How To Manage It All

10 Replies
jal239 - February 7

To all of you working mothers: My husband and I both work full time. We are planning on starting a family and want to try and plan out as much as possible (if that is possible). After having a baby I will have 6 wks off and some vacation left. I just wanto know how all of you do it. I want to be able to be a grat mom and I want to try and reduce my anxiety about being overwhelmed. Most of my friends are stay at home moms and thye don't understand my situation. In some ways I still want to work and in other ways I have to work. Our child will be placed in daycare. Please reassure me that being a working mother is not selfish. Thank you and I commend all of the working mothers out there.


Been There - February 7

You are absolutely not being selfish. You are doing what you need to do to take care of yourself and your family. There are many of us out there working. Just take care of your child, keep your relationship good with your husband and go to work. Do not guilt yourself because you work. We live in the days of a two-family incomes and high costs of living. I'm on my third and my other two went to daycare as well while I worked full-time. They love me just as much as if I stayed home. It doesn't matter, I'm still their mother who loves them. You child will love you and still run to you, cry for you, and hold you dear amongst all others. It won't matter that you work full-time. He/she will be very happy to see you. You can do it!


Family1 - February 8

I haven't got babies yet but my bestfriend is a single mum with the most charismatic and beautiful 7 year old daughter you can imagine. The dad was a fool and useless so the relatioinship never made past her first birthday. My friend returned to work at 6 weeks full time and cried for 2 days solid. Gradually it got better. Her daughter was in day care and I honestly think that this is why she is such a confident and talkative young girl. She walked into a room full of adults at Christmas and entertained us all for hours with her jokes and chat about all things 7 years olds love to giggle over! Day care isn't abandoning a child but something that the majoritory of kiddies will have to go through in this day in age and it can be beneficial. My friend worked very hard, got lots of inhouse qualifications and became one of the youngest finicial advisors in Scotland to qualify. She started her own business, worked very hard and sold her share. Now she's heading back to the uni course she didn't have a chance to start and paying for it with all her hard earned cash. Before she starts she's spending as much time as possible with the daughter. She's an inspiration and I would say that she's the best mum i've ever met because she values every aspect of bringing up her child. That is that thing that counts.


Heidi - February 8

It's not as hard as it sounds. My hubby and I both work full time and we take our daughter to daycare. I'll warn you, it was VERY hard taking her to daycare. I cried A LOT as I got so attached to her and almost quit my job but I knew if I did I'd put a financial strain on us and may not be able to provide for her and give her a good life so I bit the bullet and went back and to be quite honest, it wasn't bad after all. It took about two weeks to get used to it and now it's not a big deal. Yes I miss her but she's just down the street from me and I know she's in a good daycare and the whole time I worried about her, she did just fine. She's happy at her daycare and I'm happy with the mom who watches her so far. My best advice is to take at much time as you can during your leave. In the US you're allowed 12 unpaid weeks off. Luckily I had that saved up in vacation/sick time and I took 14 wks off. I know at 6 wks I was NOT ready to go back. She just seemed to little and I b___stfeed her so that was just too soon. Some moms have to though as they need the money. I was lucky enough to get paid during my leave and work from my house so I could take more time off. You'll know once your baby is born if you REALLY need to return to work. If you can swing it on one income, then stay home if that's what you want. Sometimes I'm glad I'm back at work cus there were many days I'd get so bored being home. But it's winter here so there's no going out for walks and so on. You'll still be a good mom even if your child is in daycare. It's a great way for them to gain social skills and interact with other children. Make sure you find a daycare you're comfortable with and find someone who does a lot of activities with kids and not one who just plops them in front of the tv all day. My daycare mom has three kids of her own, two are school age, and she quit her job to start daycare as she wasn't happy with her daycare so she makes sure they do a lot of activities and even though Emma is only 4 months old she tells me what she does during the day, gives me slips saying how long her naps were, when they were, how much she ate and when, and her mood for the day. You'll be fine. Don't let those worries keep you from having children. Like everyone else said, in this day and age, you almost need two incomes. Don't beat yourself up about it.


me - February 10

i think daycare is fine but not at 6 weeks. Your still adjusting to having a baby at 6 weeks. There immune systems aren't complete yet. That is way too young. No wonder working mothers get depressed and cry for days. Im going to maybe have to put my 1st child in daycare at 6 weeks and I cry even now just thinking about it. I am sooo envious of women who can stay home 3 months or longer. American maternity is the worst in the world. Were the only country in the world that doesn't support maternity leave, daycare, and healthcare. It sucks. I wish now I would've went to college so I could afford to stay home.


ConfuseD - May 14

jal239, when I checked to see what this post was about, I was a little put back. Aside from seeming as though you're questioning that if you work outside the home after having a child might it be selfish, in reality, most mothers, in general, work (there are some that don't treat motherhood in a responsible manner, just as there are some fathers who are irresponsible). It's just that some work outside the home, while others work in it. Either way, women have to juggle a lot, just by virtue of being a parent. I was previously a single parent (after my ex husband left me and our four young children), so I know what it's like when you don't have a choice about working outside the home. Prior to my ex leaving, and after we started having children, I was a homemaker. I know what it's like from both sides, and trust me, being a homemaker is a real job, except you aren't monetarily compensated for your efforts - and there is true financial worth to the services a stay-at-home mother provides. Worse still, there are people that slam what you do, for whatever reasons, by making comments such as "how nice it is you don't have to work". Either they're without a clue, or they're into one-up-manship. Anyway, if a woman is agonizing over or questioning leaving her child with another, even if that person or day care is good, why do it? Often, the money you earn is mostly, or entirely, eaten up by the cost of day care. Besides, there are some things money can't buy, and while kids like "stuff" and parents want to give their children "the best", "the best" isn't always what money can buy. Time is very precious, and most of us, if need be, can get used to getting by on less, which would allow us more time with our loved ones. Think of many people are now cutting corners to afford gas to go to and from their jobs? Add the gas expense to the equation of real dollars you're spending vs. earning, and before too long, if you aren't doing so already, you'll be paying to go to your jobs. If you can swing it on one income, as Heidi suggested, I think it can not only benefit the family, but can actually save money, in the long run - and, most importantly, you can spend time with your children - time you can't buy back. They won't be little forever, and before you know it, they'll be all grown up. I think it's worth doing to make the most of the precious time you have with them (and your hubbies, too!).


jal239 - May 16

confuseD: I was surprised that you were taken back by my post. You obviously have you whole life figured out and that is great. SOme fo us my not have all of that and have to live differently. Say for example, having both spouses work. I on my end have great medical benefits which to me are very valuable. My husband has a great job, but his benefits are just so-so. Making sure my chidlren have th best medical coverage possible is very important to me and if that requires me working then so be it. It is great that you get to stay home with your children, but like I said not all of us get that luxury. My questions was to the mothers that do work outside the home. I thank you for you comments and wish you wonderful memories with your children. If I were able to I would stay home also.


ConfuseD - May 17

jal239, I think I was misunderstood. With my first marriage (I'm married for the second time now), I was a homemaker (after we started having children; prior to having children, I worked full-time outside the home). After my ex husband left, I was a single parent and had no choice about working outside the home. I know what it's like to be on both sides, so I had to chuckle when reading the part about having my life planned out. Sorry, ain't so. For one, I'm middle aged (nearly 48), so many of my "plans" are spent, or more likely, didn't pan out, as plans usually have a way of doing. Anyway, I just had my fifth child 3 months ago. I had 11 weeks maternity leave, and now have to work (outside the home) for 30 calendar days to cover for the medical benefits paid during my leave (despite using my earned time during my leave, but that's a whole different subject). After that 30-day period, I'll be resigning from my current job. While it's a good job, it's okay that I have to leave it. God has something else in store, and knows how much I want to be with this child, especially while he's little. Besides, if I've learned anything in life, it's that you have to expect the unexpected and be flexible. Also, think about what's REALLY important to you, and forget about the approval of others. You'll be the one living with satisfaction or regret, if you do something you really believe, or don't really believe, is right deep in your heart. Anyway, despite that my husband and I will still need a second income, after I quit where I'm currently working, I know of three jobs I can do with baby in tow, and/or others that can be worked around my husband's schedule so that he can watch the baby while I'm working outside the home (that way, baby will always be with either mom or dad). My husband is also going to check into working a second, part-time job (and, as we've discussed, if he makes enough for us to get by just on his income, I'd be a full-time homemaker again). Who said parenthood was going to be easy? Besides, it's not forever. Before you know it, children are boarding the bus on their first day of school (unless you homeschool). Time is very precious, and can't be bought back, so if you really want to be with your children when they're little, do what you can to achieve it. While health insurance is important, and I really do understand it because I've been uninsured before, it's not the end all. You can get medical care in a variety of ways...from medicaid (if need be), to clinics with sliding fee scales (there are some, but you have to look into it), to clinics with free care (you have to look into those, too), to financial aid at hospitals. Besides, the way that health insurance is...coverage and plans are constantly changing. The company you work for, jal239, especially if they're currently picking up the largest chunk of your insurance premium, may ultimately decide it needs help saving money (trust me, I work for a large inst_tution and have seen costs rise over the years for the employees), and could pa__s a larger part of the premiums onto you.


rl - May 18

I just have to say I work full time outside the home I have 3 kids my youngest is 4months old and I am lucky my mom takes care of him so I did not have to put him right into daycare he will be going into daycare at some point cause I think that it is good for them to get used to being around other kids and it helps with their social skills but I have to say it is hard to work outside the home full time then come home and that is like a full time job as well but I have to work and you fall into a routine it may take some time but you find what works and one thing don't feel guilty if you are tired and put the baby to bed a bit earlier than usual once in awhile to get a break I do it sometimes but for the most part we have plenty of quality time together all I can say is good luck to you!!


jal239 - May 20

rl: Thank you for your comments. It makes me feel good that there are others that can do it. If you can do it with 3 it makes me feel good when we have our first. Congrats on your new edition!!!!


Sam - June 7

The thing about being a working mom is that you work, plus you are a domestic engineer (the stuff doesn't magically get done while you're at work). So I say hire someone to clean your house once in awhile and relish your time home with your baby. I've been back for a month and it's not nearly as bad as I had anticipated. It works for us, and our baby is in good hands during the day. Having trustworthy childcare is the key to the whole thing. Good luck!



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