finally got a job - how do you cope going back to work?

Erika - posted on 11/16/2010 ( 9 moms have responded )

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So, I was laid off for almost 2 years, and in that time I got pregnant and had my daughter...I always had the goal of going back to work but my daughter is 8mos old and I have become so attached to her.

How do you full-time working moms cope with going back to work?
I have become so emotional and anxietal about going back...

Any support would help. THANK you.

-Erika

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Judy - posted on 11/16/2010

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It's hard, you're right. I cried all the way to work my first day back on the job, and my daughter was in the very capable hands of a good friend. But like all difficult things in life, you do adjust to it, and so will your child. My best advice is to make the time you do have with her really count. If I have to let the dishes sit in the sink, then so be it.... my kids come first. I will share a very important piece from a teachers perspective, and this doesn't even fully apply to you because your daughter is still young enough not to have separation anxiety yet. Spend time (get up 15 minutes earlier if you need to) to just sit and snuggle, read a book etc with your child right before you leave the house. There is nothing worse than rushing out the door in a frenzy. That tends to carry over into the school, and then children cling and cry when their moms try to leave. So the mom stays a few more minutes... and next thing you know both parent and child are trapped in an endless drama of good-bye every day. When you drop your child off, give them a kiss and a hug, say I love you, and I will see you after work. Then leave when you say good-bye. As your child begins to develop language, she will define those words by the behavior that follows. If you don't leave when you say good bye, how can they trust you will return when you say you will do that. Having snuggle time at home first will give you both that bonding fix you need to last your whole day through. Good luck, you'll be fine.

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Sara - posted on 11/30/2010

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Well, at first and then on and off always, there is that question if you are doing the right thing and that feeling you are missing something. When I feel that way I generally take a friday off and take my kids to the zoo. It is hardest when they are babies because they can't talk andno one can ever do it as well as you, but then they start talking and walking and you see how much better it is they have other kids at daycare and they bring home projects and it is so great!

For me I balance the knowledge that I have less patients to be home with toddlers then my day care provider. I get a lot of self estem from my career and I trive on that. I need to continue moving forward in school and work life to feel good

So the short answer is you just have to keep looking at day care options until you find one you like... It makes it sooo much easier.

Natisha - posted on 11/20/2010

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I had to go back to work when my little man was 7 weeks old - the most heart wrenching thing I have ever done - especially when i was comuting to work 1.5 hours each way so i knew if something went wrong i wouldnt be able to get home in a hurry. I cried the whole way to work on my first day. I did that for three months and it was just too hard looking after our bubby and the home with working full time. Thankfully now i work from home now which has just changed my life. I hope things will get easier for you!

Tah - posted on 11/20/2010

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Well nothing shut off emotionally in me wheni had to go back to work.lol. I knew what had to be done and my children's needs were essential, i knew that i gave them plenty of love, but love didn't fill their little bellies or put a roof over their heads so that love is what makes you do what needs to be done for your children even when it is hard. It will get easier and children adapt way better then we give them credit for. Even now, my husband tells me i can stay home, but, I love what i do and my children are in school, daycare/preschool for my almost 4 year old and the others are 9 and 13. It makes you appreciate the time you have together more also and that is great also.

Ellie - posted on 11/19/2010

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Erika, I can relate, it really stinks having to balance all the roles of a mom. I started a new job this week (just part-time, thankfully) and was gone for the day on Weds. When I came home that evening, the house was a disaster and I spent most of the day yesterday cleaning to make up for it. In some ways I wonder if it's really worth it to work, but in other ways, I feel bad not bringing in $ when $ is so tight. I, like you, was laid off for 2 years and had a baby during that time. It was good to be home with her (she's our 4th) and the others. When I went back to work full-time, I was miserable and cried many mornings on the way to work. I think the girls did better adjusting than I did. My husband saw what a mess I was and worked hard to find a better job so that I wouldn't have to work so much. Looking back now, I can't imagine how I survived that time. Something inside has to shut off to cope emotionally, I guess. And I found an inner strength and grace from God that I didn't know was there.

Sarah - posted on 11/17/2010

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I felt the exact same way as you so I really feel for you. Luckily I was able to go back to work half time. I actually went to the Dr. about my anxiety and panic and was diagnosed with Post Partum Anxiety. I actually should've been on meds since my DD was born but I just thought all my anxiety issues were a normal part of being a new mom. When I started to get anxious about being anxious and cried all the time I knew I needed to see someone. Now that my daughter is settled into daycare and she LOVES it it is so much easier. In fact, I almost feel like I want to work fulltime now!

I really recommend talking to your dr. Also, everyone told me this but you just won't really get it until you go back and get settled into work, but it WILL get easier for you. For me, although I love being home with my daughter, it's easier going to work! You get a coffee break, sometimes even eat lunch, and you get to go to the bathroom BY YOURSELF!!!! Good luck... This too shall pass. Sarah

Erika - posted on 11/17/2010

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Thank you for your response - I am getting emotional just reading your support.
I guess this sort of emotion is normal to have...

My husband was unfortunately told that he may be losing his job...so in a way that has made me a little stronger knowing that now I HAVE to go back to work...at least until I can get rid of some debt.
I also am telling myself that if I can't handle it than I can always change it, right?? :)

Luckily I have a friends and family that will be watching my daughter so that makes me feel a little more at ease. I just have to get over this anxiety, it is really causing me panic inside.

Thanks for the advice and support - it was really needed.

Merri - posted on 11/16/2010

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I am not goin to lie it is hard some morning bringing my kid to day care. However i know that everything I do I do for him. I have to work right know in order for him to have all the things that he needs. The first few days away will be the hardest but just keep telling yourself it is for your daughters benfit. I also feel that my time with my son at night and on the weekends is spent more focused on him. I think if I was still home with him ( I stayed home until he was 18months he is know 3) that I would take our time together for granted a little. Know i make sure that our time together is special. The main thing is just reminding your self why you are going back to work.
For me the money is a big part of it,. But I also want my son to see that both his parents are hard working people who do what ever they need to for their family. I think that is the most imprtant thing.

Alison - posted on 11/16/2010

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Congrats on the job!

A huge part of the emotions stem from guilt. I assume that if you have gone back to work at this stage it is because it is financially necessary. Know that your feelings of guilt and attachment are perfectly natural, but that your little one will grow and develop just fine in someone else's care and will not love you any less. You will always be mom.

Is dad around? If he can take her to daycare it is always much easier on the whole family.

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