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Need the thoughts of working mothers of infants/toddlers
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Poll

how many hours a week do you leave your toddler in daycare/with babysitter?
0-10
 18%  [ 13 ]
11-20
 19%  [ 14 ]
21-30
 29%  [ 21 ]
31-40
 33%  [ 24 ]
Total Votes : 72


ellie23









  
Post Posted: Tue, Jun 12 2012, 8:37 am       Post subject: Need the thoughts of working mothers of infants/toddlers
I laid in my bed this morning and worried (as we women often do). the subject of my worries on this particular morning was of next year. as I contemplated my school/internship schedule, I realized with horror that I would be gone monday-thursday the entire day and wed and thurs I would not even be putting my toddler twins to bed- I would come home after they were asleep! while I will be home the entire day friday-sunday I am concerned about this and I thought why dont I tap into imamother- a resource loaded with working mothers who miraculously do it all and know how to keep it all together!

basically, I have been home with my twins (now 1) for the first year of their lives. never had a baby nurse, babysitters only at night. I have been their only caregiver from a-z while dh was working (he often comes home after they are sleeping so im on the whole time. starting in september, I will have the schedule I mentioned above, as I complete my last year of school and my last internship simultaneously. I will be missing all that time during their 14 month- 23 month period...

so what would I like you all to tell me?
1. do you feel that your child is very close to you?d
2. does a child that young express sadness that you arent spending all that time with them anymore?
3. does anyone have their toddler in daycare for 32 hours a week? what is your experience with that?
4. do you miss milestones? how does that work?
5. is it possible to give chinuch to a child who is in playgroup that much? how does it work when they are with their morah for so long and she is giving chinuch and then they come home to you and you do things differently?

I just spent this year forming this amazing bond with them and I dont want to lose that. I know that by finishing school and having my career it will ultimately benefit them tremendously in a monetary way but I dont want the price of that to be their closeness and happiness with me....are there any tips and tricks that you have on keeping the bond strong?

noone in this world is more important to me than my twinnies and I would be devastated if they felt sad or angry that I was away so much. I know that this is an age where they are testing their limits and learning about what they can and cannot do and I want to be able to guide them toward being good decent human beings..is that possible if I am away all that time?

I made the poll above just to have an idea of what your working women's schedules are like in terms of time spent away from toddlers....

looking forward to your responses....
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ariela









  
Post Posted: Tue, Jun 12 2012, 8:57 am       Post subject: re: Need the thoughts of working mothers of infants/toddlers
iwent back tow ork as soon as I could (the law says 8-12 weeks pp. my baby stays with my motehr which makes it VERY easy for me to leave him (I know he is in the best hands!!!).
I wouldnt go back to a full time job if I had to leave an infant that younmg with a stranger (even if it was the best sitter in the world), cos I wouldnt have one single second of piece. obviously there are great abysitters (better than some grandparents) but thats how it works out for me.
different situations call fpor differnet solutions, and every family is different.
in my case the baby is my top priority I loooove him soooo much. I doubt that the fact that I dont spend 24 hours/day with him harms in any way. quite the contrary, my baby has a selfconfident mommy, who does a great job at her work and spends quality time with her beloved baby.
again: EVERYONE IS DIFFERNET and THIS IS NOT THE PERFECT SOLUTION FOR EVERY MOTHER.
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DunkinLover









  
Post Posted: Tue, Jun 12 2012, 9:25 am       Post subject: re: Need the thoughts of working mothers of infants/toddlers
I put 31-40 even though my baby is not a toddler. it kills me every time I drop her off (dh usually picks her up).
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Hashem_Yaazor









  
Post Posted: Tue, Jun 12 2012, 9:27 am       Post subject: re: Need the thoughts of working mothers of infants/toddlers
Not sure what to answer...my girls are away for 19-20 hours/week, but away from me due to work for 28-30 hours.
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Nicole









  
Post Posted: Tue, Jun 12 2012, 9:38 am       Post subject: re: Need the thoughts of working mothers of infants/toddlers
I work because I have to and it used to KILL me to leave my tiny infants and toddlers with a babysitter. When my first was 6 weeks old, I went back to nursing school. She was with a sitter roughly 8-4 mon-Thurs. This was for one year. Then I was home for a while and started working leaving my then 2 children with the sitter from 7:30- 4:30 3 days/week. THEN I worked full time leaving my kids Mon-Fri about 9:30-5 but I dropped them off at school first. Now I work out of my home, but the babysitter is with my youngest from 8:30-4:30. My others come home at 1pm and at 4 pm (I pick her up) Now my children are 5,4, and 1. It's much easier as the older ones are in school, so just keep that in mind. To answer your questions:


1. do you feel that your child is very close to you?
I do feel we have a great relationship, I don't feel it is strained in any way. Yes, I would love to be home with them 24/7 but that's not an option and at this point anyway, with my oldest I'm the one dropping her off at school and I'm the one picking her up- it makes no difference that I'm working in between! Very Happy
2. does a child that young express sadness that you arent spending all that time with them anymore?
This applies when you first change from sahm to dropping them off at the babysitter. Your children will probably cry for a few days at drop off, but they may very well be ready for the socialization and come to love it. The good thing is that you have twins- they will have each other!
3. does anyone have their toddler in daycare for 32 hours a week? what is your experience with that? I never did this so can't really answer for you.
4. do you miss milestones? how does that work? No. what kind of milestones? discovering the first tooth? The first step? Somehow I think that usually happens at home. Although you may be at school quite a lot, there's still a lot of at home time too.
5. is it possible to give chinuch to a child who is in playgroup that much? how does it work when they are with their morah for so long and she is giving chinuch and then they come home to you and you do things differently?
You can speak to the morah if there is something you blatantly beleive differently. Otherwise, kids are pretty good at knowing the diff between mommy's rules and morahs.
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Marion









  
Post Posted: Tue, Jun 12 2012, 11:17 am       Post subject: re: Need the thoughts of working mothers of infants/toddlers
You forgot 40+...those of us who work full time and have to commute... Even if I don't count the 5.5 hours on Friday morning that I *could* have him home, he's in care from 7-4:30 5 days a week...and it's not enough hours for me with my commute; my DH picks him up once a week and I make up the rest of my hours on that evening. It has been this way for each of my kids.
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ellie23









  
Post Posted: Tue, Jun 12 2012, 11:25 am       Post subject: re: Need the thoughts of working mothers of infants/toddlers
Marion-

how has this affected life with you children?
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1Life2Live









  
Post Posted: Tue, Jun 12 2012, 11:25 am       Post subject: re: Need the thoughts of working mothers of infants/toddlers
My kids are in daycare from 7:45am to 6pm every day. This is my experience:

1. do you feel that your child is very close to you?

I was also nervous about this, but my kids know who their mommy is. They are very attached to me, sometimes even too attached. They always come to me when they get a boo-boo and need me to put them to bed.

2. does a child that young express sadness that you arent spending all that time with them anymore?

My kids sometimes get sad when I drop them off in the morning, but they have a great time at daycare and once they start playing with all the toys, it's just their normal day. They are used to this schedule and have a great time with their friends who are also there full days.

3. does anyone have their toddler in daycare for 32 hours a week? what is your experience with that?

We love daycare. As soon as my kids were old enough to play with toys, listen to books and sing songs they always did it with a group. I think they are socially better off as they are always interacting with other kids and have a routine to their day. They know the rules of the classroom and are learning so much!

4. do you miss milestones? how does that work?

I have no idea whether or not my kids took their first steps at daycare. I do however know that I was the first one to see them take their first steps Wink They daycare providers never told me about any milestones, I always told them, so there was no feeling of missing out. Even if I did miss a milestone, I was there for the process and I don't think it would really bother me too much.

5. is it possible to give chinuch to a child who is in playgroup that much? how does it work when they are with their morah for so long and she is giving chinuch and then they come home to you and you do things differently?

My kids know the rules at home. I'm not super strict, but I do discipline them. I make sure to tell them when they behave and when they don't. I try my best not to contradict the rules a teacher has set in place because I don't want to confuse them. I've never really had this problem of a major difference in rules, but for example, my son camehome singing a song that I didn't particularly like, so I told him that I'd prefer if he didn't sing it at home. Then I suggested another song he can sing and he was fine with that. My kids aren't in a Jewish daycare, but there is still so much time I have to teach them. They make brachos on food while at home, we daven on the way to school and say Shema at night. I also try to sing them songs for upcoming holidays and we play Jewish music in the car. It's amazing what kids can learn.

Feel free to ask me anything else.
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cinnamon









  
Post Posted: Tue, Jun 12 2012, 12:30 pm       Post subject: Re: re: Need the thoughts of working mothers of infants/todd
Marion wrote:
You forgot 40+...those of us who work full time and have to commute... Even if I don't count the 5.5 hours on Friday morning that I *could* have him home, he's in care from 7-4:30 5 days a week...and it's not enough hours for me with my commute; my DH picks him up once a week and I make up the rest of my hours on that evening. It has been this way for each of my kids.


me too. All three of my kids (5,3,1.5) have been on this schedual since they were 14 weeks.

As for my experience, well kids get used to whatever their reality is. besides for a week or so of adjustment in the beginning of each year and for another day here and there if they are tird or in a bad mood they are very happy going to daycare. there relationship with me doesn't suffer as far as I can tell.
I think that as long as you are happy and upbeat about sending them to daycare they will be o.k with it.

Oh, and another plus I get out of it is that my kids learn to eat solids - I have no patience to feed babies, nursing is so much easier! so at the transition to solids phase they get all their solids at daycare and I get to only nurse untill they are older and know how to eat.


Last edited by cinnamon on Tue, Jun 12 2012, 12:41 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Marion









  
Post Posted: Tue, Jun 12 2012, 12:36 pm       Post subject: Re: re: Need the thoughts of working mothers of infants/todd
ellie23 wrote:
Marion-

how has this affected life with you children?


It hasn't. I never had the option of being a SAHM so I don't know what life would be like if they weren't in daycare. Mind you, I'm extending my next maternity leave by an extra 3 months, and none of my kids will be in aftercare (DS#3 will still be in daycare, but from 7-4, and I'll have the flexibility to drop him off later or pick him up earlier depending on the other kids' schedules), so I might get a chance to find out.

Even with daycare kids chinuch is my responsibility. I know there are different rules and home and at daycare, and so do my kids. The ones that are important I insist on with the daycare too (I don't care if every other child walks in with cookies to share in the morning, that's not breakfast food and my son doesn't get any). I think I missed DS#1's first real steps, but if I've missed anyone else's I don't know about it. What other milestones? Teeth? Smiling? Sitting? Rolling? I've been around for all of those. Words? I think I've identified them before the daycare, simply because they've all been English and not Hebrew. My kids are in daycare centres, not at babysitters...they seem to manage just fine. And the only time they've ever been particularly clingy is when there's a big change going on...like the impending birth of a new sibling. I attribute that more to the fact that I can't cuddle with them as much than to the fact they're in daycare/aftercare.
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abby1776









  
Post Posted: Tue, Jun 12 2012, 12:46 pm       Post subject: re: Need the thoughts of working mothers of infants/toddlers
I work full time and only see my children on weekends and in the morning. But my DH is home with them full time so I know they are well taken care of and I am not concerned. The fact that I am not around so much, makes them want me more, so I dont have a minute's peace when I am home. Not that I mind, I love being with them too.
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Mrs Bissli









  
Post Posted: Tue, Jun 12 2012, 1:04 pm       Post subject: re: Need the thoughts of working mothers of infants/toddlers
Hey OP, you’re missing the poll option for 40+hours!
We chose to have a full time nanny when our kids are babies/toddlers, Mon-Fri 6:45-18:15.
For my specific case, there was not much alternative in terms of hours and taking them to a day care would have been logistically difficult.

I feel there’s a great variance in quality of care, may it be nursery setting or with a babysitter/nanny. Like many things in life, quality matters.

Both my kids and I were happy knowing that there is a competent caring person looking after them. Similar to some others, I didn’t have the luxury of spending a whole year forming bonds with children. So less of separation anxiety as my kids grew up from very early stage. They’re growing up it’s natural that mummy leaves for work before they’re awake. Actually it worked out better in terms of my relationship with the children as I didn’t have to burn my fuses all the time with frustrating daily routines.

Do I miss milestones? You know what they say, you spend the first year of the child’s life trying to encourage him/her speak and walk. For the rest of his/her life, you spend time telling them to be quiet and stop running around.

Chinuch: again depends on the caregiver/playgroup. This is one area I admit finding the same calibre as parents would be difficult. Though at the end of the day, you have to set the rules, and make sure the caregivers share the same value as yourself.
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tizunabi









  
Post Posted: Tue, Jun 12 2012, 2:41 pm       Post subject: re: Need the thoughts of working mothers of infants/toddlers
OP- I was more of less in the situation you are in now. My DS was home with me for a year, during my first year of university (I had exemptions from most of the courses due to previous year's work so I had class 1 day a week). I loved the time together and I took care of him 99% of the time because of DH's work schedule.

Now things are the other way around. At 12 months I placed DS in daycare from 7-4 everyday (Sunday-Thursday and 7-1 on Friday). The first two weeks DS LOVED going, the next two weeks were more difficult, but since then, and until now, 9 months later, he runs to his classroom every morning so that he can go play.

I love the chinuch he gets there (they say brachot with him more than I do, he cleans up his toys when he is done, they taught him how to eat with a spoon (mostly) etc...). I think that their chinuch is mostly in line with my own, which is very important no matter when you put them in daycare/gan/school.

I pick DS up once a week. I don't get to see him very often as he goes to sleep 2 hours after he gets home from daycare, and I only finish school at 5 or 6 with a 45 minute bus-dependent commute. BUT I think that we have a very close relationship. He spends a half hour or so in our bed every morning cuddling time. And we make the most of the time that we do have together, reading books, playing with lego, going to the park, etc.

If he gets hurt he prefers to come to me than to DH. He gives me more kisses and more hugs than he gives DH. Truthfully, I think that it is BECAUSE I'm not home as often. And he doesn't experience sadness that I'm not around as much, he experiences happiness when I am around and can be with him.
I think that it is just a matter of making the most of the time that you have together.
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melbee









  
Post Posted: Tue, Jun 12 2012, 4:48 pm       Post subject: re: Need the thoughts of working mothers of infants/toddlers
I had a similar situation to you, OP. I B"H was able to stay home with my DS for the first year, and then needed to return to work. With second DS, it was even harder b/c I went back when he was just 2 months old (although I started back part time and worked up to full). They are long days, but as one friend told me, it's harder on you than them! I've been back at work full time (9:30-5:30 M-Th, leaving early on Fri at 3/4) 2 years now, and to answer your questions:


1. do you feel that your child is very close to you?

For a long time, I was very concerned that I was not as connected to DS2, since we didn't get that year together. But B"H we are all doing really well now. We've set aside times in the day to have fun together. Now that DS1 is older (3 years old), he helps me make dinner, follows me to do laundry, and we really strive to set aside about 20 mins each night to have special one-on-one time with each kid (of course, it usually goes well past 20 mins!) I also made it a priority to use my lunch hour to pick DS1 up from preschool this year and drive him to the sitter, and plan to IY"H continue that as long as I can with both kids.

2. does a child that young express sadness that you aren't spending all that time with them anymore?

When I first went back to work, DS1 would cry when I left. But even on the very first day, he would stop as soon as the door closed. It's separation anxiety, but they also know it makes you upset. As an unexpected bonus, starting him at a sitter at age one was great for him. It let him socialize with other kids his age, and when school started this year, he was the only kid who never cried at drop-off. Don't be surprised or hurt, though, if down the line he also starts to cry at pick-up. Transitions are hard, and DS1 acted out at pick-up time, which was very distressing for me.

3. does anyone have their toddler in daycare for 32 hours a week? what is your experience with that?

DS1 started in a day care, and then went into a preschool gan. We have DS2 at home with our niece right now, since I feel for a baby under one, one-on-care is most important. As I said above, pick a good daycare that you trust, and your children will IY"H flourish! It's wonderful for them to interact with other kids, and learn social norms like sharing.

4. do you miss milestones? how does that work?

I have B"H not missed any milestones that I know of. Walking and talking are more of a process, and I'm really fortunate that even with DS2 I did not miss his first time rolling over or crawling. You could tell your daycare provider not to tell you if your children did hit a milestone, and then you won't ever know the difference.

5. is it possible to give chinuch to a child who is in playgroup that much? how does it work when they are with their morah for so long and she is giving chinuch and then they come home to you and you do things differently?

We made sure to pick a playgroup/daycare that was a similar hashkafa. But I still find that most chinuch is at home. DS goes to shul with Tati now, he plays in groups during Shacharis, we teach brochas and talk about Hashem and the world on Shabbos walks. I really feel that most of both my childrens' personalities and middos are developed by what they see at home.

Hug Remember, you are and always will be the mommy! No one can ever replace you in their hearts, and they will always look to you for guidance and support (at least until they hit the teen years, then all bets are off Laughing )
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precious









  
Post Posted: Tue, Jun 12 2012, 9:09 pm       Post subject: re: Need the thoughts of working mothers of infants/toddlers
It's important that when you will be home with them Fri-Sun, if you want to really enjoy them, you somehow focus on and spend time with them without worrying/trying to accomplish everything you need to do (housework, schoolwork, etc.) If you can get cleaning help or do as much as you can when they're sleeping, or even leave them in daycare just a little longer, it would help you to relax with them.
Good luck!!
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chocolate moose









  
Post Posted: Tue, Jun 12 2012, 9:12 pm       Post subject: re: Need the thoughts of working mothers of infants/toddlers
I needed adult companionship so it wasn't a big deal for me. On the other hand, I just worked mornings for a while and even when I did work full time, it was just until 4 without a commute.

You do what you can. Don't beat yourself up aboaut it.
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Peanut2









  
Post Posted: Tue, Jun 12 2012, 9:36 pm       Post subject: Re: re: Need the thoughts of working mothers of infants/todd
Mrs Bissli wrote:

I feel there’s a great variance in quality of care, may it be nursery setting or with a babysitter/nanny. Like many things in life, quality matters.


ITA.

I don't work full time by any stretch of the imagination. But finding a babysitter who loves my baby and is smart and responsible and interacts with my child the way I'd like her to made a huge difference to me. I initially had a frum Jewish babysitter and I wasn't totally happy with her from the beginning. Then I saw that my baby cried when she saw this woman. I found an amazing non-Jewish sitter afterwards. Less experienced, it was an in-between thing for her, young, and she was amazing with my kid.

Find someone good - or a good playground/daycare - and it makes it so much easier to leave. My baby would run to her sitter when she came in. And even if she cried or fussed when I was about to leave, I knew she would get over it in moments once I was gone. Now my sitter is off to go to grad school and I need to find someone new.
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chocolate chips









  
Post Posted: Tue, Jun 12 2012, 9:44 pm       Post subject: re: Need the thoughts of working mothers of infants/toddlers
I don't think that at such a young age, leaving them will ruin your connection.
I stayed home the majority of ds first year. I just started work again and he is actually LOVING the babysitter.
I am only working part time (5hrs a day) but he ends up at the babysitter for about 6. I hate it when I leave him, I miss him the entire time but I LOVE how excited he gets when he sees me at the end of the day. There is nothing like those cuddles.

Your babies will probably enjoy being around other kids, playing with different toys and they will behave much better than they do at home (ds actually ate a full supper at the babysitter, consisting of food he will not touch at home!)

Remember they will see you in the morning, some nights, over shabbos, there is still plenty time to give them the chinuch you want. Its like sending them to school, you also end up not giving their entire chinuch yourself.

I do fear all the time that I will miss milestones such as walking alone, teeth etc but that is life. I need the money, I need to get out, I will see him later. It won't affect the rest of his emotional life because you were not there to see him take his first steps.

One more thing that I think I added but I want to write again, you were with them for the last year all day every day, they won't forget you that quick. They might cry when you leave them but kids do and they forget quickly too. It is actually healthy for some kids to be out of the house a bit. It can help their behavior at home, their mental and physical growth and various other things.

don't think about it so much now, enjoy the time you have with them.
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MaBelleVie









  
Post Posted: Tue, Jun 12 2012, 9:47 pm       Post subject: Re: re: Need the thoughts of working mothers of infants/todd
Peanut2 wrote:
Mrs Bissli wrote:

I feel there’s a great variance in quality of care, may it be nursery setting or with a babysitter/nanny. Like many things in life, quality matters.


ITA.

I don't work full time by any stretch of the imagination. But finding a babysitter who loves my baby and is smart and responsible and interacts with my child the way I'd like her to made a huge difference to me. I initially had a frum Jewish babysitter and I wasn't totally happy with her from the beginning. Then I saw that my baby cried when she saw this woman. I found an amazing non-Jewish sitter afterwards. Less experienced, it was an in-between thing for her, young, and she was amazing with my kid.

Find someone good - or a good playground/daycare - and it makes it so much easier to leave. My baby would run to her sitter when she came in. And even if she cried or fussed when I was about to leave, I knew she would get over it in moments once I was gone. Now my sitter is off to go to grad school and I need to find someone new.


I agree as well. I have been in a situation where I had to leave my child with someone I wasn't thrilled with, and that was stressful. My permanent nanny is so good it takes away 99% of the stress and it's actually a very good arrangement for all of us. She does things with the kids I don't really have the patience for. And she is totally focused on them because that is her only responsibility, whereas I often have other things on my mind when we're home- laundry, cooking, cleaning up, shopping, etc.
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ellie23









  
Post Posted: Wed, Jun 13 2012, 8:26 am       Post subject: re: Need the thoughts of working mothers of infants/toddlers
thank you all for your responses. I feel better about next year. this is something I really must do and I find very often women (expecially the I must do everything perfectly type like myself) get down on themselves for not havign everything run smoothly. I have trouble doing it now and I am a SAHM! there is no question that I will rehire my cleaning help next year (stopped it for a while to save money)...it will be hard for me to have to take it a bit easier on myself...go to the gym less, accept a house that isnt spotless all the time, cook less fancy dinners and shabbasim...but these things will have to give.....I will try to get what I need to get done while the kids are away so that when they are around I can focus on them...

you guys gave me some good ideas! thanks!
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