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When were you ready to part with your child for day care and work?


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#1 gigihopeful2016

Posted 20 August 2018 - 10:02 PM

Hi, I am struggling to put a timeline on when I will be ready to place DS in childcare and return to work. DS is 4.5 months and the thought of not being with him for 8 hours of the day, multiple days per week makes me start hyperventilating. I may have a work opportunity that is a slight promotion on my current job but where I would likely have to return to work when DS is 9-10 months old. The increase in pay isn't huge but over time, adds up. How old was your child when you felt ready to part with them to return to work?

#2 Lou-bags

Posted 20 August 2018 - 10:11 PM

Both of my DSs started at 9ish months. I felt ready then. DS1 would have started a little earlier if he’d taken a bottle then!! I waited until he was eating more solids, but in the end he took a bottle at daycare anyway.

Both went 2 days a week to begin with, increasing to 3 (and occasionally 4 for DS2). I was studying until June this year so we couldn’t afford more than 2-3 days.

Things change very quickly with a baby, take it one week at a time. I’d start looking for a centre now, get a good feel for them, and put your baby on the waiting list. Then just reassess as time passes.

Many babies start around that age (our childcare say that 9mo is the most common starting age for their baby room though they take them from 8 weeks but they are rarely under 6mo) and IME it’s an ideal age for many reasons. Both my babies settled in quite quickly.

#3 22Fruitmincepies

Posted 20 August 2018 - 10:15 PM

DD started at 8mo, and I didn’t feel at all ready (a place came up at an excellent daycare, so we took it). It quickly became obvious that it was actually a really good thing for both of us. Like Lou-bags she started 2 days a week. She’s thrived there, even as a baby she liked the social aspect.

#4 seayork2002

Posted 20 August 2018 - 10:22 PM

12 months (well when he actually went, before that maybe from 6 months or so)

#5 tenar

Posted 20 August 2018 - 10:36 PM

DD1 started kindy aged 3.  I started doing casual work when she was 4 and DD2 was 2.  We got a nanny to care for them when DH couldn’t, which took basically all my income to pay for.

But I was making a planned career change into a career where I knew I would be in demand.  So I was able to be out of the workforce for years, knowing I could get back into it.  The decision is different for each family.  Trust your common sense and instincts about what is right for yours.

#6 KnightsofNi

Posted 20 August 2018 - 10:56 PM

8 months or so.

#7 babybug15

Posted 20 August 2018 - 11:06 PM

DS started at around 9 months, which was more to do with it being the start of the year so that's when a place became available.

He was a pretty extroverted baby who wasn't particularly clingy (at that stage!) so I felt ok about it and the centre is great. He only goes 3 days and we've gone through phases where he's been better and worse around drop off, but by and large he has enjoyed going. If he was clingy and miserable all the time I'd have reassessed.

Admittedly it was nice to go back to work and use my brain in different ways and talk to adults about non-baby things :rofl:

But really, it depends on you and your child. What works for one family won't work for all. 10 months is still a little way off and they change so much in such a short amount of time, you might find as it gets closer you're more comfortable with it. Can you change your mind on the promotion closer to the date?

#8 Kabu84

Posted 20 August 2018 - 11:18 PM

DD1 was a sensitive, Mummy and boob-obsessed baby and even when she went to daycare 2 days a week at 12 months we both struggled with the long days and separation. DD2 is a different baby and although I have taken 18 months maternity leave this time I feel she would actually tolerate daycare pretty well even now (she is 8 months) and I wouldn’t mind a break from her busy-ness!

#9 Hollycoddle

Posted 20 August 2018 - 11:20 PM

No choice due to financial reasons with DS1, he was about 6 weeks but it wasn't childcare, it was a mix of my partner and my mother as I was doing shift work. With DS2 it was 6 months, he was born in June so this was the best time frame as he went on the list to start daycare at the beginning of the next year, the easiest time to get them in.

I had no qualms whatsoever about going back to work, I needed it for my sanity.

#10 lizzzard

Posted 20 August 2018 - 11:23 PM

View PostMands09, on 20 August 2018 - 10:50 PM, said:

With DS1 I was ready to go back to work at 5 months. He was a reflux screamer and I wanted to throw him against the wall.


:laugh: :laugh: I soooo relate to this...

I went back full time after 6 months with both (DS2 was the screamer!)

#11 Daffy2016

Posted 20 August 2018 - 11:33 PM

DD started one day a week at around 5 months. I went back to work full time and DH was (is) the sahp, but a place came up at a centre we loved so we took it. Just as well, as I’m about to go part time and DH full time, and we would have had real trouble finding a place!

DD loves daycare. She was one of the youngest so got lots of attention and cuddles. DH had a good cry the first time he dropped her off but it’s been so good for her (and for him to have a break too).

#12 Ellie bean

Posted 20 August 2018 - 11:42 PM

View PostMands09, on 20 August 2018 - 11:34 PM, said:



I feel horribke saying this but it makes me feel better it's not just me :laugh:
I think it’s actually really good to hear mothers being honest. Mine were screamers and I had a different reaction- more anxiety and just almost too much empathy for my child iykwim, it was immensely painful for me to hear them in pain- but I can easily see how there could be a different response to the same situation. Like you I had to get out and get back to work around 6 months each time- DH was home most of the time but if not I would have had to do daycare I think or I would have cracked completely

#13 Hands Up

Posted 21 August 2018 - 07:59 AM

DS1 was 8.5 months and DS2 was 10.5 months. Both times I was ready to go back. Both were formula fed at least hat point so no feeding stresses and while I worried about them, they settled in easily.

#14 MerryMadrigalMadge

Posted 21 August 2018 - 08:15 AM

I didn't end up going back to work until DD was 15 mths, but a spot opened at the daycare centre we really wanted, so I started sending her for one day a week at 8 months. Within a few weeks, I realised how much I needed that break.

I generally sent her for about 5-7 hrs and it was the best thing I could have done for myself.

#15 ButterflyNow

Posted 21 August 2018 - 08:17 AM

My DS went from 12 months. But honestly, I wish I had sent him from about 8 months - it was from that point I was really struggling at home.

#16 EmmDasher

Posted 21 August 2018 - 08:40 AM

9 months was too long with my first.

7 months was pretty much perfect with my second.

‘Ready to part with them’ is pretty dramatic. My reality was more.... if you want daycare, we hand out places in January. Accept it or wait til next January.

#17 Bird1

Posted 21 August 2018 - 08:46 AM

My eldest started Kindy at 4. I had tried a couple of centres before that but was never happy. Yes it did mean changing our life around but I feel it was the right choice for us

#18 gigihopeful2016

Posted 21 August 2018 - 09:10 AM

View PostEmmDasher, on 21 August 2018 - 08:40 AM, said:

9 months was too long with my first.

7 months was pretty much perfect with my second.

‘Ready to part with them’ is pretty dramatic. My reality was more.... if you want daycare, we hand out places in January. Accept it or wait til next January.


#19 needs to get out

Posted 21 August 2018 - 09:10 AM

DS1 I went back to work when he was about 11 months, so at 10 1/2 months he went to daycare. He did daycare 3 days a week and was with my parents 1 day, so I was only working 4 days but they were long days.

It was very hard to leave him, and I was a bit the same, couldn't imagine sending him at all. Once he started I wished I had sent him one day a week for a few months to ease him in, as having that break from me probably did us both the world of good!

DS2 was a very high maintenance baby, spent months ferrying him back and forth to doctors etc, so I didn't go back until he was about 13 1/2 months, although he did 1 day a week daycare from when he was 12 months old, mainly to get him used to it.

DS3 I went back to work when he was 16 months old. I would happily not have gone but sadly we needed the money. DP actually stayed home with him, although he did one day of week at daycare from 15 months, and then two days this year.

Personally I need work, it is what keeps me sane, even though I haven't wanted to return for various reasons I think the children are much better off with a balance of home and daycare, and daycare has often got them to eat better food etc than I have had any hope of getting into them.

Plus daycare do all those horrendously messy things like sandpits and painting and glitter. DS3 loves paint, I do not love cleaning.

#20 Moukmouk

Posted 21 August 2018 - 09:12 AM

View PostEmmDasher, on 21 August 2018 - 08:40 AM, said:

9 months was too long with my first.

7 months was pretty much perfect with my second.

‘Ready to part with them’ is pretty dramatic. My reality was more.... if you want daycare, we hand out places in January. Accept it or wait til next January.

This. The language that can be used about daycare/going back to work can be very negative. "I can't bear to part with them". "how can I possibly leave my baby".. etc etc. If you want/need to go back to work then you need some form of childcare. If you don't, then you don't - until preschool. Mine both started daycare at 5 months old 3 days a week and I was perfectly happy with that. Actually with the second I could have happily gone back a bit earlier. The babies got fussed over a lot at our center, but DS ultimately did better in family day care.

#21 gigihopeful2016

Posted 21 August 2018 - 09:12 AM

‘Dramatic’ has a negative feel to it - I don’t feel I’m being dramatic to worry about being apart for 8 hrs a day, we don’t have children just to be apart from them (normally).

#22 gigihopeful2016

Posted 21 August 2018 - 09:17 AM

View PostMoukmouk, on 21 August 2018 - 09:12 AM, said:



This. The language that can be used about daycare/going back to work can be very negative. "I can't bear to part with them". "how can I possibly leave my baby".. etc etc. If you want/need to go back to work then you need some form of childcare. If you don't, then you don't - until preschool. Mine both started daycare at 5 months old 3 days a week and I was perfectly happy with that. Actually with the second I could have happily gone back a bit earlier. The babies got fussed over a lot at our center, but DS ultimately did better in family day care.

There is no negativity in my post. I’m asking a question to help with how I am feeling, I’m not having a go at other peoples feelings about day care. Please don’t judge my wording - just answer the question if you feel like helping, otherwise move on

#23 Ellie bean

Posted 21 August 2018 - 09:33 AM

View Postgigihopeful2016, on 21 August 2018 - 09:12 AM, said:

‘Dramatic’ has a negative feel to it - I don’t feel I’m being dramatic to worry about being apart for 8 hrs a day, we don’t have children just to be apart from them (normally).
It’s not dramatic to worry about leaving your child. Statements like “we don’t have children to be apart from them” are loaded with value judgments though. Who is the “we”? Parents? Or just mothers?

#24 SeaPrincess

Posted 21 August 2018 - 09:34 AM

I don’t think there’s a right or wrong answer to this. Some people go back because they love their job, or because they have to financially, or psychologically (I have one friend who desperately wanted to be a SAHM, but going back to work saved her sanity and her family) or for whatever reason. You do what you have to do.

OP, you need to weigh up the pros and cons of the job opportunity, not just right now, but the long-term implications. You also need to look at your care options and figure out what you want to use, and then make the decision with your head, not your heart.

Edited by SeaPrincess, 21 August 2018 - 09:39 AM.


#25 EmmDasher

Posted 21 August 2018 - 09:43 AM

View Postgigihopeful2016, on 21 August 2018 - 09:12 AM, said:

‘Dramatic’ has a negative feel to it - I don’t feel I’m being dramatic to worry about being apart for 8 hrs a day, we don’t have children just to be apart from them (normally).

It probably does have a negative feel to it. I think the language we use and how we talk about things is really powerful and influences our experiences greatly. It sounds like you think that having time apart will be very negative for you and your child. I clearly have a different worldview to you and do not make decisions in the same way.

Edited by EmmDasher, 21 August 2018 - 09:45 AM.





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