. Home by Choice by Brenda Hunter, The Power of Mother Love by Brenda Hunter. There is also a great non-profit organization, called Hearts at Home that offers books and workshops etc. I am not here to say that the choice to stay at home is always easy or without sacrafice, yet it's value and rewards far out way anything you will gain in the marketplace.

Sincerely, H.

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A.S.

answers from Chicago on

Hi J., I understand how you feel. When I was pregnant with Twins I though how am I going to leave them when I'm done with my maternity leave. It is very difficult, but for us my husband and I both work which is the way it had to be so I did what I needed to do, and our nanny at the time was like family so I know our daughters were in good hands, and I called to check in throughout the day to make me feel better. You'll get through this. But I do have an alternative for you, I now work part-time from home, I have my own health and wellness business that has given me the opportunity to have a more secure future, be my own boss, be out of corporate america and make my own business decisions and only have to work 10-15 hours a week. I don't know if you have ever heard of Arbonne, but it's a wonderful company that makes amazing amazing products that are pure, safe and beneficial for the whole family, and I've been using the products (skin care)for three years. I decided to look at the business opportunity when my upline and friend talked to me about it, and thought this is a gift that I can't pass up. Now I'm home with my girls, and make my own hours, and will be making full-time income working part-time building my own business. I am expanding my business team and if you are interested and open to hearing about a way to do this, and to build financial freedom, and have the freedom to be home, let me know and I'll be happy to set up a time to get together with you to talk more about it.

Where do you live, are you in the area? I'm in Buffalo Grove.

You can e-mail me at [email protected]____.com

I hope you have a great day, and try not to feel bad, your daughter is in good hands, and you'll see her as soon as you get home, and then those feelings will go away.

A. S

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J.P.

answers from Chicago on

I am going to be very one sided, sorry. You can ALWAYS work!! Your child/children will only be this age for a very short amount of time. I totally wanted to go back to work and after 3 months home with my son I knew there was NO WAY I could. I found a part time job and stayed there for a little over 5 months (I was still miserable)but knew we still couldn't make ends meet. I then arranged to watch another person's child (I wouldn't really recommend this though). I did this for 10 more months. FINALLY I am at home with my child with no other work related responsibilities. It took awhile to get to this point but I had to. I wasn't guilty really for leaving him but I wanted to be the one to raise him. I believe, in most cases, that you can make it work. You can cut corners financially, you can find part time work, you can work from home, etc. I think if you are still so upset by leaving her then in your heart you know where you want to be. Don't deny yourself these precious years with your baby. If you can swing it financially go for it!!!!!

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K.

answers from Chicago on

there are a million opinions on this front and in some ways I worry that by asking this you're setting yourself up to feel even more guilty. There is no one size fits all answer and nobody's absolute truth can possibly be yours. I work full-time for financial reasons but have made some career choices that allow some flexibility so that I can be more available to my kids. As far as worrying about your daughter loving your nanny more, she will always always always know you're her mommy. Be happy that she feels safe and comfortable with your nanny. Don't take her love for her as somehow at the expense of her love for you. Children have an infinite capacity to love. Now that my kids are older (1 first grader and 3 year old twins), I actually feel that it's more important that I be available for them now (especially the one in school) than when they were babies. I find myself wishing more for getting out of the workforce now than before. That said, it's still not an option for us and my flexible work schedule has been a great gift. Work-life balance is a struggle for so many of us. This is still new to you. Cut yourself some slack, be gentle with yourself and love your daughter.

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L.D.

answers from Chicago on

Hi! I am a SAHM and I was very moved by your story. I have had this same discussion with many of my friends who are working moms and I want to tell you the same thing I tell them. When you work, you believe that if you stay home, that guilt you feel will go away. That's a myth - it won't. This may not make sense, but you will always feel guilty about something. I think it is an occupational hazard when you are a mother. When you are a SAHM, you feel guilty because you DON'T make any money. This is especially hard if you are used to the perks of a career, as I had. I have a wonderful husband who wouldn't want me to go back to work even if I wanted to, and I still feel this way from time to time. It's only natural. Your identity completely changes once you leave your work and decide to stay home. And there are never enough hours in the day - I feel guilty when I'm doing the dishes instead of playing with my daughter, and I feel guilty for playing with her when there is so much work to get done. It is a never ending cycle some days.
I think the most important thing is to determine why it is you work. The only way to raise a happy and fulfilled child is if you are happy and fulfilled. For some moms, this means working. For others, it means staying home. If you can answer this question for yourself, then it will help you decide what you should do, and also ease the guilt in whichever "job" you decide to take on full time.
I know this is a pretty succinct answer to a deep and complex question, but I hope that it has helped!

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A.K.

answers from Chicago on

Everyone's situation is different. You might need this full time job to keep your family afloat. That was the case with me when we had our first child. I was able to stay home until she turned 8 months. I had to go back to work because we just couldn't do it financial with one income. It was the hardest thing I EVER had to do. I never thought I would feel so much guilt in my life. I too cried myself to work most everyday for the first month. My husband didn't have a clue, because I thought I had to be "tough" when it came to this. I loved my job, but it was a very stressful position. I would have some crazy days at work and then I would need to come home and have enough energy to spend time with my ever growing 8 month old daughter. I actually ended up hitting a wall when she turned 19 months. I was so stressed that I ended up have an anxiety attack. I thought I was having a heart attack. Mind you I was only 26 years old at the time. Life was not good!! We left my daughter with my mother-in-law. My mother-in-law was fantastic with my daughter. But I totally resented her the whole entire time. I hated when she would tell me that my daughter learned something new. I was so upset that I wasn't the one to be there for her "firsts". My daughter would also run into her arms when we dropped her off. I started making my husband drop her off because it was way to difficult for me to watch that happen.

When I had the anxiety attack we decided (my husband and me) that I should not work for a little while. The plan was for me to get better then go back to work. It took me over 2 months to get back to my normal self again. After the 2 months were over we decided that I was going to stay home full time. My husbands job was doing better than it was a year before. We are not rolling in the money by any means. We actually had to give up a lot when we made this decision. But we feel that this is the best decision for our family.

Maybe you could just get a part time job if money isn't an option. Then you would be able to share that time with your daughter.

I can't relate to your concerns when it comes to losing your career if you stay home full time. That never crossed my mind. But I truly believe that some women are born to be stay at home moms and some are better off being working moms. I would never point a finger at a mom who decides that she would like to have a career over the possibility of staying home with her kids. Some women thrive more as a mom if they are a working mom. One of my sisters needs to work or else she feels like she isn't doing anything. We always joke with one another because I am obviously stay at home full time and she works full time. But my sister is an amazing mom to her kids and she is amazing at her business. And I couldn't see her doing anything else with her life. And she always tells me that she could never imagine me being a working mom. I was born to be a stay at home mom.

So my ending advice would be this: You do what you feel is going to be the best for you and your family. If this is way to stressful for you, then by all means take some time out to really reconsider where you are in life today. Because you don't want to look back when your daughter has graduated high school and regret how you did things. Because that will fall on your kids as they grow up. You need to be confident in the choice you make and be happy with the choice you make.

Good luck in your decision!
A.

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R.K.

answers from Visalia on

First off, the only "bad" stay at home moms are the ones that don't try! And I guarantee you, staying at home is a full time job. I work more now than I ever did in the corporate world. I did put my career on hold. I have been a SAHM for 2 1/2 years and don't regret any of it. I pity women that leave their children in the care of others. It has been a little bit of a financial struggle, but there is no amount of money that is worth all of the things that my son and I have shared. I haven't missed a thing. I got to see him roll over for the first time, take his first step, hear his first word. There is nothing more important to me than having the time that I have with him. It is time that you can never get back. I will go back to work when he starts school. And as far as adjustments and develpment are concerned... my son is far ahead of other children his age in many areas. He is only 2 1/2 and he can clearly say his ABC's, verbally spell his name, is completely potty trained, can count to 20 in english and 10 in spanish, uses our home computer by himself and has many other skills that a lot of children his age do not have. Yes, I do attribute all of that to my staying home. I spend time with him EVERYDAY expanding his mind. We go to museums, zoos, and play groups. There is no shortage of interaction. Stay at home and stop feeling guilty! That is what I recommend.

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K.M.

answers from Chicago on

WOW! I am so blown away by what so many people have done to sacrifice. We all do this to some degree and after having been in the upscale corporate world, then had kids, but financially couldn't afford it, I found a local job in the school district. But, then my husband lost his job and I had to find f-t work. What I didn't know then, but know now, is that you can contribute financially, you can stay home, you can still get out of the house and have adult interaction and you can be there for all those precious moments that you are missing now. Our economy is very tight, gas prices going up, the financial market isn't doing well, people are losing their jobs - basically nothing is a given.

Trust me, I have felt all of your feelings and was asking the same thing so many years ago. We, as mothers, try to do everything we can to make things work. We are usually the most accomodating people to "get the job done". I did that for years and have come to resent the fact that I never got a break, I didn't get to do the things I really wanted to do, I didn't get to see and be with my kids when it counted most and then not only guilt, but anger set in. I felt as though someone had taken away so many years of my life and I will never get them back. I sacrificed so many years and didn't take a vacation, or go shopping when I wanted. I guess what I am saying is, don't let this happen to you....or anyone else who has posted. Over time, you will wish that you had done something else that was a compromise. I learned the very hard way that you can have the best of both worlds.

I now have my own p-t business. No one tells me what or when to do it. I do it around my family's schedule and when it's convenient for me. I can work as hard or as little, depending on how much I want to make. There are no contracts, only me. I am accountable for my actions and it sounds like you and most everyone else, are very responsible people who all have this opportunity for you. If I knew back then, what I know now, I wouldn't have had all these emotions and wouldn't have sacrificed so much that I did. Kids grow so fast and before you know it (I know some days it feels like you will always be changing diapers), they are gone off to college, to their friends house, dating and then...move out. I was the one who put my foot down and looked for that balance. I had heard about it, but just didn't know where to look.

That's what I do now, I teach people how to own their lives back, feel productive, make an income that pleases them and show them how to do it!! It can be done and I can teach you. I wish I could go back in time, but I am giving back by letting women at your age understand that they can do a home based business and have their cake and eat it too! It's great and I would be happy to share what took me so long to find with anyone who feels like you do. Check it out, you never know if this could be the break that you were looking for. I know it was for me and so many others. Let go of the guilt and start your search for the right opportunity that will give you what you want most - time and financial freedom! It does exist and I can help.

K.

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T.H.

answers from Chicago on

Hi J., This is really the first time I have responded to someone but, I have so been where you are! 11 yrs. ago when my now 12yr. old was just a baby I was going through the same thing. I was away from my family, I had my big fancy college degree and a job at MCI. I was offered a promotion and all I wanted to do was stay home with my baby! I would cry and he would cry-I understand. I knew that I had to make a change but I had no clue what. I would stay up at night watching infomercials, tried a few multi-levels and those didn't work for me. Anyway, through an answered prayer I have found an Unfranchise business that has not only retired me from the corporate world but my husband as well since we were both 27. It's an internet marketing business. A cross between QVC home shopping and amazon.com but with people power behind it. I will be happy to talk with you more if you are truly looking to stay home with your daughter. I am thinking 2 things: One is that no matter what you do, Your drive took you this far in your career. If you have that drive within you, You can achieve the same sucess no matter what you do. Two: I have a picture in my living room that has a child running on the beach. Measure of success: You can use most any measure when speaking of success. Some measure by the size house or their portfolio. However, the measure of real success is one you cannot spend... It's the way your child describes you when talking to a friend.

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A.W.

answers from Chicago on

1.Try not to feel so guilty. I was a working mom with a nanny for seven years. (Very similar to you, I had my first child at age 31.) There were many days I left before my baby was up, and came home after they went to bed. I always felt a little guilty leaving my two kids home while I worked long hours. You do what you have to do. If you have a good nanny, which it sounds like you do, your child will be fine.

2. Some days your toddler is going to be more clingy with the nanny than you. This happens and is a sign that your child is enjoying their time with her. (Much like what would happen with a grandma.) Try not to be jealous. Trust me, your child knows who his mommy is.

3. It sound like you are having a harder time separating during the day than your child is. Investigate whether it may be possible for you to get a reduced work schedule. I ended up working three 10-hour days for 4 years, and it worked out great. Then we were able to save money so that I could stay home with my third child. A lot of older working parents have told me that they felt that their kids needed them more when they got into primary school then when they were babies or preschoolers. So if you can't stay at home now, think of how you might be able to make the transition in a few years.

If you do want to stay home now, it will not be impossible to go back later. I've met plenty of moms who went back to work once their kids got into school full-time. If you leave your job, try to maintain your professional connections, so you'll have an easier time going back later.

5. Don't stress out about whether you'd be good as a SAHM. It will be so much easier than what you're doing now. (Working until 10 at night must be difficult!)

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M.N.

answers from Chicago on

Hi J.~

I have an idea....what if you took a week or two off from work and stayed at home with your daughter without the nanny. Then decide if this is something you want to reevaluate in your life. Can you work fr the company part time? Will they allow for you to work at home. If you came up with a plan and presented it to your boss would he be open to it? Do you have companies similar to you that do allow women to work from home?

I stay at home and work part time as a coach in swimming. It allows me to get out and interact of course with more kids but other adults etc. and that side of me is still fulfilled. I'm also attending a couple classes and looking to open a business in my home.

You will always be your daughters mom and how you spend the time with her is what matters. I respect both sides of being a stay at home mom and a Working mom. Both jobs are hard and both require patience etc. I love being home with my daughter but it isn't easy. She's attached to me every hour of the day and night. Again, both sides have the pros and cons.

I made the decision that was right for my family. Your lucky to also have a Nanny that you can trust. One more thing...I went to daycare etc. and yes I remember a lot of the time with my babysitter from when I was little but that doesnt take away my relationship with my mom.

Good Luck!

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J.G.

answers from Chicago on

This is a tough one. I also work full time in a job that should be VERY demanding and was before I had my son, but I am very lucky to work with people who are also VERY understanding. I have made it a point to try to be home every night to give my son dinner and put him to bed. There have only been a few nights where this didn't happen because I was swamped at work. Generally, after I put him down, I am able to get in a few more hours of work if need be. This has worked for us for the time being, as I am happy with his attachment to me. (However, admittedly, my work hours have suffered -- but I have decided to sacrifice this) Maybe you should try to start leaving work early so that you are able to see your son before he goes to sleep. Don't feel guilty about leaving work before your co-workers as you have much greater responsibilities at home now and they should understand (if they don't, who cares). If you need to talk to someone at work before this could happen, then do that. They should make accomodations for you. Not sure where you work, but in my profession, there is a big problem with women leaving as soon as they have children and many firms/companies are trying to do what they can to make sure they don't.

Also, take advantage of your weekends, vacation time and holidays. I never did before I had my son, often working both days on the weekends. But since I've had him, I generally spend both weekend days with him and try to take my holiday and vacation time -- but could probably still be better at that. Anyways, I feel your pain and wish I had at least one more day a week with my son as I miss him terribly when I'm working. Working from home would be ideal for me -- who knows, maybe I will make that happen in the future at some point.

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A.G.

answers from Chicago on

Hi there,
I was in your shoes once. I had my first child and needed to work. She would cry her eyes out when I left and I felt so guilty. I always wanted to be a stay home mom and I wasn't. I'll never forget the day when I got up for work very early, she was still asleep as I got her dressed brought her to the car, my car doors were all frozen so I had to lay her in the snow so I could climb through the hatchback to open the doors. I cryed all the way to work. That was my last day at work. I relized that if my heart yearned to be with my daughter that was where I was meant to be. Careers come and go but raising beautiful people is the greatest success. There is no other.

My mom had to work when I was growing up and I would always go to friends houses after school because their moms were home. I didn't like being alone.I think I could have stayed out of some stupid situations had someone been there.

I have been at home ever since. My oldest is now 16. I have 4 all together. I have absolutly no regrets. If you worry about money, it will all work out. You may have to change some things around but the trade off is so worth it. Follow that inner voice that is telling you that your baby needs you. Your career doesn't!

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C.R.

answers from Chicago on

Bless your heart! My biggest dream when I was little was to be home with my kids, because my mom was never home with me. Thankfully my husband wanted that too, so I have been able to do that. Not meaning to add more guilt to you , but my heart goes out to you! Even though I love being home, I DO like to stretch my mind and have a home-based business, where I work when I want to and around my family schedule. I love what I do and am passionate about the products. Have you ever heard of Arbonne? It is a wonderful company and the products sell themselves. I do not know if you have thought of this, but there is a way to match your income at home and even exceed it(!). I know it sounds unplausable, but it is possible if you want it bad enough. I am busy building my business, and it is exciting to see it grow. If you'd like more info email me [email protected]____.com or call me or check out my website and www.healthyoptions.myarbonne.com. There is lots of info there. You can't live your life full of regret or what if's. WHAT IF you could match your income and stay home with your daughter?! Hope to hear from you - change can be exciting! ~C.

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C.A.

answers from Chicago on

I know the last thing you need is someone passing judgement on you, so that's not what i want to do. I'm gonna say this with all the love and care that i can:-) The bit of advice i can give to you is to do your best to stay at home with your baby. OR at least work a part time job if money is an absolute neccessity. You'll never get the time back with your daughter. She'll grow so fast and you won't get to spend the quality time with her that made you want to have a little one in the first place:-) For me, it's been an extremely hard decision, not because I have a career (unless you call being a teacher in a daycare for 10 years a career:-) but because without 2 incomes we struggle every day just to keep our heads above water. BUT, when it was all said and done, I'd struggle forever if i knew that no one else was taking care of my kids, but me. Your career may make you happy and fulfilled but I'm sure you can agree that loving your daughter surpasses all of the happiness you get from your job. My feeling is that maybe the reason you feel so bad about leaving is because something or someone's speaking to your heart that this is not the path you're suppose to take right now. That's just my opinion. Guilt is real and it's our heart's way of letting us know that something isn't right. I used to cry when i'd drive away and watch my kids wave goodbye to me. I'd always say "God, why can't i just stay at home with my kids?" So---one day i just decided..." I don't care how hard it'll be for us, but I know I'm supposed to stay home with them." "It's my Job to take care of them and I WANT THAT JOB":D So, even though I wouldn't say I was cut out for this mom thing all of the time, I know that this is the job (for lack of a better word;-)that I signed up for and I wouldn't trade it for the world:-) I'll be thinking of you and keeping you and this situation in my prayers;-) Blessings to you and your family..

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E.W.

answers from Chicago on

I completely understand your worries. If you are able to stay home financially, and it means a lot to you to be with your daughter (which it seems very much like it does) you absolutely should stay home! They are only little once, and if you are successful in your job now, more likely than not you will be successful in your job in 3 years (at preschool age) or even 5 years (kindergarten age). If it is on your conscience as much as it is now, you must want to be with her very badly, and if you don't take that opportunity, you may regret it later if you don't stay with her(because it seems you value being with her A LOT). There are never any easy choices; follow your heart, because a mother's instinct is ALWAYS right. Good luck, and remember there is no bad choice, just one that is right for you.

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M.C.

answers from Chicago on

If you can afford to live without your job, do it. Nothing will ever compare to seeing every minute of your child. Being there for the first tooth, first crawl, walk. volunteering at the school, being there for room parties. Nothing will ever compare to that and one day she will be a teenager and want nothing to do with you and THEN she will move out and have her own life and you will not see her as much. Enjoy them now. They grow up WAY too fast.I enjoy every minute of staying home. Yes, some days are boring but nothing compares to the smile or hug that you get from being there. Money? That will always be a problem, work around it. Shop sales, cut back on outings, eating out, etc. I work part time as a bus driver. Get the same days off and get to take her to school. take care.

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M.M.

answers from Chicago on

J.,
My heart goes out to you. I still remember my first day back to work with my first born -- closed my office door and cried. My kids are 19 and 14 and I've worked most of their lives. But fortunately I was able to take a few breaks, each time for a year. And on both occassions, when I returned to the work force I went back to a bigger, higher paying job. So taking a break doesn't necessarily mean that you have to start over. Your experience and accomplishments don't go away just because you stay home for a while. You have to do what will make you happy and give you joy. In the end, life is short and our time with our children even shorter.

Good luck!
Mary

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G.H.

answers from Chicago on

How could leaving your job to raise your child EVER be a bad thing? Even if you have to cut out some luxeries, you descided to have a precious child---give up things FOR HER. That's what parenting is all about. NOBODY can have it both ways...I don't care what the parents say that have a career....THEY ARE WRONG! I see daily what happens to the kids that don't have a parent (non-drinking, non-drug doing) at home for them....cooking cleaning and taking care of. Any of my school teaching friends will say the same thing. Nobody can "have it all".

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L.J.

answers from Chicago on

Hello J. - I am 39 and I returned to work 4 months after my first was born (he is now 2). I know exactly what you are feeling because I felt the same things and sometimes still feel them. First, I chose to be grateful that he loved his nanny so much and I chose to believe that no matter how much he loves his nanny, no one replaces his mommy and the love that you give him. This helped me a great deal.

Regarding your hours, this is a tough one. I'm fortunate that my employer generously allows me to work 4 days a week, I leave the house at 7:30 and am home every day by 5 (and I work my butt off every hour in between). All I can say is you have to do what is best for you. Those sound like brutal hours whether you have kids or not. I don't know what you do or what your industry is, but I do know that in almost every circumstance, you have choices. If you want to be home to put your daughter to bed, either try to negotiate appropriate hours, or find a position that will allow you that time with your family.

I am 31 wks PG with my second and am contemplating staying home for a while. Again without knowing what your position is and in which field you work, because I work in the HR profession what I do know is that despite the news around a recession and the economy the baby boomers are retiring and there will be a serious shortage of talent for several years to come. Smart companies will find a way to attract and retain talented moms who need family/work balance. If you chose to take some time off for your family, there will be work waiting for you when you are ready to return. You are only 31, you have plenty of time to be able to spend a couple of years with your family, and to be able to have a successful career. If you've been successful once, you can be successful again, whether your job is outside or inside the home.

I don't know if this is helpful or not, but decide what you want to do and make a plan and make choices to make it happen. Sounds easier than it is, I know first hand. You can always have a successful career, but you only get one go-around at being a mommy to your child. That is what is guiding my thought processes, anyway, and I have about 9 years on you :)

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T.W.

answers from Chicago on

My opinion is this: If you hate going to work and can stay at home without putting a crippling financial burden on your family, do it. Being a stay-at-home mom is great, but it's not the only choice out there. If you enjoy your job, and are in a career field that will be very difficult to re-enter, stay in the job. It sounds like you have a fabulous nanny, and your daughter will definitely benefit from having so many people love her. My mom had to work full time my entire life, and we have always been very close. I knew she loved me and my sisters, but she also loved her job. I think a woman can have a career and a happy home life. The trick is balance. I just happen to be one of those women who has hated every job I ever had and never really had a "career" so staying home has become my career. I'm happy doing it, but I have friends that would go crazy if they had to do it. Trust me, there are days I kinda wish I did have a job purely for the socialization I miss out on.

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T.S.

answers from Chicago on

Hi J.!

I am a mom to three kids, 8, 10, 12 years old. I have gone back to work part time within the last four years. I remember the dilemma when I had my first.

I have a couple of thoughts about your situation. First, if you are working because you need the money for your family to survive, then don't feel guilty. You must do whatever it takes. But, I get the feeling it's not about the money, in which case I say take the leap! You cannot go back in time to recapture moments in your child's life. Staying at home offers both joy and challenges, but it is really worth every minute!

As for your skills in the working world, whatever you have will not be lost forever. You had to start out at one time and prove yourself to be successful. When that time comes again you'll just need to prove yourself again! Nothing is ever over or final!

I just want to encourage you to take this chance. Let me reassure that all of us have the feeling at one time or another, "Will I be a good mom?" or "I'm really blowing this today!" We are all learning on the job and the job changes as your child grows!

My best advice is to get connected! You're proably used to seeing many people every day, and it can be difficult to be alone. I found friends in my neighborhood with children. My friendship with them was invaluable! It's great to be able to help each other out and talk through issues/questions you're having with your children.

I really miss the days of my children home with me. It really did go by so fast!

I hope this helps!

T.

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J.P.

answers from Chicago on

I felt the same way when I went back to work. My mother in law watched my daughter four days a week, and my job let me have tuesdays off. Day after day I had to here my mother in law rub in my face how their day went. Just like you, I would sit in my car and cry. It tore me apart so I decided when my daughter was two to leave work. I once was a project coordinator and was in charge of millions of dollars in equipment daily. Now I'm a real estate agent, and attend bar a few nights a week. You make out what ever decision you make. I chose this, and wouldn't take it back for anything.

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M.

answers from Chicago on

I just wanted to let you know that I know how you feel. I was a stay at home mom and then went back to work. I have since come home again. I really love both worlds. I really think it is hard to decide what is best. I also feel that if I really leave my job it will be hard to get back into and I really like that world too. But then I look at my kids and think I am here now and later it will work itself out. I am lucky to get a two year leave but I really hope that what every you do you can live with. I also know that from when i worked I just made sure that i made the best of my time with her and that I did not consume myself with anything else. I wish you luck it is really hard to decide. I know this is off a little but I watched a show on TLC called the secret life of a soccer mom and I could really relate to those moms too. best of luck
M.

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A.

answers from Chicago on

Quit your job!!! You are obviously miserable. If you can afford a nanny, then you can afford to stay home. You child won't be young forever. You said it yourself, your daughter is precious...you need to show her that she is precious. When you choose to have a child, I believe you make the choice to give up some other things in life. I'm not saying to totally devote yourself to your child...make some time for yourself. Staying home is not easy..I have 4 kids and I stay home. You'll be a wonderful stay at home mom and you are already successful. When the time is right, you can go back to work...maybe you could even work part time. Sorry to be so blunt, but it sounds like you have already made some kind of decision. Good Luck to you...being a parent isn't easy, but it's all worth it!!!

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C.H.

answers from Chicago on

If you can afford not to work, spend time with your daughter. The years fly by much too quickly. I had to work because my husband was sick and even though my daughter tells me that I spent a lot of time with her, I did not fulfill my need to be with her. If you are a success once in business, you will be a success again.

The job of being a mother is the hardest most rewarding one in the world, but you only get to do it once FOR each child. You can't get them to go back later on.

Relax and enjoy now.

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K.G.

answers from Chicago on

Hi J.,

I cannot tell you how to handle this situation, but I can share my experience with the same guilt. I was 32 when I became a first time mom. I was working in my profession and in no way did I ever think I would consider being a stay-at-home mom. However, when my daughter was about 6-9 months old I started feeling guilty about the fact that I was so tired after working all day. I felt that my daughter was being slighted and that I was not a good mom. It got worse when the peek time at work came and I had to do like you, stay at work until 10/11 at night. My daughter refused to go to sleep until I got home. Even if it was midnight. I really felt bad then. I knew something had to change, but I didn't know at the time what or when. I found out I was pregnant when my daughter was 11 months. Knowing that I would be leaving two children if I continued working pondered my mind frequently throughout my pregnancy. Since I am a woman of great faith, I prayed for direction. I asked God to give me peace with whatever His will is for my life. I am now a stay-at-home mom of two beautiful girls and I'm expecting a baby in August. Though this is the most challenging job I've ever had, it is indeed the most rewarding. I found that the corporate world couldn't offer me the joy that I get being at home with my children. Every day is something new, and I get to experience it first-hand. There are some disadvantages like no sick, vacation, or personal days; no pay check. However the advantages totally make the disadvantages seem irrelevant. I wouldn't change a thing if I could. Even when I considered going back to work for the financial benefit of the family, I was convicted. The thoughts of leaving the girls with a sitter troubled me so that I finally said its not for me. I enjoy the peace that I have and feel that this is where God wants me to be.

J., I hope that you will find peace in whatever you decide to do.

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S.S.

answers from Chicago on

Hi J.,
I thought to respond to your request the moment you posted it, but hesitated and by that time you already had 70!
Read “Tips on how NOT to beat your kids....?” I found the request and some of the responses hilarious and see ‘stay at home moms’ point of view.

I work full time and my son goes to a Daycare next door to my office. It was hard for me the first year. Even with the fact that I could see him any time I feel that “guilt’ or just missed him. Babies’ months go fast. My son was the sweetest baby, now he is a typical terrible two! Not fun being around him all the time…
Few months ago I got sick and I stayed at home for almost 10 days. All this time, since he was born, I wish I could stay home with him and not HAVE to go to work. Well, I found out that I am not ‘stay at home’ type of mom. I think I knew that, but when you go right back to work, you kind of wonder.

When you are 31+ with first child, they are couple of situations – either you are tired from work and you want to take a break, stay home and raise children, OR you are on the top of your career, and it is hard to give it up and completely change everything. Yes, the perfect balance would be to keep the same job part time and be more at home, but this is not an option for everyone, and not with every job.

My honest thoughts are that I do feel guilt, I do miss him terribly, he is my sunshine /even when he is crabby/ and I wouldn’t change it for the world, BUT I like to go to work and can’t imagine staying home full time.

One advice – if you decide to continue to work – cut the hours; it will make you feel better.

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N.M.

answers from Chicago on

I understand your pain. I went back FT after my first baby was 9 weeks old. My mom babysat, which was great, but my daughter would want her to hold her when something was wrong. I wrestled with this and when she was 18 months old I left my FT job and went to a hospital and work 20 hrs/wk. I LOVE IT!! I have time w/ the kids (now there are 2) and time for me w/ grown ups. I'm a PT, so there are very flexible hours. You need to follow your heart and let it guide you. In my experience, that conversation that won't go from your head is God (in my beliefs anyway) trying to lead you. If you follow that feeling, you will always be where you are supposed to be, when you are to be there. I have continued to be a successful worker and mom. Not all days are easy in either place, fights w/ kids or non-cooperative people at work, but in general, it is the best of both worlds. Check your options for part time if you want to keep working, or even get outside the box and look into a line of work you've not done before. Good luck, and follow your heart to find peace again. N.

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J.W.

answers from Chicago on

J. -

I can certainly understand your feelings. I just recently made the decision to leave my 10 year career in commercial banking to stay at home with my 7 mo old. I would go through a lot of the same things you described in the mornings. I found I could not focus at work, my mindset was not the same as before I had her and I was continually disappointed in all the things I could not get done at work. I felt like a lot of it had to do with missing my daughter - but I also had a lot of stress in my job in addition to the feelings of guilt for being away from my daughter. Deciding to stay home was a big decision financially and career wise. I question myself everyday if it was the right thing to do...everyone at work has been extremely supportive of my decision to stay at home. I think that you have to do what is right for you. If you can make it work financially then go for it. You have to do what makes you happy and if it is being with your baby, then that's what you need to do. I hope this helped you at least a little bit. Hang in there :)

J.

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M.S.

answers from Chicago on

Forget the what if's, say a prayer, and go with your heart. I can't tell you what is best for you, but I can tell you one thing to keep in mind. They are only young once. Once you miss it, there are not second chances.

Background - Stay at home Mom to 1 dd.

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L.A.

answers from Chicago on

I don't know if I could be much help seeing as how I'm stay at home mom/aerobics teacher, so I'm a little biased in the way of being at home with your children. I know it's hard though to work out those inner conflicts of wanting to be successful career person and still being a good mother. The thing that comes to mind for me is an episode of Oprah that talked about this very thing. One thing stuck out to me. There was this woman who worked all throughout her children's lives and she said that she felt her children had all turned out fine, but that she regrets it because SHE missed out on everything. I thought that was interesting. I have a degree in child development and one of things we're taught is how indispensible the first 3 or 4 years of a child's life are. I guess it's a matter of weighing out what's most important to you and not worry about making the "wrong" decision. I think if you have your child's interest at heart as well as your own desires, you can't go wrong. Have you considered working part time? Another thing the Oprah episode mentioned was that you really can't have BOTH things at the same time, being a great mother and being a career person. You can have both, just not at the same time, so maybe just consider timing, like you said. Anyway, hopefully this is helpful! Good luck in your decision!

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K.Y.

answers from Chicago on

I can relate with your guilt. I am also the first time mom of an 11month old boy. I still work full-time for financial reasons and partially becuase I enjoy what I do. For me I cut back to 36 hours a week. This allows me to 4 nine hour days, which gives me one day a week to stay home with my son. Its not perfect but it seems to allow me to have a little more balance, which I think is key. You are a Mom now and need to do whats best for you and your family whatever that may be. No one but you has the right answer, because what works for someone may not be right for someone else. Hang in there its tough being a Mom, I think no matter what we do we will always have the guilt of feeling like we are not doing enough.

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T.S.

answers from Chicago on

Wow, I am really impressed by your honesty! I think all of us have gone through that. We are surprised by how much we feel and need to be with our kids. We are in the struggle to be superwoman and do it all and it leaves us feeling tired and guilty! Do what you think is best, it is never the wrong decision. I do think to try and find a way of compromise is best, once your kids are older they won't need you in the same ways anymore. Can you somehow do things with your career that can satisfy you and still keep you in the loop; like part-time. I work part-time and that is hard. However, with the way things are it is what I need to do. Good luck with it all, and congrats with your daughter!
T.

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K.D.

answers from Chicago on

So, what if you took a middle of the road approach and found a job that was less consuming. Also, I think you are being unrealistic about not being able to be successful again. You are obviously fantastic at what you do and that is not going to change. The problem for me staying home is feeling like I am not contributing to the family the way I feel I should. I am a single mom and I am in school full time and I live with my parents. It was a tough decision to quit my job move 2000miles to my parents and go back to school. It's a little different for me, but the feelings are similar I am sure. I love being home with my son, but let me tell you. It is so hard for me not to have an income. Half of the time I feel ashamed of not working. I was making a good living before and I could have worked and put my son in daycare and been ok financially. I love to work and I like to work long hard hours because I was really good at what I was doing. It is an internal struggle, but my son starts preschool soon and by then I will have a new career that allows me to have a more flexible lifestyle. I love this time I have with him. He is so much fun. Today I wouldn't trade it for the world, but I have my days. Days where I would much rather be looking at financials and having discussions with engineers about anything but poop. It is definately a trade off. You just have to decide what you want and have a long discussion with your husband about if it's what you both want for your family. I am greatful for the way things have turned out for me, but it's still hard not to be in the rat race with everyone else. I am sorry there are no easy answers. I understand the guilt, but understand too that even though I am with my son all of the time he still rejects me for others on occasion. It still hurts the same.. I just have to be greatful that someone else loves him too

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J.S.

answers from Chicago on

I think you may have answered it for yourself. If you are unhappy leaving your little one, then no amount of success in your employment will offset that. I can relate quite well, because before I had my kids I was working as an editor in publishing. And just a year before my first daughter was born, I was promoted to head of the editorial department. I had certainly spent a good deal of time paying my "dues" to get to that position (including positions with tedious duties and poor compensation and years of grad school), so in a way it was hard to "give up" what I had "earned." On the other hand, there will always be books to edit, and I will only have two little girls for a very few, short years. The time already has flown by, and next fall, one will be in second grade and the other in kindergarten. I have begun to think about what might be next, but I am also not in a big hurry, as I have had the opportunity to volunteer in the schools and in my community in ways I couldn't when I was working fulltime. To me, those are societal contributions which define success every bit as much, if not more, than my career did. I think it is important in our culture, which often presents motherhood as something that deprives us of successful careers, to also recognize when our work is depriving us of those precious moments in life, like kissing our babies goodnight. Thankfully, I think this is something that people are becoming more aware of, and that it is unfair to penalize people who stay home with their kids for a few years by not allowing them to re-enter the workforce and advance, and that we as a society persist in that at our own peril. I realize that staying home is not an option for everyone, and I also recognize what a privilege it has been for me and my family that we've been able to do this. This was brought home to me even further this fall, when my four-year-old daughter was diagnosed with a rare, incurable disease. I am grateful for all the time I have with both my kids more than I could ever have imagined. And don't worry about being "bad" at staying home--who says there's only one way to do that either? I'm no natural "homemaker." We're not baking cookies every day in a spotless house. You can involve your kids in activities that you are interested in, too, and get to know parents and children in your community even more. But I do understand how conflicted you feel, and I will not deny that there are sacrifices involved in raising kids, but there are inestimable rewards too. And I have no doubt if you have achieved success now, you will find it again. And you may find it in a greater variety of areas if you have the time and opportunity to participate in more things because of the time you've devoted to your family. It was definitely a transition, which has had it's lonely and bumpy moments, but I couldn't have imagined when I made the difficult decision to quit my job how huge the rewards would be.

Best of luck to you!
J. S.

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J.S.

answers from Chicago on

I can totally relate. I left a job that I really loved to stay home with my son. I have itched (since he was 6 mos old, and is now 3) to return to the working world outside the home, but the work I did before baby is not do-able on a part-time basis. I decided to stay home in advance of his birth, w/ no reservations, b/c I knew that I would have the same problems you're experiencing. One friend said, even tho you will probably miss work, you will never regret staying home with your little one. So, I encourage you to listen to your heart and then talk with your wonderful husband about options. Again, you will never regret being home, even if you just took say 6 months off, then reassessed how you felt again. Hope this helps. I wish you luck.

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R.K.

answers from Chicago on

You are experiencing a very real existential crisis. There are not any easy answers. Your pain is real. You are missing the full experience of being a mom. At least for now.

The fact is that everyone must make sense of their world as they experience it. What your friends do is almost irrelevant.

To fully answer the question you pose will require "soul searching" or more prosaically, a thorough understanding of how you got to this place in your life, and what your deeply held beliefs tell you, based upon your own idiosyncratic understandings that you have developed as a result of your life experiences.

Reaching clarity and understanding is not something that occurs automatically, but a few concentrated purposeful sessions typically will clear up the confusion and present you with an path towards your goals.

The task you are facing, essentially, is more clearly defining your "truth", so that your behaviors, feelings, and thoughts become more clear, and you are more at peace with your choices.

R. Katz, Psy.D.
www.richardkatz.org
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D.X.

answers from Chicago on

Oh hun...I can just hear the angst in your voice. Yes....it is hard. All of it, whether you're a stay at home mom, or a full-time working mom. Perhaps I can shed some light that the others have not yet shed, since I was much older than you (43) when I had my first and only child. Here goes...

You are 31, so if you do decide to stay home for a few years, you won't be that old when you re-enter the workforce. Yes, you'll have to take a few steps back in your career, but I don't feel that will be that big of a deal for you, since I get the impression you are pretty driven (just look at the hours you work!!!). If you were 41, I would give you different advice.

Like the others have said, they do grow up very fast....too fast if you ask me. And like that old saying goes, "on their deathbed, nobody ever says that they wished they would have spent more time at work." I think of that saying a lot, and that helps me to leave work at 5p and then spend as much time as I can w/my son.

Good luck as you struggle with issues that all of us moms had to struggle with (in some form or another).

(((hugs)))
D.

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M.R.

answers from Chicago on

If you can afford it maybe you should give staying home a chance. They grow up so fast. Take it from someone who has a 16 and 18 year old. I agree to go to California next year for our 20th wedding anniversary without our children and I am already dreading it and they will be 19 and 17 by then. The time really does go by quickly so take the time to enjoy being a mother, your career can wait.

L.C.

answers from Omaha on

Oh my. You have touched at the very heart of so many of our struggles as moms. I am going back and forth myself about working even part-time. I work in my house with an in-house babysitter, part time. I love being able to be here with my son, now 12 months old. But, all of the voices in my head question my decisions, daily.

First, I say, Listen to YOUR voice in your head! My interpretation, from what you say is that you are having a hard time not being with your babe. I think that's normal for any mom, no matter the circumstances. It wouldn't be normal if you Didn't feel that way.

Now here comes My two cents. I say, if you can, be with your daughter as much as you can. If you can swing part-time or taking some time off now, do it. If you are thinking about it, you obviously have some desire to do that. I know the desire to work is there, too. I left a full-time career to be home. I'm a bit older than you, but I know that I can pick up somewhere if needed. Look at women who have done it. Madeleine Albright stayed home with her kids for awhile and then went back to work! That's impressive. Look at what she's accomplished, like her or not. Believe it or not, you have time.
My own feeling is that being with a child is so rewarding and beneficial that it's so worth a change. It's not easy, though.

I hope that you find the balance that's right for you. It takes work no matter what. But, you really have to listen to your feelings about what is important to you. I'd love to hear about what you decide.

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R.M.

answers from Chicago on

If you can afford to, then cut your hours at work or find a part-time job somewhere else doing the same thing. Family is so important, especially when your children are young. I think it is good to be there. Working a full-time job, like Monday-Friday 9-5pm, is no big deal and won't affect her much. But working 9am-10pm will affect her and your relationship. I would seriously consider cutting hours or finding a new job with fewer hours. When she gets older and more independent you can go back to full-time. This is the constant battle of the working mother.

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K.P.

answers from Chicago on

The only way you'll ever know "what if" is by trying. If your current situation isn't making you happy, change it. I stopped working six months ago when my second child was born. I was conflicted about the idea of giving up my career, and then I got excellent advice from my sister who lives in Europe (and got 1 year maternity leave, by the way). She said, try staying home for six months then decide. Don't think of it as staying home forever. Make it a trial run. And so far, so good. I'm giving myself another six months and then I'll evaluate again.

As for your daughter jumping into the arms of your nanny: don't beat yourself up about that. Your nanny gets paid to play with your baby in a way that you probably couldn't even if you stayed home. So of course your daughter is happy to see her. I went through the same thing with my son, and it's tough. But it would be far worse if he hadn't loved the nanny and I had to pry him out of my arms every morning.

Hang in there - no decision is made without sacrifices.

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W.P.

answers from Chicago on

I agree that guilt is not the real reason to not work but there are plenty of others. Of course there is no one right answer. But my biggest deciding factor was, do I want to miss all these moments that my little one is experiencing? This is a period of his/her life you can never regain and it goes by very quickly. For me that was in a way a selfish reason, yet I also felt it was best for the baby. Money is only money. And yes, I wanted to be the Mom, not pay somebody else to be. I would also consider how much you are paying your nanny and does that all pan out financially. Maybe a middle road is in order, you could make less but not have a nanny, etc. Good luck....

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P.Z.

answers from Chicago on

J.,

All of us working mothers feel bad about leaving our kids. I am the mother of 4, my yougest is 10 years old, so the worst is past . . . let me tell you that my kids did not suffer from being in daycare. They learned to socialize, share, meet other kids from different nationalities, etc, and learned to be friends with all of them. They explored with a variety of art projects - if they had been home with me (which I would have loved but couldn't do) I don't think that I would have tried to come up with a new art project each day! I would recommend that the 13 hour days go away - that is really long to be away,and make sure that you take all you vacation time and even a sick day here and there (when you're not sick!) to just hang out. I also always made sure to be home if they were sick . . . I think that my career did suffer a bit when they were very young, but I made up for it - it certainly was worth it! My oldest is graduating from nussing school in May and is proud of me as I am of her!

Good Luck!
P.

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T.G.

answers from Chicago on

The hardest job in the world is being a mom. Just so you know, even if you are a stay at home mom you would still have guilt. It doesn't go away, it just maybe different, I think it's just part of our jobs. I have the best of both worlds, I am a proud stay at home mom that still works about 30 hours a week from my house. I am VERY lucky my boss has allowed me to do this, I am the only one in my company, but I am also the only woman ( I work in construction). My job has changed and I took a HUGE step back and will probably never go as far with my career as I would have if I continued working in the office, but for me working 70 plus hours a week and having a family just wasn't an option. There is only so much you can do in one day and in one life time. Talk to your husband, let him know how awful you are feeling. Talk to your boss, maybe you can strike a happy medium with your boss, you might have to take a demotion at work if you really want to keep your foot in the door. You didn't say what your line of work is, but maybe you can telecommute even just two days a week. Or even take a few years off. There is a balance here, you just need to find it. At the end of the day, you need to be happy with your life, if not then what is the purpose? I wish you the best of luck. Let us know how it works out.

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K.E.

answers from Chicago on

It is normal to have so many emotions - confused, sad, angry, guilty, scared... the list goes on. But the point is that you are trying to make the right choices and that fact makes you a good mom. There are no perfect answers or perfect moms, only the best decision you can make in the moment and being the best mom you can be in the moment. I'm a counselor in Schaumburg and if you are interested in coming in to get some support to help you through this please feel free to email me directly at [email protected]____.com. I work with a lot of new moms and would love to help you.

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S.F.

answers from Chicago on

Hi J.,

Have you talked with your employer about flexible hours? Maybe taking a day off during the week or working from home a couple of days? That might solve your problem and ease your guilt a bit. I would also suggest that you take a week vacation and stay home with the little one to get an idea of what it would be like to be home all day caretaking. It can be demanding especially when they become toddlers with minds of their owns. There are some days I wished I was back at work especially now that I'm in the middle of potty training :)

I have always had a career but when my daughter was born she was colicky. I opted to stay home with her since I wasn't getting very much sleep. One year off turned into two and this summer she'll be three. I'll be heading back to work in the fall and I feel she'll be ready and can communicate if there are problems at her school. I have to say these three years are the most precious three years and I'll NEVER regret the time I took off but I am prepared for the fact that it might not be easy to break back into my work. I was hoping to ease the transition by getting some certifications but my daughter dropped her nap at 2 years and I don't get very much down time unless I pay for a sitter. She's also used to me engaging her in active play rather than playing alone. I'm trying to get her to ease out of that to give me some time to prep to go back. So far it hasn't worked. But if you have a better support system, mother, sisters etc. I'd say stay home for a few years and enjoy it but have a plan to get back to work. There will always be jobs out there but your daughter will only be young once. If you do plan to stay home, which I feel is more rewarding and important than new cars, cloths etc., get involved with groups and get out and enjoy the time. From what I've observed the moms that don't enjoy being home usually are more isolated and less apt to be involved in groups etc. In other words, make sure you're out having some fun with other moms. Naperville is a great place to be a stay at home mom and to raise kids. Lots of events going on all year round.

I hope that helps give you another perspective! Good luck with your decision! Remember a happy mom is always a better parent.

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L.M.

answers from Chicago on

I am a single mother of two and do not have the option of ever staying home with my precious children. They are in daycare all day long. I have two master's degress and am also successful, but I would give anything to spend a few of those precious years at home rasing my children. Please consider that if you are successful now, you can always be successful later. However, you will NEVER get to redo spending time missed with your daughter. Your career is not what she will remember in life, it will be you, the memories you give her and the time spent molding her into a young lady. I know the decision is hard, but I encourage you to stay home or even look into something part-time. You need to follow your heart on this one!

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L.B.

answers from Chicago on

I have never regretted making the choice to stay at home! However its not for everyone but at least find a way to let go of the guilt. Children are needy & even if you are with them 24/7 they want more of you.
You can clear yourself of any emotions like guilt by learning EFT-Emotional Freedom Technique. They are teaching it now in hospitals like Swedish Covenant & Resurrection on Talcott. Check out emofree.com for testimonials & info for classes. Also most hypnotists teach EFT to their clients.

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H.D.

answers from San Francisco on

Darlin it is SOOO worth it! Funny, I was having this discussion last night. =) My two oldest kids are 22 and 21. We struggled so hard when they were little! My ex was in the military, ugh! Try living on THAT pay! But I was determined to stay home. When my son was old enough for kindergarten I went back to work full time, eh...MORE than full time as a dental assistant! Some weeks I worked 7 to 7, 6 days a week! I was exhausted, cranky, covered with other people's spit and my house looked like a pit, because of course the home is STILL my job even after a full day! The time I had with my kids was just not enough and they would cry when I left...then they stopped crying and started talking about what my babysitter did with them, how much fun they were having, what they learned, etc. I was heartbroken! The money was great but I missed my kids.
What did I do? I quit! I was back home when my babies came home from school! Yes, it was boring. YES, it was financially hard. But when I asked my 22 year old what she remembers about her childhood she told me, "mom, you were home for ME."
I gotta tell ya, that is worth more than all the money in the world! Please don't tell me it can't be done, it can.
BTW, I did go back to work again, after another military move. But I because a housekeeper. Did I take a step down from being a DA? You decide...I was my own boss so I picked my own clients (you complain you outa here!). I picked my own times to work so I was out the door after the kids went to school and before they came home. I was GOOD at what I did so I made more money than being a DA..part time! I worked in million dollar homes so I got great ideas for decorating and my clients were always giving me things. I was happy, my kids were happy.
It is never too late to start up a career. My mom became a Nurse Practioner when she was 54. Most adults will have 3 careers/jobs in their lifetimes! Personally? I want one of those to be Mom, sub-titled Domestic Goddess (yes, I do put that on applications :P). At 31 you have alot of living ahead of you, there is plenty of time for a career!
Do what is right for you and your children. We can advise you but you have to live it so you are the best judge in the long run. Good luck! =)

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S.W.

answers from Chicago on

The world is full of what ifs...... mothers are always consumed with guilt no matter how old the child is. Just do what you feel is the best for you and your daughter. If thats you working then work if you feel its not then be an at home mom.

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Y.C.

answers from Chicago on

First, There is nothing wrong with you wanting to enjoy your daughter while she is still young. You can never get those years back. Second, consider if you are financially able to stay at home, if you are then this is really not a big deal. If you are not at peace with leaving your daughter right noe then that means you are not ready, and she may not be either. Don't worry about your tomorrow, do what you are required to do today. Tomorrow is worried about itself. Those hours you work are too extensive, maybe you can cut back some hours. Your daughter needs you. A job can replace you, but you cannot be replaced in your daughters life. I would suggest you talk to your husband for an alternative. When the time comes for you to return back to work you will still feel that seperation anxiety but it will be better then now. I have 5 children and I'm 33 years old and a husband. I have been through what you are going through. You can also reach me at [email protected]____.com God bless You

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D.K.

answers from Chicago on

Stop asking yourself what if and ask yourself what is. You will always be succseful at what you do if that is what you truly want. So stay home for now and figure out your carrer latter; you never know you may never want to go back. I know that I don't I love being there for my children and just being with them. I really think that is what life is about right now.

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L.A.

answers from Chicago on

I would suggest at least working part time. Part time work keeps you current professionally and is satifying because you can still contribute to your family's income and enjoy all the benefits of being in the workplace without losing precious time with your little one. Fortunately my employer was willing to negiotiate a reduced hours sitution for me after my daughter was born, and I'm thrilled with the time I spend at home with my daughter and the time I go to work too. She is in daycare on the days that I work and the experience of being in daycare has largely been very good for her, but I get the satisfaction of knowing I am the primary caregiver for my child. Good luck and I wish you much happiness however this works out for you!

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W.M.

answers from Chicago on

Hi J.,
I think you have to listen to your gut. It's been 9 months and has not gotten any easier I would guess that you atleast have to give it a shot. Plus in perspective, it's a job there are hundreds if not thousands of them. You only have one chance with your children. Some women are cut out to be sahm and some arent I totally understand that and could never judge someone for working because I don't. Part of the great society we live in today is we have the choice to work or stay home, most of our mothers didn't. A friend of mine was in the same boat it's funny her daughter was about 9 months when she quit her job, but she was very successful at what she did and made a lot of money. One day her daughter went to the babysitter instead of her when she was hurt, the next day she quit her job. She just couldn't take it anymore. She is one of the best moms I know. She does miss the challenge of what her job gave her, but she knows in a few years she will have that back for as long as she wants. It is hard to stay at home, I would suggest getting into a great playgroup. Start one of your own on Yahoo groups, it's easy and gives you something to do.
Good luck and I hope what ever you do you are ok with it.
W.

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J.C.

answers from Rockford on

I know just what you mean. I felt the same way, very strongly. I decided to be a stay at home mom when they were little. It was tough on the finances, but it is possible to find ways to live well enough on less money. If you go over everything carefully you will find ways to adapt. My boys are 12 and 13 now, and I never ever ever regret being home for them. As they got older, I discovered ways to work part time so I could be there for them before and after school, evenings, and weekends. For the last couple of years I have been working from home on my own schedule so that I can go to all of their sports events too. You can do it but you have to plan carefully. Currently, I do a part time job at the school district they are in so that I am always off when they are. Before I left work, years ago, I was a full time teacher. I have to say it is possible for you to get back into your career. It may not be easy at first, but you can do it. The way I felt is that my career and money came secondary to the one and only time I will have my children young and at home. So, the sacrifices are definitely outweighed by the good that comes from being there more for your children. I say go for it.

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G.D.

answers from Chicago on

It looks like you have more than enough feedback, but I just wanted to add my 2 cents anyway. I think it's important to look at having a baby as switching jobs. Don't look at it as "leaving your career", think of it as a career switch. Of course you can go back and work one day, and you know what, your co-workers aren't going to miss you like your kids did. Put your baby first and you will feel much better!

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V.D.

answers from Chicago on

I completely understand i have been there when i had my second child that guilt set in real tough. Mother to Mother do what you think is the right thing to do for your child. children are so precious and if you are able to send more time with your baby you will inturn have a happy baby there is nothing like a mothers love.

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S.S.

answers from Chicago on

You have to do what you feel is the best thing for you and your family. No matter what direction you go you will have a sence of guilt and always wonder if your doing the right thing. I have a 19 year old daughter and I had no choice but to work, I was in a bad marriage and I was the bread winner in the house. I alway felt guilty (and still do) for not being home more often, and my mom watched her. I must say my daughter turned out to be a very bright and independent young woman. My mother also was a working mother and she often worked 16 hours a day 7 days a week. My parents were immigrants and worked as much as they could in order to provide their children with a better life. I have nothing but a great deal of love and respect for my parents and appreciate all the sacrifices that they made. I have to be honest with you my parents especially my mom cries to this very day that she feels that she short changed us by not being there for us. I now have divorced and remarried and stay at home with my 2 youngest children. My husband and I are self employeed which sometimes allows us the freedom to be there for our kids at any point in the day or evening. I go into the office on my down time and help him out when I can. For me missing out on my oldest childhood was hard. They are only young once and for me personally I have very, very few memories of being with my parents as a child. The ideal thing would be if you could work out of the house, keep your nanny but you could still be there for your children's first steps, lunch together, go to school and once in a while help out in their class when the time comes. Little things like this are huge for the kids. With time working so much will consume you and you'll be numb to the guilt because you just won't have the time to think about it, untill you get old and look back at what you've missed out on and then it will be to late. My recommendation would be stay home and enjoy or if you want to keep your foot in the corporate world see if you can work at home a couple of days out of the week. You'd be suprised how many employers are open to this.
Best of luck and I'll pray for you.

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R.A.

answers from Chicago on

J., FOLLOW YOUR GUT. When you start letting your head get in the way, it will blur your vision. Talk to your HR dept about a personal leave (FMLA), they are unpaid, but you are guaranteed your position/salary etc. if you return. This is a great way to try it out. Perhaps once you are gone for a while from work, your company will value you a little more and be open to a PT situation.
Blessings to you and your husband in this decision. It is difficult for everyone.

R.
Married FT mom to a 22 month beautiful boy, work PT from home.

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C.C.

answers from Chicago on

J.,

When our first was born (he's three now) I went back to work for a short time- it was all I could handle. I have never been so happy about anything in my life. I just couldn't stand to get up and leave every morning. We now have two boys and I have never worked so hard in my life. It's not just being here to tuck them in and change diapers, I feel responsible for them learning and growing and it is a responsibility that I wouldn't willingly give to anybody else.

That said, I was raised by a mother who had no choice but to work full time. It was hard sometimes, but no matter how many relatives or babysitters I had, I always LOVED my mom and we are very close to this day.

I think you have to follow your heart. Don't let anybody (including yourself) make you feel guilty for the decision you make. Don't decide to stay home out of guilt; stay home because you want to and because YOU decide it is the right thing to do for your family.

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A.D.

answers from Chicago on

After my maternity leave with my oldest daughter, I went back to work full time too. I had the same feelings, and will never forget the day when my daughter cried when I came to pick her up. I was heart broken! I called my mom, looking for sympathy, and what I got in return was invaluable! My mom said, very simply, "Aren't you glad that your daughter is so happy with her [caregiver] that she enjoys being with her? Wouldn't it be awful if it were the other way around?" She was right. I had a wonderful person taking care of my little girl, and my baby knew that I was her mom! Did it magically become easier? No, of course not. But I started to look at things a little differently. I realized that I didn't need to put guilt on myself for working, my daughter was in loving hands when I was away, and when we were together - the time we shared was priceless and I cherished every moment. My daughter is 5 now, and very well adjusted. I worked full time until she was 3 and her little sister arrived. I still work part time and for me, believe it is the best for us all. Instead of feeling guilty (which I know is hard to do), look at the positives - you are fortunate to have a wonderful person care for your little and your daughter knows YOU are her mommy - no matter what!

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K.O.

answers from Chicago on

I think your guilt is only natural. Don't worry about the potential of not being successful in your career. If you can afford to stay home, then my advice is to stay home. The best thing we can give our children is our time and attention.

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N.P.

answers from Chicago on

Good morning!
I'm 54 now, and still feel guilty about leaving my 2 kids at home when they were little!!! Looking back, WE should have sat down, looked at our finances, made a plan, and I should have trusted that the absolute BEST thing for all of us was to stay home...My kids(!) are 23 & 20 now...sure wish I could do those years over...Don't miss out...Jobs will be there, but your kids grow so fast. Good luck.

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J.S.

answers from Chicago on

Oh, J., you are living such an unhealthy situation. The sadness and guilt feelings you describe are so hard on your mental--and your physical--health. Goodness, to think that you cannot leave the employed world and not be able to return at a later time is disproven every day. Notice I did not say "work" world, for if you choose to stay at home with your child, it IS a job, not eating bon bons and watching soap operas as is reflected in popular culture. And the work is the best and most rewarding work you can ever do. No matter what the world tells us, there is no better opportunity you can offer your child than what you give as a stay-at-home mom. I say stop torturing yourself. There will be plenty of time later for that career.

J.

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L.R.

answers from Chicago on

Dear J.,

Having it all is hard, but not impossible. I know because I have felt the same way you do. I have found a way to have it all and still be home with my kids. I have a successful home based business with a 28 year old company, Arbonne. Arbonne has experienced 350% growth over the past 3 years (during a difficult time for most companies) and has 87% customer retention. Our team has built a system for success and if you have any interest in hearing about it, please do send me an email. Good luck with the guilt, it doesn't get any easier as the kids get older. L. Rawson

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W.S.

answers from Chicago on

hi J.,

Obviously you are not alone, I just had to add my post since I left a career approx 4 yrs ago - I was earning a lot of money and doing the 'big commute - long hours - high stress' for years. When my youngest came along I decided I just could not go through leaving another little one with someone else. I remember crying on the way to work too over leaving my kids to go and work...it's a terrible feeling.

I do not regret my choice, however I was not prepared for how drastically everything would change. Of course, being a SAHM is of the highest worth in the world, but when you've been accustomed to being a primary breadwinner, executive - wearing a business suit, making business decisions, whatever - nothing can prepare you for how drastically your 'image' changes, both of yourself and as others relate to you.

I struck what I believe the closest thing I know of to that EVER ELUSIVE BALANCE by finding work I can do from a home-office mostly part-time. But, I still do not earn the money I used to and as much as my husband wants me to be home with our little daughter, the financial shift definitely took its toll, not to mention the isolation of not seeing other adults.

It is not a change you should make abruptly and definitely not without designing a new budget for your household without your income.

I gave up my new car for a used one, stopped buying new clothes and new things for the house, had to release an expensive Nanny, we could no longer go out to eat regularly and we only take a vacation every 3rd year instead of yearly - I am okay with all of that, it's just some of the adjustments we had to make that maybe you hadn't thought of.

Then there is the whole other side of the MOMMY GUILT THING, I started questioning my decision since we now had less money and I was no longer able to contribute to a savings plan for our children, get them all the things they want, lost a great life insurance policy, etc etc ....that can make you feel guilty too.

long-story-short, I am happy with where I am right now although I feel guilty for not earning more - so you see we never really escape the guilt thing. I don't have an answer for you - just wanted to share my experience.

You might want to try just banking your income for a few months and see how you make it on one income and if it's really what you want. On the other hand, if you see that it's costing you more to work than not to, the answer will be easier for you. :-)

This is a very personal choice that only you can make for yourself and your family, whatever you decide will be the right choice. Good luck!

hugs,

W.

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M.V.

answers from Chicago on

You want honest? You'll never regret spending time with your baby. You can always get back into work, but really, in the grand scheme of things which is more important? When your daughter is an adult and you look back on her growing up years, you'll never say, I'm glad I worked. Our children are precious and they will never again be little. If you don't have to have the income, think about staying home. Maybe you'll have to give up some comforts you are used to, but it is worth it. It is not easy being home and it is not easy having be stricter with money, but it is worth it. The best you can give your daughter is what makes you successful in her eyes (and I'm not talking about clothes or the latest toys). She just wants you to love her and spend time with her. No mom is perfect and no mom will even be perfect. We can't be supermoms. I know there are no easy answers, and I have to say I didn't have to give up a successful career. But every moment with my kids is worth it - even the bad ones. Follow your heart.

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J.

answers from Chicago on

Wow! A lot of responses to your post. It must have struck something for a lot of people.

I think the working conditions and flexibility/not makes a huge difference in how different people experience parenting/working. Also, how much flexibility your husband has. I don't know that there is a perfect formula, but the job I finally have now, that allows me flexibility and the freedom to work at home most days, makes a lot possible for me. (volunteering at school, etc.)

I have had the experience of doing full time, part time, contract, and no work at all (laid off for a while) since I became a mom. I found to my surprise that being at home all the time made me feel kind of at loose ends. I think if I had known it was long-term I would have had better scheduling and would have enjoyed it more, but still it was a surprise to me to find out that I actually might not be a SAHM in my dream world. In my dreams, highly-paid part-time would be nice! But the point is that you never know sometimes until you try.

If I were you I would start thinking about what your perfect work/life balance looks like, and what you see yourself doing when your child(ren) is in school, because taking time off does limit choices for a lot of people (not everyone) when they come back. Start working towards the priority items, whether that is flexibility, shorter hours, or whatever. The hours that you are working seem to me like a big problem. As you think about other possibilities, think if there's a way to use your professional skills in a less-demanding capacity, at least for a while.

Good luck! I think in your place I would also be pretty unhappy. I hope you are able to find a solution soon.

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J.F.

answers from Chicago on

Who gets her firsts? You or the nanny? First word, first steps. This is the only time you get. I have sacrificed alot for my kids and never regreeted it for a moment. I am a stay at home right now but I have also worked full time with my three kids but never so much that someone else was really raising them. I am glad you found a wonderful nanny and can afford it but who do you want remembering her childhood you or someone else?

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F.R.

answers from Chicago on

I agree with Megan. You should take few days off and see how it works out for you. That will help you in making a big decision. You can either check with your Employer about Part time and working from home options too.
Start with Part time is a better start. You will keep your job and yet spend more time with your baby. Once baby will start full time school, you can go back to full time.

Background: i am a full time employee and a mother of 4.5 years old daughter and trying for 2nd baby.

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H.G.

answers from Chicago on

Just my opinion. I did not have an option about working full-time when my daughter was that young. For me, it never got easier dropping her at the sitter's house. I refused to work more than 8 hours a day so that my daughter would never be waiting for me wondering where mommy was. If you have the option of being able to stay home with your child, I would take it! Worried about being successful? The most important job you will EVER have is raising your child/children. One day when you're old and frail, your career isn't going to be the one expected to be there taking care of you...your child/children will be.

Good luck!

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D.S.

answers from Chicago on

Even stay at home moms feel guilty too. You should feel blessed that your daughter is so happy to be with her nanny, and blessed that you have a great career that you enjoy. Focus on your blessings and make the most of the time you and your daughter have together. Children know exactly who their mother is, don't ever question that. Staying home isn't any picnic :) Good luck!

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A.K.

answers from Milwaukee on

Yup I can totally relate. I would love to stay home with my son but there are some things I like about working (not the work part). I like that he goes to a place where he can play with other kids while we work and I like that I get adult interaction, which I know many SAHMs want more of and I can get out of the house. Just do what whatever feels right to you. It will all work out for you and your family. When I pick up my son he runs away to play and I work 12.5 hr days plus drive time so I know kind of how you feel. She knows you are her mom, no worries about that!!!

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M.M.

answers from Chicago on

When I had my son I truly had to evaluate this very question. I was at a key point in my career: another year or so and I would have been very close to earning my ideal income and having that dream job. I was very focused on this before I had my son.
After I had him, I found that I was constantly trying to race out of the office at 5pm, even though I knew I should be working late. I had trouble concentrating on work because I was always thinking about calling home...I was a horrible working mom and it ended up not being fair to myself or my company. The guilt was an issue for me too--I loved our nanny but when she would tell me the new things he did that day while I was at work, I just couldn't take it anymore.

So, one KEY KEY thing to remember: it doesn't have to be all or none!!! I started by finding a new job that has a work-from-home policy on Fridays and flex hours. This allowed me to have more time with the baby. After a while, though, I was still unable to preform the way I wanted at my job. I quit after only a year, but continued to keep in touch with these two prior employers. I have since been able to do some consulting work for both companies as well as work with friends who are involved in start-ups etc. I am still considering starting a kind of consulting firm out of my home. This kind of work keeps your "foot in the door" should you ever decide to go back to work.
Another option is to see if your company will allow a Leave of Absence. Often these are unpaid, but it could give you 6 months to a year with your daughter without giving up your job.
It sounds like your career is important to you and it would be a shame to give that up--and when your son is old enough, he will respect you for being so successful--it is a great life lesson for him. At the same time, there is a famous saying out there about being on your death bed and not wishing you spent more time at the office, but rather with family...I think this is an individual choice (sorry to be so morbid here! :).
As for being a bad stay-at-home mom...I admit I am not the best "housewife", but I do love watching my son grow up and being able to take care of my family in this way. Being able to steer my child through early education was important to me too. Another thing to consider is if there will be a big change in lifestyle when your income is no longer there?
One last thing: if you did it once, you can do it again! Don't worry too much about going back to work later--you might be behind where you would have been otherwise, but you would also have time with your son that you and he will remember forever. As long as your remember not to burn bridges and keep in close contact with your network of professionals, you will find it easier to go back than you think: a lot of women are doing it.
Good luck to you: what ever you decide, your son will ALWAYS know who mommy is--the nanny can't compare, even if it seems that way sometimes. He will love you not matter what you decide!

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M.P.

answers from Chicago on

i think is comes down to what will make you the happiness. Do you love you job and need the work or is it soemthing you hate going to. It's nto worth it if you hate it. I am a full time working mom, but I love my job and can't see myself happy at home. What ever your decision, people will tell you it's the wrong one (people certainly did with me). but you have to do what makes you the happiest. Yes your kid will grow up fast, but you also have only one life to live the way you want.

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D.P.

answers from Chicago on

I remember when I became pregnant and the thought of not working scared me more than being a Mom. As the weeks turned into months, I changed my way of thinking and we decided that I would stay home. It has not been easy, we are not well-off or from weatlhy homes, we are your typical middle-class family who has credit card debt and a home equity line of credit, but we have made it work. In my pre-Mommy life I have my BA and I managed a few well-established banks in Chicago, so after our daughter was born I had a part-time job at a bank on the weekends as a Supervisor but pumping in the bathroom was too much work, so I quit. So, I got my real estate license and I work part-time from home doing sales. Both of these jobs are not on the top of my list, but the extra money buys groceries, and my husband works 6 days a week. My parents do help us out with things for our daughter and that has been awesome. So, I have been able to join Mommy/Baby classes without selling furniture. The harsh realty is that it is hard but the wonderful realty is the fact that I am my daughter's main care taker. We have had the luxury to lay in bed and giggle at 10am and take walks at 1pm. I am more domesticated since her arrival and that took a while to kick in but I make my husband's lunch, cook dinner and clean the house. I don't feel like I gave anything up because I am active in a few organizations that I believe strongly in and that keeps my adult side happy. But staying home has been the best job that I ever had. College, my first post college job with a decent salary will never add up to the way I feel at the end of day now. I am exhausted but I am raising my daughter and we have given up a lot but I would do it again, and again. We will never have enough money or enough stuff, so I choose to be a one-car(this year), small condo west of Pulaski family and life is good. Take the dive, you will work until your hands are wrinkled but now you can watch your daughter grow and the change in you might be something you weren't prepared for. Plus,I am working now harder than I ever have and I put that on my resume when I applied for my current part-time gig, 3/27/06 to present: Domestic Engineer. Good luck D..

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L.H.

answers from Chicago on

I was feeling the same too. I'm a first time mom of a 5 month old little girl and just gave up my job for her. My job also had some long hours (finance) so I knew I couldn't always be home to see her go to bed. After discussing it over with my husband (we tried unsuccessfully to find a nanny), we decided that I could always go look for a job if I didn't like being at hom. It's temporary. I have another friend that stayed home for two years when her twins were born. She re-entered the work force this year and her salary and position aren't bad at all. Plus, it'll be the only time I can see all her milestones. I'll never get the chance again. But there will always be jobs around.

But it's a hard decision. If you can go on one income, then I say go for it. I don't think you'll have any regrets!

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