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When to go back to work

5 messages
07/01/2008 at 00:55

I am having a bit of a dilemma and was wondering when others thought was a good time to go back to work.

I was originally going to take 6 months off and so would be due to go back in February, and phase myself in part-time at first, however my work situation has changed as my colleague has left and if I return in February it will be pretty much full time straight away and into a chaotic and stressful situation with much more work as I will basically be running the department and need to bring a new colleague up to speed, with very little support from work.   I know that my work is relying on me to return and I had arranged a nursery place to begin for feb.  However between my husband and I we've worked out that I can afford to stay off until April (in fact it hardly makes sense going back before then when you consider nursery fees, loss of SMP and travel expenses).  This will give me much more time with my daughter and mean that when I go back into work it will be to a much less stressful situation, but I feel guilty that if I do this I am letting the people at work down and will need to re-organise a nursery place/lose my deposit

My problem seems to be that I will feel guilty if I go back to work as I'm leaving my daughter who doesn't settle well with others, and then will most probably be stressed at work and take it out on hubbie and be too tired for quality time for her, I'm also worried I will regret not taking longer while I'm there as I will never get this opportunity to be one on one with her again. 

But then if I stay off until April I also feel I am being selfish as it will make life harder for people at work and I will be messing the nursery about, plus I'm worried that the longer I am off with her the harder it will be for her when she eventually does go to nursery.

Advice anyone?

07/01/2008 at 09:20


I gave birth in September and am going back to work in March. Like you I feel guilty about leaving my daughter, but at the same time my career is very important to me.

If I were you I would stay off till April. As long as you give work, and the nursery, sufficient notice of the change of plan they should be fine with it. While its easy to say, dont worry about making things harder for your colleagues. One of them may put you in a similar situation one day, and you being happy with the arrangements is more important. Use the extra months to try and get your daughter to be happier with others. i would try leaving her with a childminder (or friends if you cant afford that) a couple of days a week to get her used to the separation.

Hope this helps.

Em x

07/01/2008 at 16:24

Hi there,

agree that its hard to make a decision here. It would most probably work out much better if you were to take an extra month or two off to get your daughter used to being with others. It could avoid stressful situations for everyone when she goes to nursery. im sure that your work would and should understand why you are taking an extra few weeks off. good luck! 

28/01/2008 at 21:34

Hi Kirsten,

I just went back to work last week - my little girl is 7 months old now - and i don't think it's ever the right time to return. I am just doing part-time but I still feel guilty leaving her.

I am lucky cos Anna is very sociable and settles well with anyone basically, she's having the time of her life at nursery and doesn't look back when i hand her over (sob) and is knackered when i pick her up. the  best advice i can give you is to phase it in, we did visits to the nursery to begin with, then she stayed an hour a few times, then a morning - it got her used to it and meant it was not such a big deal last week.

good luck!

15/07/2009 at 20:37
I am due to go back to work after  having my second child and not ready to stop being a full time mum, I have enjoyed being able to take my son to school and being there for my daughter, I feel so miserable at the thought of leaving my two children and only wish the goverment would pay money towards mums to stay at home to be mums.  I shouldnt complain under the current conditions, but the thought of leaving my two babies is making me so miserable, and we can not afford for me not to work even though I only work part time.  I can honestly say I do feel for all mums going back to work, it is not easy.
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