Sunday, February 28, 2010

Daycare and Working Outside the Home

I am starting to stress about what will happen when I go back to work. Unfortunately, I have to work. I carry my own benefits and will carry Nicholas also, plus Michael works a job that some months are great, some are terrible, so one of us has to have a steady income. I also love my job and it is not easy to find a Monday-Friday, no weekends, nights, or holidays nursing job. With that said, I need some advice, working moms how do you do it all? Right now I clean the house, buy the groceries, do the laundry (but Michael puts them up, I hate to hang up clothes, except for Nicholas' cute clothes of course!), and cook dinner most every night during the week. We will be hiring a housekeeper to come biweekly once I go back to work, so at least that will be taken care of, but everything else will still have to be done.

I am also stressing about breastfeeding. Crazy to worry now, I know. I really, really want it to work just because I want to give him the best start possible, but if it doesn't that is ok too. However, I am stressed about how to make that work once I go back to work. In the mornings I am usually in my office from 8:15-12:45 (with a break for lunch) then I am tied up in the afternoons seeing patients, so afternoon pumping is pretty much not going to happen except for Fridays, which I am planning on picking him up an hour or two early on Fridays anyway. So, I'm looking at being away from him from 8am-5pm Monday-Friday. How did you get your babies on a schedule?

I am however, VERY happy with our daycare choice. It is the hospital daycare my office is affiliated with and it is just across the street from the parking garage I park in. They are welcoming to nursing mothers and a lot of moms come over at lunch to feed their baby. I am LOVING the location plus the curriculum they offer. They begin sign language immediately and begin Spanish and sight words by 2! They will feed breakfast, lunch, and a snack after nap time. It is a little pricey, but to us, it is so worth it for him to be so close and have such a great learning experience if he has to be away from us.

I dropped in at the daycare last Tuesday at lunch and I was so happy when I left. I didn't see an unhappy child anywhere. I worked childcare while in college and I know what I want to see in a daycare and I really do not think I would be any happier anywhere else.

I do feel guilty already to think about leaving him. We waited so long, and wanted him so badly, that I feel terrible to just drop him off every morning for someone else to take care of him. It makes me sad and I know it will be hard to go back, no matter how good his day care is, but I am happy to know that he already has a place at a good center.


Christi said...

I'm so excited for you. My oldest is turning 10 in May. I was a working mommy until he was 16 months old.

1. That is awesome that you found a place that you just love. That in itself is great and a huge feat.

2. There's always going to be mommy guilt...daycare, breastfeeding, and anything else we can create in our nuturing and loving minds. Remember to focus on the amazing and loving mother that you are.

3. As for getting things done, it's about small steps, lower expectations and team work. You'll find your groove and only your husband and you can find that. There are books to give ideas and people to tell you how they do it, but at the end of the day you'll have to do what works. Simple things are to pack your lunches the night before and get the diaper bag ready. Maybe set up a laundry day. A housekeeper is a splendid idea. Set up regular date nights (even after the little one goes to bed, etc) with your husband. Thirty years from now, your son will not talk about how clean you kept the house but about how you love him and spend time with him.

4. As for pumping, my rheumatologist pumps. Ask your doctors about a pump time...maybe a scheduled appointment could be a pump time for you. Schedule your pump times when you know your nursing schedule. Formula is fine though. If you want to nurse, have a nursing moms support team for you. i didn't with my first and I had no clue about anything. I loved nursing my girls even though both had to be on formula at different times for different reasons. It was very hard to have to unexpectedly give up nursing to my third at 8 to 9 months because I finally had my nursing groove going. I wish you that joy if you nurse. If you formula feed, he's still getting time with you and that nuturing.

You are doing great. Have a wonderful day.


Colleen said...

You can do this--lots of us do!! (I returned to work FT after each of my babies, with the last 2 I was able to pump enough to donate over 8000 ounces to OTHER babies! I also attend nursing school PT, but didn't start that until Beckett was about a year). Check your state laws, it may be that you HAVE to be provided time and space to pump so that may ease your worry over missing afternoon pumpings. You may be surprised at how efficient you become at it as well. I was able to snap an Xray, help get the anesthetic started, go pump and be done by the time we were ready to start a procedure!!
Other things will fall into place as well--when you have time to cook, make a double batch and freeze half of it. Don't turn down people who want to do this for you either--if someone asks "what do you need, what can I do", tell em' that a meal would be great!!

Jenn said...

It can be very hard at first learning to be a working mama. I was so emotional in the beginning and I dont know if it was the hormones or just the fact that I did NOT want to leave my baby. Although she stays with my in-laws and I know that she is being well taken care of, I still MISS her terribly EVERYday, even a year later. It does get easier. I did breastfeed, but my supply was not that great. I did take Fenugreek and mother's tea and pumped every 2-3 hours and then just started exclusively pumping. It was hard, but worth it. I cant help with work pumping schedules because I did not have to do that, but good luck! Everything will fall into place and dont stress. At least you are going to be able to provide for your baby while working.

Anonymous said...

I have three kids who are now 16, 12, and 10 and I worked for years although I am now home full-time. As an experienced (I think!) mom, I really think that as hard as it is, if there is ever a time to work, it is when they are young. I know how hard it is but you really can do it and if you can work toward being home with them down the road, then work toward that because the school years, believe it or not is when it gets more complicated. But the bottom line is, with love, anything is possible and it is obvious how much you already love Nicholas.

Anonymous said...

This is Laura Baldwin Helton but I am commenting as anonymous so I dont have to sign up b/c I'm lazy.

I worked and pumped. I tried to breastfeed but with huge boobs and flat nipples, it just didn't work. I exclusively pumped until he was almost 9 months old, and my supply dwindled away. Anyway, according to TN state laws, you HAVE to be provided time to pump/breast feed. Period. Keep in mind that you can pump a decent amount much faster than actually breastfeeding. I know I did, and I didn't have a great supply. All you really need is 15 minutes.

Much like every aspect of parenting, you will fall into a natural rhythm of things that work for you and Nicholas, and you will know exactly how often your body needs to pump, etc, etc, etc.

I was very miserable when I had to leave Cooper and go to work. I was physically sick to my stomach over it. But you do get used to it. And now, i am a stay-at-home mom. I dreamed and longed for this day. And now...well...the grass is often greener on the other side. I LOVE my time with Cooper, but when you work outside the home, although you see your child less, the time you have together after work is just SO AMAZING. You have it to look forward to all day. Your time together is just so special.

Obviously, most moms would prefer to stay home with their kids. As someone who has done both, I just wanted to point out that there are honestly some advantages to working outside the home, and many stay-at-home moms might be hesitant to admit that. I used to get MAD at my sister for not enjoying being a stay-at-home mom enough b/c I would've given ANYTHING to be in her shoes. Well, now I am, and I get it.

Andrea said...

Hi Amanda,

I've never commented on your blog before but I wanted to today! Congratulations on Nicholas - I'm very happy for you! I am a working mom of a 16-month-old boy with another baby due in May. I wanted to try to address your very normal concerns, and also say that while being a working mom is hard, I agree with the other commenter who said that your time with your child is SO SPECIAL when you are a working mom because it is so precious.

First of all, it is totally awesome that you found a wonderful daycare so close to your office. Feeling good about your childcare is the #1 thing for a working mom, I think. I'd encourage you to drop in whenever you can when he's first there to ensure for yourself that everything is going well, and take advantage of visiting to nurse, etc., both for your supply and to maybe limit how much you need to pump.

Re: pumping, I pumped at work for my son until he was 12 months old, and let me tell you it IS possible -- although, if it doesn't work out, there is NOTHING wrong with formula. I didn't have your situation where afternoons were typically unavailable for pumping, but pumping doesn't take that long -- 15 minutes maybe -- so perhaps you can get some time to do that? The best thing to do is pump on a schedule, at roughly the same time each day. It'd be super if you were able to pump in the am, pm, and maybe nurse Nicholas at lunch in the beginning.

Good luck!!! You're doing great.

Lianna Knight said...

I am sure being away from Nicholas will be SO difficult...especially after the long wait to finally get pregnant and deliver him.

BUT, just think of the great social skills he will be learning and the friendships he'll be making...I hate that my little nephew doesn't either go to daycare or have play dates with anyone. It is so obvious that he has a hard time warming up to people and seems extremely shy...when I know he would be different if he went to daycare at least once or twice a week or had some playdates with other babies.

So think of it as giving Nicholas a lifetime of friendships!!!!

123 said...

You have just asked the question that plagues every mother. How do I find balance between work, children, housework, and husband? I have prayed about it, blogged about it, and asked every woman I know about it. The truth is that I still haven't found the blance, but I am working on it every day!

Nicole said...

It will all work out, I promise! Adjusting and getting on a schedule will be hard, but you'll figure out what works best for you guys. It's still hard for us from time to time, the housework and laundry are the first things to suffer. But, it all gets done eventually, even if it requires a laundry marathon once a month :)

Kelly said...

It is NOT easy to leave your baby during the day, however, I just keep telling myself it is what i have to do, and it is what is best for our family ( to have an income and insurance). You have to do what you have to do. And, I only leave my Kaden with my M-I-L and it is hard. The good thing for me is that I teach, so I look forward to holidays and weekends and summers. As far as the breast feeding, don't stess over it yet, just take it as it all comes and it will work itself out. I could only breast feed the first 6 weeks and then I had to stop and bottle feed with formula. I felt really guilty at first but then it all worked out. And, I have had my baby on a schedule since day 1. I keep an index card sized binded notepad, one page per day. It keeps track of his wet/dirty diapers and his feeding times, etc. It really helps you stay on track when you write it down! Good Luck, I have been thinking about you as I follow your blog each week.

Mike, Kacy & Wells said...

I have been keeping up with your pregnancy & am so happy for you! As I read this post, I related so much with your concerns. I work part time with a 20 month old. I am a physical therapist & know that if I didn't schedule appt time to pump when I was nursing, it wouldn't have happened - someone would always have something else for me to do or a patient would always have extra questions/need extra time. It was hard at first to be insistent that I have that time, but you have to remind yourself that it's best for you to prevent engorgement/infections & best for the baby to get as much expressed as possible. After awhile, it became a non-issue. It's also important to keep a good perspective on the whole thing - if you're not getting as much as Nicholas wants to eat, it's not the end of the world if you have to add formula to his bottles. Good luck!!