Returning to work after baby HELP

posted 9 months ago in Parenting
Post # 16
Member
1072 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2018

Give yourself time. It took a couple of weeks for me to adjust and it took my one year old a month. If in a month or so, you are still not happy, then consider quitting your job. Or reducing your hours.

Post # 17
Member
5960 posts
Bee Keeper

I would also think of the ramifications of quitting your job might have in relation to vacation leave/paid leave/maternity leave.  Some jobs require you to pay that time back if you quit within a certain amount of time.  I feel like I’ve seen that on this board.

Post # 18
Member
9709 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2013

Sweetheartchic :  Yes, it’s normal .  It’s hard the first few weeks and it sucks.  I did not want to be a Stay-At-Home Mom but I would have liked a longer maternity leave.  So quitting didn’t make sense for me.  I agree that you should give it a 3 months or so before deciding.  You will probably have to shift your priorities.  Clean less often (focus on what bothers you the most), hire a cleaner, make more slow cooker or instant pot meals, have your groceries delivered, whatever will help.

Post # 19
Member
2170 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2018

Yes, it’s normal and Yes, it gets better. It’s an adjustment. Give it time before you make a rash decision especially because it sounds like you’ve had to move a lot around based on the assumption you were going back to work. It’s hard at first but it becomes routine just like anything else in life. I couldn’t imagine not working (my son is now 3). I find the time I spend with him now much more valuable and I appreciate it so much. Find ways to maximize your time, like cleaning after your baby goes to bed, hire a cleaner once a week if possible, meal prep on the weekends so you don’t have to cook every night, etc. 

Post # 20
Member
2141 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

I’m going to give you a different perspective – I don’t think it’s natural for parents to be away from their very young children. As your child gets older, he/she will become naturally more independent and naturally ready to socialize with other children. You will naturally also become more ready to re-enter the outside ‘adult’ world and look forward to it rather than suffer through it. Gradually your child won’t be a tiny baby anymore, won’t need so much time with you (it’ll be about quality rather than quantity), won’t be changing so much every day. Gradually it’ll be easier to manage work+household+children. Personally, if money isn’t an issue, I would quit your job even though you will have to start at the bottom of the ‘career ladder’ when you go back. At least, that’s what I’ve done. I’m at home with my 2 year old and my 5month old and I’m planning on going back to work part-time when my younger child is 3 years old, and then working my way up to full-time. 

My philosophy is that you only get one lifetime and I don’t want to miss my children’s first smiles, first time rolling-over, first time crawling, first time saying words, first time walking..  My 2-year old will start kindergarten when he’s 3 and in the meantime I’m taking him to lots of mom-and-toddler groups, we go out places every day and I make sure he socializes with other children, I have time to teach him colors, numbers, read him tons of stories and generally just enjoy him while he’s small. 

Why force yourself to go back to work now when you can do it later? Working 30 years versus working 27 years.. that’ll make no difference in the end career-wise but you will never get those ”baby cuddles” back. All too quickly my older son has no time for cuddles, when I pick him up to give him a hug he says ”put me down momma, I need to play with cars”.. 

I’ll get flamed for my opinion because America is a career-based society, but I say quit your job and enjoy your baby ๐Ÿ™‚ 

Post # 21
Member
67 posts
Worker bee

amanda3334455 :  I agree with you 100%. Not a knock on working moms but I could never leave my kiddo for a job if I didn’t absolutely have to. I too will get flamed for this but meh ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿผ‍โ™€๏ธ To each their own.

Post # 22
Member
367 posts
Helper bee

amanda3334455 :  Personally, if money isn’t an issue, I would quit your job even though you will have to start at the bottom of the ‘career ladder’ when you go back. 

I’m wondering if you and the OP are in even remotely similar business environments / have comparable career aspirations.  I’m leaning toward a “no”.

Post # 23
Member
9709 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2013

amanda3334455 :   excitedmamatobee :  That’s great except OP makes it clear that she loves her career and is passionate about it and doesn’t make rash decisions like up and quitting without notice.  I didn’t see anyone giving her advice to not quit her job if she really hates being there, just that the first few weeks can be emotional so she should give herself some time for things to settle a bit and then make a more rational decision.  It really depends on the field but it’s worth noting you may not have the same opportunities, environment, or job/company available when you return to work.  Sometimes it’s not worth the gamble depending on salary level, benefits, company culture, etc. Everyone needs to way the pros/cons for themselves.  But I do agree that little tiny babies should be with their parents and the maternity leave in the US is shitty and should be extended to 6mo minimum.  Not everyone wants to be at home all day with a 2 year old though, I would hate that.  That’s not a knock, I assume OP understands the pros of being a Stay-At-Home Mom.  I would just not urge her to make a rash decision during a period of time when a lot of moms are more emotional and it is totally normal to feel that way.  It doesn’t mean you will feel that way in 2 or 3 months.  If you’re on the fence you should let things settle before making rash decisions.  You should be 100% in your decisions like this.  I have a pretty incredible leave/benefit policy and I personally wouldn’t want to risk getting stuck somewhere shittier just to have a year off work (what my ideal leave/time away would be) compared to 3 months that I got.

Post # 24
Member
8770 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

amanda3334455 :  3 years out of the work force does make a difference though. That’s 3 years you aren’t contributing to your 401k, to social security. And then coming back and starting at the bottom (if you can find a job that’s willing to take someone with a big hole in their work history)…that would be a huge hit to my salary personally, which wouldn’t be recovered for years and years.

Everyone has to make their own choices that are best for their family, but it’s certainly not “no big deal” to just drop out of the work force for several years, especially if you have a more demanding career.

I absolutely had the same feelings as OP when I started back at work, but I’m glad I stuck it out. My daughter is 2.5 and loves her teachers at daycare and learns sooo much stuff there.

Post # 25
Member
207 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2015

I became a first time mom in November 2016 and this week is my 1 year back at work “anniversary”.  I have days where I wish I could hang with my son all day but, the vast majority of the time, I know working is the right decision for me.    I echo what most of the other posters said about giving it time and realilzing that the transition back can be super emotional and you may feel differently in a few months (I cried incredibly hard after my first day and vowed never to return to my office).  I’m commenting to add that once you get into a routine w/r/t of all of the daily tasks, those too will get easier.  Not for everyone but my husband and I prepare all my son’s meals and snacks for the daycare week on the weekend (I know your child isn’t eating solids but this can be applied to many of the daily tasks) which makes for much less hassle every night/morning.  Maybe a quick list of what needs to get done daily so you can see how much of that you can do in advance?  And, yes, outsource – if you can afford it, don’t spend precious time on things someone else would be happpy to take care of for you!

Post # 26
Member
3867 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

OP, Seriously find the money for a cleaner. Even if it means giving up on something else, they are worth their weight in gold, and knowing you get to ENJOY your time off with your LO instead of dusting is worth every single cent.

Also, do you have family close by? My mom comes over every Wednesday, brings us dinner (usually a deli chicken or something easy), and puts my son to bed with me. It means my husband can work late (he has his own business so this is awesome), and I still have “help”, plus Nana gets extra baby snuggles.

It’s so overwhelming to go back, especially at first but I’d really encourgae you to lean on your support system whenever you can: grandparwents, aunts uncles….trust me, they often really want to help, but don’t know how, so asking gives them the opportunity.

Other things that really help:

  • crockpot or instant pots. Invest in one. 
  • if you can get groceries delivered, and can afford it, pay the extra fee.
  • my husband and I usually do one night one, one night off when it comes to cooking, so you know you have a break coming.
  • I also make my lunch for the week on Sunday. Takes a bit more time, but then it’s done in the evenings.
Post # 27
Member
1758 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

Westwood :  “3 years out of the work force does make a difference though. That’s 3 years you aren’t contributing to your 401k, to social security. And then coming back and starting at the bottom (if you can find a job that’s willing to take someone with a big hole in their work history)…that would be a huge hit to my salary personally, which wouldn’t be recovered for years and years.”

 

Agree with this so much. People really underestimate the long term consequences of leaving their jobs for a few years. In 2004, when I graduated college, I got a number of emails from Monster.com just by posting my resume. In 2008, when I was looking to change jobs, I had a strong resume and I wouldn’t even get form rejection letters. Of the probably 200+ jobs I applied for, I got 2 interview offers. And one was reneged because they hired a candidate on the spot. It was a brutal time for people in my field (financial services). And that was with a good resume! If I had taken time off from 2004-2008 I would have probably never gotten back into my field.

 

I’ve worked at my current job for 5 years. In that time, I’ve doubled my intial salary from 2013. (In all fairness I should point out that I think my boss initially lowballed me, but he has more than made up for that after I proved myself). If I had taken those 5 years off, I’d be looking for salaries at half of what I make now, and I would have a 5 year hole on my resume. I’d have no current leads (at this point in my career I have a long list of people I could call about potential jobs), and competing with people who are younger than me, who have less family commitments and can work later and travel more for work. I’ve got 30 years of working left, and I’d be looking at a 50% earning power for the foreseeable future. Leaving the workforce to be a stay at home parent is the right answer for some people, but not for everyone, and it’s something that has to be weighed very carefully.

Post # 28
Member
2141 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

I completely agree with those of you said that leaving the workforce for a few years will make it way harder to find a decent job and that I’ll have to take a huge pay cut. I was just offering the perspective to OP that if she ultimately decides (like I did) that it’s worth it to her to have that extra time with her baby, then that’s ok too.. just like deciding to stick it out at work if that’s the right choice for you is also ok. ๐Ÿ™‚ Obviously a lot of these decisions do depend on your total household income, your career, your benefits etc.. I just decided for me personally that I’d be happy to take the pay-cut and take whatever entry-level job I could get rather than sacrifice time with my baby. Of course it depends on OP’s husband too.. 

OP, whatever you decide, think about it and go with what’s right for you. You’ll get a lot of different opinions and I hope you can find peace of mind with whatever decision you go for ๐Ÿ™‚

Post # 29
Member
369 posts
Helper bee

I quit and I don’t regret my decision at all.  Our family is happier and runs so much more smooth with me at home even if we have less money.  We still live a middle class comfortable life.  We can’t do everything we want to do but at the end of the day I know exactly where and what my child is doing.  Good luck. 

Post # 30
Member
1177 posts
Bumble bee

Westwood :  I agree.  I work in health care (physical therapist) and you just really can’t take any time off in most health care related fields.  I would venture to say there’s a lot of fields where taking any kind of time off is detremental.

OP, give yourself some time as it sounds like your feelings are completely normal.  You say things would be fine if you quit, but you don’t have a crystal ball.  My friend, who is a Stay-At-Home Mom, is now scrambling because her husband just lost his job.  He’s an engineer and has until the end of the month, then he’s done.  She’s been out of the work force for 5 years and if he doesn’t get a job soon, they’re in big trouble.  She was an x-ray technician but now those jobs are so competitive, plus no one is going to hire her without recent experience.  I hope things work out but you hear stories like that every day.

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