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Working Mothers - Page 6

post #101 of 222
I pumped three times a day till DD was 1. Then I stopped pumping at work because it was very tough for me to scheldule it and because she is not really into nursing anyway I would rahter leave early and spend time with her than spend it in the lactation room (or janitors closet with chair), I also had to pump on my days off to keep up enough milk for her and to get better milk supply. I think pumping didn't keep my supply up enough. I think that is very individual and if I didn't have to I wouldnt' have.
post #102 of 222
Just want to say, I guess I should be grateful my dd is almost 1 and I am raising her alone and somehow I haven't had to put her in daycare for a whole year. I have no idea how, it's been some cosmic kind of devine intervention, some unemployment benefits and some footwork doing a little childcare with her along - though in my city it's frowned upon. I rarely ran into another mom who was willing to let me babysit her child with my dd along. I plan to look for babysitting work again but fear I won't find a fmaily willing to have dd along for the ride. I did all the daycare research when I thought I'd be taking my office job back again and it was not very pleasant. I couldn't find a place that I could stomach leaving her in and they were at the least expensive $1000 a month in my area - which would completely defeat the purpose of my returning to work since I couldn't pay our rent and daycare at the same time. I don't know what the next year will bring, though I will definitely be a full time worker since there are no benefits anymore and I can't tell how long the cosmos will be blowing mysterious wind in our sails. No matter what comes up I'll laways be glad we had the first year together. And I hope she's not the one doing the biting when she gets with the other kids because she bites the dickens out of me now.
post #103 of 222
Well, we would know that it was in Finding Your Tribe, but new people looking at the boards may not know that, and so may have a harder time finding us. That's why I vote to leave it in Parenting.

But, perhaps occasionally we should start a new thread, like "Working Parents #2" etc. (So one thread doesn't get too long.)

And I also think that Dads shouldn't be relegated to just the Dads forum--they should feel free to post on this thread about their struggles with work/childcare, etc. also.

So dads, if you are reading this, post away!
post #104 of 222
I think it fits in either place. I would have been more likely to find it here than finding your tribe myself.

I wouldn't have guessed there was a thread like this... I clicked on the link from the mothering email!
post #105 of 222
I work part time, though wish I didn't have to work at all. I don't feel guilty about leaving my son in a daycare because he loves it, or with our neighbour whom he loves very much. He's a very sociable little boy who thrives on company. It's me that misses him and wishes I didn't have to work so I could be with him instead.

As for biting, my son was and still is a terrible biter. I know this sounds strange that he loves company yet bites them! He was observed by a psychologist for a day at the daycare centre and she told us that she thought his biting was about wanting to join in or to express frustration about wanting or losing a toy to someone else. They have a behaviour management plan for biters and someone watches him closely in hourly shifts, and the incidence has decreased.

post #106 of 222

Working Mom Tribe?

Peggy, sounds like a good idea. We sure do have lots of issues to help eachother out with...
post #107 of 222

pc patrol

would "employed moms" be a more descriptive title? hate to be so picky, but I know some of my non-employed friends with kids feel slighted to be tagged as non-working.
post #108 of 222

Tribe name

How about "Dual Career Tribe?"

Being an AP parent is an occupation, a career and a lot of work.

"Dual career" would apply to those moms and dads that also have regular hours dedicated to an additional occupation that takes them away from their parenting job (it could be volunteer work and not necessarily employment)

What do you think?
post #109 of 222
You might consider the well know "WOHM" title - Work Outside Home Mom. That gives us SAHM (stay at home mom), WAHM (work at home mom) and WOHM. And of course all the equivalents for dads - WOHD, SAHD, and WAHD.
post #110 of 222
I too am a WOHM full-time with 2 kids. There are now 6 pages of replies and I can't read them all - so I am just going to post instead.
I was home with DD for 18 months when she was born - then we moved to NJ and i had to get a full-time job. She went into day care part time at first - then full time. The center is wonderful and my DS is now there part time. My DH watches DS part time when he has days off (he usually works nights and weekends & I work 9-5 weekdays). Then my mom watches him part time. We pay about $55 per day for day care per child. EXPENSIVE! It costs me about $16,000 a year for them for daycare - my mother charges minimally too. Then I have to pack lunches and snacks.

Rockergirrl - 1. do you provide your childs lunches and snacks? I do and there is a NO SHARING POLICY at the center. The teachers adhere to it strickly because of allergies.
2. Bitting in a younger toddler room is very common (ages 15 months - 2 1/2 years). The kids can't really talk yet and don't know how to express themselves. They also are not always listened to so they bite for attention. It is very difficult to deal with from both prospectives (parent of bitter and parent of bitten child). I've been in both situations. Work with the center and communicate with the other parents. Does the center have a parents committe? Like a PTA? We do, and it makes a huge difference - I attend the monthly meetings and talking with the other parents really helps.

I did pump with DS from 6 weeks old to 8 months then I wouldn't let down anymore - I got tired of it too, so I stopped. He went onto formula. I needed my time back - that ended up being the only break for me during the day with no kids - so I took it as my time.

It's very difficult - I'm tired all the time - I get home at 6pm with the kids then have to make dinner and get them into bed - when does laundry get done? When do I clean - I don't, I hired a cleaning lady! I don't see the kids and when I do I am too tired and cranky to cope. I wish I could SAHM - but we can't afford it. Oh well - the grass is always greener on the other side.
post #111 of 222
1. Cloth diapers. Yes we use cloth diapers, but we are fortunate enough to have a diaper service in our city, so we are blessed with fresh cloth diapers every week. DD is our first child, and I knew I wanted cloth diapers for environmental reasons, but considering that I had changed maybe five diapers in my entire life before dd, I didn't want to spend all the money to purchase cloth diapers in case I hated them. We've been happy with the service so we've stuck with it. I occasionally think about purchasing my own to save money, but I seem to perpetually have a few loads of clean laudry piled up in laundry baskets that I never have time to put away, so I stay with the convenience of the diaper service.

2. Pumping. I went back to work when dd was only 7 weeks old. I had a horrible time pumping. I pumped four times a day, yet some days I could only get a total of 6 ounces and sometimes I couldn't let down to the pump at all, despite having a expensive Medela pump in style. I even purchased a second one when I became convinced that my first one didn't work! We stuck with it and dd was exclusively fed BM for six months, and she has never had formula. She is now 12 months and I still pump 2x per day.

For all you other WOHMs, how long did you continue to pump?
post #112 of 222
As a teacher at a Montessori school for children ages 13 months to 3 years old, I understand your concerns. I'm sure it is difficult to find a program for young children that you trust and feel comfortable with.

Sadly, very few childcare centers have competent and trained adults working there. In our state (Washington), they only require ten hours of classes in order to work with infants and toddlers. I have spent years in training to work with these young children and have doula certification, BA, teaching certificate, and an M.Ed. I take my job seriously and try to offer the best possible environment I can for the children in my program.

Don't feel guilty about working and needing to put your child in care! Even if you stayed home with your child, it would be beneficial to introduce her to a stimulating community of children her age by the time she was one years old. In fact, most of the parents who send their children to our program do not even work!

It is important though that you find a child care center or school that you are happy with. Here is my advice:
1. Observe for an hour or two at the school.
2. Look for child sized furniture, beauty, cleanliness, space, light, warmth, trained consistent caregivers, good ratios, and opportunities for the child's independence.

In our particular school we have small low tables for the toddlers to set their own places at the table, eat together, and clear their own places. They may wash their own dishes, hands and brush their teeth with guidance from the adult. We have small toilets and wear cloth underwear (for toileting) starting at 13 months of age. There are low benches where the children sit to change their own clothing and put on their own shoes. The children do realistic and interesting activities that help their independence to grow. It is amazing to see what these young children can do!

You will find that it costs a little bit more to attend schools like these but your peace of mind and your child's happiness is worth it! Good luck.
post #113 of 222
Thread Starter 
Originally posted by mingber

Rockergirrl - 1. do you provide your childs lunches and snacks? I do and there is a NO SHARING POLICY at the center. The teachers adhere to it strickly because of allergies.

Yes the center asked us to provide snacks and lunches and that they would have crackers and juice just in case someone forgot but that they wanted the parents to bring in all their own food. So I did this only to find out the caregivers thought it was easier for them to just give all the kids the same snack so they ignored what we brought in and gave them all crappy crackers and sugary juice. My DS had never had juice before and I was pissed. When I finally found out what was going on I was upset and went to the director. Now everything I send it labled AM snack, Lunch and PM snack and I send in water and soymilk to drink. I have to check everything and asked questions each day as to what he ate because they always forget to write it down on his daily sheet.
post #114 of 222
Hi everyone-

You questions hit home for me as well. I an a WOHM of two boys, ages 7.5 and 2.5. With my older son I worked p/t or was a SAHM for the first 4 years. With my younger son, I was offered a well paying FT job about 8 weeks after he was born. MY DH and I decided that I should work FT and he PT, because the pay was so much better. It required putting my infant in childcare 2 days per week, which I found heart wrenching. I pump milk 2 times a day and went to visit everyday at lunch to nurse and check in. I had a very difficult time (and still do) with our decision. I have since left that job and taken a different FT job, and my 2 year old goes to a daycare center 3 days per week, as this job does not pay nearly as well and DH went back to work FT. I stopped pumping when he moved to his current daycare, which he started at about 18 months old. I continued to go to nurse at lunch time until he was almost 2 (so about 4-6 months). He enjoys his daycare, but I am still ambivolent about having to send him there that much. PArt of my reservation is that I don't agree with some of their philosophies with regards to religion and childrearing in general. As soon as he is potty trained I will be moving him to a private preschool that is more in line with my own personal beliefs (my older son went there and LOVED it...he still talks about it with wistfullness).

My biggest suggestion with regards to child care is to find someone with experience or a center that has a very consistent staff. Many daycares have high turn over, and lack consistancy for children and adults (one of my peeves currently...I was told when I put my son there that there was consistancy, but a low tolerace for poor care. I have found that there is a great deal of turn over because that hire college "interns", and so at the end of their terms they leave, so her statement was not true).

I do think a dedicated forum would be useful...I might get here more often if I didn't feel like I was wading through a lot of posts to find what I am looking for, which these days is WOHM parenting issues.

Mom of 2
post #115 of 222
I finally left my crazy full time HR job in November. It was close to a complete nightmare handling everything at the same time with such a hectic job as a middle management. Too much stress - little family help with kids; also had a dying mum until she passed away end August. It was really difficult to manage time. I nearly DIED.

Finally left after all this time. Was depending on full day childcare.

Was happy in Dec 02 to have left my mad job and be home with the freedom to spend time with Mikey like I always wanted to. However, after a month, I began to feel that DS was getting dependent again. He became reliant on me to feed him and became sticky again. Also, felt that he had lost some discipline that he had picked up from adhering to a school's routine.

So, I got myself a part-time job just to support him through half day childcare now. I teach partime at a student care centre for 4 hours per day from Mondays - Fridays while he plays and learns in childcare.

Pertaining to food, well, it will never be ideal. Was with him for his first day to help him orientate and all they would eat was white bread with a "strand" of peanut butter. Looked at the menu and seems like that is what they would be getting everyday for breakfast.

But I guess, to have him learn to eat and socialise by himself is better than to have him pumped with all that vitamins from home. He might be most healthy home but he will never learn as fast from me as he does from his friends. They do their 2 year old baby talk and fight over a toy. It makes most sense to them. I will not fight nature.

He gets the best from home for half day. Also working would help me keep my sanity.

Bitten? yeap... he got bitten at his last childcare. I went straight to the parent and told them to restraint the child. Felt that I had the right too. I will not teach Michael to bite back or fight with the boy, but will leave the parent to teach the child what he shouldn't do.
post #116 of 222

Why not eat breakfast at home?

On the days I work I drop my son at pre school early. and he can theoretically eat breakfast there but I just don;t think that cerela and frozen waffeles provide enought variation. So we all get up just wee earlier and have brekfast at hom. But agains, I am home cooking nuts. You know Russian, food equals love
post #117 of 222
I am working out of the home too. I am really frustrated by this whole mother-guilt thing I see amongst my mama friends.

I think you should try really hard to let go of your guilt, just don't swallow the line.

If you have to work, then do what you have to do. Guilt is for when you have a choice, and you choose the wrong path. You don't have a choice, you are doing what you have to do to keep your family clothed, fed, and warm. You're a hard-working "taking care of business mama", not a neglectful mama. Banish the guilt. Gonzo. Let it go.

Let's try a new perspective. Try and think of your caregiver as a parenting partner, not a replacement. Listen to your heart, if you are not comfortable with the care, insightful, intuitive mama, pull your child out today! Have failth that you will find other options.

I am on my second homecare caregiver, I was an guilt-ridden emotional wreck while my son was in insufficient care, while I was looking for someone new. What a waste of energy that was! I made a few phone calls to homecare agencies, and poof, started with someone new the very next week.

My new caregiver (for the last six months) is not perfect, she does things that I would not do, but she loves my son, is very gentle and kind to him, and he loves her.

If you want to raise your child exactly the way you want, then you'll have to stay home. But since that is not an option for you, let it go. Just let it go. Or, conversely, figure out a way to do it. Maybe a radical lyfestyle shift is in order. Join a commune, move back in with family, sell your possessions.

Choose to be happy, or don't.

Here is a hug for you (()) We all struggle with this everyday. You are not alone. Peace.
post #118 of 222

Nicely put.
post #119 of 222
I do have a choice. I could stay home, but I like to work. I love my work and now after a two week break I feel very torn between staying home and working. At work today I am so happy and yet I miss DD. I had gotten into a groove at home and yet I pined for work.

I choose to let go of the guilt. I think I have to be whole to be a mother and being whole means (for me) that I want to work.

post #120 of 222

Oh my, I've found you!

Hi to all! I've been searching for a community of doubleshifting (family and employment ) moms who share many of the same parenting values. I've only managed to plow through some of the posts in this thread, but I'll be back. I saw mention of a board....is it going to happen?

May I introduce myself? My name is Dinah. My son, Owen just turned one and we live with my DH, Doug, in Colorado. We are currently struggling with childcare issues....too much to go into here, and are constantly striving for that ever-elusive balance.

Edited to say that I'm also interested in pumping stories. Now that Owen is a year old, I would love to retire the pump for now, but I would like to retain my daytime supply for the weekends.....what are your experiences?

I look forward to sharing stories and wisdom.


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