Back to Work

by jessicaturner on August 25, 2008


Today I go back to work. (I framed the above picture for my desk – thanks for the frame, Ang!) I have always known I would not be a stay-at-home mom. I’m just not cut out for it. I LOVE what I do (I work in marketing and public relations) and God has blessed me with a gift for it. It gets me quite excited to develop and implement creative, well-thought out, effective marketing plans. I need to work.

But, I must say, I cried three times, and am crying again writing this, at the thought of leaving Elias. I am sitting indian style and he is sleeping in my legs because I can’t seem to go put him back in his crib this morning. He’s so cute making his little sounds.

He is going to be cared for by two wonderful women in a small church day-care program three days a week (Matthew will have him the other two). I know he is going to be loved. I will get to come see him every day at lunch, which is such blessing that I know most mommies who work don’t get. But, it is still going to be hard. Our six weeks together went far too quickly. He is doing new things every day. I don’t want to miss them, you know?

Those of you who work – what did you do to make the transition easier? Any tips?

Oh, and if you want to see how much Elias is starting to look like Matthew (I’m finally admitting it), check this out.

Peace to you today.



{ 29 comments… read them below or add one }

Mrs. Elle August 25, 2008 at 11:44 am

I, too, have had to return to work. And, I, too, never thought that I would want to stay home with my daughter but found it hard to leave her even though I know that working is what I should be doing instead. Luckily, I am a teacher and I had a whole summer off with her. I think I cried twice the night before we dropped her off and four times that day. My husband (also a teacher who coincidentally teaches at the same school!) tried to console me and say, “It’s going to be fine. You’ll see.” I don’t dispute this but I have to throw the “mommy card” in on this one and say that it’s something that men will never understand and people who are not mothers will never understand. I will say that after a week of doing the daycare thing I feel like it’s a good thing. I appreciate the time I have with her more now (however limited it has become) and I feel like she has already become more social by being exposed to other children and another care provider (she is currently an only child). Perhaps you might find the same thing for yourself?

Additionally, I share your reluctant sentiment about Elias looking just like his father. My little girl is beautiful but she popped out literally looking just like her father too! I did the same thing with comparing the baby pictures and they could have been identical twins. She’ll be three months in a week and she’s FINALLY starting to look like me. :)

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Lissette August 25, 2008 at 12:35 pm

Blessings as you begin this new phase in your life.

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Jen August 25, 2008 at 1:50 pm

My son has been in daycare since he was 6 weeks old as well. It’s so hard to leave him, and I feel so guilty even now, but like you I really need to work. I am a better mom because I get that time each day to focus on work. And he gets that time to be with other kids. He interacts with everyone so well, and has just learned so much by being there. It hasn’t gotten easier for me, but that’s ok. I so look forward to picking him up, and we make the most of the time that we are together.
Good luck with work! And don’t drive too fast on your way to pick him up!

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Anonymous August 25, 2008 at 2:12 pm

Jess, well you have me crying for the second time this morning, in fact sobbing. I remember leaving Matt to go back to work part time evenings on Maternity. This morning I went to Lis` and took pictures ( in tears)of the girls with their lunch bags (Dora of course)ready and excited about going to the church learning center. I came home and sobbed. Last night Emma, with her arms crossed and a defiant look on her face said to me, “Maw maw I am not going to school, I`m staying right here.” I went home and cried.

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pete wilson August 25, 2008 at 2:52 pm

Praying for you today. I remember watching Brandi do this with Jett. Call us if you need anything!!

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Anonymous August 25, 2008 at 4:46 pm

I am a stay-at-home mom, so I can not give you any advice on how to… But since you are pupming and your little one is consuming most of his meals from bottles, let me draw your attention to the danger of BPA, Phthalates and PVC found in most plastic bottles. Please read the article for the sake of your child (unless you already know about it) at http://www.newbornfree.com/Default.aspx?pid=3417. Good luck!Enjoy your work during the days and your little family in the evenings! Bogi

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Joy August 25, 2008 at 4:47 pm

I can’t begin to understand how it must feel to place your baby in the capable hands of another adult while you work— but it’s only 3 days a week! It will get easier, as I’ve seen other working moms say.

Besides, you’ll need “your time” where you can identify with yourself as someone other than Mommy or Wife. You need to be Jessica and have something all your own! It will be a great benefit to Elias later. I’m a SAHM but I’m starting my own business at home because I have to have something that is completely 100% for me.

Good luck getting back to work!!! It sounds like Elias will be well cared for!

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Sara Horn August 25, 2008 at 6:37 pm

I totally understand what you’re feeling. I went back to work after 6 weeks of maternity leave. It helped a little that my husband and I were both “non-traditional” married college students and I worked at the university and at the time, my husband had a retail job in the evenings so he actually watched our son during the day until he was 4 months old. It was still hard though when I finally had to take him to daycare.

I do think that when you work away from home that you will value the time you do have together a lot more. One other thought – NEVER be afraid to speak up, ask questions, and take an active role in your child’s daycare arrangements and that includes knowing what his schedule is and how he’s doing and interacting each day. One of the best things someone told me when I became a new mom was “you are your child’s only advocate.” Good luck!!

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Anonymous August 25, 2008 at 6:54 pm

The very best advice I can give you is to communicate daily with your child care providers and treat them well! Chocolate goes a long way:) They will become like extended family before you know it!

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Simone in MN (go Packers, not Vikings :)) August 25, 2008 at 7:10 pm

Oh, I ache for you! I can imagine the bittersweet emotion of getting back into the swing of things professionally, while leaving Elias. I happen to be a SAHM (lucky for me, I was already going back to school for a career change when my first son was born, so it didn’t break my heart to quit my job). And I am finding plenty of things to fill up the “me” part of my life. BUT, I want to congratulate you on doing what it takes to fulfill you and make your family happy. I know moms who stay at home because they think they should, and are miserable. They can’t seem to get over that and then in return the kids are miserable, too. Elias will be a happy boy if his family is balanced right. Blessings to you all, and good luck adjusting to your new routine…I’ve heard it gets easier with time.

PS–one tip I remember a working friend telling me is to leave a disposable camera in your baby’s diaper bag. Then it’s really easy for Elias’ caregivers to capture those candid moments throughout the day without having to scramble for the camera while watching other kids. Even if the pics are only of him on the changing table, it might make you feel better to have visual access to that little part of his life…*if* you can handle the quality of a disposable. :)

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Sarah August 25, 2008 at 7:17 pm

I went back to work when my son was about 6 weeks old. Granted, I only worked part time for a long while, but I did learn a few things along the way. The most important thing is to NOT let “mommy guilt” get the best of you. I struggled with this a lot. I was always feeling guilty about something. You will miss certain things, and your baby will probably grow attachments to other people and when that happened to me it broke my heart. Now, my boy is social, well adjusted, smart as a whip, and loves me more than just about anyone in the world. (Daddy is a close 2nd!) I always thought that my working would somehow screw him up, but I really do think he is better for it now.

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Anonymous August 25, 2008 at 7:42 pm

You’ll find a routine, and it will get easier after a few months. Definitely be in touch with his caregivers, ask for daily report sheets, leave a disposable camera, and bring his teacher lots of small appreciation gifts. If you ever have dissatisfaction with his care, then follow your instincts immediately to place him elsewhere. It doesn’t mean abuse, but I had issues with too many babies in a room, too much illness, lax standards for handwashing after diapering, etc. After repeated frustration that my child was always sick, I moved him, and it got so much better. Hopefully, your first placement will be perfect!

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vaneblu August 25, 2008 at 8:20 pm

Sweet Lord Elias looks identical to his father in those pics on his blog!!!

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Kristin August 25, 2008 at 9:14 pm

Today was my first day back at work too! (But this time I am only going to work part-time.)
I was meant to work and I think I’m a better mom for it, but it is none-the-less difficult to say good-bye after so many special memories together in their first weeks of life.
I’ll pray for you!

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RZ August 25, 2008 at 10:41 pm

I went back to work when my daughter was 12 weeks old. It was the most awful thing in the world. Luckily for me, my husband and i work at the same place and were able to work our schedules so he was home during the day while i worked then we switched and he went to work. We only just recently put our daughter in day care and by then i was ok.
good luck!

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rebecca August 26, 2008 at 12:15 am

Hi Jessica,

I too had to return to work after having each of my babies. I was fortunate to be able to stay home with each of them until they were eleven weeks old. My sister takes care of them five days a week. What a blessing! Nevertheless, I had so many tears and fears…that they would be more attached to her…that I would miss so many things….and oh, the MOMMY GUILT! Sigh!
Anyway, my children love me dearly, they certainly know that I am their Mommy and by God’s blessing, most of their milestones were achieved on the weekends when my husband and I were around to witness them! (Unless there is somethings my sis is not telling me!) LOL!
God bless you as you go through this journey with your little one. It will be hard at first, but it will be OK!

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The Couch Family August 26, 2008 at 12:34 am

Jessica,
I totally understand where you are coming from! I just started taking my little one to a “Christian Kids Academy” (sounds better than daycare) last week. She is 15 months old and it is killing me!!! It is totally devastating to hand your life over to someone and put total faith in them! I always swore I could not be a stay at home mom until i had Madison. Children shed a whole new light on things. I thought about you often today wondering what you were thinking about and if you were crying!!!! I remember the first time I left Madison! Its heart breaking. And I dont care what they say, IT DOES NOT GET EASIER WITH TIME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You are in my thoughts and prayers and I hope things are going smoothly for you and this transition!! :)

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Anita J. August 26, 2008 at 1:38 am

Hi! This is my first time reading your blog. When I took my son for his checkup before I returned to work, I sat in my his doctor’s examination room and cried to him about going back to work. Doc was a friend of ours, but not at this deeply emotional level. Poor man. He said his wife (also a doctor) had a very hard time going back to work with each of their children. So even the lifesavers are heartaching for their children.

I don’t have any great advice to offer. I missed him so much, I ended up arranging a job share so that I worked half-days.

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christi28 August 26, 2008 at 2:44 am

i will be praying for a smooth transition for you both!

blessings ~

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Sandra D August 26, 2008 at 2:53 am

I don’t have any special tips, but think it’s great that he only has to be in the nursery 3 days a week. As that will give daddy/son great bonding time. :-)

I worked PT after my first and for me .. leaving him did get easier. I mean, at this point in Eli’s life – he won’t know .. but as they get older and make new friends and look forward to going to “their” class .. I feel sooo happy that they are content and excited to go .. no tears for this mama. (This coming off taking my older two to school today and Selah started Kindergarten *gasp*.) While I could have been sad … they were PUMPED to start school and I know I’ll be ready and waiting for them at 2:55 each day, refreshed from having some time apart .. so I think it’s a good thing and will get easier on you .. but that’s JMHO! :-)

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Sandra D August 26, 2008 at 2:56 am

Oh, and the PP who suggested leaving a disposable camera .. THAT’s a fantastic idea especially for you the queen of scrapping – great idea. :-)

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Sarah August 26, 2008 at 3:22 am

Another working Mum here! And a Marketing Mummy, too! Didn’t know you were in Marketing as well. I know what you mean about enjoying your job.

But I cried in the washroom for two days every lunch time after I returned. It’s an adjustment but the good news is that nothing can change your bond.

BTW, as a Canadian, I’m APPALLED that all of you guys have to go back at 6 WEEKS! That’s CRAZY! We have a full year of mat leave (you can split it between the Mum and the Dad). I took the full year myself and went back when my daughter was just over a year old. It was hard then; can’t imagine doing it at 6 weeks…you’re not even sleeping through the night yet at that point.

God bless! Praying for you as you adjust to the “new normal”.

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Anonymous August 26, 2008 at 3:51 am

Oh, I’m sorry you’re so sad. I can only imagine what that must feel like. I stay at home with my 1 year old daughter and 3 year old son, and I’m a bit on the opposite side of the spectrum because I had no desire to go back to work after becoming a mommy (but then again, I’ve never found anything that I love to do (outside the home) like you have! I think my job was meant to be a mommy!), but I do have a little tid bit that I hope will make you feel a little better about it. I think I’ve noticed that kids who have moms who work outside the home and are in day care are more easily adjustable. They are used to being (obviously) with other people aside from mommy all the time– which, in a lot of ways, makes things easier for everyone. I think it makes it easier for them to adjust to being left, for instance, in the church nursery, at home with a babysitter, or even at Grandma’s house. It also makes it easier for YOU to leave the baby with someone else, because you’ve experienced that someone besides you really CAN take care of them! So, anyway, for what it’s worth… Good luck back at work!

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Sarah August 26, 2008 at 4:16 am

Hey Jessica, I stumbled across your blog awhile back and have just never commented. I wanted to let you know that I can completely relate with you on leaving a new baby to go back to work (its all over my blog). Here are a few things I have done to help ease the transition to daycare:
*Put a camera in the diaper bag so the caregiver can take pictures of the new things he does
*Give the daycare a heads up on when I will be stopping by on my lunch break so they can hold him off so I can feed him
*Arrive about 30 minutes before I have to actually leave him there, to play with him in his new environment and meet all his friends
Hope that helps a little bit, I think there are probably other things I have mentioned about it on my blog. Hang in there! :)

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Anonymous August 26, 2008 at 4:35 am

I just let my baby spend the night at my mom’s house for the first time this past weekend. It was a very empty feeling driving home without her. I know that you will probably have that same feeling for little while. But I have to say I stay home with my baby and while I love it. There are days that I think that if I worked I could be a more fun mom. When you stay home you just do more around the house and no one helps you as much because you do not work. So you are there all the time but you are not as much fun and you still miss things. GOOD LUCK!!!! You will do great and enjoy that adult conversation because you do not get that at home!

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Michael and Jenny Clark August 27, 2008 at 8:28 pm

Here is an excellent and encouraging article on biblical motherhood that you might enjoy! Hope you are well!
Jenny

https://www.cbmw.org/Journal/Vol-11-No-2/Motherhood-Matters

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Nanja August 27, 2008 at 9:05 pm

I am a working mother as well, and many things are being said about it. I think at this age it probably would be better if the child is with his mum, but I don’t think it will make a difference in his future, especially if you have good daycare, and loving parents for the rest of the time. My son is now almost 2, and because he went to daycare since he was a baby, he is very good at being around other kids, and sharing, and just playing by himself, without having to be entertained all the time. He just loves to go there most of the time.

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Anonymous August 28, 2008 at 7:38 pm

The bad news is you can’t have it all. Being a stay at home mom is boring, mind numbing, and monotonous in the extreme. seriously 4 loads of laundry a day is not my idea of glamorous work. i have been a stay at home mom for almost 12 years. I wouldn’t exchange it for anything. I do hope you find peace on your journey.

christa

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Michelle September 1, 2008 at 6:09 am

God bless you…I’m glad you know what you’re passionate about and how you are wired. I believe that makes mom’s even better, when they know those things about themselves! And we are all different.
Your baby is precious and beautiful, and I think your family is just so sweet and adorable. Hugs to you!

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