View Full Version : Help! I'm back at work...
11-06-2003, 11:11 AM
Hi all. After a totally stressful month of moving to a new house, I'm back at work and DS is with a friend's son in a nanny share, and I think I'm going to lose my mind. It's only my 4th day, but I've already seen a change in him. He used to always be smiling and laughing and happy, and since Monday he's been somber and quiet. He just looks around and hardly smiles at all. My mother insists that kids are resilient and you can't do lasting damage to them in a week, but I think she's wrong and isn't giving him enough credit. He's always been so aware of what was going on around him, since the day he was born, that 4 days is more than enough time for him to know that something isn't right and that his world is totally upside down. I just feel terrible for doing this to him. And the nanny is really great and very patient, and he's been out to the park to play every day this week, but it just isn't the same and I feel like I'm going to die because I'm not the one out playing with him, or feeding him, or laughing with him, or talking to him. DH and I need the money from my job (I'm making about 3 times what he is), and I really can't complain about the work environment or the people here. Everyone is happy to have me back, and they've been so nice and accommodating, but it's still killing me and I'm jsut beside myself. Someone please tell me how I get through this.
Mommy to Patrick, 1/16/03
oh, megan, hopefully things will get better! it may be that he is picking up on your ambivalance about being back at work (and no matter how great your job is or how much everyone supports you, it is completely normal to feel that way!)
see how he is this weekend -- he may just need some adjusting time. or he may just be tired at the end of the day, too! jack loves daycare now. a great opportunity for him to play with other babies. i miss him awfully during the day, but it makes things a lot easier.
hang in there for a little bit longer. you can always change your mind about working a little later if you feel that's what you need to do.
PREGNANT! EDD 6/9/03
mama to Jack 6/6/03
11-06-2003, 12:16 PM
I absolutely feel your pain....we bought our first home and moved when Ellen was two months old...we still have things in boxes around the house over a month later. I also returned back to work three weeks ago and thought I would cry an actual river the first day I went back.
I can imagine the stress of it all...moving, being at home with Patrick for nearly a year, returning to work, and then seeing him changed. For me, it was nice to get back to adult conversations and it helped a TON that I see Ellen every day at lunch, and she is always happy at her "school". I love where she goes and I think she does, too. I even get a report at the end of the day...what she played with, when she ate, pooped, etc!
Like you, we depend on my income (I make more than DH, too!) and MEDICAL BENEFITS!
Sorry that I'm not much help, but I know that it does help me knowing that there are others out there who are experiencing something similar. We are here for you!
Mom to Ellen 7/23/2003
11-06-2003, 12:21 PM
Please know that you're a great mommy and Patrick knows this--he loves you! Please give yourself and Patrick more time. Four days is not long enough to allow yourself to feel sad--and feeling sad is ok. I had the same problem with the "distance" issue with my DS too at daycare. When I asked the director about it, she told me that it takes a week or two for a child to get used to the new situation--they are overwhelmed by the new people, routine, everything. She said it happened every time a child advanced to a new classroom. DS went through this and was very tired as a result, which made him do exactly what your Patrick is doing--and it broke my heart, but he now is absolutely fine and giggly again.
If after a week or two you still think DS is too withdrawn, talk to your nanny about what she's doing--maybe she would need to add additional down time or cuddle time.
Please let us know hoe you're doing--and feel free to cry on our shoulders here--many of us have been where you are.
Mommy to Matthew, 5/19/03
11-06-2003, 12:30 PM
Megan, I'm so sorry that it's so tough. Going back to work can be really hard. I had to go back also due to money. Perhaps Patrick needs time to get used to the nanny? DD was 4 months old when I went back to work so it was an easier transition for her and she loves it at daycare. Maybe since he's a little older, he is smart enough to know that he prefers his mommy. It's a great thing that he is also with a friend's son so that he has another little guy to interact with. I think in time he will start to have more fun with them. How much interaction did he have with the nanny before you went back to work? I keep thinking that if it was me, it would take me a little while before I could totally relax with a new person and act like myself (an example would be when I made new friends at college).
There are lots of us out here who are all in the same boat of having to work. Like someone else suggested, I'm sure once he gets to spend time with you and DH over the weekend, he'll be back to his normal self again.
11-06-2003, 12:53 PM
I know, it's so hard, isn't it??
The thing that sprung into my mind right away - I was wondering if Patrick was getting enough nap time with the nanny (or if he was still adjusting to a new nap routine)? When Colin is tired because his nap schedule is out of whack, he gets that glazed look, too.
I also agree that you aren't doing lasting damage to him, he just needs the time to adjust to a new situation and routine. He will be fine!!
11-06-2003, 01:24 PM
Megan, he is old enough to be with a nanny and will be fine! Just look at it from his perspective. Patrick has been with mommy 24/7 for his entire life. Now he has to share the new nice lady, who is NOT mommy BTW, with another kid. It is all strange and not familar. She doesn't rub my back the exact way mommy does when I nap or smell like mommy either. Mommy is very stressed so something isn't right.
Of course he is sad, he misses you. Once he gets the routine it will be a lot better. He doesn't quite understand that you will be back for him no matter what yet. I visit my daughter every day for lunch. I have watched her go from being the smallest baby at the center to the oldest kid in her room. There is always an adjustment period. Once he starts to bond with the nanny he will be a lot happier.
I do have a suggestion. When you are getting ready in the morning, talk about going to see the nanny and his buddy X in really positive happy tones. Tell him what they might get to do that day. If he picks up on how much fun you think it is, it might improve his attitude.
Karin and Katie 10/24/02
I have absolutely no advice to you, but my heart broke reading your post. You obviously love your son so much and are very tuned into him and his needs and moods. Give him a little time to adjust to the new situation, but still be tuned into his disposition in case there ever is a problem. I would trust your mommy intuition 100%, but I'm sure you & he are just reacting to a difficult transition right now. Don't beat yourself up. Hugs to you.
11-06-2003, 03:18 PM
Megan, don't have any advice, but wanted you to know I'm thinking of you!! Don't think you're horrible because you're working; sometimes I think *I'm* awful because I'm not and we're having money problems now. I feel like I put us in that situation. Anyway, I guess my point is, it's impossible to not feel guilty, and it's absolutely normal, no matter what!!!
In the end, you're doing what's best for your family, which really counts. I think Lori might have something with nap time though, give it a little more time. Thinking of you!!!
11-07-2003, 11:31 AM
Thanks everyone for your kind support! Things are going much better today. Patrick screamed most of yesterday so I left work a half hour early to go get him (he hadn't napped one wink), but when we got home, he seemed a little bit more normal and playful, and this morning he wasn't so upset when I left. Hopefully he'll start to ease into things a little bit better. I'm feeling better knowing that he's not so miserable, but I'm still sad that I'm not spending as much time with him as I used to. I guess I'll either get used to that eventually, or I'll have to re-evaluate my decision to work later on down the road. DH and I decided that I've got to give it at least until Christmas and then we can sit down and see how things are going, and that's made it easier on me because I have a finite point that I'm working towards.
I always knew it would be hard to do this, but actually doing it has just been heartbreaking. I always thought I'd want to work and I definitely do want some sort of career, but I just don't know if it's possible with small children at home. Unfortunately, the career world hasn't caught up with moms and isn't that receptive to women taking 5 years off and then going back, so I'm hesitant to leave and regret it later. But I'm also hesitant to work and miss my kids' childhoods. Does this EVER get any easier? Or will I still be second guessing myself when I'm a grandma?
Mommy to Patrick, 1/16/03
11-07-2003, 12:54 PM
I do hope things get better. It's heartbreaking to have to leave your baby. I pretty much cried everytime I dropped DS off at day care for weeks (and I rarely cry). It also took DS about a month to adjust to daycare (he started when he was 4 months old). But he LOVES day care now, and has this big smile when we go in, and he sees his care-giver and the other kids in the room.
I still have major guilt about working, but I have to, otherwise DS is going to stuck living in a bad neighbourhood and going to a lousy public school. OTOH, I'm quite sure if I stayed home, I'd still be second-guessing myself!!
But Patrick will adjust, and things will get somewhat better - just different challenges!
mom to Neel 01/05/03
dog mom to a cocker and a PWD
11-07-2003, 01:27 PM
Oh, Meagan! My heart is breaking for you. The tone of your email is just so sad. I was glad to read further down that things seem better today!
I have done this mommy thing from all different angles...I've worked FT after the birth, part-time, and practically SAHM. It's hard to leave your baby no matter what it's for and no matter how old they are! I went back to work FT after Parker was born...he was only 7 weeks old. It was horrible! I missed him terribly. After about 6 months I switched to PT work. That was much better and that's what I did with Wesley. While I was pregnant with Amy Grace, our childcare situation changed and I'm mostly at home with her and drag her to my office two mornings a week. I can honestly say that it's not easy no matter how you do it. I do think you need to take more time. It might not get a lot easier for you (you'll still miss him but it won't hurt quite so much) but I can almost guarantee that it will get easier for him! He will most certainly adjust after a couple of weeks and begin loving having a playmate. I really think that in the long run it will be so good for him to have another child to play with and learn to compromise with. It can only aid him later in his childhood and life.
Anyway, sending positive thoughts and hugs your way. Keep us posted!
11-07-2003, 01:46 PM
Megan, I think it is one of those catch 22's. If you stay home you feel like your behind in the career world, or you need the money but feel guilt for not working, but if you do work you feel guilt for not being home. *hugs* I'm glad things got better the second day, I'm sure he will adjust more every day.
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