I don't think there is any right time to go back to work, it's hard. But when it comes to daycare, I don't think it would matter if they're 6 months or 18 months, the first few months there is a great chance they (and you) will get sick. With our first she was maybe 18 months I think when she started and the first 2-3 months we had colds, gastro, she had chicken pox...argh, it was hell. Then my second she just had cold after cold, then croup, bronchitis, felt like everything she could get, she did get.
Going back part time is hard too (well I found it hard, some people it works great for). But I just felt like I couldn't get into my role 100%, I was missing out on things so felt like I was always 1 step behind. Things would be decided in meetings on my days off and I'd hear about it a week later. Frustrating. I also felt like (and I still do) like I can't give 100% at work or at home, that something is always slipping or not getting my full attention. But, over time for the most part I've accepted this and it's getting easier.
Don't stress about the mothers group thing. It sucks that you miss out, but can you ask to do your regular catchups on your day off if you're the only one working maybe? And kids totally develop at different speeds. My first did everything sooo early (I was convinced she was a genius ) and my second was always the last to do everything... but now she's a toddler she's exactly the same as everyone else.
It's so hard going back to work. And the first few months are definitely the worst. If you can try and stick those out, then I think you'll be in a better place to evaluate what you want to do long term.
It probably doesn't help, but I cried every day (on the train no less) when I returned to work the second time for about the first month. It did get easier xx sending you hugs, such a hard time and I hope you know what you're feeling is normal and you're doing all the right things. You're a great Mum, I can tell that by reading all your posts on BH
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08-09-2016 09:37 #11Senior Member
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08-09-2016 10:43 #12
OP it's so hard going back to work!
I went back 1 day a week when DD was 7 months and that was hard enough. Do you have to work 3 days a week? Would there be any option to drop it down to 1-2 days a week?
The sickness is horrendous when they first start daycare. Don't feel bad - DD was exclusively BF, never had formula & still ended up in hospital twice from viral infections in her first year at daycare, so I really don't think BF v formula has anything to do with it! I felt like every week I got her well & she would come home with a new bug next daycare day. Good news is at 2 yrs old we've had a great winter so far with just a few sniffles, so they do grow out of it!
My child was also the last to do everything - it's best not to compare. If your worried at all get a referral from your MCHN for a free physio session to assess your DS. Mine said as long as there is progress not to worry. DD didn't crawl until 10 months, walked at 17 months & now runs everywhere.
Give yourself a few weeks for things to settle down - it's a big adjustment!
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08-09-2016 10:47 #13Senior Member
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I've been in a similar situation and have had the same thoughts as you for a while now. My DS didn't start childcare until he was 2 as my mum looked after him two days a week, but that wasn't an option with DD so she started one day a week just before 6 months (plus she has Saturdays with DH while I work). She has a constant cold and initially got some kind of virus/gastro/conjunctivitis every single week. She would be fine to go on her day, be sick by the next day, then have 1-2 ok days before the cycle started again. She's exclusively breastfed so that hasn't made any difference, and she completely refuses bottles when she's there (does at home too) so I feel incredibly guilty every time she goes because I know she's probably hungry. At nearly 9 months now she still only has a few teaspoons of solids at a time.
We've talked about pulling her out a number of times but in the end we don't for a few reasons. She's an incredibly clingy baby so I honestly need two days a week with my arms free (cue the guilt again for saying that). And although we don't necessarily need the money we would have to watch our spending a lot more if I only did one day a week, so I'd end up feeling guilty going to coffee mornings/play centres etc to spend money. So neither option is perfect but in the end keeping her there seems like the least negative option. All I can say is that it's hard but in the end it has to get easier.
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08-09-2016 15:40 #14
wow thanks for all the fantastic replies. I'm definitely feeling better after reading all this!!
going back 1 or 2 days, whilst ideal, is not an option. my boss retired while I was on mat leave and sold the business. the new boss has indicated I need to do minimum 3 days. I never really asked to do less, maybe in hindsight I should've. and maybe I still will. I feel like 2 days at daycare would be better for ds, he does Monday, has Tuesday at home and Wednesday back at daycare. then he's there again on Thursday and I just find 2 days in a row seems to be his undoing. so ideally I'd work Monday and Wednesday or Thursday. I think if this continues I'll need to push for something more flexible, if only til the end of the year just to get us through this initial period.
my workplace is tiny and pretty cruisy so I don't feel I'm "missing out" on anything by being part time. I wasn't fulltime before ds was born, I was doing 4 days and that suited me nicely. so the part time is definitely good for me. I don't think fulltime anything (job or sahm) is for me, not long term anyway. it does my head in and I find I need the variety of each to feel my best.
I think I just need to get over myself and keep on trucking, just like each and every one of you wonderful women have done! thanks again for the support xx
08-09-2016 15:47 #15
Going back to work when my bun was 5 months was the hardest thing iv ever done. I could've written ur post myself 2.5yrs ago except I hated my job and I ended up with terrible depression from all the guilt etc. my best advice would be to follow your gut instinct, if you don't think the care is right possibly look for another place, although I understand waiting lists can be long. For me, I had no choice as I have to work as hubby doesn't earn enough to float us both. What ur feeling and going through is normal and unfortunately kids do tend to get a bit sick in their first year of day care. On the flip side, day care germs do help to build a strong immune system and the interaction is great for social skills. I found my boy picking up new words and learning from the older kids which was cool. Ur doing a fabulous job mama, be kind to ur self xx
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08-09-2016 19:44 #16
I went back to work when dd1 was 10wks old but I only worked 8-10hrs a week when DH or my mum had Bub. She didn't start daycare till 18mths old and got about 6 colds in the first 7mths. Dd2 was 7mths old and went 2 days a week. It was awful and she didn't cope till 9-10mths but didn't get sick much. Dd3 started daycare 2 days a week at 9mths old and has coped really well. In the past 6 weeks she has only had the one cold that's lasted more than 24hrs.
The sickness is normal when first starting daycare. All kids get sick. Some do recover more quickly than others. Whilst I do believe that BM helps kids get recover quicker as they get mums antibodies it won't prevent sickness.
In the end you need to weigh up what is important to you and your family. IMO tho - just my opinion. 3 days is a lot for a 6mth old. There is limited time for you guys to recover from daycare/work and still having time for fun.
My kids currently do daycare on tues/wed so Thursday is recovery day. This way we get fri- mon to do family things and I catch up on all my housework on a thurs. I still get to do playgroup on Fridays and catch up with friends on Mondays. This works for my family. Do what works for yours.
08-09-2016 19:46 #17
08-09-2016 21:18 #18
we have Friday through Sunday for recovery and he's always good after a couple of days at home! it's the Wednesday and Thursday that seems to get him, the 2 absences he's had from daycare have both been Thursdays.
I don't think it's fair to say "3 days is a lot for a 6 month old" - there are bubs in ds' room that have been there since 11 weeks old and most bubs in his room go 5 days a week. if a parent has to work and doesn't have an alternative for childcare, what are they supposed to do?
08-09-2016 21:30 #19
I don't think 3 days is a lot for a 6 month old.
I think 7 days is too much for a parent though
DSD and DSS went four days a week aged 3 and 1.5 years respectively. BOTH got sick pretty much every week for twelve months.
There is no "right" time, just when suits you.
I would totally get mummy guilt if I had to/chose to go back to work, but I need the mental stimulation and 'break' to be a good parent too. Aiming to go back after DD's first birthday, but may delay it a bit as we now have the other two fulltime
08-09-2016 22:42 #20
have I gone back to work too soon?
I can relate to a lot of what you've said Hun, it's really hard going back to work and especially hard when your child gets sick all the time. It happens at any age, and has nothing to do with not BFing. Breast milk is good for antibodies and what not, but it's not going to protect your baby from the flu or gastro.
My experiences going back to work were not as tough because the boys didn't go to daycare until they were 2yrs old, they were with DH and nanny from 8 months and 7 months old respectively. they hardly ever got sick until they started childcare, well after I stopped breast feeding..
I can absolutely relate to feeling left out and isolated from the mothers group. I was the first one to go back to work and they all continued meeting up sometimes 3 times a week and developing stronger relationships while I was left behind. It was really hard at first. I was so sad, because I felt like those first 7 months before I went to work, they were my closest friends and confidants. But that's just how life is.. People go in different directions.. You can't take these things personally.
As for the milestones, your boy is only 6 months old - most 6 month olds are only just learning to sit unsupported. Don't stress about it him not scoffing down solid food or pulling himself up to stand - that usually doesn't happen until 8-9 months! He'll get there eventually.
Lastly, your childcare centre.. If you aren't happy with them, can you find another centre? It's the worst thing when you entrust your precious one to a group of strangers and then feel like they aren't taking care of him properly. Although I'm sure they are doing the best job they can, but if you're not happy, I would go with your gut and consider another centre.
Last edited by witherwings; 08-09-2016 at 22:46.
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