- 6 months ago
- Wedding: June 2017
I’m at a crossroad right now and would love some advice from the hive. My LO is about to be 10 months old. I returned to work part time when he was 3 months and full time since he was 6 months old. Since returning full time to work I’ve been very fortunate to keep baby home with me several days a week and go into the office 1 or 2 days a week since work has been slow. He goes to daycare the days and weeks when I don’t have the flexibility. I’ve been lucky the last few months also having family fly in for several weeks and they can keep baby while I work upstairs.
This grace period is coming to an end as January approaches and I’ll have a much heavier workload. This means baby will have to go to daycare a lot more and me commuting an hour one way to work 3-4 days a week.
I just want to say I realize how lucky I’ve been so far, but the truth is I’m drowning. I am completely consumed with guilt almost all the time. I feel like I have true separation anxiety issues from my baby. To the point where I have ruined my reputation at my job. I don’t go into the office as much as I should, I leave as soon as I get the chance, pick up my son from daycare, and catch up on work at night. I thought I would be better at this point, but I still cry on the days he isn’t home with me or I’m at work.
I’m 31 years old and have been working since I was 14. I put myself through college and was working two jobs after graduating, up until I got married at 28. I work hard. I don’t know what it’s like to not have a job, but after the baby I feel like I’ve experienced a full-blown identity crisis. I no longer care about anything except my son. I do not care for my job; I haven’t made time to do anything for myself. I used to love to go to yoga but have been maybe 3 times since giving birth. I just can’t bring myself to be apart from my son for 2 hours to go.
I’m starting to get negative reviews at work and it’s really made me consider leaving my role. I won’t go into too much detail, I know my mistakes have been minor, but they add up. I know full and well I haven’t been a model employee since returning to work. I feel ashamed that I haven’t been able to cut it. I want to be both a great employee and mom, but it feels impossible. I’ve struggled with both post-partum anxiety and mild postpartum depression and I attribute it largely to societal pressure to “have it all”.
It really makes me sad that women don’t have longer maternity leave. Being a nursing mother has made things even more complicated as I live my life in three-hour increments. My baby also just started sleeping though the night, so sleep deprivation was a reality for a long time. I just now am starting to feel like I could “go back to work”, but I feel like I went back before I was ready. The damage has been done at my job and although I think I could fix things, I don’t know if I want to.
I think I’ve realized how short this time with my son is and it eats at me to go to work. I think because technically I am choosing to work makes it harder. I do have the option to stay home with my son, but for some reason still cannot let go of being a working woman.
I don’t know what to do. I’m at a loss. I live across the country from all my friends and family and just feel so isolated and burnt out.
Should I become a Stay-At-Home Mom and return to work later or try and stick it out? I would love to hear stories from moms who maybe felt the same.
Thanks for taking the time to read this.