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Hi,<br>
I think this is the first time I've posted on this board, but have been getting worried about going back to work ever since my son was born nearly 2 weeks ago.<br><br>
Before he was born I didn't think I'd have any problem with wanting to return to work, but now I just don't know. I'm waiting till approx. 2.5 months or so to return. I'm lucky that I only need to go in 1-2 nights a week (husband is home nights and will watch baby), and I'll be gone 6-8hrs per night.<br><br>
I know my situation is good compared to alot of mamas who have to go back to work sooner than I do, and need to work full time or longer hours. But I'm still so worried now that it'll affect our connection.<br><br>
What's everyone's experience with going to work and your connection to your baby? Am I blowing this out of proportion, or maybe it's because he's just two weeks old that I can't imagine leaving him yet?<br><br>
Thank you, and sorry if this has been asked ad nauseum.
 

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I went back to work when my son was 11 weeks old. I work 2 24 hour shifts per week, so I'm still home with him 5 days a week. It's hard to be away for such a long stretch, but my husband brings him by for an hour here or there to keep the homesickness from being completely overwhelming.<br><br>
As much as I miss him, I think I'm doing OK being back at work. It also gives Brian and Christopher some time together, without me hanging over their shoulders. He also gets to spend time with his grandparents on days when both Brian and I work. I think the part that really makes it work for me is that he's really laid back, change doesn't really bother him, and he's generally the happiest baby.<br><br>
So yes, it stinks, but it does get better. He's still happy to see me when I'm home, and he's happy with Daddy or Grammy when I'm at work.<br><br>
Good luck - you can do this!<br><br>
Jen
 

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Jenrose, congratulations!! 2 weeks - wow! :) So exciting!<br><br>
My dd is 7 months old now. I went back to work 4 days a week when she was 12 weeks old. She is in group daycare for 9 hours on those days. Ouch! But... our connection is still very strong, and we are definitely still bonded. No question about it.<br><br>
I think it helps that she sleeps in the bed with us part of the night, and in the crib next to our bed part of the night. When she is in the crib, she wakes up to nurse every 2-3 hours, and I sometimes wonder if she would still be doing that if we were together all day every day. I don't mind at all - want to be there when she wants me :) (and she just eats and conks back out again).<br><br>
For me, the anticipation of leaving her was tremendously difficult, and was much worse than actually doing it. Some days I cried about it. I was so not sure I could do it! I will never forget standing on the sidewalk outside the family day care place we had signed up with, bawling my eyes out on the phone with dh, completely convinced we would have to do something that would allow me to stay home with dd (like move out of NYC). I'd say this was how I felt about the situation whenever I thought about it until she was about 8 or 10 weeks old.<br><br>
However, as my return to work date drew nearer and I concluded that I wouldn't really want to give up everything we have here in order to stop working, I was able to accept the idea of the separation. The first two days were hard on me (the second day was the worst) and I cried on the train after dropping her off. There are still days when i just want to turn right around and stay home with her.<br><br>
DD, on the other hand, had no trouble whatsoever with the transition!<br><br>
Based on my experience, I believe you and ds will be just fine with the separation you are talking about. In fact, you might find that 2 nights a week spending energy on something other than ds will offer you some regeneration and renewed energy for him. Also, since it's night, he will be sleeping for much of the 6-8 hour time period (not now, I'm sure, but eventually!).<br><br>
It is so great that your husband will be caring for ds while you are away. I still remember reading in one of the baby books that babies "do better" (smarter, more adaptable??) when they are exposed to more than one parenting style. This will be great for both of them.<br><br>
I'm sure you will have many more days when you aren't sure you can do it, so hang in there! Best of luck, and enjoy this wonderful time getting to know your son. I'm kinda jealous - that newborn phase was pretty darn amazing. Teething is amazing in a whole 'nother kind of way LOL!
 

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DD was 4 months old when I returned to work and I worried about this too. I breast fed so she slept with me and nursed more often. I never, ever left her other than to go to work so we were together in the mornings before work, in the evenings and on the weekend. She is now 11 yrs old and we are still super close. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/loveeyes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Loveeyes">:
 

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I work nights, full time, and DH works days, so one of us is almost always home with our baby girl. She goes to my MIL's 2 afternoons a week when our work times overlap. We're been doing this since she was 7 weeks old.<br><br>
It's working OK for us. Yes, I'd love to be home with her, but since I can't (we just can't, can.not, no.way. swing it financially and for other reasons), this is the next best thing. I know DD is with her daddy, whom she absolutely adores (maybe BECAUSE they get this time to bond?), who absolutely adores her and cares for her wonderfully in my absence.<br><br>
I read an abstract of a study recently done that showed that children who had their fathers (or male father figures) as their primary care provider on a consistent basis as small children tended to grow up with better self esteem and tended to stay out of trouble as teens.<br><br>
I really like to focus on the GOOD parts of me not being there, if that makes any sense. DH and the baby get to spend one-on-one time together, which is really a good thing. DD has two parents who can care for her should (what a morbid thought!) anything happen to either of us. We have both learned ways to entertain her, to soothe her, to get her to sleep, etc. and can pull out the other's tricks if need be.<br><br>
Really, while it is hard (especially the first 2 weeks or so), it's not the end ofthe world for your attachment. When you're pumping at work, you can think of baby, and/or call home. You can get emails, with digital pictures and videos, from home.
 

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I had to go back full time when DD was 10 weeks, it was hard for me, but I had the health insurance so I didn't feel I had a choice, and maybe that helped. And I liked my job and had planned to continue working...but it was still hard on me! DD seemed unphased by the whole thing.<br><br>
I don't think my working impacted our connection. I work part time, from home now, and I think that's best for us, but my decision to leave my job had more to do with exhaustion than a fear that my baby wasn't bonded to me. That baby bond is a really mysterious thing, and wonderful, and we have it in spades.<br><br>
Also, there are a bunch of threads about how tough it is to find good part time professional jobs, so I would really urge you to give it a try and see how it feels for you.<br><br>
I think all of this is so individual--DH and I are super social people, as is DD (now 2) and so daycare worked for us. She always seemed to enjoy the interaction and the people and the stimulation. Another more sensitive baby might not, and it might not work another parent, either.<br><br>
Congratulations on your new baby! And good luck moving forward!
 

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My own thoughts on this are that attachment is formed through intention to attach. If you hold the intent that you are bonded and attached to your child, then you will be.<br><br>
I don't think your bond necessarily needs to weaken because you are away from your child for several hours a day. You can think of this as your child developing the opportunity to bond with other people, especially his father. These bonds form in ADDITION to your, not in place of yours.<br><br>
In my own family, I had a nanny while my mother worked, but she stayed home full-time with her older children. I think I'm probably closest to my mother, even though she arguably spent less time with me than the other 3.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Ellien C</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9011955"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">My own thoughts on this are that attachment is formed through intention to attach. If you hold the intent that you are bonded and attached to your child, then you will be.<br><br>
I don't think your bond necessarily needs to weaken because you are away from your child for several hours a day. You can think of this as your child developing the opportunity to bond with other people, especially his father. These bonds form in ADDITION to your, not in place of yours.<br><br>
In my own family, I had a nanny while my mother worked, but she stayed home full-time with her older children. I think I'm probably closest to my mother, even though she arguably spent less time with me than the other 3.</div>
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thanks for the replies, especially that its about the intention as well. I had felt this way prior to having ds and needed that reminder. I think I've been taking in too much of other people's opinion of what 'bonding' means and requires.<br>
Time spent one on one with daddy would be great for him too. I already have noticed that even when dh is home, I'm always hovering too closely.<br><br>
thanks ladies for the advice!
 

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You're not blowing it out of proportion -- it's so hard to leave your baby!<br><br>
I went back to work FT when DD was 12 weeks old. My DH is a SAHD. She is 19mo now and mama is still her very favorite person most of the time. She doesn't mind staying home with DH, and she doesn't mind on days when she goes to grandma's house instead, but the rest of the time she pretty much wants mama. In other words, it doesn't seem to have hurt our bond at all. If anything, it's nice that the hours when I am home with her, I feel like I can devote most of my energy to her.<br><br>
It's been good for DH and her to bond, too. DH can do anything for her except nurse, and he has tons of confidence that other dads sometimes don't.
 

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I went back to work when my ds was 4 1/2 months. I was a wreck! I hated it! I still do! But honestly, I don't see that it has affected our bond; my ds is always very happy to see me at night, very attentive and responsive to me, etc. And I work out of the house 40 hours per week. One or two nights per week will be fine. I know it's hard, but I really believe that children are resilient in this way. And like the pps mentioned, it will be a great time of bonding for your dh. My dh is a sahd and I know that he and ds wouldn't have the relationship that they do if I was the at-home parent. That's a gift for all of us.
 

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I went back to work at 12 weeks PT and now at 7 months will be starting FT.<br><br>
I don't think working has diminished our bond at all. She gets a big smile on her face when she sees me and although she can't talk, I can tell she loves being with me in the afternoon/evenings/weekend.<br><br>
I, like you, was scared when I went back to work. I asked my mother who is a pre-school teacher if she would love her DCP more that me. My mom reassured me that even though they take care of the kids during the day, the parent is one they are truely attached to.<br><br>
Good luck and <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">s
 

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I was fortunate in that I didn't have to return to work until DS was 6 mos old. But it was still heartbreaking to have to leave him (it didn't help that he barely ate anything for the first 2 days b/c he wouldn't take a bottle of ebm..) I work f/t and he is in a home daycare. But I've never felt that our bond was affected. DS is now 27 mos and when I pick him up from daycare he comes running from across the room into my arms. We still cosleep and breastfeed and I feel that (at least on MY end of the relationship, can't speak for DS <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> ) that has helped a lot.<br><br>
I'm also grateful to have the dcp we do - she loves all "her" kids SO much and really has become a part of our "village". DS is with a group of kids of diff. ages and the only real turnover is if the kids "age out" by starting school, so a nice stable environment. He really loves it there. I'm not nearly as nervous this time around, b/c I know that the new baby will be VERY loved with our dcp.
 
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