Post # 1
I became a first-time mother in November 2017. The plan has always been for me to return to work. I have a career I love that I am passionate about. I was promoted to a management position about a year before becoming pregnant.
Today was my first day back and I’m feel like I made the wrong decision going back to work.
My husband makes enough for me to stay home it’s not a financial thing. The field I work in is very small and I’m afraid of burning a bridge if I leave without getting things in order. We also made a lot of life decisions (such as buying a new home close by) based on the decision that I would stay at my job. It’s out of character for me to go back on a decision (especially one this big) but I just can’t shake how I’m feeling.
Is this normal?
Any advice or thoughts would be very appreciated.
Thanks in advance.
Post # 2
Sweetheartchic : It was your first day back. You have to give it some time. I’m going back to work in exactly 2 weeks and am dreading it. I think a lot of women feel the way you do at first.
After some time back at work maybe you can reevaluate. But don’t make any rash decisions because the first day was understandably sucky.
Post # 3
Its been one day. You need to at least give this a shot before making such a huge decision. I’d say at least a month or two. You’ve been off for a while so it’s hard to get back into the swing and youve only JUST gotten used to your routine having a baby. So definitely give it some time.
Post # 4
I cried on my first day back and plastered no less than 30 pictures of my baby all over my cube walls. It does get easier. On my first day back with my second baby, I cranked up 90s alternative on Pandora and drank my hot coffee at my desk and felt like I was in heaven.
You may still feel after awhile that working outside of the home is not for you. And that may necessitate some lifestyle changes. But I agree with the other bees to give it a little more time.
Post # 5
I remember feeling that way for a while after I went back to work after having my son. I was at home for him for over a year (I am in Canada) and I thought I would never be happy being at work. Slowly over time, he got used to being at daycare and started to really blossom and I started enjoying drinking my coffee while it was warm and eating lunch with both my hands haha! It took some time, but after about a month I was a lot more settled in my new routine.
As pp have said give it a few weeks and see how you are feeling. I know it is rough, one day at a time!
Post # 6
I would wait three months then reassess how you feel.
Post # 7
Thank you all so much for your advice and for sharing your experiences. A few additional details.
I realize it’s only the first day and am not making a rash decision without giving it more thought. My husbands job makes it difficult for him to help due to long hours. He left at 6am this morning and probably won’t be home tonight until midnight. He works a minimum of 12 hour days for at least a week at a time.
i actually did okay all day at work. But when I came home and realized I had to do everything to prepare for tomorrow plus all the typical household stuff and couldn’t even spend as much time with my son as I wanted I just fell apart. I honestly cannot imagine doing this every day. I just didn’t expect to feel like this.
Post # 8
Sweetheartchic : Assuming you enjoy your job and would like to keep it if there wasn’t so much else piling up, use some of that extraneous cash to hire a housekeeper or maid. Someone to keep the clutter and mess contained, wash dishes, even prepare meals. Or get Blue Apron so all you have to do is pull it together. That way you can still spend the time adjusting to being back at work without worrying about what’s waiting for you at home and whether you have the chance to spend quality time with your baby.
(sidenote, I’m one of those weirdos who did absolutely fine going back to work. But I still wish I had a housekeeper!)
Post # 9
Agree with what everyone said about giving it more time. It’s simply too early and you don’t want to make a decision that’s hard to turn back on.
Here’s what I would add:
I think the first step is just admitting and absorbing the fact that this will be a really hard phase of your family life. And it’s likely going to be for a few years, at least. It doesn’t make the day to day tasks easier, but it does allow you to alter your mind set in a way that’ll hopefully put this into perspective.
As PP said, if money isn’t an issue, hire a cleaner, mother’s helper, gardener… anyone who you can outsource household work to so you can take back family time. Btw – it’s embarrassing how much take out we ate during that transitional time (and sometimes still do) but who really cares.
Lastly, I have always been very career focused and it’s important to me to model that drive. Not a knock on SAHMs, just something that’s important to me personally, and I feel that both sons and daughters can learn something from having a working mom.
Post # 10
When I went back to work I had little support at home too, but I wanted to make as much quality time with my daughter during the work week as I could. I had to learn to let the household tidyness go, get a maid, order food in or make really quick/easy meals. I also had to adjust to the fact that 5:30am before work is a wonderful play time with my daughter, as long as I go to bed at 9:30. 🙂
Post # 11
I feel your pain. I have been back a week after 14 months of mat leave (in the UK) It has been horrible…. that was until I actually got work to do and it has started to get better.
Like you, we are in a position where I could stop work if I wanted to, but I know I have to give it a few months before I make any decision.
I think you need to have a proper conversation with your husband. He is a parent too and needs to perhaps re evaluate his working conditions so that he can be a better support to you and a parent to his child. I honestly think that the only way to be successful at being a working mum is if you have the support at home to make it work. That means him doing his fair share of nursey runs, organising the baby, household chores etc. I think there are very few jobs that actually require working like that and more often than not it is a culture of presenteeism.
The other thing I would say is get a cleaner. Everyone I know in London has one. Mine is a life saver. She comes once a week on a Friday and cleans the whole house and does some ironing for me. Best £40 we spend all week.
Is there anyway you can look at your work schedule? Can you go part time? I have a friend who does 4 days over 5. She doesn’t work Monday morning or Friday afternoon. It works for her employers as they basically get her 5 days a week, but she gets time to do the shopping, washing etc and to be with the kids.
I am working full time, but I work from home 1 day a week. That gives me time to do my washing (the machine can be on while I work and it takes no more time than going to the loo to put a load on) I also do the supermarket shop on a Monday evening. It is much quieter so I can do it faster. That does rely on my husband being home though. I am also taking at least one Friday a month off so that I can spend it with the baby though I know we get a lot more annual leave in the UK than you do in the states so that might not be possible for you.
We are very strict on routine too. Baby is in bed 7 – 7 (though at 13 months old he is a lot more settled in his sleep pattern) when we get home from nursery, I put out his clothes for the next day and re pack his school bag.
I feel like the week days are all go, but I do that on purpose to leave as much as the weekend free as possible for family time.
Post # 12
Why don’t you ask to reduce your hours? I’m going back to work out of choice rather than necessity but I’m only going back 3-4 days a week rather than full time. It’s a big drop in finances but we don’t need it so it doesn’t matter!
Post # 13
- Wedding: September 2017 - Pearson Convention Centre
My sister felt the same way she gave it three months then decided to keep working as she loves her job. My other sister gave it three months and decided to quit her job and stay home. Personally I think after three months you know of you want to quit your job or not
Post # 14
I honestly think most new mothers feel this way when they return to work.
I would give it a few months at least and see if you still feel the same way.
As pp said, if money isn’t an issue hire a cleaner etc.
Post # 15
I would give it more time, although your feelings might not change. My best friend had her baby in November as well, went back for a week after maternity leave, then quit. It is a tough decision, but talk it over with your husband. There is no right answer here.