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This is my story:
When Jack was born my employer was very understanding so I went down from 40hrs to 32hrs a week. The Director was completely understanding and was amazing through it all. She gave me the most precious time to bond with my kids that I could never repay.
I would work when he slept and weekends to keep him out of daycare as well as to keep us afloat. By the time he was almost eight months old he was so mobile, it was time to give him more. I broke down and enrolled him into daycare 2-days a week. At the time we also knew I was pregnant with Luke and I was sick all the time.
I cried on and off for weeks as I felt like I was giving someone else my son to raise. I called daycare daily and sometimes several times daily to check on him. In time I saw a lot of positive things, so I came to realize that I had chosen the best place to put him and he was safe. The staff truly cared about every single child within the facility and out.
When Luke was born, I stayed out of work for 2-months and kept both boys home. When I started to go back to work, I decided since Jack really loved going to daycare to increase him to 3-days a week. I kept Luke home with me until he was 6-months old.
When Luke started daycare, they were both their 3-days a week until things had changed. One day I got an email from my Director that my schedule could no longer be accommodated and that I would have to work a set schedule. I was completely crushed as that meant more of an 8 am to 5 pm schedule.
I ended up being forced to put the boys in daycare full-time and not only was it a disaster for me emotionally, but it was also financially tough. It was time to put my fears aside and put them in full-time.
I saw more growth in them than ever before just by going to daycare five days a week. Their vocabulary and sign language got better daily. Reading to them daily helped as well. A major thing is that they were able to interact with others their age.
All that said, it does not make it easier for me to send my children to daycare and rely on someone else to raise them. However, I must work so this is the hand I am dealt with. I have come to realize it isn’t a bad one even though I still have days where I am completely crushed to not have a full day with them both. Then the weekend comes, and I cherish every minute I can with them.
Here are some TIPS from experience in dealing with working guilt:
- You’re letting your child grow and learn how to interact with others their age.
- Know that you are making the best choice for supporting your family.
- Know that you are doing the best you can for providing a work-life balance.
- It’s okay to let some things go. Like declining on a birthday invite to have some one-on-one time with your child or hiring a mother’s helper to help you out.
- Know you can call out of work if needed and pull your child out of daycare to have a fun day together.
Need Daycare recommendations? I would recommend checking out Care.com and ask around to other moms.
It was so amazing to see them transform and grow that I knew it was time for a change. Shortly after Luke’s first birthday, I switched companies. It was one of the best decisions to this day. It has provided me with a better work-life balance. They have now even started understanding that mommy and daddy work so we can have a house to live in and to have some fun.
Do you have tips from personal experience? Let’s share in the comments below, please.