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I am a first time mom and returned to work full time when my baby girl was 3 months old (3 months ago). I am the only one out of my group of friends who is a working mom and I'm having a horrible time finding support to get over my guilt. One of my stay at home mom friends asked me last night "since your sitter is obviously raising Camryn {my daughter}, do you have a say in how you want her raised?". I was really hurt and didn't know how to respond. I feel like I'm being looked down on by everyone from my mom to my friends for being successful. Any advice on how to handle these types of remarks and get over my guilt? I leave for my first business trip next month (gone internationally for 6 days) and know that I'm going to end up beating myself up over it and am going to be criticized for leaving my husband and daughter for that long.”

15 replies so far...

  • im really 11 and im a big sister to them and my mom ( their mom ) wants me to help them learn

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by big sis on 1st July 2010

  • OMG! Your so called friend is very cruel. I had my first child when I was 16 so being a stay at home mom was not an option. I'm now much older, married with 3 more children ages 16, 8, 4 and I have a 9 year old step son who spends the summer, weekend and holidays with us. I work full-time, go to school online & part-time I'm trying to launch my networking business. My husband and I always find ways to spend time with our children. I think as working mothers we all wish at times that we could be home with our children but just because you are not there 24-7 does not mean that your child will love you any less and it doesn't mean that someone else is raising your kid. Your sitter is just that, a sitter. Trust me your child knows the difference. Tell your friend & everyone else who has something to say to get a life & stay out of yours. The way you run your household is how you chose to run it and its no bodies business.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Kisa on 30th June 2010

  • I agree with all of the other posters! It's hard enough to let go of the guilt you feel about not being there for every moment, let alone deal with the insensitive remarks of "friends" like that. One suggestion I have is to attend any events you can at your child care facility. They usually have community events on nights and weekends. That's a great place for you to meet other working moms, who will provide you with the support and encouragement you need and deserve.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by KAtwinmom on 29th June 2010

  • These people are your friends??! Find new friends. Seriously. I have friends who are SAHMs who don't feel the need to critize me. Be bold about calling people on giving you sh*t about your life choices, e.g. as in return "why would you say that to me?" I also set boundaries with my mother about the kinds of comments I welcome from her and what is off-limits.

    Be your own advocate! If you feel you need to reconsider your decisions about work, then do it. Otherwise, trust your own decisions and find people who can support you.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by LauraN on 29th June 2010

  • I agree on the finding new friends. My SIL has made comments to me about using a daycare for my son also. She stayed home with her last child. there is a 10 1/2 year difference between her kids. The funny thing is my daycare provider is her cousin. I work b/c I want to. My son seems to enjoy being at daycare and seeing his "friends". He will be 2 at the end of Oct. You do what is right for your family and you. Don't worry about the comments from the SAHM. I would also say they are somewhat jealous. You get to go to work and talk with other adults about more than who was the celeb on Seasame Street and what Dora and Deigo did for the day. You can always tell them that you are working b/c you didn't spend all the money on college to show your daughter that she has to depend on someone else to survive. You are teaching her that she can do whatever she wants and to be independent. Also is shows her that you and your husband are equals when it comes to decision regarding how the house is run.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Angel on 29th June 2010

  • Wow. My first piece of advice is to get new friends. Second, why do you feel guilty? I didn't. What I felt was sad about leaving my baby. Not going back to work was not an option financially. You need the support of other working moms. My guess is that your group of friends are somewhere in their 20's? It has been my experience that the twenty-something SAHMs are the worst critics about everything...and they know the least about life. Don't feel guilty about choosing your life. It takes alot of people to raise a child. Your daycare provider is just one of those. Make no mistake. You are the mommy and you make the decisions.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Sharon on 1st June 2010

  • Being a first time mom and going back to work after your baby is born is very hard, you probably cried the first time you dropped her off at your sitter's house, right? And then probably sat in the parking lot for a few minutes staring at the sitter's door. Yup, I know the feeling. I was in the military for 12 years and have been a working mom. Trust me, its going to get easier. I cried when my first daughter called my sitter "mom", but when my second child came around, it never bothered me, I knew it was just a phase. The hard part was leaving my second child when he was 6 mths old to go overseas for 6 months, but remember, dad can pull as much responsibilities as a mom! This will also help your husband in the long run, he will know how hard it is to take care of a child and will always be by your side. Right now I am currently having my last child #4. But, friends like the one you mentioned, is most like just jealous and knows your weak point. And just remember, kids who are in daycare tend to have more social skills and will cope with the world better when they are older. My oldest is currently 10 years old and is very independent. Daycare kids usually handle regular sickness better and will have a higher immunity system than stay at home kids. Everything will be okay, and trust me it gets easier! Dont let others bring you down because they dont have the skills, quals, or motivation to find a job!

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by lilscalpr on 23rd May 2010

  • Sounds like you have already received some great words of advice & support, I just wanted to offer some more support. I know you feel. I hear the same crap & you know else, I was a SAHM for almost 4 years & comments about that as well. I call it the mommy wars. Women seem to be threatened by anyone who is not the same as them, it's a shame!

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by 4photobugs on 8th May 2010

  • Thanks, ladies! I really appreciate the comments and support. I know I need to have tough skin, it's just hard when there aren't very many other full time mom's in our friend circle. It's so helpful to hear about how successful you all have been with it. I know it's the right choice for our family, it's just taking time to get used to not seeing her but a couple hours a night and the weekends. Comments like that just don't help things.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by CamMom on 5th May 2010

  • I have a friend who is mad at me for vaginally delivering my son in 30 minutes! People have an opinion about everything. I love working. I feel like I have something jsut for myself. Unlike stay at home moms, we treasure every moment we have with our child, not resent them. Our lives are crazy and not monotonus. Don't care what people say. You know you love your husband and daughter and that is all that matters.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by teachermommy09 on 5th May 2010

  • Perfect example of the saying "with friends like that who needs enemies?" That said, if you really don’t want to work, look into seeing what you could do to make that happen and would that be worth it? I know one family who decided that the 4 of them could live in a small 2-bedroom apartment so as to have one parent home. Another family knew they had worked 10 years to get a house and they weren’t going back. I think both are perfectly valid options; just make it YOUR choice, not someone else’s.
    If working is the right choice, whatever your reasons, embrace them.
    As to drive-bys like that, there isn’t much to say other than “ummm….EXCUSE me!?!?” or “I cannot BELIEVE you just said that” (emphases mine).
    My top 3 of reasons to love day care:
    1. very little missed school in the first couple of years because her body had seen those viruses already
    2. socialization – my daughter has and ASD and the fact that she was forced to socialize, all day, from day one, means that socialization classes for her were about proper behavior modeling, not how to deal with children in settings some of her peers had never encountered before.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Mich on 4th May 2010

  • What the WHAT!!!??? OK I'll say it....MOMMY DRIVE BY!!!!

    All joking aside though, I spoke with my coworkers (yes, I am a working mom of 2) and we were all shocked that someone would be that insensitive. Like you weren't already having a tough time of the whole situation! One of my coworkers was a stay at home mom and others have worked all the way through and ALL of the kids turn out just fine!

    I totally agree with ERIN - depending on the daycare you choose, you can get such a good teaching environment plus the values that you want instilled anyway and the fact there are around their peers and can socialize.

    One thing I can say about your guilt. I still feel guilty on occasion, not all the time but it's still there. But the times that I don't feel guilty is when I am completely happy with the work I am doing. If you can find fulfillment with your job - you can find justification to go to work. I do it this way: 1. I pick my attitude - I choose to be happy, 2. I can choose my response to friends who don't agree with me - you can choose to NOT respond too! & 3. (I swear my pastor told me this) Develop a "Kiss my A$$" attitude - ie a Thick Skin.

    In response to non supportive friends, sometimes punishment enough is just being them. You can brush it off, and they can wallow around in their crazy feelings by themselves!

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Beaniemommie on 4th May 2010