Hi everyone! It’s been awhile since I’ve posted because going back to work has kept me busier than I thought. Since being back at work this subject has been heavy on my mind.
Why is it that we as mothers are made to feel guilty for going back to work and “missing out” on precious time with our babies? On the other hand, why does society also make us feel guilty for not providing for our family if we decide to be a stay-at-home mom? It’s baffling to me. I’ve had people tell me that I’m going to be so sad when I miss my son’s first steps, or his first word while I’m at work. I’ve also had people tell me that it will be a financial struggle adjusting to only one income. So, after feeling guilty either way, I decided to go back to work after being off for 7 months. (I got more time than most do due to COVID).
Going back to work was the best decision I could’ve made for my family. Everyone is different and if you decide that staying home is best for your family – applaud yourself! A few positive things about being back at work for me have been the social aspect, a second income (always a bonus), building my son’s immune system, & increasing my activity and mental health.
My son made it super easy for me at our first drop off because he just loved his new friends and teacher right away and smiled so big. Surprisingly, there were no tears from either of us. People always say the more you hang around, the worse it will be, but that was not the case for us. I hung out until I was comfortable and ready to leave. The most stressful part of it all was trying to get him used to a bottle instead of a breast (oops)! I would recommend introducing a bottle at least a month before starting daycare in order to have an easier transition than we did. I still breastfeed at night.
Once I got to work and saw all of my friends, I was so happy and my mind was taken off of my son for a little while. Socializing is proven to be good for the mind and body. “People who spend a lot of time alone, such as the elderly or new moms, may have an increased risk of depression and lower quality of life. You don’t have to be supersocial to see benefits of connecting with others” (https://newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org/discussion/mayo-clinic-minute-the-benefits-of-being-socially-connected/). I loved staying home with my little bundle of joy of course, but I can definitely see a difference after returning to work. It also makes me personally feel important and although a portion of of my pay goes straight to daycare fees, I still bring in enough to feel like I’m making a difference for my family.
After only a week of being in daycare, my son was excluded for 10 days for a fever. It ended up being a double ear infection, but they are excluding anyone with a fever for 10 days due to COVID protocol. That being said, it’s inconvenient, but he is building his immune system little by little. That’s another bonus.
Lastly, my activity has gone WAY up since going back to work. I have lost a couple more pounds and am almost to my goal. Being active is good for both physical and mental health so this has been by far the best thing about being back at work. I hope hearing a few positive things from my experience help to put your mind at ease.
To all of the amazing moms out there: stay home. Go to work. Do both. Do whatever YOU think is best for you and your child. Either way, you are making a difference and you are doing a great job. ❤️ Don’t let society make you feel guilty for doing what is right for you.