Working Moms (warning - long post)

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from Lostgrouse. Show Lostgrouse's posts

    Re: Working Moms (warning - long post)

    Ha ha... not really, I keep coming back to read it!  I just want to get in, do my time, and get out!  
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from austengirl. Show austengirl's posts

    Re: Working Moms (warning - long post)

    Poppy - Pick a few of those things whether it be Swan Boats, Farm, Zoo whatever and make it clear to both MIL and Mom that you would like to be the first to do that with your DD and would appreciate it if they wait to do that particular activity.  Give them other options as alternatives such as the park or whatever.  Of course wait till you are having a good day so it comes out nicely ;)
    Oh and the jealousy thing...main reason I could never have my mom or mil do full time care.  Yeah, no matter how immature just could not handle it. 
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from luvRIboy. Show luvRIboy's posts

    Re: Working Moms (warning - long post)

    Another working mom to add to the list! 

    I, too, have been hit more than once by jealousy over friends who can stay home or work more flexible schedules (nurses, servers, college professors), than I can.  And even more, my husband was laid off in the fall...he starts a new job in 2 weeks and has been home with our daughter for the last 2 months while I've been at work.  I have had SUCH mixed feelings about it; on one hand, so grateful that she's getting this time with her dad and vice versa, but also so jealous when the two of them drop me off at work and start their day together.  Once DH starts his new job, it will be a whole new flurry of emotions, I'm sure; she'll be in daycare 3 days a week and with my parents 2 days a week. 

    I was raised by two working parents, so I know that it can be done, and that the memories I have of each of them are of the times we were together, not of who was missing.  I remember summer road trips with dad, and hanging at the golf course, and going to the beach with mom, and seeing both of their faces in the audience at concerts and recitals and games. 

    That said, I like my job, and the idea of either of us not working would mean sacrifices that we're not willing to make in terms of our lifestyle.  One thing I did convince my husband of was getting a cleaning service, every other week, so that on our weekends we aren't cleaning bathtubs and changing sheets, but spending time together.  It is worth every penny!! 

    I am so excited to see my DD's face every morning when she wakes up, and to see her at the end of the day.  I find having her means that I am more efficient at work, because I WANT to get home. 

    I do miss the me time, though.  That's been the hardest.  I'm going out to meet a friend tonight and hate that it means DD will probably be asleep when I get home, but I know I need some time for myself, too.  Next will be prioritizing getting back to the gym and making that time for me be a part of our schedule. 
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from Daisy75. Show Daisy75's posts

    Re: Working Moms (warning - long post)

    I think everyone else has already said anything I'd say about the working mom issues, so I'll just comment on the "family-as-childcare-provider" stuff.

    My mother takes my kids 4 days a week (I am home on Fridays).  At first it was really hard, and the jealousy/resentment that SHE was spending time with MY kids after she already got to stay home all those years with me (starting when I was in 3rd-ish grade; before that she worked part-time) and my siblings was definitely there in full force.  Over time, that has faded to almost nothing jealousy/resentment-wise.  I think a number of factors play into that, one of which is that my grandmother took care of us while my mother was working.  Because of that, I think she is sensitive to the lines that can get crossed and she's careful not to cross them.  She tries to honor our "rules" for the kids (there are VERY few), and is respectful of our preferences when they're in her care.  My mother also has a background in early childhood education and does A LOT of stuff with the kids and clues us in if she notices developmental milestones that we may not have noticed.  In 17 months, they've never once cried when we've dropped them off in the morning.  On the other hand, there was ONE time when they cried as she was leaving when she dropped them at our house in the evening.  That took me off-guard, but in a weird way, I was kind of happy about them not wanting her to leave.  It reassured me that they were happy with her.  Also, we pay my mother...not a lot, but about 1/2 of what we would pay if they were in daycare. 

    There have certainly been times when there were misunderstandings or feelings were hurt--on both sides--but I don't think any childcare arrangement is ever going to be "perfect" or exactly the way you'd do things.

    So...give your MIL and mother a few more months to figure out this new arrangement.  It's going to take some time for everyone to settle in and get used to this new dynamic.  It's weird telling your parents how to take care of your kid.  My suggestion is to try to decide what's important and convey that to them and remember that they aren't going to do everything exactly the way that you would, but different doesn't equal "wrong."  When they offer suggestions or advice, try to accept it graciously and then grumble to DH about it later...and then choose to ignore it if you want're the parent, you can do what you want. ;)  I know that they are in a situation where they couldn't be more loved and more well-taken-care-of than they are, and all the other family dynamic stuff tends to work itself out.  In the end, I just remember that I had such a wonderful relationship with my grandmother that I still treasure and I hope that my kids can have a safe, loving, welcoming, "2nd home" to go to when they're older and need a break from their parents. 

    Go easy on yourself...getting used to this is going to take some time.
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from lissafro. Show lissafro's posts

    Re: Working Moms (warning - long post)

    Everything everyone said is spot on.
    I hear you and feel you, in both corners.  I work and although my daughter goes to day care (Kindercare) twice a week, my mother watches her twice a week and my mother in law watches her once a week.  On top of all the adjusting to being back at work last year, I had to deal with the weird jealouslyglazedwithguilt feeling that comes from having other people (family!) care for your child.  And, of course, the donut of shame and guilt comes not only glazed but also with delicious inadequacy sprinkles when you realize that you aren't doing as good of a job at work because you haven't slept since before conception.  Ah, the joys of the working mom ;)

    Then, of course, came those lovely months where she "reverse-cycled" and kept me up to get quality time with me, then slept and slept all day while I was stumbling around, deliriously at work, pumping my way through the fog. 
    I'm rambling.  Sorry.  Bit of a flashback there. 

    I think that it's unfortunately a very female thing in our society to have so much guilt about everything.  I think a lot of the breastfeeding "versus" (though they shouldn't be considered opposites) bottle feeding, stay at home "versus" work, pacifier or not, cosleep or not, all that stuff is a product of women getting everything we always wanted (well, except equal pay for equal work ha) and then realizing everything is too much to do perfectly.

    I can say a lot of it gets well, not necessarily better, but you become inured to a lot of it.  Plus, once you get more sleep things suddenly seem a little brighter.
    There are days where things are harder.  I got really upset a few weeks ago when my almost-two-year-old called me "grandmomMUMMY" at dinner. In hindsight, it was pretty cute that halfway through saying "grandmom" she realized what she was doing, made a face of shock, and quickly yelled MUMMY! at the end of it to make up for her mistake, but at the time I was pretty crushed. 

    But, if it reassures you at all, I can say from personal experience that, as a teacher, I LOVED being home last summer with  my daughter.  She was soooo much fun and it was great.  However, being a temporary SAHM last summer helped me realize that going back to work is something I love and need and was the right decision for me.  I am really looking forward to vacation next summer but I feel a lot less guilt this year because I KNOW this is the right thing for not only our family and paying the bills but it is the right decision for ME. 
    Good luck!
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Working Moms (warning - long post)

    Most people you call "friends" don't LOVE you altruistically.  They know you and like you until you expose, inadvertantly by your life choices, bring out an insecurity of theirs.  Then, it's everyone for herself.  You aren't alone in your experience of this disappointment.  Just use it to come to appreciate your true friends even more.
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from itsallnew. Show itsallnew's posts

    Re: Working Moms (warning - long post)

    I haven't read all the posts and I am not a mother so I cannot comment on coping mechanisms and such, but I can say this:  My mother worked as long as I can remember but I always remembered mommy being around.  Both my parents were physicians with busy schedules and were always active in the community, but they were always there for us.  I grew up with the confidence that I can be successful and have a happy family, which makes me feel good as I enter that stage of life myself.  So, to people who say that a working mom is not the "best" for the family- I disagree.

    Only you can decide what is best for you and your family.  I am sure it is incredibly difficult and your feel torn between work and wanting to be with your baby, but I imagine that's normal and you are allowed to be normal and feel whatever emotions you want.  At the end of the day, I believe that that is how we process things.
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from luckinlife. Show luckinlife's posts

    Re: Working Moms (warning - long post)

    Poppy - I can totally understand your feelings of jealousy . I am quite sure that I would feel the same.  I think in that respect daycare is much easier.  That being said, DD has already been sick 3 times in the past month - most recently with temp to 103.  Sooo... I am learning that it is a zero sum game.  There are drawbacks to every scenario and it turns out there is no paucity of guilt in motherhood!!

    I have enjoyed going back to work but I am only doing 4 days.  I definitely appreciate both being home and being at work more then I did. I used to fantasize prior to kids of being a SAHM.  Maternity leave showed me that it really does not bring out the best in me and I agree with gc about potential resentment.   I always say that Sunday has new meaning - I used to not be excited to go back to work now it is a little down time- sad, isn't it?  Yet everyday I am so excited to pick her up at daycare I can't stand it.  We have a blast together and I think that my time with her is more quality time.  I also enjoy my day off with her immensely.

    I understand that some people believe being a SAHM is best for the child.  Perhaps it would be best for DD.  However, I KNOW I would not be at my best.  Also, truthfully, I am not sure I could keep her stimulated as much as she should be with new things.  I actually felt that a little before going back to work.  She gets new exposures at daycare just as yours gets new exposures with your MIL.  I think it is healthy for them to have this.

    I would definitely get together for a group if anyone else is interested as Poppy mentioned.   
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from Mommyfirst. Show Mommyfirst's posts

    Re: Working Moms (warning - long post)

    I went back when DD was 4 months old and like you, I stuggled with sadness/guilt issues.  I tried to work part-time and/or from home some days but my company was not open to it and I didn't want to rock the boat too much because I liked my job. 

    It was so frustrating because I knew that I wanted to work but wasn't sure about full -time.  I thought part-time might be the answer.  I talked to every mother I knew (SAHM and working) but even the mothers working part-time were not entirely happy/satisfied.  It seems they felt they were never where they needed to be.  Then before I could really work out a solution, I was laid off.  

    So I took the easy way out and decided that my decision had been made for me.  There are many days that I questioned this decision about not going back to work.  

    Although I never had an issue with friends being insensitive, now that I am not working outside of the house, my mother has decided to let me know that she thinks it is very important I stay home as she did for the first 5 years.  However, I remember virtually nothing from my first 5 years so I am not sure how important it is :) but really it is working for me right now. 

    I wish I had some words of wisdom to make this time easier for you, for all women really, but maybe knowing that every woman (yes, especially SAHM's) question their decision and still struggle with guilt etc.  (Even tho' I am at home doesn't mean I focus all my time and energy on my kid  - and of course, the lack of patience I have - so there's the guilt again for ya.)           

    On a side note - It's so interesting to me that you mention jealousy regarding having family watch DD because  I always thought that if I could have had family watch her, I would have felt less sadness/guilt somehow.  I guess my rationale was that I would know that people caring for her loved her almost as much as me and not because they were being paid to care.  It never occured to me that there would be other issues also.  You have opened my eyes - thanks for sharing!    


  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from lemonmelon. Show lemonmelon's posts

    Re: Working Moms (warning - long post)

    I am too tired to collect my thoughts into any coherent narrative, so I'll just ramble a bit. I remember feeling intense pain when I went back to work. I missed my daughter so much, and leaving her seemed unnatural and cruel to both of us. I would sneak off to cry at work, and I actually looked forward to pumping (at first -- that wore off pretty hard) because I would look at her photo and think about her. When I got home we'd just stare at each other and nurse and nurse. It was intense. My best friend, a SAHM, was taking care of her when my husband worked. He's freelance, so he took care of her the rest of the time. I was so jealous. It felt like everyone was raising my daughter except me. I was in my mid-thirties then and had wanted a baby really badly for about five years, so I had no mixed feelings about being tied to her or losing my old life -- I just wanted to spend every minute with her tiny body pressed up against mine. But my husband and I make the same amount of money, and we need my income. I probably would have gone back to work anyway, because I get sluggish and depressed without a schedule. I need structure in my life. And I would never remove myself from the workforce, because I've worked full-time since I was 12 and I'm terrified of not having a steady income. You never know when your husband might die or lose his job. And my husband would never do this, of course, but I also think of Terry Martin Hekker's story which, unfortunately, is not uncommon either. A friend in her late forties is going through something similar now.

    I think that I set a good example for my daughter by working. I would not make a good SAHM. I probably would have done really well with a 6-month maternity leave, but after that I would have burned out and gone totally nuts and gotten resentful. I think I'm a really good working mom, particularly to a toddler. My best friend is a SAHM and is really good at it. My daughter adores her -- all children do. Whenever we have a party where kids are present, my poor BF spends the entire time under a pig pile of children. I think she sets a good example for her daughter by being a SAHM. I think there are lots of ways to be a good mom, or a good dad, and it all comes down to your abilities and needs.

    I also think that kids are stuck with their parents no matter what; even the wealthy adults I know who were raised by au pairs or sent to boarding schools while their absentee parents jetsetted through europe are, for better or worse, emotionally tied to their parents. And I think that the most important thing you can do for a child is teach her that she's loved, that she's important, and that she can achieve her goals through hard work, and that's something that doesn't have to be done during business hours, and it also doesn't have to come from one person. As she gets older, I find myself more and more grateful that she has so many people guiding her in life. I think that she gets so much more out of being loved and taught by all these people than she would from just me.

    I don't have any defensiveness about being a working mom, but I also don't get challenged on it. If my friends were sending emails like that, I would say something, because I think it's mean of them to say those things. Even if they're saying it just to other stay at home moms it's mean and unfair and unhealthy.

    I don't know about working moms groups -- I think there aren't many of them because we don't have time to meet -- but when I went to one playgroup at our local library (on a day off) I got tipped off to other playgroups in our area, and then got onto the list for a bunch of family organizations in my area, so now I get facebook alerts or emails about all kinds of stuff going on in my area. There's a lot of stuff going on around here -- parties and workshops and playgroups and stuff -- on weeknights after work and Saturdays. You could start by asking at your local library about storytimes, or by going to Isis -- you'll probably get into the playgroup circuit pretty fast and start finding out about the secret world of parents you never knew was out there. It's been a real revelation for us.
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from lemonmelon. Show lemonmelon's posts

    Re: Working Moms (warning - long post)

    Oh, and if it was my MIL taking care of my daughter, I'd be totally incoherent with jealousy about everything. I was even ticked that she insisted my daughter call her "grandMOM," like she was me but better.

    I'm not totally insane -- this woman has a history of muscling in.
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from lissafro. Show lissafro's posts

    Re: Working Moms (warning - long post)

    And really, sometimes the jealousy is just silly.
    Case in point:
    With this post in my mind, I ate dinner with my daughter.  She was with my mother all day.  My husband is working second shift tonight so he won't be home until midnight, like a pumpkin or something.  We had fried plantains with rice, beans, and avocado, one of my daughter's favorite meals.  Anyway, with this post on my mind, I blurted out, "I miss you so much when I'm at work and I love you very much!"
    She blithely looked at me, dipped a fried plantain into her sour cream, and said "Aurora love sour cream."  I said, "what else do you love?" and she, of course, said "Aurora love sour cream, and Daddy, and Grandmom, and Grandpa, and Aurora love Aunt Bri and Aunt Cor and beans and rice and kitty.  Aurora LOVE avocado!"
    So there.  haha.  But it's okay, I know I'm still the best :)
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from poppy609. Show poppy609's posts

    Re: Working Moms (warning - long post)

    Lemon - you and I are quite a bit alike.  Similar life circumstances (freelance husband), similar workforce history, similar need to stare at our  DDs when we come home from work...

    DH and I had a long talk tonight in which I told him about what's been going on in my head, and that helped quite a bit.  It always does, which I really do need to remember (i'm not always great about stepping out of my head).  I know my working is the right decision for our family at this time.  I think the realization that there might be a divide within my core group of friends that separates me from them in a way that isn't going to change for quite some time was what was so hurtful to me after reading those emails.  Now I'm trying to decide whether or not to talk with them about it.

    I am blessed in many ways - this I know.  But I appreciate having a place to talk about the not-so-confident parts of life.  Thanks, ladies!

    BTW - Lemon, that was quite a story you linked to.  However did you come across it?

    ETA: Lissafro, just read your post.  I'm sure if you had removed the intoxicating appeal of the avacado from the equation she would absolutely have remembered to include Mummy in there... :)
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from bostonhime. Show bostonhime's posts

    Re: Working Moms (warning - long post)

    I'm a SAHM. I think working moms are great and SAHM are great too! I knew when I was pregnant that I would be a SAHM, at least for a little while. I love taking care of my almost 8 month old little boy and I do not take it for granted that I am lucky to be able to take care of him every day and not miss out on moments.
    That being said, it is hard work taking care of a baby. I have always wanted to be a SAHM but have friends who would never want to be one. It can be very tiring and exhausting taking care of a little one. It's easier now because he is older and we can interact more, but when he was smaller it was basically just me talking to myself with no reaction from him. I didn't have any mom friends when I stopped working so there was no one really to hang out with during the day since all my friends worked. Plus, it was hard finding time to go out in the beginning with my baby's schedule and all the house stuff I *needed* to get done. Believe me, my house was a mess for a long time! Those who said they had clean floors are lying! I didn't have time to clean the house because I was taking care of my baby. And when he napped I couldn't because there was so much I wanted to do in that short amount of time (like eat in peace, and eat while my meal was still hot!).
    Someday, I will go back to work. I don't know when and I don't know if I will go part-time or full-time first. But I do know that I want my son to understand that not all moms SAH. Some moms stay at home to take care of their children, and some moms work - but that ALL moms love their children and want what is best for them.
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from beniceboston. Show beniceboston's posts

    Re: Working Moms (warning - long post)

    Poppy, I think you should say something to your friends. Sometimes people get so wrapped up in their own lives and their choices (especially when it comes to raising kids) that when they're talking about themselves, they don't realize how someone from a different circumstance might feel. 

    Have you seen any of these videos? They are hilarious.
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from lemonmelon. Show lemonmelon's posts

    Re: Working Moms (warning - long post)

    In Response to Re: Working Moms (warning - long post):
    BTW - Lemon, that was quite a story you linked to.  However did you come across it?
    Posted by poppy609

    I heard her on NPR (same way I come across everything). She's awesome, and her story really stuck with me.
  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from Daisy75. Show Daisy75's posts

    Re: Working Moms (warning - long post)

    Regarding clean floors/clean houses:  I have a magnet on my fridge that says "A clean house is a sign of a wasted life."  Every time I look around and notice how messy a room is or the layer of dust on a piece (or several pieces--lol) of furniture, I just repeat that to myself a few times.  Of course, DH and I clean up as needed and we don't live in squalor by any means, but most of the time repeating that mantra (if you will) helps me remember that I can clean any time but my kids will only be little once.
  18. You have chosen to ignore posts from lemonmelon. Show lemonmelon's posts

    Re: Working Moms (warning - long post)

    Once your kids can walk and mimic you, you can get them to help you clean. Our daughter had a little broom set and she does a pretty good job with it. She's incredibly adept with the duster, though -- we got one of those light, fluffy things from Ikea and she goes all around the house with it, dusting everything in sight. From the waist-down, the house looks great. She even gets in between the stair pole thingies.

  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from poppy609. Show poppy609's posts

    Re: Working Moms (warning - long post)

    One other way we're alike!  It's literally the only way I get any knowledge at this time, since I don't watch any form of news on tv and I have virtually stopped reading.

    BTW - were you the one who first posted about this website:  I'm totally hooked on it and go to it whenever I need to cry with laughter.

    In Response to Re: Working Moms (warning - long post):
    In Response to Re: Working Moms (warning - long post) : I heard her on NPR (same way I come across everything). She's awesome, and her story really stuck with me.
    Posted by lemonmelon

  20. You have chosen to ignore posts from poppy609. Show poppy609's posts

    Re: Working Moms (warning - long post)

    Benice, I just drafted an email but am going to come back to it later today.  I want to be sure it accurately expresses what i want to say to them without being fraught with emotion and without totally alienating them.

    those videos look like a hoot - i'm going to watch them later.
  21. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Working Moms (warning - long post)

    Poppy, usually the shorter the better.  Read over your email for any sentences that don't add a lot of value to the overall message.

  22. You have chosen to ignore posts from newmomma. Show newmomma's posts

    Re: Working Moms (warning - long post)

    Like many of you, I am dealing with the guilt of going back to work. For me, going back was not an option it is something we have to do otherwise those bills won't get paid.   It really helps to talk (even if just on discussion boards) with other working moms.  We are all in it together. 

  23. You have chosen to ignore posts from Lostgrouse. Show Lostgrouse's posts

    Re: Working Moms (warning - long post)

    Oh and my best advice... HIRE A CLEANING LADY (or cleaning man if you so prefer).  It's the best thing for us to come home every other Friday to a really clean house.  That and it forces us to pick up every 2 weeks so that she can clean. 
  24. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Working Moms (warning - long post)

    I know lots of working moms at my old job who did that, too, lg, and they loved it - they said it was like the Merry Maids commercial when the woman comes home and screeches for joy scaring the maids every time.
  25. You have chosen to ignore posts from evavase. Show evavase's posts

    Re: Working Moms (warning - long post)

    Hi Poppy, 

    I agree with GC about daycare having less sting of jealousy than family! Although I joke around saying to DH and DS, "Miss teacher's name is not your mommy".  I imagine I would have a VERY hard time if DH's family or even my own spent a significant time with DS.  As it is now, I get super annoyed b/c DHs siblings have been posting DS picture as their profile pic on facebook, and captioning with "my little DS's name". Umm, he's not your DS, and it is flipping weird of you to post someone else's baby as your profile!  I don't say anything, but man does it annoy me!

    I'm also a working mom, and would LOVE to get together w/ other moms in the area.  I live in Melrose.  It would be great to have a group of moms to meet up w/ and talk to about all these things!