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Back To Work
April 30, 2012
Advice

Why I chose to go back to work after having kids.

When you have children, no one tells you how hard it is to go back to work. It’s a mixed bag of emotions for many women–myself included.

After my first child, I was one of those moms who had a hard time adjusting to the pace at home. Feeling “trapped” at home, and having no “life.” I still did a lot of work on the side and that is one thing I don’t recommend. I always felt stressed and pressured to do more. For me working at home just plain sucked. I didn’t do the job as good as I used to, and if I did, I didn’t pay enough attention to my son. It was a lose lose situation. I went back a little bit early after 11 months of being home (In Canada we get a year of Maternity leave–yes, I know it’s amazing) I started back part time–for a week, and then went back to full time. 
Did I miss being home? Yes–But. But, I loved once again, going out for lunch, having a coffee in silence (this is before I become a true tea lover), being “important” and having my opinions mean something in the business world. My first son could not have cared less that I was leaving him at daycare because I’m fortunate enough to have my In Laws watch him. So it was the cat’s meow to go to grandma and grandpa’s all day. What was hard for me? He changed. He stopped being “my baby” and started to be his own little person. I missed a few of his firsts, like steps. THAT’S hard. I tell myself, that when he does it with me, it will be like a first, cause it’s the first time I’ve seen it. It’s also hard to let someone else essentially raise your child. They spend more time with them during waking hours then you do. And, quite frankly they don’t get paid enough in my opinion.

So if it was so hard to go back to work and leave my child in someone elses care WHY did I? Because, I am not a SAHM. I am good with the baby stage, but once they get older, they need different kids of stimulation and outings and quite frankly, I’m too lazy. I realized, that while I enjoyed my time at home, I enjoyed being back to work, not being hit, kicked, bit, spit on really works for me.

It also made me a better mom. I had more patience at the end of the day, and it is so wonderful to have your child super excited to see you.

And today, when I dropped of my not quite 11 month old son for his first day (half day) of daycare, I felt….good! I had been having anxiety about it for a week before I decided to come back early. This is my last baby, and once I go back, I can’t not go back. He will stop being my little baby and start being a little boy. I had this fear that he would think I was abandoning him–which I know logically I wasn’t. My second baby is much more attached to me, aka cries if I’m not there, even with the fabulous grandparents. But he didn’t cry once and did amazing today. And the best thing ever? I got the biggest snuggles for 5 whole minutes when I picked him up. He’d look at me, then hug me, then look at me, then hug me. It was so awesome.

So why did I choose to go back to work? Because for me, I’m a better parent when i’m not in the thick of it 100% of the day. I’ve made peace with it. I admire those who can do it–even more so the ones who do homeschooling and all that. I also went back because having a paycheck rocks.

So to those of you who are wrestling with this decision, it’s not easy. And you may cry on your first day (even if your child does not), but you will recognize if staying at home is for you or not. Do not feel guilty one way or the other. Your child will not forget who you are, or love the provider more than you, you are still mom. You always will be. That totally counts for something.

    • Camilla Cornell
    • July 19, 2012
    Reply

    Hi Erin: I believe I chatted with you at Blissdom this year (was that you?). I’m a journalist and I’m putting together an Instant Expert article for MoneySense magazine right now about returning to work after mat/pat leave. Would you have time for a quick chat about the nitty gritty of getting ready to go back (ie. did you start mid-week; did you do a dry run to see how long it would take to do the drop off and get to work; did you arrange for shorter days that first week back; how did you gear up, etc.). Let me know ASAP if you’d like to chat. I will, of course, mention your blog,
    Camilla
    416-466-3159

  1. Reply

    Hi Erin,
    This is an awesome post. Congrats on heading back to work!

    I wanted to let you know that I just nominated your blog to ‘Top 25 Websites for Moms in Tech’ contest on SkinnyScoop: http://www.skinnyscoop.com/list/SkinnyScoop_Staff/top-25-moms-in-tech

    Such a pleasure to find your website, congrats!

    All the best,
    Krista

    • Lily
    • May 1, 2012
    Reply

    You took the words right out of my mouth Erin! Congrats on heading back into the working world!

    • Christine
    • April 30, 2012
    Reply

    Well said. I think we all have to find what works for us, its different for each family. Me I would be best working 9-2 m-f. 4 hours away a day is plenty for me. But finding a job like that is near impossible. (if anyone has any ideas I am all ears BTW 😉 )

    • Kristy
    • April 30, 2012
    Reply

    Good job mama! Speaking as someone who is about to go back to work, I hope my experience goes as well as yours. 🙂

  2. Reply

    First, congratulations on getting back to work. Also, I am jealous that you get an entire year maternity leave but I am sure you get that a lot from the folks here in the USA.

    Now, let me just say it was brave of you to write this post and to be so honest. I can relate to your situation in so many ways. If my parents could watch my one and only daughter while I was at work full time I may also consider heading back to work. My mom and sisters do watch her while I am working part time so that is nice but health reasons pretty my family from watching her more regularly and my mother in-law is out of state. The idea of putting her in a regular day care scares me to death. To be honest I had a very tramatic event happen to me when I was in day care as a child and even now as 35 year old woman I still am impacted by that day and I will never forget it. I just want to protect her always.

    On the other side, I too have a hard time keeping up her at 5 years old and I can see she really wants to be with other kids doing fun things mommy just can’t do. For multiple reasons actually. I have many health issues plus I too get a little lazy here and there. I often consider the fact my sister has her kids in daycare and they absolutely love it. What if I tired and my little one loves it too. I have gone as far as touring places and one place I even took care of some paperwork. I have yet to have her try it out yet, though she begs me all the time. Luckly, for me I enjoy working at home with the tea business and the part time work does get me out of the house but staying home day in and day out with a kid can become a little trying.

    So I sympathize with your situation and I commend you for having the courage to do it. I hope me day I just have the courage to send her to one trial day of daycare. I promised it would be sometime the first week of May. My deadline approaches, yikes!

    • Reply

      Try it Rachel! It’s nerve racking BUT you’ll both enjoy it 🙂 And if you don’t, you can always pull her out 🙂

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