Post # 1
Im currently a Stay-At-Home Mom to an 8 month old, but if/when we have a future baby it’s likely I will need to return to work sooner. Right now I can’t even imagine leaving my baby and going to work, and am very full of admiration/awe/sympathy for anyone who has to leave their baby early on and go back to work. I know that some people struggle to stay at home and going back to work is a welcome break.. but also that it’s challenging for some moms. I’m curious to hear your stories… how did you handle going back to work? Any tips on making things easier?
Post # 2
I didn’t have a hard time with it. We did our research and picked good providers. We were very fortunate to be able to arrange our schedules so we only needed childcare part-time and that helped.
Post # 3
I got 6 weeks off total, but only 5 of those weeks were actual work weeks. My son was born Decemeber 27 over winter break (teacher) and they counted that second week of break against my leave. Let me just say, having to get up and go to work when your baby is only 6 weeks old sucks so much. Just thinking about it now makes me mad. I can’t believe we have such shitty Mat Leave policy in the U.S.!
The only thing that allowed me to get out the door my first day back-with tears of course- was that my DH is currently a Stay-At-Home Dad while going to school online full time to finish his degree. Knowing he would be with his dad who I completely trust was wonderful. The other thing that made it easier was knowing I didn’t have a choice. I had to go back, and I do love my job.
I think my job is important and needed, and I’m really happy that my son will grow up with a combination of untraditional and traditional parenting roles happening in his house (I plan on taking a year off when he’s in Kindergmarten). We want him to know that contributing to your family can mean many different things.
It’s still really hard some days because I feel like I’m missing so much time with him (and I am), but I’m luckier than most with our current set up and the breaks I get throughout the year.
Post # 4
Commenting to follow!
i’ve been a Stay-At-Home Mom for 3 years now, but my husband was just (very unexpectedly) laid off. So as to not blow through our savings, I’m going to have to go back to work.
im dreading Leaving my boys (3&1) with a stranger! plus I really love my work as a Stay-At-Home Mom 😕
Post # 5
i struggled leaving my daughter to begin with but the week before I was due to start back she did 4 short days at nursery, each one getting progressively longer. I found this really useful as it meant I wasn’t worrying about her. She attends the nursery attached to the school where I work so the staff who look after her are my colleagues which helps a lot. She also is looked after by my parents whom she loves.
This has definitely helped and for me being back at work is a good thing currently as it gives me that me time and my time with my daughter is really special.
Post # 6
I’ve just gone back to work after being at home with babies of a similar age and I’ve surprised myself with how much I’ve enjoyed being back at work! I’ve absolutely loved being home and my preference is still to be there but an opportunity came up for me to be able to work part time making good money for a fantastic company so me going to work was the best decision for my family (we can survive on one income but this allows us to rebuild our savings and get ahead again).
my only advice is to find the best Childcare provider you can afford so that you can go back to work feeling comfortable with the care your baby is receiving. We lucked out and found an amazing preschool facility that the kids and I both love. My other tip would be to either discuss reducing your workload / hours worked or look for work that isn’t full time.
Post # 7
I went back to work when my son was 10 weeks old and it was terrible. I cried non-stop my last two days of maternity leave, just looking at him and wondering how I was ever going to let him out of my sight and let someone else watch him and would they love and care for him as much as I do? Plus the logistics of trying to continue to breastfeed and work was stressful as well. Some that helped me rationalize it, was I was in daycare as a baby too and I survived and turned out pretty well!
Those first six months or so took some adjusting, but I promise it does get easier. Now he’s almost two and dropping him off at daycare is just second nature. We have a great daycare provider and the social skills he learns at daycare are irreplaceable. I’ve actually been on vacation for a week now and we are both ready to be back to work and daycare! So hang in there, its hard at first no doubt, but does get easier!!
Post # 8
DS is going to grandma day care. after 12 weeks i eased back into work 3 days (2 days in office and 1 day at home) for 3 weeks. and today is my first day back full time. i am very fortunate to have my mother watching our child and i feel comfortable leaving him with someone i know and trust. i turned out ok, afterall.
Post # 9
I have to say I find it appalling that US mat leave is so short! I really feel for those of you that feel you have no choice but to leave tiny babies to return to work. I feel truly spoiled here in the UK.
Post # 10
Agree!! Actually most of my friends here in the US took 6-8 weeks maternity leave and I felt so guilty taking 10 weeks. I never knew it was the norm in other countries to take 1 year. It truly does suck!!
Post # 11
When I had my first child, I went back to work part-time and with my husband’s work schedule we only needed child care one day a week. At that time we got a nanny. It worked out ok for a while but eventually had to end and didn’t end well, lol, though I am glad to be rid of her (long story). That doesn’t mean that I recommend against it, I would just make sure you have clear expectations up front, even get things in writing, also don’t be too nice – I mean if you start to get an attitude from her then look around. When I had my second child, I was still working part-time so again just needed child care one day a week. By that time the oldest was in day care 2 days a week, and then when the baby was 7 weeks old I went back to work and left him with a sitter, at her house. It was must less expensive than a nanny, I mean like 1/3 the cost, particularly bc with a nanny or any domestic employee in your house you have to pay payroll taxes and other fees, whereas if you take your child to someone then that doesn’t apply. A few months later I switched the baby over to the day care. It is really not easy and there are issues that I had to work through (one woman in the infant room who wasn’t that nice and not that good, long story), but I do know that it has done my kids good, though I really feel fortunate to still be with them more than anyone else is.
Post # 12
I’m not a mother. I’m just going to share something that worked well for moms when I was a nanny.
The mothers who were missing their kids simply called me me a few times a day to check in. They also sent their relatives or close friends to their homes to while I was taking care of their children. Those practices gave the mothers peace of mind. I never minded as I realized that the moms were just concerned about their kids or just wanted to hear their voices.
With respect to mat leave, Canadian moms get 1 year and I wish the US would adopt a similar standard across the country. Even 6 months would be a huge improvement.
Post # 13
I am not a mother but I was a nanny for an awesome family of three girls (ages 8, 3 and 6 months when I started nannying). I just wanted to say if you find the right provider, whether that be daycare, preschool, nannies or a family member, your children will be 100% taken care of and will want to do anything they can to make the transition smoother. I saw a PP mentioned something similar, but the mom I nannied for was a teacher so on her plan period and lunch she would ask for pics or videos. It was nice updating her on what was going on at home and what her girlies were up to. I especially liked sending pics at the bus stop when the girls were happy to start their day 🙂 Hope this helps a little!