written by an Anonymous Mom

My baby is 11 months old and I’ll have to return to work soon. The problem is, I don’t want to go back to work after maternity leave. How will I be able to leave my precious baby for someone else to care for?

I thought I would return to work after having a baby but now that my baby is turning 1, I’m in a panic about leaving her. I feel like I need to just quit my job and stay home to raise her.

I want to be the one who will take her first steps, watch her string her first words together, be there for her to hold her when she’s crying rather than a stranger. I just can’t bear the thought of her being in a daycare with all these other kids, not having the attention of her mama or papa.

I’m not even sure yet if we could afford to have me stay home. I wouldn’t want my husband to feel the pressure of earning his income for all three of us.

And then what about my career? How do I justify all the years of university and work experience just to leave it all to stay home and be a mum? Will it be harder for me to go back to work in a few years or should I bite the bullet and go back now?

This inner battle between being a mom and being a career woman is really hard for me to wrap my head around. Has anyone else experienced these feelings of wanting to be a stay-at-home mum AND a working successful career woman? I feel like I’ll be a failure if I decide to stay home and then feel guilty if I decide to go back to work.

I could really use some advice.

Author

Maria Lianos-Carbone is the author of “Oh Baby! A Mom’s Self-Care Survival Guide for the First Year”, and publisher of amotherworld.com, a leading lifestyle blog for women.

2 Comments

  1. I know how you feel. Right up until my mat leave started I was certain that I would be going back to work once my year at home was up. That started to change from about the time my son was two weeks old. The more time I spent at home with him the less certain I was that I wanted to go back.
    Ultimately for us it was a combination of finances and our desire to have him with one of us rather than in a daycare setting. More than two-thirds of my salary would go towards paying for childcare and we just couldn’t justify it.
    I wonder too about how hard it will be to re-enter the workforce later. And about the “waste” of my (very expensive) University education. And about the fact that I won’t qualify for a mat leave should we have another child. I’m fortunate to have the support of our families. I’ve got a couple of girlfriends who wonder why I’m not bored at home, how I manage to feel fulfilled spending my days with an infant rather than out in the working world. (They don’t have kids so I don’t argue.) I put there comments to the side because I DO feel fulfilled at home and I’m NOT bored spending my days with my son. I respect the choices of my friends who have decided that they need to go back to work and want to have their kids in daycare (regardless of finances) but it’s just not the right choice for us.
    You have to do what’s best for your family. I think it’s a battle that a lot of us face. Especially since we’ve been told all our lives that we can have it all. I think that we can, but perhaps we just can’t have it all at the same time.

  2. omg this hit home for me. I’m returning to work next week and am struggling soooooo much. I don’t want to miss a second of my sweet girl’s life.

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