How soon is to soon to return to work? My daughter is 7 weeks and my job wants me to return but I am so not ready to leave her. I feel really overwhelmed!!! In this recession the best thing to do is keep your job but at the same time I feel as if someone will be basically watching my baby grow. Am I overreacting?

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Lori - posted on 04/21/2009

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No your not over reacting.

im sure all of us fell that way. like your going to miss out on so much! n not get to see the "first". when i was pg i was so against day care. n after two months of my mom and SIL going back n forth- not being able to take care of kye like i wanted them to. we put our LO in day care.



we did our homework and visited about 6-7 and talked with other parents, took tours, etc.

we choose one and its the BEST thing we ever did. my LO Loves to go to school not once have i had a bad/hard time droppin her off! she has learned so much its just amazing.



do you plan on having family watch her or or a day care?

Sarah - posted on 04/20/2009

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with my 1st, i got 2 weeks off. with my 2nd i got 3 and a half weeks off. thats all the vacation time/sick time i had. i could have taken the usual 6 weeks but i wasnt going to get paid for it so i couldnt do it. this time around ive saved up enough time so that ill be out for a month.

[deleted account]

You return to work when you are ready. Yes, you may need to consider your financial situation but don't make a decision based from fear. Fear of losing your job or fear of not having enough money. Look at the pros and cons of staying at home for a bit longer or going back to work now. Decide what works for you and your daughter. You can always go back to work but you only have these moments with your daughter once. Trust your inner guidance, what feels right? Teresa@motherhoodredefined.com

Kim - posted on 04/19/2009

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Thanks Siobhan. I wasn't too happy myself. Supposedly we are a pretty big security company there are definately more than 50 employees. The just told me that being I wasn't with the company for over a year that if I didn't return after that time they would consider that I quit. Not sure if it was illegal or not, but it was ok being like Dusty said I also was leaving him with his father so I knew he was being well taken care of.

Christina - posted on 04/18/2009

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I agree with all of you and all of your posts that having to go back to work is very hard and heartbreaking. I didn't enjoy doing it with my now 6yr old daughter or my 2yr old son. I have found an amazing way to get rid of that guilt. I stay home with my kids and work around their schedules making money when it is convenient for me. No more day care costs! If any of you are interested in seriously staying home and working please contact me, I would LOVE to share how it IS possible. www.LoveWorkingInMYPjs.com

Dusty - posted on 04/17/2009

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I took twelve weeks with my first but with this next one I will only be getting eight weeks. Its so hard to go back to work! Thankfully for me I am just leaving my baby with my husband and that made it sooo much easier, knowing that he at least gets to bond with his daddy. Im NOT looking forward to going back after this one is born. 8 weeks to me is not enough time!

Sarah - posted on 04/17/2009

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Siobhan, it's the law only if her company is big enough. If there are less than 50 employees, they don't have to follow FMLA guidlines and can give her whatever THEY choose to allow. It's terrible but it's true. Mine has only an 8 week unpaid leave.

Siobhan - posted on 04/16/2009

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Kim, I know this thread isn't yours but I just read whaty ou posted and was appalled. They told you that you only had 4 weeks! That's illegal! By law they have to give you up to 12 weeks! I'm so sorry.

Agnes - posted on 04/15/2009

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I am quite sure every mom feels that way when they have to go back to work after having a baby. You are not overreacting at all. I guess I was lucky to have my mom look after my kid during the day and I got a very responsible and caring baby sitter, too. Between my mom and the baby sitter, they managed to make me feel much easier to leave my baby for my work.

Kim - posted on 04/15/2009

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I don't think so. I didn't want to go back to work but had no choice. We couldn't live on just my fiances income. My job only allowed me a leave of 4 weeks. After that I had to be back or I lost my job. I think that if you can afford to stay home with her longer you should be able to.

Siobhan - posted on 04/15/2009

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Iwent back at 6 weeks with both of my kids because I had no choice. And with the recession, Ireally didn't. You are not overreacting at all. And it won't be easy, but when you get home backburner other things and spend time with the baby. And she'll wait for Mommy on a lot of stuff.

Esther - posted on 04/15/2009

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Interesting - my son did all the big milestones (sitting up, crawling, standing up, walking) at home first as well. Seems like they save that up for mom & dad. Maybe it's just that little extra boost of confidence they need that they get from us.

Rachel - posted on 04/14/2009

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I know how you feel. I was luck to be able to stay home till she was 10 weeks old and it was still the hardest thing I had to do. When it was getting close to the time I had to go back to work I would take her to the sitters for a few days during the week so we could both get ready for me to start working. I don't want to say it gets easier as time goes by,but you do learn how to deal with the seperation much better. I was so scared I was going to miss out all the big moments, but so far Eveything from rolling over to standing up I have been there for. Take it slow and remember that you need to be able to provide for your daughter and you will find the time to be there!!!!!!

Esther - posted on 03/27/2009

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I think every mom feels the same way. My son has been in daycare (and me back at work full time) since he was 12 weeks old. I would recommend that you leave her at daycare for a few hours or so a few days before you have to go back to work. Just to ease both of you into it. But trust me, you'll need much more easing into it than she will. The upside of taking your kids to daycare from an early age is that they don't really care yet. As long as they are fed, held, cuddled etc. they are fine. They don't have separation anxiety yet. Us moms though, that's a different story. I took my son to daycare for 2 hours the first time and while he was there I watched the webcam they have the whole time. Then I just couldn't take it anymore and I went to go get him. The second day I left him for about 6 hours but again, I did nothing but watch the webcam. Eventually you do get over it and I think the daycare has been an absolute blessing for both my son and myself. I'm a first time mom and they have been a HUUUUGE support for me in establishing a routine, answering questions, transitioning him from two naps to one (when he was a year old), stimulating him etc. When I ask my son "are you ready to go to school?" in the morning he is totally excited. You just have to pick a daycare or sitter that you are comfortable with and then you will be just fine and so will your daughter. Of course you'll still miss her, but it does get easier.

Melissa - posted on 03/26/2009

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No, you are not overreacting! If you have the time saved, can afford to stay home, and your job will still be there when you are ready to return, than stay with your baby! Also look at it this way. I know it stinks to leave your little ones...trust me I do it every day... but I also know that by my working and my husband working our children are being provided for in one of the best possible ways. I think to it depends on your job for me the decision was a little easier because I have summers off, as well as weekends and all holidays. It is a matter of what you are most comfortable with. Like Sara said " no matter what you are still her mommy and no once can replace you!"

Devin - posted on 02/21/2009

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No not over reacting at all. However, I understand all to completely the "pain" of having to leave my children with someone else as I go to work. It is a lot easier now for me, because I had no choice. Just find yourself a good childcare program or sitter and this will help you relax some. You'll never get over the "mommy guilts" wishing you could be there 24/7. However daycare is a good thing. Your child learns so much and is able to interact with other children their age. I know she's young now (my kids are 1 year 7 months and 3 months old) but you'll be amazed at how well daycare can work for ya. You will find something you don't like about the daycare/sitter, because you don't want to leave your child, so make sure you aren't too picky and "tearing the place apart" as you are searching for child care. Know what is important to you and look. There are agencies out there too to help locate child care in your community with references as well. Good luck and believe me, I know what it's like to leave your child and have those guilts, I'm active duty military!!! UGH!!! Oh and yes NO ONE loves your baby like you do!! I UNDERSTAND completely, but as mothers we have to let go at times and give them independance (sounds silly for a new born I know!!)

Kari - posted on 02/21/2009

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I don't think your overreacting. I was able to stay at home with both of my daughters for 12 weeks, but even then it was unbearable leaving them. Especially my first one. But like Sara said, I waited until they each had one set of shots, because they were going into daycare. Everyone has given you some really good advice, the only other thing I can say is when you do go back, go back on a Thursday. It will give you two days to away and then two days for the weekend-may sound crazy, but it helped me. I also went to the daycare and set up my little girls bed for them and with both of them I wrote up a schedule sheet on their likes and dislikes, when they took their naps (I virtually covered everything with my first one-I was still a little hormonal I think). Either way, it made me feel better. I also pumped and continued to breast feed both my girls after I went back to work, that also helped me feel more connected while I was away from them.

It's very hard with the economy the way it is right now and only you know what's best for you and your family.

Maureen - posted on 02/20/2009

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I'm glad you're able to have the exta time. Maybe you'll be able to work in to part time hours as some point ? It definately works for me. Or, perhaps job sharing is an option.

What kind of job do you have ? What about negotiating reduced hours as a way to same your company some money ? I wanted to pass along a story about a woman I worked with many years ago. She said when she had her baby, she was only allowed 2 weeks off and she had to return to work. We have come a long way ladies.

. Hoping you find childcare that works for you both too. I know some partners arrange their time schedules too so at least one of them is home most of the time.

I guess the big message here is adaptability and flexibility. But, that's what women are all about.... lol.. Good luck and take care of yourself.

User - posted on 02/20/2009

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Thanks everyone for you words of wisdom...just a brief update: my job says that I return as of April 6th, by then, she will be 14 weeks. I am grateful for the additional time. I know the next 7 weeks may fly by, but I will be optimisic!

Allison - posted on 02/18/2009

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Have you thought of maybe trying to work out a plan with your employer to ease back into work?  Maybe they would be willing to let you start back part time for a little while and then go full time after a few months?  I started a full time job when my 2nd daughter was 10 weeks old, but I felt really comfortable with her daycare and knew that she was being well cared for and that made it much easier to go to work every day.  Good Luck!

Melissa - posted on 02/18/2009

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I took every bit of the 12 weeks I was allowed for maternity leave.  I would have liked to stay at home with her, but we need to be a dual income family.  Men just don't understand how difficult it is to leave your child and return to work.  I thankfully don't have to put my daughter in daycare, I have family and friends that are able to watch her while I work.  Take every bit of maternity leave your employer allows you to take.  Good luck!

[deleted account]

The more time you can spend with your daughter the better. I don't know what your specific circumstances are though. If you feel your job may be compromized by not going back early then that is different. If they just want you back a little earlier because you're a great employee and would really appreciate it, then they can just take a chill pill until you are ready :)



My husband lost his job less than 2 weeks after my son was born and I really resented having to go back so early. I was back full time by the time he was 6 weeks old and it devistated me. I'm ok about it now, but those are days you can never get back. They grow SO fast. So the more time you can take without risking your job, or your financial situation, then take it.

Maureen - posted on 02/18/2009

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Wow ! Where do you live ?? You're going to want to move to Ontario. We have benefits available through Gov. of Canada Employment Insurance - 15 weeks of maternity leave ( can be extended if you child is hospitalized ) and then an additional 35 weeks of parental leave . Either parent can take the parental leave so some couples split the time up. We are eligible for 55% of weekly wages up to max. $447.00 wkly.

There is no min. # of employees companies must have to be elig. for the benefits. You do however, have to have worked so many hours during the past 12 mths.

Plus many companies, such as Province of Ontario workers get 'topped up' for a portion of the time they're off. And, your employer has to hold your job for you.....



I think 7 weeks is not long enough to adapt to being a new parent ! I'm sorry where ever you are doesn't have better benefits available. But, I give you credit for going out there and supporting your family and doing what ya' gotta do. Remember you are the caregiver for your daughter and will appreciate the quality time you have with her.

I know its' going to be tough sometimes. But, you are giving your daughter the value of having an independent woman as a role model - That's worth everthing.



What kind of job do you have ? Maybe you can work out some part time hours for a while or alternative work week. Compressed hours ?

[deleted account]

If you have worked for your employer for 1 year before you took your maternity leave and they have 50 or more employees, then they are required to hold your job (or an equivalent job) for you for 12 weeks. If you're not ready to go back to work and you can afford not to, then stay home a little longer.

It is hard to go back to work and have someone else raise your children. Just be sure to pick a sitter that you can trust.

Aundrea - posted on 02/18/2009

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It was hard for me at first i went back when my son was six weeks and it was hard. No you are not over reacting i would say think long and hard before you decide on what to do and remember that you baby will adjust to what ever you decide to do

Becky - posted on 02/18/2009

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Hi, you are not overreacting at all, but have you practiced being away from her? During my leave (14 weeks), I was able to drop my sonoff at my in-laws to practice being away from him, and also for them to practice having him. It was hard the first day, and I felt like calling every hour to see what was goign on, was everything OK, but in the end it was fine. I also went back to school in January and I had to leave early Saturday morning and by the time I got home he was sleeping, so when I woke up on Sunday I got to hold him before I went to class again and I was bawling so badly, and then again when I came back.



I almost cried when I left him my first day back to work, but I pulled myself away, I think practicing being away from him really helped me in my transition back to work. I hate it though, sometimes I wish I would get fired so I could stay home, but that is not good either. You will be fine, just bring lots of pics back!



And check out about the FMLA info too!

April - posted on 02/18/2009

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Your not overreacting. I think it's different for everyone. Some return in 3 weeks, it took me 3 months to feel ready. I was also lucky to have my husband stay with our kids while I was at work and I stayed home when he was. He also was able to bring me my baby during the day so I could breast feed. Some people I know have been able to work something out where they could bring their infants to work with them for awhile but they had office jobs. Good luck, I hope you can find a compromise that works for you and your family.

Sara - posted on 02/18/2009

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I don't think you're overreacting, I really hated, and still hate, having to work. But, I have come to realize that 1) my daughter really likes daycare and 2) I'm working for her, so I can give her a better life. That's how i have come to think of it. I did stay home with my daughter for 12 weeks, mostly because I didn't feel comfortable sending her to daycare without her first round of vaccinations. That would be my only suggestion to you to consider about how long before you go back to work. Plus, I know it depends on the size of the place you work, but do you qualify for FMLA through your workplace? If so, you are guaranteed 12 weeks of unpaid time off and they have to hold your position for, although I think FMLA leave is something you have to work out with your company before you go on leave. Anyway, hope that helps! And don't forget, even if you do go back to work and leave your baby at daycare, you're still her mommy and no one can replace you! Good Luck!

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