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My son is 5 months old and I've been back at work for 2 months now. It's getting harder, not easier...especially as he becomes more interactive and it's getting warmer outside. I have huge guilt about leaving him at daycare and I can't stop thinking about all the things I'm missing by being at work...even if it's a little smile or something as mundane as a feeding. I thought I'd be okay going back to work, but I feel like I'm going to look back at this one day and regret what I'm missing out on. Have any of you ever felt like this and gotten past it?”

7 replies so far...

  • I know that guilt very well. I have 3. It's hard, but soon he will start making friends and really having a great time. It's weird knowing your child has a whole life going on without you. I used to love when I picked up my little ones and they were all dirty from playing outside all day. I could tell they had so much fun, but I felt bad because I wasn't part of it. You do get past it, but mommy-guilt never goes away.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Pam on 20th April 2009

  • Weird. I just had the exact same thought today; that I'm going to look back and regret not being home with my daughter.....I'm looking for some encouragement too.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by verasmom on 2nd April 2009

  • I definitely felt this way, especially at that age when they start actually DOING things, and not just eat-sleep-poop! In fact, I think it took me a good 2 years before I was "over" the guilt and "I miss him" feelings completely. (Well, not completely, but you know what I mean.) What I finally realized -- my first is now 4.5 and my second is 13 mos, both in daycare since 12 weeks -- is that we only know the time we ARE with them. When we ARE together, if the kids do something new like take a step or clap hands, then THAT's the "first time". Every laugh or giggle with me is mine to own, to cherish. I try not to worry about what the daycare teacher gets to see, or what I'm missing. It's hard, and yeah, I do think I'll always look back and wish I'd had more time with them when they were little, but guess what? ALL parents wish that, whether they stayed at home with them or not.

    You'll be okay. Hang in there. :) (((hugs)))

    p.s. if you can, sometimes, just take a day off and hang out with your little guy. *I* need to do this more often!

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by el-e-e on 2nd April 2009

  • My son is 20 months old and I still hate leaving him every morning - of course it doesn't help that lately he doesn't want me to leave him! I have every confidence in my day care, though, and feel good about the people there. I make sure I take a few minutes to chat with them in the morning and again in the evening - it's a great way for me to find out what my son is up to off the daily communication form. When I pick him up at the end of the day and bring him home, I make sure to take about 30-45 minutes to play with him before getting into the evening grind (dinner, dishes, bedtime). It helps me to let go of my work day and focus on what's really important! The other thing I learned: don't try to take care of a sick child and work from home - you stress out because you're not giving the right attention to either!

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Karen on 2nd April 2009

  • Every working mom on the planet knows how you feel. But face it, girl: you have to work or you wouldn't be working. What's more important is the time you SPEND with your son. That's what kids remember. I know I did. I still have memories pop into my head of things I did with my mom; just the other day, I remembered a trip the whole family took to Busch Gardens when I was like 7. Daycare/preschool has many benefits, too: they make friends, they learn good social skills and the parties and events are just awesome for them. So, it's ok. It really is. Make memories outside of the mundane stuff we have to do between the hours of 7:00am and 5:00pm.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Woman in Transition on 2nd April 2009

  • I know exactly how you feel. I had thought for sure it wouldn't be that tough to go back to work and that I was some kind of super woman who could handle everything. Ha, was I wrong. Like you, I felt it getting harder too. My son is 9 months old now and after changing care providers 3 times, and working out my concerns with the latest one, I finally feel a bit more comfortable. I still worry about everything, his happiness, how he'll develop being in someone elses care for so many hours a week, etc. He's passed into a stage of happy playfulness and he really loves people and socializing, so for him I know it's better that he be around people. I still am not sure there is a "Good" daycare out there, as they all have low paid staff and ratios for infants that seem very unrealistic to a mom, but I'm constantly working with them and communicating about my feelings. Luckily the center manager is also a mom and has very similar beliefs and feelings as myself or any mom who has to work for that matter. I do hold onto my evening and weekend time with him as very precious and that helps me get through the weeks. I'm also afraid I might look back one day and regret it. I keep my eyes open for ways to get more time with him and still get the bills paid. So, please know you're not alone.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Tina on 2nd April 2009

  • I had a hard time and I don't know of any mom who hasn't -- it's tough. But I focused on mornings, and nights, and weekends and making the most of that time together with my daughter. I do think it gets easier, hang in there.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Nataly on 1st April 2009