BABY

First day blues

Oh, I can’t believe this day has finally come. Before Little C was born there was no hesitation in my mind that I would return to work. I LOVE my job, after all. But as time sped by, the little fella kinda grew on me and now I feel ambivalent about the whole situation. Although, I have to admit that even if I wasn’t returning to work full-time (well, four days a week for the moment) I would still consider some sort of care for one or two days a week so that I could write. After all, that is my passion and what makes me happy and I’m a firm believer that a happy mum makes for a happy child. But now… now, when I look at him he looks so much younger than I expected a six-month-old baby to look. And so I have such a mix of emotions: Will they give him the care he needs? Will he get sick? Will he be happy? Will he sleep well? Will they persevere if he takes time to settle before sleep? Will they know how to spot his tired signs?

But there are two sides to every coin and another part of me remembers those days when I kept on thinking, “he’s bored”, “how am I going to entertain him once he starts crawling”, “he needs room to move”… And I was so excited for him when we visited the daycare centre open day. The walls are covered in children’s paintings and the cupboards filled with toys. It’s baby heaven, in many regards.

Looks like I’m going to have to take it one day at a time.

-Natalie


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Comments (13)

Afia
January 6, 2009

I’m currently contemplating both sides of the coin.

I’m due to return to work full-time just before Easter and although I’ve been career-focused forever and more so during my maternity leave, apprehension regarding ‘abandoning’ the little squirt in our selected nursery is plaguing me! It was lovely to read that you have similar concerns…..and I too am excited about the joy she’ll experience with all the toys/space/other little people.

Like you I’ll take it a day at a time….motherhood is so rewarding yet incredibly difficult at times..


Esther
January 6, 2009

It’s hard… But in the end I’m sure you’ll find the right balance…


Michela
January 6, 2009

I know it can be difficult, but somehow I never questioned returning to work.
Some days it is totally crazy but in the long run I think I will not regret my choice.
If your career allows you to take a couple of years break then maybe it’s worth taking it.
But in any case whatever works for you will work for your baby, as Natalie wrote a happy mum makes for a happy child.


Emilie
January 6, 2009

It is a hard decision… but I think it might be harder on the mother than on the kid! i remember dropping my daughter off at creche for the first time. I had tears in my eyes…. but she had the hugest smile on her face; she could not wait to start playing with all the toys!


January 6, 2009

Thanks everyone for your kinds words. It’s been a tough week. He is sleeping less than at home but he is still sleeping so that’s a consolation. And I have to say that he wasn’t one of the kids who were crying a lot on the first day, but it was tough for me to see so many upset babies. Can’t wait for this week to be over!


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Jude
January 7, 2009

As women we have some of the most difficult decisions to make in terms of our children. I believe there is no wrong or right answer. My first two daughters both went to daycare, and although I wouldn’t say they were unhappy, I would have stopped it if they had been. I wanted to try something different with my third daughter. So, we have a nanny two days a week. It has worked out really well, mostly because we have a great nanny, but Sienna is in her own home and she gets taken out to all sorts of places that she wouldn’t do in daycare. She does have her older siblings to mix with which gives her the social mix, which is one of the reasons daycare worked for the first two.

Hey, guilt for one thing or another goes with the territory of motherhood, whatever the books say about guilt, you still feel it. But once you recognise it for what it is, and trust your instincts, you will be fine.


January 7, 2009

Jude, I would dearly love to be able to use a nanny but it’s not really an option right now. Although, I guess if I were to have a nanny then should would have to take him to colourful places because I’m in a teeny tiny apartment so there’s no room for a dedicated toy room. Thanks for writing – it does help to hear that other women feel torn too, especially as little C came home with a croaky voice today – from cyring, I expect 🙁


Kim
January 7, 2009

Very difficult choice. We decided I would stay home for 6 months and return to work part time, but in the end I decided I couldn’t leave my little one in daycare at 6 months yet. Now 3.5 years later (!)(and another 10 months old baby later) I am still at home and regularly regret my decision not to return to work. I have now decided that I will have to give my second child the same start in life and the first and will return to work only in 2 years time. As Michaela says it will influence my career options and I will have take some steps back. I hope my children will, when they are older appreciate me staying at home and sacrificing a big part of my career… I think there is no easy or best choice, unfortunately….


Libby
January 7, 2009

Don’t forget to be kind to yourself. I am sure things will work out well.
I went back to wall street after 4 months off and the first morning back my husband had to ride the subway with me to work and hold my purse because I was crying. :^(
(Very dramatic, I know.) It does get better as you establish a routine. I lay out an outfit for my son every morning which makes me feel more involved.


Katie
January 7, 2009

I remember writing a project at senior school about tackling the glass ceiling, I was about 16, after reading my research and speaking to working mums and stay at home mums I was surprised that no one seemed happy with their decision. I came to the conclusion women should only have children when they have reached a point in their career that they can break for pre school years and then return…oh how simple it seemed! Little did I know I would fall pregnant at 20 before I had finished my degree let alone career and then if you have your first at 20 you can’t wait too long to have your next to ensure they are close in age, so I am now 28 and on maternity leave with my second child and totally torn about going back! As such my philosophy now is never to plan how things are going to work out as thats the only way to avoid things not going to plan!


January 8, 2009

Found your blog for the first time today: nice! I’ve followed this topic with a lot of interest: I’m due my second baby in two months and when my first baby was 13 months (still breastfeeding since I am a firm believer in extended BF) I was offered a very good job, an “opportunity” that made me go back to work in a managerial position (since then I had worked little from home, but kept my baby always with me).
Now the dilemma: will I go back to work after my maternity leave? (5 months ante/post natal). I like my job, but it is stressful and 1 hour c ommute from home. I believe in the importance of the bonding especially in the first 12 months….. I also believe that it is important for a woman to follow her passions outside motherhood if she has them…
All in all I understand the dilemma and it is vital to share it with mums like you who can share opinions and advice.

Good to have found this place!


Christine V
January 9, 2009

I think you said it best when you said a happy mum equals a happy child. This is a hugely difficult decision and I don’t think there is a ‘right’ answer, just whatever works best for you and for your family. Not that you’re thinking that when you have to drop your baby off! Good luck and I hope the adjustment period (for you both) goes quickly!


January 14, 2009

Hi everyone, thanks again for your comments and sharing your stories. It really does make a difference. C has just finished his second week at child care (he is with my mum tomorrow and I work from home on Fridays). I think he is a bit more settled although he came home today with a very sore and red bum, which never happens to hime while he’s at home. It’s these little things that I find distressing now. But on the plus side I’m enjoying travelling to daycare with him – we have a 40 min bus ride – and visiting him every day at lunch time – it’s only a five min walk from my work. As for work – I LOVE it. I have one of those jobs that I can’t believe I get paid to do. Today I was flipping through a stack of interior mags to get ideas and inspiration for upcoming features. I still pinch myself that that’s my job!


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