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Returning to Work with an Infant
Due to unforeseen (and lucky) circumstances, I've been able to
stay at home with my now 10-month old. However, I'm soon to
return to work full time. (Part time is simply not a viable
option.) While I'm generally a strong, rational, not overly
emotional person, I am certain that I'll be wholly grief-
stricken upon separating from the baby. Any good books out
there for coping with such grief? It's not guilt or juggling
schedules that is my concern. It's simply finding a way to
endure being apart from the baby as it has been such a
honeymoon. Thanks in advance.
An anxious mom
My son is almost 4, and socially comfortable in a way I never
was, very affectionate, empathetic, and very attached to both
Best of luck.
I had pretty severe anxiety about going back to work, to the point that I had many negative fantasies about terrible things happening to me or to my baby. I would worry all day, and cry on BART to and from work. This lasted about six weeks. It got better over time and with help from a therapist. A co-worker had a baby a few months after me, and she had a hard time for the first six weeks as well. (crying, worrying, etc. although not as bad as I had it) I think the key is to expect a tough transition, and to get help if you need it. (Go part time at first, get a therapist, join a support group, call your child's caretaker several times a day if you need to) and then really listen to your heart. If you try it for some time and really give it a chance, and you still don't feel right about it, then find an alternative. After a couple months I felt really comfortable leaving my baby to work full time outside the home. And now I'm gearing up to do the same with number two, although, who knows? You just have to take it one day at a time.
I am quite sure that sooo many mommy's and daddy's on this list that know exactly how you feel! Doesn't make it any easier to handle right now, but I can promise you'll be ok. I, like you was lucky enough to stay home with my little girl for the first 6 months of her life, and going back to work to a career I love was very difficult. I'll never forget the first day we picked her up from her babysitter's house, and I got her home and changed her little diaper I started crying because she was wearing a diaper that I didn't put on her!! But...it gets easier. Especially if you know they are being cared for in a way that is with love. I miss my little one all the time (lot's of pictures on my desk helps), but I know she is having fun where she is and loves playing with her 2 little friends. Picking her up is a joy each day. I don't know of any books you can read, hopefully other posts will help with that. I've also known people that have gone back to work after having kids, just couldn't do it, and quit!
My best to you!
a mommy who misses my baby!
Congratulations on having been able to spend the time you have had with your baby. I returned to work full-time when my daughter was 6 months old, and was amazed at how much I missed her, since, like you, I felt that I was not an overly emotional person. I dealt with those feelings in two ways: I made sure that I really loved the job I was going back to (and found I didn't, and so I found a new job almost immediately), and I made sure that I completely trusted the daycare my daughter went to, and called whenever I needed to to check up. The daycare (a small home-based daycare) understood and I was constantly reassured. But the most important issue was that I loved the job I went back to. That reassured me that I was doing the right thing for me, which made the time I spent with my daughter all the more pleasant, since I was happy. Good luck.
A happy mother and full-time employee
I just wanted to tell you my story with returning to work maybe it helps you. I went back to work when my first baby was 6 weeks old. We needed both incomes because we had a lot of credit card debt. I worked full time at the time from 6 am to 7 pm because I was on a 10 hour day in order to have every Friday off. I decided that I wanted to stay home so I concentrated on trying to make it financially feasible. I paid off credit card with half of my paycheck and in a year I only had one left. Then we cut down expense (it also helped that my husband got a raise). It can be done. However, you have to be very organized and responsible with your finances. My first baby is now 4 years and I have a 4 month baby and have not/will not go back to work until they are in school. I do odd jobs like at my gym to get a free membership. Good luck
I did not expect it to be this way at all, but I actually found that it was great to get back to work after a six-month maternity leave. Before I went back I dreaded the separation from my daughter but it turned out not to be so hard. For me, there was huge satisfaction in getting back to the kind of purposeful activity that was my whole life before I had a baby. I really needed that sense of accomplishment and productivity. Of course, taking care of a child is purposeful, productive, and an accomplishment, but it's of a totally different nature that what I get from my job. I'm overjoyed to see my daughter at the end of the day and I love weekends and holidays and vacations with her, but I don't usually miss her during a normal workweek.
As other posters have said, it helped tremendously that I
trusted the folks at her daycare center and saw that she was
happy there. I learned a lot from those caregivers, believe
me. The acquaintance with all the other parents at daycare who
were saying goodbye to their babies and going off to work and
picking them up again at the end of the day also helped. I can
also see many ways in which my daughter has benefited from going
to daycare (and now preschool). My point I guess is that the
work-day separation may indeed turn out to be difficult to cope
with, but it also may be a lot easier than you expect. Good
Happy working mom
I returned to work when my baby was 3 mos old. I wasn't ready to leave her yet, but there wasn't much choice if I wanted to keep my job. As it was, I was forced to give up one of my two part time positions, because I couldn't find childcare on the right day of the week (!) to allow me to attend the meetings for that department. This reduced me from 75% before the baby was born, to 50% after, an additional strain on our budget. But in the end, everything was perfect. I didn't start looking for childcare early enough (start more than 2 mos in advance!), so the first month my daughter spent in what we jokingly referred to as "training wheels daycare"-- for her and for us! She spent a couple weeks with her grandmother (who was happy to be asked to make the trip out to help), and a couple weeks with another friend of ours who lives near campus and had a flexible schedule at the time. This gave us all a chance to get used to the idea of being apart. At four months she entered Cedar Street Childcare (on Cedar between Oxford and Shattuck--549-3989), where she has remained ever since. In both cases I was able to walk or drive a couple of minutes to her to nurse her at lunch. This was a real advantage, and saved me from having to pump as much, too. Cedar Street has been great--they have very flexible hours, so you don't have to pay for early mornings if you don't arrive till after 9, for instance. And the cost is quite reasonable, although they recently raised their rates some for the first time in over 5 years. The shift from 75% to 50% was tough at first, but my husband got a new job shortly thereafter, and the money became less of an issue. And I have really enjoyed the split of time between home and work. I have plenty of time to spend with my daughter (we can go to the park, and take music class together), but I get plenty of time in the company of adults as well. All in all, it worked out perfectly for us. I wish everyone else such a happy ending to their search.
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