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Returning to work and feeling bad

  1. #1
    nzstephanie is offline Registered User
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    Returning to work and feeling bad

    I need a pep talk!
    Tomorrow I am returning to work and all of a sudden feel very sad about the situation. Feeling guilty for leaving my son and upset about what I may miss out on. Is it really that bad?

  2. #2
    carang's Avatar
    carang is offline Registered User
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    the first few weeks will be hell... then it wills start to get better.

    my kids are now 4 & 6 and i still miss them when i'm at work... but that is life. have to move on and get on with it.

    good luck! just remember, you're not alone!

  3. #3
    elle is offline Registered User
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    Totally agree with Cara, the first couple weeks were some of the worst of my life. It got bad again when baby was around one and would cry as soon as she realized I was going to leave in the morning - heartbreaking! Its one of those things you just learn to deal with but it doesn't stop it from being awful.

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    kacoak is offline Registered User
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    I had the same feelings when leaving my first daughter at home for the first time to go back to work. But then I reflect upon myself, growing up with two working parents, and I never did resent my parents for 'not being there'. Children are extremely resilient, and as long as their basic needs are fulfilled, they understand how much you love them.

    I also found this excerpt from one of my pregnancy reads very helpful, where the author painted a funny (and rather ridiculous) picture of the "Perfect" parents:

    - The perfect parent, if she (or he) existed, would devote herself full time to the care and teaching of her child. She would begin, even before conception by shoring up her folic acid reserves and purging her body of any chemical remotely suspect. Once pregnant, she would never touch a drop of alcohol, pump her own gasoline, get less than eight hours sleep, or allow herself to be stressed in any way. She would have an ideal, unmedicated, and uncomplicated delivery, and breastfeed from the moment of birth until the child was potty-trained. She would know precisely how to stimulate her baby, but also how to avoid overstimulation. She would spend hours every day playing with him - singing, cuddling, talking, massaging, exercising, reading, showing him how all kinds of toys and other fascinating objects work - and never have to leave him in his swing for half an hour while trying to make supper or balance the checkbook. Her house would be baby-proofed, so he could explore every corner and rarely hear "No!" ... She'd start him on piano/tennis/dance/French/swimming lessons at age 3, but if he showed no interest, would happily forfeit the ten week's tuition. She'd send him to the perfect preschool, using their time apart to brush up on the latest child-rearing information and prepare all sorts of new and interesting educational activities for him. And of course, she wouldn't do it alone. She'd have the "perfect spouse" right alongside, equally loving/stimulating/nurturing/teaching their child every step of the way.-

    Phew. :) If there are indeed parents out there like the above, I'd wonder what their children learn from parents whose only focus in life is their kids. Children need to learn how to work, share, nurture and enjoy life. As others already said, working is part of life and you're not alone!
    JL168, thanka2 and miran like this.

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    charade is offline Registered User
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    Going back to work was the best thing for me... I was a completely obsessed, mental person while I was around my baby 24/7. So I settled in quite easily and my husband (and possibly baby) breathed a sigh of relief. It was surprisingly easier than I thought. Helps that I really trusted my helper by then.

    My sister says it took her almost a couple of months though to get over the separation from baby. We had quite a few discussions with her where she was saying how bad she felt and wanted to quit, and she was seeing her baby at mid-day for breastfeeding. We kept telling her to give it a couple of months and then take a decision. In a couple of months, though, she was fine. Now she's like, I would have been mental to quit. So I'd brace myself for a couple of months and then see how I felt.
    thanka2 and miran like this.

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    TheQuasimother is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by kacoak View Post
    But then I reflect upon myself, growing up with two working parents, and I never did resent my parents for 'not being there'. Children are extremely resilient, and as long as their basic needs are fulfilled, they understand how much you love them.
    Totally agree!

    There will be LOTS of at Stay-At-Home parents who will look at you with great pity as if it's the worse thing in the world to have to work and leave your child with care-giver.

    Every time I worry about my little girl, I look at my son and see how he managed to turn out alright! No. Better than alright (and better than some who have a parent taking care of them full time) but definitely no worse than a any child raised by a parent who stays at home.

    There is no such thing as a perfect parent!
    thanka2 and miran like this.
    “If you want to get to the castle, you’ve got to swim the moat.” Richard Jenkins in Eat Pray Love

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    nzstephanie is offline Registered User
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    Thank you all so much for the kind words. You have all made a huge difference to the way I feel. I never did think about the opinion that I am teaching my child that he is not my only focus in life (but still a very large focus of it). Thank you !!!

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    thanka2 is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheQuasimother View Post
    Totally agree!

    There will be LOTS of at Stay-At-Home parents who will look at you with great pity as if it's the worse thing in the world to have to work and leave your child with care-giver.

    Every time I worry about my little girl, I look at my son and see how he managed to turn out alright! No. Better than alright (and better than some who have a parent taking care of them full time) but definitely no worse than a any child raised by a parent who stays at home.

    There is no such thing as a perfect parent!
    Amen! I really take issue with a tone that I often hear from SAHMs that is "Fortunately, I can stay home with my child [unspoken: unlike, poor mothers who HAVE TO work outside the home]."

    Now, for some women, they really do want to be at home with their children 24/7 and be the primary care giver and they do realize that after they go back to work, give it a try and do some soul searching. That is totally fine and legitimate. It's also totally fine and legitimate to find working outside the home to be the best option for oneself and one's children.

    I definitely don't feel sorry for myself that I'm not at home with my children as a SAHM and I don't think I or anyone else should feel sorry for my children. My children have a wonderful life. :) I was a SAHM for a good chunk of time and like Quasimother--working was by far the best thing for everyone in my family. So, now when I spend time with my children it is that quality time, rather than the quantity of time I had to slog through every day. But, other mothers will feel that being a SAHM is exactly where they should be at and so even through the difficulties they feel the joy of what they are doing and that makes the difference.

    I actually feel wary of women who let motherhood become their entire identity. Yes, motherhood is a huge part of one's identity but if your children are the only ones who define you (whether you're a SAHM or not) then I think something's amiss.

    I am thankful, though, that after the birth of my daughter this spring, I had time to ease back into working life. I had 8 weeks exactly for maternity leave but when I came back to work my daughter was able to be with me in the mornings a bit--for a couple of feeds. Then I had a summer holiday. Coming back to work in August was harder because she was older and doing more cool things (rolling over, crawling, will start eating solid foods soon). I find that when I see her at lunch for feedings that I just want to cuddle her and never let her go. But, I know that if I was at home with her 24/7 I would probably go batty. So, I just enjoy those sweet moments--I savor them. Sometimes more is not necessarily better--at least in my case.
    “Many women have described their experiences of childbirth as being associated with a
    spiritual uplifting, the power of which they have never previously been aware …
    To such a woman childbirth is a monument of joy within her memory.
    She turns to it in thought to seek again an ecstasy which passed too soon.”

    ~ Grantly Dick-Read (Childbirth Without Fear)

    Mother of Two
    JMW, boy, born November 29, 2007, 9:43 pm, USA
    MJW, girl, born March 17, 2011, 4:14 pm, HK

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