Fear that my baby won't know I'm her mum

Michelle - posted on 11/23/2010 ( 25 moms have responded )

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My daughter is turning three months at the end of November and I have been working since she was a month old. This was really not by choice but due to the fact that we do not have maternity leave benefits. She stays with someone during the day and I just fear that the bond she has with this person will be far greater than the one she will form with me. I spend time with her in the afternoons and on weekends but just feel that most of her day is spent with someone else and not me, I really miss her when I am at work and one of my biggest fears is that I will not be present when she says her first word or takes her first step.

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Tina - posted on 12/07/2010

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I have been a single mom for three years. I went back to work after a week and a half I missed all of my daughters firsts. The thing that I learned though so that she still knows I am her mom and I am still here for her. Now with her being three years old the time that we do spend together is worth it. She knows that I love her but she also knows that mommy has to work. It gets depressing sometimes but I no that I work so that I can provide for her and me. It was hard to miss her firsts but I could give her a house to live in food to eat and clothes on her back it is a struggle but to me that was more important. I guess in a way it is just how you look at it.

Becky - posted on 11/23/2010

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I know that fear all too well. I was off work for 2 months with my little girl, then back to the grind. I worked odd hours at the time too . . . 11 am till 8 pm and most Saturdays 8 to noon. She did indeed get close to those who took care of her, but there was no substituted for Mom. You could always tell because when she was tired, when she was sick . . . she wanted only to cuddle up with Mom. Especially when she was a toddler, I despised having to be at work all the time, because she always wanted more time with me. She was always asking why I had to be at work and I was afraid she would think that I'd rather work & make money than spend time with her. I cried myself to sleep over it sometimes. My daughter is 9 now. And while she still wishes for more time with my, she understands that I work hard because I love her! I sometimes wonder if I didn't miss out on some things, but at the same time, I do what I have to. She knows I love her! She's known from day one. I always have made that clear to her by devoting some of my free time to only her. We'd have special Mom & Me weekends where we do all kinds of things from movies on the couch together to visiting the zoo or a park . . . whatever sounds fun! Just me & her and to hell with everything else.
With me being in school now, it get's harder & harder to find our special time & she's getting older and wants to spend most of her time with friends, so this year we started a new tradition . . . Mom & Me road trip! Just driving & exploring anything that catches our attention . . . nothing but us for the week.
I've found that by planning all the one & one time that is special to us both, it helps to make us both feel better about the fact that I do have to work.

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Jennifer - posted on 05/12/2011

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I'm expecting my first child in September and I've just been worried about this topic. I will have to return to work after I give birth and my mom will have to take care of our baby. I was thinking about the idea of my baby not knowing who I am because of the large amount of time that she will be spending with her grandmother. I'm so glad I found this website and post! After reading everyone's response, I feel so much better and more confident that my baby will know who I am! Thank you!

[deleted account]

Hi. I know what you are feeling but like all the other moms say DOTN worry your baby will always know you are her mommy. I also work long hours and my kids are in day care and my son go’s from time to time to his dad that is 5 hour’s drive from me and stays for 5 to 6 weeks and his dad spoils him rotten and the new mommy to be hoe will do all thing to get him to like her more so that he can stay permanently still fails. Because he knows how his mommy is.

Angie - posted on 12/07/2010

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As a working Mom, I understand your fears. But now that my children are grown, I can tell you they know very well who their mom is and thankfully they love me. Just be sure to enjoy (but not spoil) your child as much as you can when you're with her, keep close contact with the care giver, and even ask them to take pictures or jot down notes about things she might do during the day. My mother did that when she babysat a few little children. She had little journals on them in which she wrote notes about what they did during the day. Those mothers were absolutely thrilled with the idea of having that journal as their own as the book became full.

Judy - posted on 12/07/2010

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Sure kids get attached to their teachers... would you want you child cared for by someone they did not feel emotionally attached to? But as a teacher, I guarantee you there is no one like "mom". Every student knows my hugs are temporary.... to hold them over till they can get a real hug from mom. Besides, teachers change year to year, even a nanny does not last for ever. Now and then I run into a former student, and even if they remember me, it's usually just a surface memory. But you are a constant they depend on forever.

NikaMomofTwins - posted on 12/07/2010

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With todays tech. my husband was home in the day time with our girs. He caught all the firsts on the camera phone and sent them to me so i didnt feel like i missed much! I did the same for him when he went to work at nights! It was a team effort as will be the rest of there lives! See if something like that is possible!

Shauna - posted on 12/07/2010

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I feel you but don't worry. I worked also from 6 weeks on. I would have been working at a month but I had to stay out an extra 2 weeks for a surgery. I had saved up all my sick time for maternity leave and that wasn't even enough to cover it staying home was not an option especially with the the ER bills that I racked up after giving birth.

My son is now 4 years old and I am the light of his life. Ms. Mary was the most wonderful babysitter and always kept me updated on his progress. In fact I feel that she did so much better than me with her experience that I am grateful sometimes I was just too darn tired to have kept up with a baby all day long.

The positive side is that my son is an only child and being able to go to daycare was such a learning boost for him. He would come home learning so much each day. I couldn't replicate that if I had had the opportunity to stay at home.

Its okay to feel that way I did for a while too. But when she is old enough you will see her face light up when you get home from a day of work. It makes the moment of picking her up all the more special. There is a study that shows children that have been away from their parents even for long periods of time remember the smell of their mothers. Nobody but you can replicate that! :)

Tracey - posted on 12/02/2010

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There are so many people in this world that are going through what you are going through. I did it as well so I can sympathize. http://www.risingchild.com/group/viewdis... this is a discussion where people like you and I discuss what they are worried about missing out on when it comes to their children. Just know that you are doing the best that you can to provide the best life for your child and one day your child will really appreciate what you have done for them. Its hard to say dont regreat it but be proud.

Audrey - posted on 12/02/2010

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Unfortunate for you that your job doesn't have good coverage.I worked since each of my kids were small.They always knew qwho I was . Yes sometimes we do miss out on things but what they do and say will always be there. Be proud that you are doing a good job to take care of her.

Miranda - posted on 12/02/2010

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I know your concerns since I had similar fears myself when I returned to work. Your baby girl will ALWAYS know you! She knows your scent, your voice, your touch and craves it more than anyone elses attention. My daughter (almost 9months) has been in daycare since she was 3 months old and still, she prefers mommy & daddy to anyone else. I know its hard but have faith! Make sure that you have some special 'mommy & me' time everyday - whether you sit quietly and tell her about your day when you get home, having dinner together, bathtime routines - as long as you make the time, she will thrive and continue to worship you - MOMMY! :)

Miriam - posted on 12/01/2010

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I had to go back to work when my daughter was 21/2 months old and I felt the same way. I would tell the person whom was caring for her not to tell me if she took a first step or when she said her first word because I would be heart broken. Every day when I got home after picking her up at the sitter, I would dedicate myself to her until she was fast asleep. I rocked her to sleep every night no matter what anyone said to me because I just wanted to hold her close and I missed her so much. She is now 12 years old and I have been a single parent now for almost 3 years. My daughter and I are very close and we snuggle every day and I tuck her in every night. There is not a day that she doesn't tell me I love you mommy, and I tell her every single day too, several times a day. Just do the best you can and hold her close as much as you can. She knows who her mommy is! I wish you the best of luck and it does get better.

Resse - posted on 12/01/2010

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I was separated with my baby since she was only 10 months. Now she is 1 year and 5 months. My Mom takes care of her because I have to work and study with my Masters. I visits her twice a month and talk to her over the phone time to time. I misses her so much everyday. I have the same fear that she might not recognize me as her mother; she might be attached to other people emotionally than me. It's very difficult when I think about it especially thinking that I should be there for her as her mother and father too. I only think that she is in good hands and very well taken cared of by my mother and my family. So far, she's doing very fine and I can see that she is growing smart, funny and loving. Like what I’m doing, just make sure to make it up to her to have quality time when you are with your baby. Don’t worry too much, just think that you are working for her and her future, and every thing will be fine.

Ashley - posted on 12/01/2010

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Tell your babysitter not to tell you if she has done anything new that way you wont be hurt and wont no any different. And your mommy nobody can replace you. Its really hard but it will get easier.

Emily - posted on 12/01/2010

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Your daughter will always know who her mommy is. Nobody can love a child as much as a parent. As much as the daycare providers and babysitters love and care about our children, there simply is no substitute for mom. Love her when you get home from work, and when you drop her off at daycare assure her she will have fun and you will see her soon - then relish in the massive hug you get when you pick her up. Good luck!

Christine - posted on 12/01/2010

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I totally understand how you feel. I have a 2 and 4 year old and went back to work with each of them when they were 8 weeks. I wish I could stay home with them, but it's not possible for me right now. I just wanted to encourage you because your child will know you are her mom. As long as you spend time with her and long on her when you can she will know. There is a special bond I think between a kid and their mom. No one will love her like you do. My kids are with their grandma while I work and they definitely know I am mom and I feel we have a very strong bond. Also, I understand missing firsts. It's happened to me, and I hate it, but someone said something to me that did help. They said you will still get to hear that first word. It might not be the first time technically, but it will be the first time YOU heard it. And there will be a day when she will start to walk and there will be a first time YOU will see it. That will still be special even if it's not the first time technically. I know that is hard, but it did help me to think about it that way. Also, even stay at home moms miss things. You can't be with your child every moment. There have been days I was home and in the bathroom or napping and my child was with my husband and they did something I missed. I wish you luck and hope you can get some peace about this.

Amy - posted on 12/01/2010

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You know, you might miss some of her firsts, but when she does them in front of you for the first time it's just as amazing! Your her mom and she's never going to forget that. Put up a lot of pics at work of her (If you can). Also, talk to her about you going to work and why you need to go. At 3 months they might not understand it all but eventually the more you say it they will.

My husband stays at home with our kids, and when I would get home from work I'd get the biggest welcome! When he started moving around he would crawl/walk right up to me with the biggest smile. My husband actually misses that as he doesn't get that response out of him. Eventually it will get a little better but in the mean time just remember that she'll always love you and as she gets older she'll applicate all you do!

Flavia - posted on 12/01/2010

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It is wonderful you are such a caring mom. It is normal for you to feel left out , but don't worry you have years and years of joy and first to be a part of.
It is very important that whoever takes care of your baby is bonded to them. It is for the health and safety and well being of your child . If you spend your time with your baby she will always know you are her mother and her daytime caregiver is just that. I hope her caregiver is a kind and loving person and it works out for you >

Gabrielle - posted on 12/01/2010

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Not to worry - your baby will know you and love you. I had to put daughter in daycare when she was 3 months old to go back to work, and there has never been a question - she likes her care givers and teachers, but I'm mom - the one and only. You can talk to her care giver and let them know if you want to be told when a "first" happens or if you want to wait and have it happen for you. My daughter took her first steps for us and her first word, too, although she rolled over first at day care - hubby was there and nearly missed it anyway. And her caregiver took pictures to share the activities my daughter participated in at school (finger painting, holiday photos, etc). But even if you miss the first, you'll get the second and third and all the ones after that. She knows your scent and your voice better than anyone else's and she loves you.

Cara - posted on 12/01/2010

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Don't worry, I was young and lived with my parents when I had my son. He called my parents mom and dad and I was Cara. However, when told to get his mom he came and got me, so yes, your baby will know that you are mommy. By the way, my son started calling me mom the day I moved out of my parents home.

Letitia - posted on 11/30/2010

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Children ALWAYS know their mommy. No matter what. Just because you have to work does not mean your child will love you any less or not know you. It means you are showing them by example that you cant sit and wallow in self pity, you get up and do something. Just spend the quality time together when not working. It's quality over quantity. My 6 year old has been in daycare since he was 6 weeks old, first with is gma and then a center but he is attached at my hips when I have him. Kids learn to appreciate their time with you more.

[deleted account]

I understand your concern. I had to put my son in daycare from 1 month also, as I needed to work to support us (his fater was on drugs & I kicked him out).
I also had the same concerns that you are having.
My son is now 17 years old. He always knew that I was his mum. The daycare people are not as attached as we are with our children, more 'distant' and your child will feel this.
I did miss 1 or 2 of my childs 1st things, but I know that he has a better life now because he has a hard working mother as a role model, and has had all his needs provided for (not through government hand outs).
You will still feel concern, even when they are at school....... unfortunately your concerns never fade they just change (mine is now, I hope he drives sensibly and doesnt hurt himself).
I hope I have helped.
Ange

Eliz - posted on 11/23/2010

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Missing the firsts is a sacrafice many of us working moms have to face. I missed a lot of my son's firsts but thanks to wonderful people who cared for him they captured these moments for me. Your daughter will always know you are mommy. I work some crazy hours and though I feel my son is with other people more than me he knows I'm mommy and loves on me when I'm home with him. Don't worry. Just do what you're doing and all will be fine.

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