My son is almost 8 months old, and I’ve just been offered a job that I can’t possibly turn down. But I have some friends who are making me feel bad about going back to work so early, when “they” say I’m entitled to the full year of maternity leave. Why would I want to go back so soon? “They” tell me that I’ll be missing out on the MOST IMPORTANT time of my son’s life. I was shocked to see so many of my friends being negative about this wonderful opportunity for me and my family. You have two kids, and work, how did you decided to be “okay” with it?
Any thoughts would help.
Wow! Those are some tough friends you have. At the end of the day, you really do have to decide for yourself, and no one else! Your friends are just trying to “care”, but they may not have the same opportunity as you. Going back to work after having a baby is NEVER easy. No matter what GREAT opportunities are out there. You have changed in so many ways. You are now not just one person; you’ve become a mother, a caregiver, and a supporter.
With my first, I came back to work when my little boy was just 6 months old. I cried for a week at work. (Only once with my microphone on). But as time went on, that’s when I realized that I was a better mom for going back to work. I took a job that had great hours, with the flexibility to be there for my kids if need be.
That’s what you need to do. Sit down with your family and decided what is best for YOU and your family. If you think taking this opportunity is the best decision, then do it. (After all, it’s just a job, and if it doesn’t work out you can change your mind!!) But for some, it’s not a choice. Financial strain has mother’s going back to work as early as possible. We have to remember how fortunate we are sometimes with the “options” we’re given.
As for your friends, if you decide to do this, you need to let them know how you’re feeling. Say “thank you for your opinion, but this is the best choice for ME”. Ask them to support you, rather than bring you down. For some mother’s, staying home and taking care of the family is the best decision for THEM, and support that.
The first year is VERY important to be with your child, and so is the 2nd and 3rd and 4th and so on and so on. My decision to be “okay” with going back to work was the fact that I can get away for a while to still be “me” and I come home looking forward to being with my boys! I believe we have better quality time together now with me being able to step out for a few hours a day.
Kerry, I hope your friends come to understand YOUR choice. Not everyone is going to have the same opinion as you… just wait until your son is 3 years old and still sucks on a soother… you’ll get all kinds of opinions… and from people you don’t even know.
Thanks Kerry for letting me share your story!
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