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  1. #1
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    Default have I gone back to work too soon?

    not even sure what section to put this under, it qualifies for a few of the sections I think lol.

    so here's my story: ds turned 6 months 2 weeks ago and I went back to week last Thursday. just doing 3 days per week and ds is in daycare those 3 days as we have no family who are able to watch him while we both work. he started daycare a couple of weeks before I started work as a bit of a settling in period. he's settled in really well.

    however, pretty much since he's started daycare, we've all been sick as dogs. dh and I were previously never really unwell and ds was never sick til now. he was BF until about 3 weeks ago and is now exclusively formula fed. unsure if ceasing BF has had anything to do with him getting sick but my mummy guilt radar is going crazy and saying it's probably contributed.

    so ds has been unwell on and off for the last 3 weeks, sniffles, then gastro and now a chesty cough and lots of snot. he'll get better over the weekend and days he's home with me then after 3 days at daycare he's rat sh!t again.

    tonight I pick him up from daycare and find out they're not using all the bottles I pack for the day and are rinsing and reusing bottles. wtf. I'm not happy with this at all and communicated this to the educator on duty tonight. I also noticed he didn't have a bed allocated with his name on it and all the other babies seemed to. I feel like they're being quite sloppy and I'm having to tell them how to do their job, something that really grates on me. I think I'm feeling extra picky with daycare right now as I'm feeling guilty for being back at work and with ds unwell plus I feel like the centre at which I'm leaving him don't seem to bothered with doing their jobs properly.

    in terms of my job, I feel pretty so so towards it. my boss retired whilst I was on mat leave so I've come back to a new boss. the job is cruisy so far and the new boss seems ok, but it's a bit of a commute. I'd say on a scale of 1-10 I probably enjoy it 6/10 maybe? like it's not terrible but I don't love it. it's cushy enough and the money is good but I'm
    just questioning is it worth it when ds is obviously suffering for me being there?

    I'm also feeling bummed out as all the bubs of my mothers group mums are all sitting and/or crawling. one is even pulling herself up to stand (she's 7 months though) and they're all polishing off bowls of solids whereas we are still counting the teaspoons here. I'm just feeling like we are going backwards...I'm struggling week to week watching ds go from one bug to the next and just trying to ensure he stays healthy, meanwhile other babies his age are practically walking and eating 3 course meals.

    ds is one of the youngest in my mothers group (most are 2-3 weeks to 1 month older) yet I'm the first mum to return to work. they're all still at home fulltime meeting up for coffees and making plans for play dates at play centers and I feel like I'm torn between work and dat care runs and gp appointments. I feel alienated and left out, like I've got nothing in common with anyone in the group anymore. I realise it's probably temporary as they'll all start going back to work soon too but it's still tough.

    of course I realise many have it much harder than I do and in the grand scheme I have nothing to complain about. I'm lucky to have a cushy job that pays well and that we can afford daycare. I just can't help but feel like all this is my fault. I was originally looking forward to going back to work, now I just think it's a huge mistake. I'm going to have to keep ds home tomorrow as he's too unwell for daycare again (had one absence already and thus is only his 3rd week there) so that means I'll miss work. like surely it shouldn't be this hard?

    I'm not even sure what my point is it what I want answered. does it seem like I've gone back too soon? should I quit or just say I need more time at home? or is this just how it is and I need to just get on with it? I'm just worried I'll end up damaging poor ds somehow by constantly sending him to daycare whilst he's under the weather.

    I'm just feeling guilty, bummed out and over it all.

    any feedback, opinions, ideas, stories etc welcome. thanks xx

  2. #2
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    Honestly I don't think there is a right time to go back, but I personally waited until 12 months as I wanted my kids to be moving around before they started day care. Like I thought in my head they could outrun the bugs I knew they would catch (ridiculous I know). I felt it was right for me. DD2 was the only one of mine who started day care (the other times I used nannies) and she still got sick. She was sick on and off for ages. It was hard and I always felt like I was skipping out on work. Caused stress between DH and me too as we worked out who would take time off (my job was not cushy and was very hard to manage part time).

    I describe working part time as living between 2 worlds, and in neither. Some times it feels like no mans land. It can be lovely and it can be lonely and isolating.

    But it's always hard going back after your first. No matter when you do it.

    Everything you describe is normal. And it's Melbourne. It's still cold and people are still sick. Give it a few more weeks and it will warm up, and the colds will stop. You will also find your groove.

    And if it doesn't you stop and reassess. It's all we can do as parents.

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  4. #3
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    Sonja is right- there's no right time that suits everyone.

    It's bloody hard going back to work and unfortunately, IME anyway, the endless rounds of sickness are part and parcel with the early months of Childcare. I hate to say it the same thing happened with starting school too even though DS1 had been going to a couple of days of Childcare a week for years by that time.

    I guess you need to ask ask yourself why you are at work? Does your family need the money to make ends meet? Do you need it/want it for your own career goals or sanity? I think if you can be sure you are back at work for the right reasons (whatever they may be) then it will help you get through the tough days (weeks or months) that will inevitably happen.

    Hugs xx

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  6. #4
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    You may have the same thoughts no matter when you go back to work. It's a big adjustment...

    On the eating, standing, walking front - all babies are different and will all start these things at different stages.

    I was one of the last in my mothers group to go back to work and I was jealous of all of them getting out of the house and having something to do! The coffee and lunch catchups dried up and I was bored and lonely.

    You could maybe start doing one BF a day if that will help with the guilt (not that you should feel guilty!).

    I would be annoyed too of the daycare wasn't using the bottles, that seems odd. If your DS has started so late in the year and is only there three days a week they may not have a bed allocated for him - he's probably floating between which ever cot is free on the days he's in. Well at least that's what happens at DD's daycare for the part-timer late starters.

    I'm sure all of what I've said you already know, just sounded like you needed reassurance xxx

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    Loads of hugs.

    The sickness is normal. Frustrating, horrible - but normal. I found it took a good 6 months before it started getting better.

    DS did not eat much food. 'Food for fun before 1'. It is more important for milk other than food for now.

    Re: other milestones - they will happen. It may be because he has been sick. But it will happen.

    I also believe that we feel guilty no matter when we go back. I still miss DS like crazy when he is at care and he is 3.5yo.

    Also weaning from BF is not what is causing the sickness. Loads of hugs.

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  10. #6
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    Default have I gone back to work too soon?

    You would have these feelings and struggle with sickness whether you returned at 6 months or 12 months or 3 years.

    It's a super hard adjustment returning to work and questioning why is normal- but doesn't indicate that you are doing the wrong thing.

    I agree with what pp said regarding childcare- dd1 started later in the year and only part time so she goes not have a set spot for things. Keep communicating with your daycare with the bottles or anything else you are unhappy with- if they don't know they can't fix it. It's not the initial problems but how they respond to your concerns which reflect how good a place they really are.

    And as for breastfeeding and being sick- dd2 is exclusively breastfed and has been constantly sick over winter (thanks to dd1) so that is a load of toss.

    Hugs. It does get easier- and if you find it doesn't then you can reassess. But give it time. Xxxx
    Last edited by Little Miss Sunshine; 08-09-2016 at 06:43.

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  12. #7
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    I went back to work when DD was 7 months. It was awful. I felt so guilty leaving her with strangers. She was sick a lot in the first 6 months. Once her immune system picked up, it was a lot better.

    She used to be a terrible eater for me (still isn't great), but being at childcare, she was eating so much better, and still does

    I think no matter when you return to work, it is still hard. It's a given with childcare that they are going to catch everything that is going around.

    Hopefully things improve soon x

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  14. #8
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    It's all part and parcel of cc unfortunately. Even if you sent him at 12 months he would still get sick. I was lucky I had the luxury of pulling DS out of cc (he started at 10 months and the same thing happened) so the grandparents helped out but he will be starting there next month and I expect the same thing to happen although this time he's older and understands a bit more that he's not well.

    So it is normal and happens unfortunately and really sucks!

    As for milestones please please please don't compare your DS, they develop at such different rates and 1-2 months is huge development wise so don't compare him against kids 1-2 months older it will just set you up for a lot of unnecessary stress and worry.

    Also on the BF front also don't feel guilty (easier said than done - I feel guilty about a million things daily) it's just another reason I call the breast is best campaign a crock, it isn't always and whilst it has great benefits, the extent of those benefits can be severely overstated; yes breast milk and the initial colostrum provides the antibodies, but what it doesn't do is put a suit of armour around your child so they get no illnesses (despite what the campaign will have you believe). DS was breastfed exclusively while he had his short stint at cc but he still got sick 4 times in just under 2 months.

    I would keep with it given he will go through a period of many illnesses no matter when he starts and you've started now, so I'd continue and make use of the sick/carers leave you have and keep him home when he's sick. He shouldn't be going if he's sick, this is one thing that makes it worse at cc for illnesses, parents sending their sick kids when they're still contagious.

    And of course we are all here for you to vent about it all as it's hard, but most of us have been through it and can understand and sympathise.

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    Default have I gone back to work too soon?

    I agree with all the pp. I felt exactly the same as you when I went back to work in February and DD was 7.5 months. She was the youngest in the baby house at childcare and didn't crawl til at least 9 months so I felt she was really vulnerable. She's now 14 months and one of the only ones there not walking.
    I was also the only one who went back to work and copped a lot of guilt from people saying you don't need the money just stay home and this has been amplified as DD has been constantly sick since about April. I feel like every time she gets sick people are blaming me and judging me as I put her in childcare. My DD ended up with an enlarged spleen recently due to multiple infections and I felt like the worst mum ever. I have also never been as sick as the past few months. DH and I have had gastro, multiple colds and I've had a few nasty infections. It seems to be a never ending cycle of sickness here. Am hoping it gets better when it gets warmer.
    I also feel like my friends who aren't back at work don't understand how exhausting the juggling is.
    When I do get the guilts I tell myself well she'll need to go to childcare whether it's this year or next year, I was never going to be a 5yr SAHM.
    Despite the sickness I know my DD has a great time at childcare now. She loves the different environments and toys and I think it's good for her to hang out with people other than me and be around other kids as she will be an only child. She has lots of fun there and she does things she wouldn't get to do at home and they teach her things too.
    If you're not happy with the centre it can't hurt to look around at others you might find one that clicks better with you now that DS is actually going. What about dropping to 2 days for a few months?
    It's so hard. I'm still torn between am I doing the right thing for her, me, our family? But overall I'm pretty comfortable with her going 2 days a week. I have no commute though (10 minutes) and capacity to work from home a lot so that definitely helps as she doesn't do long days. 2 days might balance things more your way for a bit xx

    ETA my DD has been fully breastfed and still BF once a day and she's still had soooooo much sickness so pls don't beat yourself up. BF and FF babies get equally sick at childcare I think xx
    Last edited by gingermillie; 08-09-2016 at 10:29.

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  18. #10
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    Not much I can say that the lovely ladies on here have already said. It took my DS1 a good 6-12 months to stop getting sick every few weeks at CC (although he was full time from 11 months old, so that prob made it worse). He was still breastfed for the first 4-5 months of (part time) CC and he still got sick as a dog - so agree you shouldn't feel that has made any difference! Your DS also started in the middle of Melbourne winter which in my experience was the worse for illnesses.

    The guilt you feel is absolutely normal and felt by pretty much every mother that ever goes back to work. The question you need to ask yourself (and be honest) is whether you would really be happy back home with him full time - being a stay at home mum, living on one income etc. Sone people are happy and able to do that, and thes rest of us strive to find a balance between work and home, but it takes a while to find your groove. And like one PP said, you are living 2 lives and it's hard to feel like you're putting 100% into either because it's really just not possible IMO. But that doesn't make you a bad mother - a multi tasking multi talented mother yes!

    As for milestones - you could be sitting at home with flash cards and going to gymbaroo everyday and it prob wouldn't make a lick of difference. Your babies development is completely out of your control and he is in no way behind because of anything you have or haven't done. And he is totally up to speed anyway - crawling at 6 months is considered 'early' and God help the poor mothers that have to deal with babies pulling up and climbing at this age!! It's just another issue to add to the list.

    Try to focus on the days you do have with him and enjoy them as much as possible (despite the illnesses, I know it's v hard). It WILL get easier. It's always a shock at the beginning. Big hugs xxx

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