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Thread: Working mom questions

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    #1

    Working mom questions

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    Hi everyone. My little guy will be four months old next Friday and I will have been back at work for a month. My mind is still plays battle every day about whether or not I am doing the right thing by returning to work and putting him in daycare. It has gotten easier, but it is still a struggle for me. His daycare is five minutes from my office and I visit him at lunch every day so that has certainly helped a lot. My employer agreed to give me 4 day work weeks for a month to decide if I want to return to work full time or not. I have asked if it's possible for me to leave early three days a week which would equal out to having one day off each week, but I have yet to hear anything and this upcoming Friday is my last official Friday off in that month trial.

    I feel that it sounds selfish of me that I am enjoying work again? But it is nice to have a little break, however I also get hit with the mom guilt from myself that I am a bad mother for enjoying being at work. Then the other part of me feels like I am abandoning my baby because he's only four months old and only so little once and I am missing it all. I have considered working for home or taking a part-time job, but I do not think working at home would be feasible because of that psychotic hound dog that likes to hear herself bark, and also thinking for when Matthew grows he will want mommy but I will have to be working and I don't see how I could do that. Then working part time I don't see how I could substantiate day care or someone watching him if I'm only working part time. This is such a struggle for me.

    I do not know what to do and know that you can't tell me what to do either, but I am hoping that I am not alone in this and that you can offer some advice. I wasn't prepared for this part of motherhood.
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    #2
    Oh you are not alone
    I had to leave my third baby at six weeks, and it was so hard. We are told we can do it all, but it is a constant game of tug of war.
    I ended up leaving my job and struggle with wanting to go back to work to contribute to the household income. It's hard. I wish I could say it gets easier.
    My three year old used to scream and cry when I left each night, it broke my heart.
    It's so hard. I cried a lot the first night back.
    I'm sorry, I wish I could tell you it gets better, for me it didn't.
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    #3
    The short answer is no. You are NOT a bad parent.

    The long answer...you love your son very much. That much is clear only from reading your post. Even so, a mother isn't all you are, you still have needs and wants that don't entirely revolve around baby Matthew. If being at work gives you a way to meet some of your other needs that he's not so good at (financial help for the household, intellectual stimulation, social interaction with other adults) and being there makes you happy, that's not a bad thing. It's not selfish to have parts of your life that don't have Matthew in them front and centre, and going to work doesn't mean you love him any less.

    The guilt is real, I know. Motherhood is basically one long series of situations in which no matter what you do someone will tell you (and a part of your brain will listen to them) that you're doing it wrong, being a selfish cow, ruining your child's life. Always. No matter what you do.

    I'll let you in on a secret. My twins are very slightly younger than Matthew, I have the luxury that I can still be at home with them...and I miss work desperately. I loved my job. I love what I do, and as much as I love my children this is one need they're not very good at filling, so I miss it. When I eventually go back, I'll probably be kicking myself just like you. I did exactly that the other two times.



    Quote Originally Posted by Medic2Doula View Post
    Oh you are not alone
    I had to leave my third baby at six weeks, and it was so hard. We are told we can do it all, but it is a constant game of tug of war.
    I ended up leaving my job and struggle with wanting to go back to work to contribute to the household income. It's hard. I wish I could say it gets easier.
    My three year old used to scream and cry when I left each night, it broke my heart.
    It's so hard. I cried a lot the first night back.
    I'm sorry, I wish I could tell you it gets better, for me it didn't.
    Night shift work adds extra complications, too. Did you find that? Most of the world doesn't do it, so even without a young child they sometimes don't quite grasp why you do. Adding in the child too...
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    #4
    Selfishly, I am a better person and a better mom because I work. I need to get out of the house and have a purpose, otherwise I'm unhappy. I love being a mom but changing a dirty diaper and cooking dinner doesn't give me a sense of accomplishment. Going to work is hard some days but I let go of the mom guilt awhile ago. I like working so we can all have nice things. I put a lot of pride in knowing he has nice clothes, shoes, and now that he's older we have the expendable income to go on an expensive outing to enrich him most weekends that we couldn't afford on one income. That is important to me.

    I also think it's healthier for Chase. He loves school, the friends, teachers, and they do way more educational and physical activities than I could ever do with him at home. He's very well socialized and extremely bright which I 100% attribute to daycare.

    TLDR the pros outweigh the cons for me. Happy mommy, more money and a happier kid are the benefits for me.




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    #5
    I went back to work when R was around (technically days away) of being 3 months old.

    I pretty much echo Whitla's sentiment.

    However we decided to work opposite shifts from each other so R has one of us staying home with him. We love it.

    DH loves that there is a second income, he also loves that I'm networking with others at work and feeling proud of the money I bring in.
    I am a better mom than I would be if I were to stay home. R gets a happy mom who misses him and cant wait to spend time with him and to guide him through his steps through life. I never felt like I was neglecting him or that I dont love him as much as I love earning money.

    We also have a sense of security if anything were to happen with DH. I dont make as much as DH, but we can live comfortably if he were to be injured, or he decides he wants to focus on school for better opportunities.

    The only con I have is that my schedule isnt concrete so I dont spend as much time with DH as I'd like to, but I doubt he's worried about that when I come home in my work uniform .
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    #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Whitla View Post
    Selfishly, I am a better person and a better mom because I work. I need to get out of the house and have a purpose, otherwise I'm unhappy. I love being a mom but changing a dirty diaper and cooking dinner doesn't give me a sense of accomplishment. Going to work is hard some days but I let go of the mom guilt awhile ago. I like working so we can all have nice things. I put a lot of pride in knowing he has nice clothes, shoes, and now that he's older we have the expendable income to go on an expensive outing to enrich him most weekends that we couldn't afford on one income. That is important to me.

    I also think it's healthier for Chase. He loves school, the friends, teachers, and they do way more educational and physical activities than I could ever do with him at home. He's very well socialized and extremely bright which I 100% attribute to daycare.

    TLDR the pros outweigh the cons for me. Happy mommy, more money and a happier kid are the benefits for me.
    Having done both, I agree here. I felt guilt EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. dropping Sydney off at daycare. I LOOOOVED her daycare before we moved but I would have days where I cried because I wanted to be home with her. BUT now that I AM home with her...I miss working too sometimes. And it was great for her too. Socialization, separation anxiety, academically....she was slightly above some of my friends who stayed home with their kids. Since I started staying home? Not as much, just from the nature of the beast.

    If you're able to finagle a shorter work week, I'd snag that bad boy up as someone who has done both. I'm actually sitting here looking at going back to school to do what I was doing before we moved because I loved it and if we hadn't moved, honestly, I may have kept doing it.

    The mom guilt is going to be there both ways (at least for me)...so you need to do what YOU think is right. You can always change your mind and go back to work if you don't like it and that's ok too.
    Put on your big girl panties and deal with it like a boss.

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    #7
    Thanks for the insight ladies. Some days I'm just fine, others are crazy. I spoke with HR this morning advising that I would like to continue working, but asked about the modified schedule I had proposed and it hasn't even been discussed yet. So hopefully they will consider it and I should hear something next week.

    Oy, this is so hard. I'm just so afraid of missing him grow up, as strange as it sounds. I know I will be there, but 40 hours is A LOT to miss of my baby. Why can't we have both? Don't mind me, I'll be over here in a corner crying at work today.
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    #8
    I will also add that it's easier to send him now that he's in the terrible 3s walking in to work like helloooooo adults.




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    #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Whitla View Post
    I will also add that it's easier to send him now that he's in the terrible 3s walking in to work like helloooooo adults.

    See, that's what I'm thinking now too. If matthe was colicky or a little jerk I'd have no problem with our current arrangement. LOL but for now he's my happy little angel.
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    #10
    I went back to work when Harrie was 3mo too. She's 9mo now and it continues to get so much easier. I'm going to echo what others have said - I am a better mom and a better wife because I work full time. Sometimes I feel like I'm taking the easy way out because my kid spends so much time at daycare and I get to go to work everyday... But she honestly loves it there. The first month or two was really hard. I questioned myself a lot. I asked myself the same questions you're going through now. But I will tell you it gets better. Working is healthy. Being with adults and utilizing your professional skills is healthy. Your baby spending time with other kids, learning, playing, adapting... Is healthy. You've got this mama. It will get better!
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