Archive for March, 2012

March 14, 2012

the great work/home debate

After six months of no new posts, I’ve decided to get back into the blogosphere (I actually forgot, completely, that I even had this blog due to the excitement of looking after a baby, going for walks and cleaning the bathroom – oh the fabulosity).

That being said I might not write again for six months but I needed to vent about my return to work story.

I posted some time ago about my lack of desire to go back to work – ever.  I wanted to be an earth mother, playing games with my cherub in between whipping up organic delights and keeping a spotless home.

Then reality set in.  Finances were getting tight, and it turns out not working when you’ve no extra money to enjoy long lunches and shopping sprees gets pretty boring.

Don’t get me wrong, now that motherhood has become a million times easier (thank god, because I totally struggled for the first three months) it is a lot more enjoyable.  But doing the same thing day in day out was making me grumpy and bored, and left me yearning for something more.

So I decided to go back to work, just for two or three days a week. Easy, right?  Not so.

Although my previous employer offered me my old job back on a part time basis, when I went in to chat to them I realised how much I hated working there.

Well, that’s not strictly true.  My employers and colleagues were wonderful, but the work was Dull (yes, that’s a capital D).

I didnt know if I could go from being bored but staying with my bub, to being bored for cash, and leaving my angel with strangers.

Nevertheless I though how bad could it be?  It will just be a couple of days a week, and the extra money will come in handy.

Then came the great childcare search.  It turns out I began my search at the precisely wrong time – just when all the vacancies caused by the older kids starting school had been filled.

Undeterred I put my name on every waiting list in the area, calling and emailing every week to check on updates.

After 6 weeks I finally found a place with a vacancy for one day and immediately signed up, knowing that once I was in I would be next on the list for another day when it came up.

Yay!  I was going back to work to escape the house, wear clothes that didn’t have vomit or baby food on them, enjoy an hour or so by myself on the train each day, and talk to adults.

I broke the news with not a small level of excitement to my dad and his ladyfriend, and their response?  ‘Oh, we really don’t think you should be doing that’.

What? Why?!  My dad’s partner is a psychologist who went on to explain to me all the bad side-effects early childcare can cause for a little baby, especially a ‘high needs’ baby which she says I have (I dont agree, I think Charlotte just likes a cuddle, who doesnt?).

Then and there my excitement bubble was burst.  I tried to ignore the advice but of course that night I turned to google, reading horror stories about children left in daycare.

Frustratingly, none of the studies done seem to show effects of childcare on babies left on a part time basis, only babies left in childcare full time from a young age.

After spending the evening bawling about leaving my darling with monsters I took a deep breath and told myself not to worry.  We had a playdate at the daycare centre organised and I would see how it went when I got there.

Unfortunately the playdate didn’t make me feel any better.  Despite the centre telling me they had a ration of three carers to ten babies, what I saw was a different story.  Around 30 kids were playing outside, ranging in age from a few months to four or five.

Two carers were surpervising all the kids and whether they were immune to babies cries, or just didnt care, they didn’t show any repsonse when the little ones started to cry.

One boy latched on to me and cried the whole time I was there. The only response from one of the ‘carers’ was “Just ignore him, he always cries, this is a good day for him”. Broke my heart!  What if my little Lottie was the one crying in the corner for a cuddle!

Then and there I decided I couldn’t be parted from her yet, and so here I am now with time to post on this blog because I cant be bothered cleaning the kitchen…again.

No doubt Ill start the search for a better childcare option soon, but until then I remain a stay at home mum.

How did you find returning to work, if you have? What were your experiences?  Did your child settle into care well?