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Mom Sad about leaving baby in daycare

  • Hello, I am a working mom. There are so many new issues this way of life presents!

    One is the emotional difficulty: My 6-month old daughter is in daycare. I have had a hard time adjusting. I worry about the effect leaving her in daycare has/will have on her. I miss her dearly while I work. Does anyone else have a hard time? Does it get better?

    Also pumping at work and breastfeeding. How is that working for you?

    If you have to work, what kind of effect has that had on your relationship/marriage?

    Thank you for your thoughts!
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Amber on 13th February 2008
  • I had a hard time too;such a hard time that when my baby was 6 months I started a home-based business so I could stay home with him. I am living my dream.
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Kristie on 13th February 2008
  • Hi, Amber, welcome to Work It, Mom! I think you'll find a lot of good information, advice, and support here... we're all in the same (or similar) boat!

    I'm having a hard time with daycare right now, too -- my 15-month old, who has been in care for 7 months now, suddenly doesn't want me to leave him there. He cries, he clings, my heart breaks... I know he's in good hands, but this is killing me right now. Does your day care let you check in? Pick up or drop off early or late some days? How long has your daughter been in care? I do think that it is, in some ways, just as hard -- or harder -- on the parents while the kids adjust.

    Pumping at work and breast feeding... I could go on and on and on, but instead I'll give you a few links to some great advice and discussions we've had here at Work It, Mom.

    A few discussion threads about pumping:

    A great, great article by relaxnsmile, about how she managed it (and questions and answers about it):

    Another great article, one member's personal experience:

    A primer on different kinds of pumps:

    Another article with tips:

    The relationship question you ask is a really good one... I'll bet a lot of people are wondering the same thing. I'll post is as a separate thread, so it doesn't get lost in this one!
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Lylah M. Alphonse on 13th February 2008
  • Hi, Amber!

    First of all, welcome to WIM.

    I know how you feel -- it's a really tough transition. My daughter started later than yours, but boy, did I stress. I really believe that it's great for kids to be in a good daycare -- socialization, being with other kids -- and I am sure she is fine there, it's just we moms tend to be so tough on ourselves.

    Hang in there!
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Nataly on 13th February 2008
  • Amber,

    It does get easier, it becomes more manageable.

    I have two boys and they both have been in daycare since they were 3 months old. I cried and cried the first week even though I knew it was the right thing to do for our family. And I like working! Anyway, trust me, the kids turn out alright. My two boys are doing fine. Because they went thru all the germs at daycare, when my older son went to kindergarten, he was never out sick. Many teachers and school principals have told me that they love it when the kids went to daycare first because the kids know about sharing, getting in line, etc. and they are usually better prepared for learning.

    Bottom line, is this - the kids will be fine. It is really about you - forget the guilt - what do you want? If you truly want to stay home, then you may want to take appropriate steps to make that happen at some point in the future- work less hours, less days, work at home, etc. If you enjoy working, then let yourself know that the kids turn out fine and it is the best thing for your family.


    My son went thru a period when all of a sudden, he did not want to go to daycare. All the teachers told me that nothing was unusual - no teacher left, no child in his room moved, etc. After days of battling every morning and suffering a heartache everyday, we called our doctor. He said it is usual for kids to go thru a stage like this. As long as the atmosphere at daycare is fine, then keep bringing him to daycare and it will pass. Sure enough, after about 4-6 weeks(LONG WEEKS THEY WERE!), it stopped and he was fine with going to daycare again.

    Good luck to both of you!

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by SK on 13th February 2008
  • Thanks for the heads up, SK! The other day I hung around outside and peeked in the windows (told the teachers first, of course) and saw that he was just fine after a few minutes. Which helped me get my mind around it, but doesn't really help with the guilt or the heartache. He's also teething right now -- 6 new teeth at once. That'll ruin anyone's day right there...

    But it's good to know that it'll pass... I'll be prepared for a few (long) weeks!
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Lylah M. Alphonse on 13th February 2008
  • Leaving my youngest in daycare KILLED me. I struggled with having another woman in her life, doing the things I should be doing... things I wanted to be doing. I was forced by life's circumstances to work outside the home from the time my baby was 6 months old. She was my only child to ever go to daycare. I understand how you feel... it can be heart wrenching. It does get easier...2.5 years later I have finally been able to leave the workforce and start my own biz. I am thrilled to be pulling little critter out of daycare this week! Today she is sitting snuggled next to me on the couch as I post this. Part of my non-J.O.B. is helping others learn to work from home. This has been an AMAZING opportunity for our family!
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Yes, Mommy has to work today on 13th February 2008
  • Good luck, Amber!!

    Lylah: My toddler is also 15mo. She does not go to daycare. BUT: boy does she know how to whine and cry for mommy. My point is, I've realized they go through stages of being clingy and needy, and I think they'd be that way whether they're in daycare or at home with mommy all day. I would have to say that when my girl has gone through these clingy stages, she is pure hell to be around all day - so your little one might not be any happier if you were home! Hope that makes sense... (I'm tired...)
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Diane on 14th February 2008
  • I firmly believe that there are trade-offs, whether you work outside or inside the home. I, too, have to work outside the home (and therefore, have two daughters under 4 in daycare)--and really resented it for a while. Until I realized that:

    a) My girls LOVE going to daycare

    b) They still prefer me over their daycare provider, hands down, all the time

    c) The daycare provider's perfume DOES wash off, and my children don't have to smell like her once we get home, and

    d) I am very fortunate to have a well-paying and flexible job and I OWE it to my children to not only accept our situation but thrive and do my best for them--and that will lead to doing my best for me, too.

    All that being said, I cried and cried when they were babies, and they cried and cried when they were toddlers, and my nearly-4 year old loves to throw out guilt-bombs ("I really miss you when you are gone to work. SOME mommies get to stay home with the daughters";), but I think they're going to grow up just fine. And I think I will, too.
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Janine on 15th February 2008
  • Diane, that totally makes sense! Thanks for giving me a good reality check!
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Lylah M. Alphonse on 15th February 2008

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