View Full Version : Feeling guilty
Hi, I'm new to this forum. I moved to Australia from the UK a year ago, and have been looknig after my son at home since then. To try to bring in some money whilst staying at home, I started my own business. This business has eaten up all our money, and I am now forced to look for work.
My career before bub was as a geographical information scientist, and jobs in this area are few and far between. Part time jobs are even rarer.
However, I am now faced with the possibility of a 3 month part time contract loosely related to my career, but earning quite a low wage. Alternatively I can look for a full time job. But I feel so guilty about the prospect of leaving my son in care 5 days per week. He currently goes to family day care 2 days a week so that I could concentrate on my business (LOL) and loves it there, but there is only a vacancy for 1 more day per week, so if I went down the full time path, I would need to get a nanny until other arrangements could be made.
When he is at home with me, I often feel like a bad mummy to him anyway because he will never do what I ask (I know he is only 20 months) so I often just end up shouting at him. He is not interested whatsoever in books and I think it is because of this that he is not saying any words yet at all. I also don't know many people here still, so I just spend many days alone with him.
I love him so much and want him to be happy - is that with me, or would he be happier in the care of someone else?
Hope to hear your thoughts.
cheeky boys mum
I not long ago posted about returning to work, feeling guilty putting him into childcare. You are not alone.
Ultimately you are his mother and noone can replace you and I have no doubt he loves you more then anything in the world too.
I read somewhere that as a parent you are the most important person in their life and so they tend to act up knowing they will always be loved regardless of their behaviour. So maybe he is just testing you for reactions.
I have no words of wisdom other then trial and error to see what works for you and him. Thats what I am doing and from the supportive views I got from the other mums I think thats the key to find out what works for you as a family.
Not saying it will be easy though.
My part time work runs out in a month then I go to full time which I am still not convinced it will work but will cross that bridge when it comes to it.
If you are going to be working I think you need to be happy with the job you are doing whether it be part or full time as it will flow on to the rest of your life.
Hi Cheeky Boys Mum,
I read your posts before I posted mine. It's hard isn't it.
I just have no concept of what it will feel like only seeing him for a couple of hours a day before he goes to bed. I think a big difference to me also is that I don't have a job to go back to, so any job I do find is not really going to be sympathetic to my family situation.
I just feel depressed at the moment even thinking about it. :(
I wish I could help in some way, I know how hard it is to struggle in a new country and with an obstinant 19-20 month old (No is my dd's favorite word!). I feel guilty from time to time over working 3-4 days a week, but remind myself that Chloe generally loves daycare. And if I'm being quite honest, I'm a better mom for working. On long weekends or when I'm at home with her for 4 days in a row, I go quite stir crazy and it's hard to stay calm when she gets clingy or throws (yet another) tantrum. She ends up watching too many dvds just so I can have a much needed time out! And I've had bad days when I've wondered how I ever deluded myself that I could cope with a child. But needing to get away from our kids sometimes and take a break doesn't make us bad mums or mean that bub is better off with anyone else but us.
I've just had to find a new family day care for the month of July as her regular carer took a long holiday. The family day care scheme was excellent help with this, I just phoned them up and they put me on to some other carers in our area who had space. There should be a state info number you can call to get the scheme contact details in your area if you don't already have them.
Have you tried books with buttons to press and flaps to lift to get your son interested? We started reading to Chloe when she was 5 or 6 months I think. And though she'll sit and look at them on her own she prefers us to read with her. Half the time I abandon the written story and just talk about the pictures with lots of pointing and funny voices or animal sounds. I know I sound like a goof, but it keeps her amused.
For trying to get her to do something I try to take advantage of the fact that she wants to be independent by not interfering and also try to turn regular tasks for Chloe into a game. One favorite game is putting things "away". A lot of toddlers seem to enjoy putting things back where they belong, so we do this with toys and when I undress her it's her job to put the clothes in the hamper while I sing (to the tune of "If you're happy and you know it":
put your clothes (... toys, ducks, cars, books, etc) away away away away,
put your clothes away away away away,
put your clothes away away, playtimes finished for today
put your clothes away away, away away.
Lots of praise and high fives when she does it!
Good luck, and try not to feel guilty over working, or over wanting to work. Feel free to send me a private message if you want to chat.
I just wish I could find a 3/4 day a week job that was related to my career. I don't know if I've been offered the contract job yet - will find out tomorrow, but even in the interview they told me that the job was likely to be very boring and repetitive. Not the sort of thing that I want to give up spending time with my son for. But then if I am offered this job, i need to say yes or no tomorrow.
Thanks for the tips about things to do with him - he does have one book with flaps that he likes. He likes brushing and sweeping, but putting things away is difficult! He starts to put them away, then gets them all out again!
I admit I've been very lucky in being able to go back to my previous job part time. Have you looked on Seek.com.au? I would have thought there would be a lot of positions for people experienced in GIS, although maybe I'm thinking more of the companies here in Perth.
Don't think that your son will be happier with someone else - he might be happy with them, but he will always be happiest with you. I work part time and my girls are happy with their nanny, but are very happy when I am staying home.
And don't think that it will be always be hard to start a new job part time - I have had two new jobs since my first daughter was born and in both I have been able to negotiate part time contracts.
I realise that this probably doesn't help you much with the choice you have to make, but please know that whatever choice you make doesn't make you a bad mother. There are lots of us out here juggling the fine line between family, work and career (not always the same thing) and none of us have all the answers but most of us are surviving!
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