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


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#26 AllyK81

Posted 21 August 2018 - 09:50 AM

OP many Dads ‘feel ready’ to be parted shortly after baby is born. People have children for a variety of reasons. I certainly didn't have them to spend 24 hours a day with them! My Mum was a SAHM and I felt totally smothered my entire life and wished she would go to work.

With DS I took 6 months and DH took the next 6 months. I had PND and was miserable until the second I went back to work.DS started daycare at 9 months 1 day a week and built up to 3 by 12 months.

With DD I was back when she was 9 days old and DH was back full time. She started 3 days a week at 6 months old.

Both my kids were BF so it was not without its challenges logistically. But I am a happier, more engaged mother who feels present with her children when I have work in my life.

For every parent it is different.

DH and I both work 4 days now. He has 1 whole day off and I work 4 days over 5. We have great balance.

#27 seayork2002

Posted 21 August 2018 - 09:53 AM

View PostEmmDasher, on 21 August 2018 - 09:43 AM, said:

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.

I was in a furtunate position where I did not HAVE to work (yes I am well aware not everyone has this) BUT part of the reason I put DS in child care was for him as much as me.

IMO only I just did not feel the need to be with him 24/7 or him with me.

Same as he had sleepovers at my ILs

#28 RichardParker

Posted 21 August 2018 - 09:54 AM

At 4.5 months, I wanted to stay home forever and home school DS.  They're so cute and perfect at that age.  Once he started moving around, breaking things, making a huge mess with solids, not sleeping so much during the day, work felt like a much more attractive option.

I went back when he was 8.5 months, but he was with a FT nanny.  It took almost all of my income, but it was the only viable option at the time.  I think I'll always feel a bit conflicted though - DS is 5 now, and some days I feel terrible leaving him.  DS2, however, I'm glad to leave.

#29 EmmDasher

Posted 21 August 2018 - 10:04 AM

View PostSeaPrincess, on 21 August 2018 - 09:34 AM, said:



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.

I think this says it really well.

#30 RochelleRochelle

Posted 21 August 2018 - 10:21 AM

My first started daycare at 5.5 months. On reflection it was a little early - she wouldn’t take a bottle and got some bouts of gastro early on, so I thought with my second I’d leave it a bit longer. I’m currently counting down the days until DS starts childcare at 11 months. I can’t wait to go back to work and this time at home has been too long for me. I think 8-9 months would probably have been the best timing with both.

Edited by RochelleRochelle, 21 August 2018 - 10:24 AM.


#31 CrankyM

Posted 21 August 2018 - 10:31 AM

My first started at 12 months. I was sooooooooo ready to go back before that.

My 2nd, I was ready at 9 months but then got made redundant and was stuck at home with kids until I got a job when the littlest was 2.

I am not SAHM material. It really destroyed my mental health and we ended up putting the kids in daycare when the youngest was 16 months, while I went back to study.

There is nothing wrong with daycare, whether your use it for a break from your kids or because you go back to work. There is nothing wrong with staying home either. But the language around it needs to change because whether you realise it or not there is judgment involved.

As for dad's if we had ever had another he would have stayed home and I would have gone back to work after the first 6 months (my work gives 6 months paid maternity leave). He's done stints of being the stay at home parent. Yet the expectation is that the dad goes back to work and the mum deals with all the care stuff.

#32 Camomile_T

Posted 21 August 2018 - 11:02 AM

I went back to work 3 days a week when DS was 8 months. I wasn't on maternity leave per se, but returning to a workplace for a role that was created for me - and they needed me then (so no real opportunity for negotiation).

I would give you a different answer every single day before and since as to whether or not we were ready.

I thoroughly enjoyed going back to work, using my "work brain" again and being able to have a hot cup of tea/lunch/a toilet break without thinking twice. But I also look back and DS couldn't actually sit up unaided yet and was still being breastfed (I expressed at work for a few months). He's now 2.5 years and it doesn't appear to have a affected him to any great degree, but I will always wonder.

And as others have said above, DH went back to work after two weeks "paternity leave" (he was still attending meetings and working on and off from home) and then two weeks of summer holidays straight after (DS was a December baby) with no qualms.

And now with #2, I've booked in 12 months mat leave but am toying with the possibility of going back to study, which would potentially mean some kind of care from about 5 months. And again, I'm wrestling.

I think so much of it depends on your personality, your bub's personality, the care that you're getting, your life set up in general and what kind of a day you're having.

ETA days of work

Edited by Camomile_T, 21 August 2018 - 03:05 PM.


#33 Apageintime

Posted 21 August 2018 - 01:37 PM

I went back to work when my son was 6 months. 4 days a week. My husband worked part time so we only needed 2 days care. Probably about right for us. Idk I couldn't really think about it, thats when the money ran out so thats what we did

#34 gigihopeful2016

Posted 21 August 2018 - 11:46 PM

View PostEllie bean, on 21 August 2018 - 09:33 AM, said:


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?

When I say We I’m thinking of anyone who is a parent
We have children to love and enjoy our life with - putting them in childcare is a necessity for some of us - it’s not the reason we have children

#35 gigihopeful2016

Posted 21 August 2018 - 11:50 PM

View Postseayork2002, on 21 August 2018 - 09:53 AM, said:



I was in a furtunate position where I did not HAVE to work (yes I am well aware not everyone has this) BUT part of the reason I put DS in child care was for him as much as me.

IMO only I just did not feel the need to be with him 24/7 or him with me.

Same as he had sleepovers at my ILs

Thanks seayork2002 - you make an excellent point re: socialising. I’ll remind myself about the socialising benefits for DS and I may feel less sad about being away from him. I’ve promised myself I will do my best to not act sad in front of him and talk about how fun it will be for him.

#36 22Fruitmincepies

Posted 21 August 2018 - 11:59 PM

I had always said “why have children to just go and pay someone else to look after them?”

Me, that’s who. I humbly ate my words. Me, I pay someone else to look after my children. And not because I had to go back to work for economic need or due to a burning desire to work, but because my DD wore me out so completely that I needed a break. About 3.5 years of daycare later, she still needs more than I can give her (socialising, craft and messy play are the big things). Thank goodness next year she will be in full time school!

#37 Ellie bean

Posted 22 August 2018 - 12:14 AM

View Postgigihopeful2016, on 21 August 2018 - 11:46 PM, said:



When I say We I’m thinking of anyone who is a parent
We have children to love and enjoy our life with - putting them in childcare is a necessity for some of us - it’s not the reason we have children
Fair enough. I just think the way we phrase thi gs is important. I hope everything works out well whatever you decide.

#38 Lou-bags

Posted 22 August 2018 - 12:18 AM

View Postgigihopeful2016, on 21 August 2018 - 11:46 PM, said:



When I say We I’m thinking of anyone who is a parent
We have children to love and enjoy our life with - putting them in childcare is a necessity for some of us - it’s not the reason we have children

Childcare is not a necessity for us, it’s a choice we’ve made. They love it, and we appreciate the opportunity that having a safe loving place to leave our children to be cared for gives to our family.

I’m sorry you have such a negative view of childcare, and I hope that you’ll be able to have the positive experience that our family has had.

#39 gigihopeful2016

Posted 22 August 2018 - 01:35 AM

View PostLou-bags, on 22 August 2018 - 12:18 AM, said:



Childcare is not a necessity for us, it’s a choice we’ve made. They love it, and we appreciate the opportunity that having a safe loving place to leave our children to be cared for gives to our family.

I’m sorry you have such a negative view of childcare, and I hope that you’ll be able to have the positive experience that our family has had.

Thank you for your response
I don’t have a negative view at all about child care - I didn’t say that I don’t like child care.
I have already found a lovely centre for him that doesn’t have a wait list. I was just wondering at what age did other people feel ready to leave baby to go to work/volunteer and therefore need childcare/family daycare/grandparents care etc etc... any situation where you are apart for a good chunk of the day.

#40 alchetta

Posted 22 August 2018 - 02:12 AM

I am definitely different from a lot of posters in this thread. I was supposed to go back to work when DD was ten months but I got really panicky about it, she'd never taken a bottle and we'd just moved house after being overseas for 5 months.
She's now 16 months and I go back next week. Week 3 of child care and she's at home with me sick with HFMD which required a trip to emergency over the weekend. In many ways I actually don't want her in childcare, drop offs have been harder than labour, despite my best efforts on the first day I just bawled and bawled and barely got out of bed all day. Call me a drama queen but I always wanted to be a SAHM and a huge part of me is still feeling that this is not my choice - I am going back 3 days for financial reasons.
HOWEVER once she's actually at child care and I can take some time to myself, I feel ok. I feel guilty because I've been getting into the work headspace and then struggling to switch that off to be fully present for her after childcare and on days off and that's only from starting to attend meetings and read emails!
On the whole I'm still really torn but it's very early days. It's been unbelievably hard for me. If my DH had an income that covered our expenses I'd stay home indefinitely as I get stimulation from volunteer stuff that I can do with her at home.
I don't have much advice, you can go for the job and always request a parental leave extension or unpaid leave and face the decision later as to whether you would prefer to take or pass up the offer.

#41 Evra

Posted 22 August 2018 - 06:04 AM

It’s a tough one. I went back when DD was 11 months and didn’t feel ready at all. But I also felt like if I didn’t go back then I’d never go back, which would have been a problem financially and I never planned to be a sahm forever.
The drop offs and constant illness were the worst. What helped was having a good centre close to work so I could spend the commute time with her and breastfeed on my lunch break (wouldn’t take bottle). It’s not for everyone but it worked for us.
Remember you’re entitled to request flexible working arrangements too.

#42 3babygirls

Posted 22 August 2018 - 06:49 AM

I went back to work a few weeks after DD was born. However it wasn't my regular job it was a more casual music gig for a few days. DH was great for the 3 days.

Over the first 6 months I worked a few odd days here and there and relied on hubby and parents.

Started working more from when she was a year. Reluctantly put her into 1 day a week daycare from 15 months. I only did so because a spot came up and it's ridiculously hard to get into and it's literally outside hubbys work.

Wow, I sing a different tune now. She goes 2 days a week and loves it. I love all the staff, she loves it and talks non stop about her carers (she's just tunred 2). I still wouldn't put her into care fulltime as my personal view is that family are the best carers. So she's with my parents or hubby the other 3 days.

#43 nom_de_plume

Posted 22 August 2018 - 07:17 AM

I went back as soon as PPL ran out, so about 4.5 months old. DD was looked after by her grandparents or father while I worked. We didn’t get offered a childcare place until she was about 14 months old, by which stage we had a routine sorted so we didn’t bother until it was time for 3/4yo kinder.
I was happy to go back to work and everything has turned out fine. It’s been good for my career too as I’ve had two promotions in the last few years. I also have the opportunity to ask for more flexibility, work from home or part time hours for when school starts next year.

#44 ECsMum

Posted 22 August 2018 - 07:30 AM

Yeah it had nothing to do with when was I ready to part with DD.    It was a financial decision and there was no consideration of what I 'wanted' to do.

#45 Babetty

Posted 22 August 2018 - 09:10 AM

The language we use can affect how we think about things. So no, I didn't have children to put them into care, but nor did I have children to spend all day every day with them. My husband and I had children to enjoy a well rounded family life, and for us, that includes both of us working in various combinations.

My first child loved stimulation and by the time he was 4 - 5 months old, I was struggling with missing work and giving him the input he needed. He started 2 days a week childcare at 6 months (and 1 day with grandparents) while I returned 3 days a week. That was perfect for us - I had far more energy and enthusiasm for spending time with him the remaining 5 days a week once I was working again!

#46 Beanette

Posted 22 August 2018 - 09:59 AM

I went back to work when DS was 8 months old, started with 2 days and then increased to 3 days when he was 12 months. He has settled in perfectly, loves daycare and eats and sleeps really well there.

They do so many fun (and messy!) things that I wouldn't want to do at home, like painting and music lessons.

It has been fantastic for both of us.

#47 Moukmouk

Posted 22 August 2018 - 10:24 AM

View Postgigihopeful2016, on 21 August 2018 - 11:46 PM, said:



When I say We I’m thinking of anyone who is a parent
We have children to love and enjoy our life with - putting them in childcare is a necessity for some of us - it’s not the reason we have children
It’s not the reason YOU had children. Lots of people have children for lots of different reasons. Some people didn’t mean to have children but oops...
Some people had children but the reality was very different to the dream. You are still in that lovely baby stage, and obviously enjoying it, which is wonderful. Some people find the thought of daycare harder than others. Everyone is different. Personally I didn’t have children to give up my career to spend every moment of every day with them. And in my case having family look after them would have been a deat set disaster. So day care it was, and they thrived.

#48 Lou-bags

Posted 22 August 2018 - 11:29 AM

View Postgigihopeful2016, on 22 August 2018 - 01:35 AM, said:



Thank you for your response
I don’t have a negative view at all about child care - I didn’t say that I don’t like child care.


Sure, but the tone and wording of your posts tell a different story.

I’m betting you didn’t even have this thought process or discussion when your DH or partner returned to work. I bet there was no talk of when they were ready to be apart from their child for hours a day. Yet I’m sure you’d agree that your partner is still very able to enjoy and love your baby even while also working.

#49 Crombek

Posted 22 August 2018 - 12:02 PM

View Postgigihopeful2016, on 21 August 2018 - 11:46 PM, said:



When I say We I’m thinking of anyone who is a parent
We have children to love and enjoy our life with - putting them in childcare is a necessity for some of us - it’s not the reason we have children

Actually some of us keep the middle ones in daycare while on maternity leave with the third because we want to. And because we understand what drives some animals to eat their young.

#50 CrankyM

Posted 22 August 2018 - 12:05 PM

View Postgigihopeful2016, on 21 August 2018 - 11:46 PM, said:

When I say We I’m thinking of anyone who is a parent
We have children to love and enjoy our life with - putting them in childcare is a necessity for some of us - it’s not the reason we have children

I know you said you don't have a negative view of childcare but posts like this would say otherwise. There are lots and lots of positive things about childcare and it sure isn't "just" because parents work/study/volunteer. And comments like this are very loaded in subtle judgment. What about your partner and their role? How did they feel about going back to work? Have you even discussed that with them?

My kids are 8 and 9. They attend after school care and not because they have to. I could easily rework my work hours so they didn't have to but they love it as an opportunity to do activities and play with the other kids. I didn't have children because I wanted to be home and nurture them and all that. I didn't bring children into this world to hand over everything I am. I am more then a parent, and one day my kids will be old enough to fly the nest. I'm not going to sacrifice everything for them because I want them to grow up as independent functional adults who contribute to society. Yes I had children (well the oldest was a surprise blessing), but that doesn't everything in our family stopped. I fully expected to use daycare once I had children. I am very happy to have others care for my child because they are part of wider society and learn a lot from interacting with other people.

Also daycare was awesome. They did all those messy creative things that never worked in my house and always caused a disaster. They got my kids to eat things there is not way on the planet they would eat at home. They got them interacting with other children. They contribute to teaching acceptance of others. They encouraged my older child to learn how to communicate with others who didn't understand him like mum and dad. They got to play on awesome play equipment unlike anything I have access too. They got to do excursions to the library, have the local firebrigade come in and let them climb all over their trucks, use the water hose, they got to do the same with the police cars and authors/wildlife carers. They sure got a lot more out of it then just "care" and opportunities to do things as a group that I never would have had a chance to do.

And I got a chance to be an active participant in the career I chose. I got to put money into my superannuation. It afforded us money to do things I wouldn't otherwise have been able to do. It paid the damned therapy bills that roll in year in year out.

Maybe it isn't for everyone. But it is more for many. Also daycare got my non-sleeping child to actually sleep there and I could go home and nap so I wasn't totally incapacitated from sleep deprivation.

Edited by mayahlb, 22 August 2018 - 12:08 PM.





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