Feeling guilty about going back to work - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 4 Old 07-20-2011, 05:04 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I have had an amazing job offer to manage a raw/grain free dog food store which is scheduled to open August 15th. The job kinda came along by accident in the sense I wasn't really out looking for a job. I am new to the Omaha area (My husband is in the Air Force and we are currently stationed here) so I was looking for a place to by my dog's food. I happened to walk into this store about 6 weeks ago and got to talking with the manager there. When I lived in California, before I got pregnant, I worked in a store very similar to this one and absolutely loved it! It's more than just "selling dog food" it's educating people on the importance of feeding their animals biologically correct, natural foods. So many people are turning toward holistic/green/organic living, which is so wonderful! But so many of those people forget about their pets. Stores like these are out there to educate the public so hopefully one day grain/corn/animal-by-product dog and cat foods with be non existent.

 

Anyways, They asked me if I was looking for a job and I told them no at that point, but let me know if they end up opening the new store in August because I might be ready to work part time by then. Over the past 6 weeks I've thrown around the idea of going back to work to give myself something else to do and find a little bit of myself again instead of just being a 24/7 mom. I have no family in this part of the country and I have only made 2 friends since I've been here, both of which have children and don't have much time or desire to get together. I have found I become very overwhelmed very quickly with my high maintenance 6 month old and more often than not I am frustrated by the end of the day when my husband gets home from work. My ds doesn't sleep through the night...not even close. Then doesn't like to nap and sometimes I spend the better part of my day rocking him to sleep just to have him wake up 10 min later. This causes a VERY cranky/tired baby and frustrated mom.

 

When I went in for the interview it was just a general interview for one of a few positions available for the new store opening. To my surprise they called yesterday to congratulate me and ask me to run the new store (which happens to be on base where my husband works). This is such an awesome opportunity for me since I do not have a college degree and do not plan on being a housewife/sahm forever. I think managing my own store would look awesome on my resume! Every logical thing inside me says I need to take this opportunity. And I feel like I WANT to do it. But the "mom" side of me is ridden with guilt over putting my son in child care. I feel like I'm being selfish if I accept this position and put him in day care full time.

 

Are there any moms out there that have been through this? Did you go back to work? Did you stay home? Are you happy with the decision you made?

 

Thank you for your help and input...I am a very confused new mommy!

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#2 of 4 Old 07-20-2011, 08:04 AM
 
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Of course, you have to do what works for your family. I want to tell you now that whatever you decide, someone is going to try and make you feel guilty about it, so the most important thing is what will work best for your family. Just a couple thoughts based on what you wrote...
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Over the past 6 weeks I've thrown around the idea of going back to work to give myself something else to do and find a little bit of myself again instead of just being a 24/7 mom. I have no family in this part of the country and I have only made 2 friends since I've been here, both of which have children and don't have much time or desire to get together. I have found I become very overwhelmed very quickly with my high maintenance 6 month old and more often than not I am frustrated by the end of the day when my husband gets home from work. My ds doesn't sleep through the night...not even close. Then doesn't like to nap and sometimes I spend the better part of my day rocking him to sleep just to have him wake up 10 min later. This causes a VERY cranky/tired baby and frustrated mom
This was how I was as well, my DD was a huge sleep fighter and also woke very easily. I remember so many times just giving up and sitting with her on my lap for nap because it was less frustrating than trying to slowly ease her down. It made things very draining for me and I never got anything done. I also have no family close and no close friend really either, so no one to call on when I just needed a break besides the wonderful visits from family, but they can only come so often as they are all 250+ miles away. My DD is finally sleeping through the night 95% of the time (except when sick, teething, etc. but that is true for most kids) these last two months (she's 19 months) and it is so awesome smile.gif I will say that working FT can be rough with little sleep, but for me at least while it is/was hard, it was better for me and my family because I got to have my work time, my me-time at lunch and then be fairly refreshed for the morning, evenings and weekends with DD and DH. For our family, having both me and DH working full time does work better and my DD has really thrived in daycare, exceeding my hopes that she would do well. I never thought she would have friends and really enjoy it as much as she does.

Also, I wanted to say even if my DD was a perfect sleeper, I still would have wanted to go back to work. Her being a poor sleeper just solidified my choice and gave me an easy "excuse" for some folks that didn't get why I wanted to work. They didn't really care about the full dynamics, so it was nice to have an easy answer to shut them up when I didn't want to tell them to just MYOB!
Quote:
This is such an awesome opportunity for me since I do not have a college degree and do not plan on being a housewife/sahm forever. I think managing my own store would look awesome on my resume! Every logical thing inside me says I need to take this opportunity. And I feel like I WANT to do it. But the "mom" side of me is ridden with guilt over putting my son in child care. I feel like I'm being selfish if I accept this position and put him in day care full time
It sounds like such a good opportunity for you, I know if it were me I would jump on it! With the caveat I could find childcare I was comfortable with. I really do think you should take this opportunity. As for the guilt, take the time and examine it as I have found no matter what you decide as a Mom nowadays you are disappointing someone or some part of society. If you don't SAH, you are being selfish, if you do, you are betraying all those feminists of the past, etc. etc. It sounds like you do want to make a change and work and with this opportunity available, I think you should try it and see if it works better for your family. It might not and if it doesn't, you can always change back or do something else, but I am definitely one who's family is much better off with me working.

Other things to think about that have sometimes been interesting challenges for working with a kid in daycare: will you and/or DH be able to take time off when you child gets sick or have some kind of back-up care. I would figure that out now as with my work and I can take my laptop home and get work done while she naps at least, but I also travel for work often, so DH has to be ready to pick her up too when I am out if she gets sick (has happened once already). My DH also is on call often for work which adds even more fun challenge to the equation. And as I said, we don't have much of a network of friends/family nearby, so we don't have folks we can routinely call on to help out which it sounds like is the same for you.

If you are BFing, do you use bottles at all, do you pump, would you be able to pump at your job? Feel free to PM me or check all the various BFing and working posts if you need more info on this, don't want to clutter your post if it isn't relevant, but I pumped and worked FT for 9 months, so I have some experience I can share.

Does your child have a lovey or pacifier that he is attached to? If not, you might want to try and introduce something (preferably something you have many copies of and can easily get more!) as it is helpful for making him feel more secure when away from you and for self-soothing.

Also, figuring out who is dropping off/picking up, how many carseats you need/want, etc. all the logistics can be fun too which is why I started looking for daycares that were on my route from home to work hoping I would find one I liked in that area. I was lucky and did. It sounds like work is close to home for you, so that helps with the logistics for sure!

Katie trekkie.gif - Married to Mike 06/02/01, Mom to Sydney Anne born 11/21/09 and Alice Maeryn & Oliver Thomas born 04/24/13  hug.gif 

 

 

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#3 of 4 Old 07-20-2011, 08:37 AM
 
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i think it sounds like a really awesome opportunity for you! i was really worried about putting my dd in daycare and going back to work too. but her transition to daycare has been more awesome and smooth than i could have ever ever imagined. this is the super sensitive little girl who doesn't even feel comfortable with her grandparents... doesn't like loud and crowded areas, doesn't like being far away from me ever. she cried a bit today (her 4th day ever!!) but as soon as i left she stopped and was perfectly happy when i peeked in at her 15 min later. it's just amazing how much she loves being with the other kids. 

 

anyway, start looking into your childcare options in the area. find out from your employers whether there's an option to bring your son with you during slow times or some days, or at least until he's more mobile and difficult to contain. full-time care in a daycare centre isn't ideal for infants, in my mind, but hopefully you can work out a solution that meets everyone's needs. 

 

good luck with your decision. it is easy to feel guilty about being away from your kids, but i do strongly believe that it's healthy for the adults in the family to have their own personal space and time, whether through a job, volunteering or personal hobbies. 

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#4 of 4 Old 07-20-2011, 01:55 PM
 
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I wouldn't feel guilty on behalf of your DS because he's going to be just fine. The only reason not to take the job is if it would make YOU unhappy. I went back when my ds was 10 weeks and was so relieved. Human beings enjoy spending their time in different ways. Do what you would enjoy.

 

(And btw, good childcare is great for kids. I would argue it can be better than staying at home with mom, especially a tired, lonely mom ...)

 

There is no reason to feel guilty and providing for your family is not "selfish". Mothers don't need to revolve around their children always.


Mother of two since 2007 and 2009. Hoping third time's a charm in 2012.

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