Each week, Babyology posts #HELP questions from our community on our Facebook page – the types of questions that our wonderful community of parents can give helpful advice on; the type of helpful and friendly advice that can only come with years of personal parenting experience.
Now we are sharing some of the best answers to these perennially perplexing parenting questions …
#HELP! I go back to work in 2 weeks and my daughter will be nearly 7 months. I’m an absolute mess. I hate the fact that I have to leave her at daycare and miss her growing and her reaching different milestones. Whenever I think about it or someone asks me about it, I burst into tears. I know its all just part of life and everyone goes back to work eventually, but seriously how did you get over the feeling of heartbreak??
It will be better than you think
I put my son in full-time day care when he was 12 months old and it was heartbreaking for those first weeks and months. I found it did get better over time and it really helps if you have a good centre that you trust. My son just turned 3 and loves going now. It’s certainly helped him in learning to share and develop social skills and it’s lovely seeing him interact with his friends. – Lara Shakti
I went back to work the day my son was 6 months. It was the best decision for both of us. Sure I was anxious and worried about missing milestones but I was also craving adult time and wanted to contribute to the household. He LOVED daycare and because of that, I only cried the first two days I dropped him off. He has advanced so much and will happily chat or play with everyone. I always made the most of my days home with him (work 3 days, home the other 4) and he loves our routine as do I. If we ever have another, I won’t hesitate on going back to work at the 6 month mark again. I truly think it saved my sanity and shaped our son into the independent and eager-to-learn little boy that he now is. – Natasha Pierce
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I was exactly like this with my son “What if we miss his first word? His first steps?” As it turned out we didn’t, he did those at home and we never actually missed any milestones. Daycare was beneficial to him, he was socialising with other kids and learning fun new stuff every day I would never have thought to teach or show him. – Rachel Taylor
I felt this with both of mine and still do; they’re 2 and 4 … I have strong intelligent little girls that I can drop off into any social situation; we’ve a great bond and they’re really happy … when little, I extended breastfeeding at night (not day obviously) and we took our baths together, snuggled and co-slept as much as I could. Exhausting but worth it kept that bond … It’s hard but sometimes it has to be done ❤️ good luck xxx – Helen Curtis
I know how you feel and I’ll be doing the same when my baby is around that age. I try to think of the positives such as, he’ll learn social skills, he’ll get educated in my absence and the money I make will be used to keep a roof over his head and pay for everything he needs from me, plus some special gifts and money aside to take him on holidays. I know it doesn’t take away the emotional side of it all because you love your little baby but what you’re doing is still all for them. Just have to make the most of the time you do get and make them memorable. They will love you no matter what. – Chantelle Thomas
Yeah, it IS heartbreaking
You don’t get over it, you soldier on. My baby was 5 months old when I went back to work full time, she is 4 now and still feel guilty about things I miss out like assemblies and excursions etc. What you feel is normal but you can’t let it consume you, because they will be fine. – Marcia Raquel
Sometimes NOT working isn’t an option. Like for us. I went back to work when each turned 6 months. Now aged nearly 4 and 7. It’s hard. I cried the first few days with each. I also started them a week earlier for a few hours each day – to ease into it. They love it. Very social, not clingy. Getting them used to taking directions from multiple people. I just try to make sure that we spend quality time together for some time over the weekends or on the nights hubby doesn’t work. There’s a lot of kids not in daycare but the quality of time with the parent isn’t there either. Hope this helps. I don’t think mummy guilt ever goes away. Just gets replaced with something else. – Alina Hennessy
Consider your childcare choices
Consider family daycare. Your little bub will get much more love and attention. Plus if it’s possible only work part time. I went back 3 days a week when bub was 14 months and didn’t stress at all as I knew he was safe and loved so I was able to concentrate at work and felt no regret as I had breastfed him and spent the first 12 months with him. Happy mum and happy bub. – Rebecca Anne
It’s hard, but trust me, they love daycare, and learn so much. It’s really good for them. Can you ask your employer for some flexibility? I asked to work 4 days rather than 5 and it’s lovely having 3 days a week with him. I also started my son in home daycare which was nicer than a centre. He loved it! – Erin Barnett
Is returning to work really the only option you have?
With costs being as they are for so many families now, it’s not such an option anymore, but I knew I wouldn’t cope leaving my children with anyone else, or paying them for the privilege of witnessing all those firsts I would miss out on, so we made the choice to modify our spending so I could stay home with them. As a bonus, it meant I was also able to help a family member with their child. I didn’t return to work until our youngest was established at school, and we have no regrets. – Deb Hall
You can read all the helpful advice given, on the original Facebook post here: