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How do you get going again after pregnancy?

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04/10/2007 at 10:05

Finally found some tiny shoes for Harry's wee feet. They both look very smart and seem to quite like them. Hurray! Hush Puppies for reference start very small unlike Clarks.

I always find it hard when they are crying, but I think now hubbie finds the crying worse as he doesn't spend all day with them he jumps at any cries. I think I have worked out what each cry means. Poor wee Joshie is going through that phase of hating people walking out of the room so we have tears everytime, he stops after a minute or so though. A woman has to go to the loo!

04/10/2007 at 10:23

Well, I survived the first day back at work - just.  All went OK until the journey home, which was a nightmare.  I'd left work in plenty of time to get home for about 6pm so I'd have a bit of time with Kit before his bath.  As it was the Tube played up and I finally walked in the door at 6:25, sobbing hysterically.  I then just couldn't calm down and spent the whole evening crying hysterically and telling hubby I didn't want to be a working mum.  Feel a little better this morning but had to hold back the tears as I left the house, even though Kit was smiling happily and my mum was with him.

Just have to get through it as unfortunately we can't really afford for me not to work.  It's only three days a week but I just feel I'm not being a proper mum and it just goes against every instinct and emotion I have.  I just hope Kit doesn't suffer for it.  He's such a happy little boy and I couldn't bear for him to be miserable and missing his mummy.  God, now I'm setting myself off again - really need to get a grip!

Although we used a routine with Kit from the beginning, it didn't involve not cuddling him or leaving him in the graden to cry.  He went through a phase of crying when put down in his cot and not being able to settle when he woke up, but we blamed ourselves for that as we never gave him the opportunity by always rushing in at the first whimper.  We had to use a little bit of controlled crying for a day or so - I did it during the day when he went down for naps as thought it would be less traumatic than at night.  It worked - I never let him cry for more than two minutes, but didn't pick him up unless he got really beside himself.  I just reassured him with my voice and stroking his head if necessary.  It was worth doing even though I hated it at the time as he now loves his cot and settles really well when he's put down for a nap or to bed.  Even if he wakes up he just amuses himself with his cuddly toys and makes cooing noises to himself.  Sometimes he doesn't even make any noise and we don't know he's awake until we peer round the door and see his eyes open!

04/10/2007 at 14:03

((minks)) - poor you!  but kit is fine! i understand how hard it is for you - i went back to work when jacob was 7 months old as well.  but actually i was so desperate to go back because i hated being at home, so i didn't suffer as you are.  but i was stupidly worried about him all the time because he was in nursery and i thought they wouldn't read his signals properly.  of course, he loves it there and has done right from the start.

i'm sure you will settle into being back at work, and will start enjoying it.  at kit's age, it's the easiest time for you to go back.  once they get bigger (around a year or more), they do become a bit more attached to you so if they aren't used to being with someone else regularly (and even if they are), they might play up a bit.  usually it doesn't last too long.

keep your chin up.  you will be fine, and kit will love spending time with you when you are around.  i find i have sooo much more enthusiasm for doing things with jacob when i'm on my days off from work now, because i have a break from him for 3 days.  it's the best of both worlds - and kit is still being very well cared for by your mum.

04/10/2007 at 14:56

Oh, Minks, sorry to see going back to work was so tough but don't worry, Kit will still be a happy little boy. I work four days a week but I'd love not to be a working mum. I still go through guilt trips sometimes about not being able to be a good mum on one hand and not being able to be a great worker on the other hand. It's a pretty difficult thing to juggle but it will get easier as you get into the swing of it and Kit will probably enjoy his mummy time and his granny time in different ways. And don't worry, there's no such thing as a proper mum, we're all just the best mums we can be.

Hope your journey home is better tonight and you have a better evening.

04/10/2007 at 15:12

totally agree, tabtri, about the guilt trips.  it's when jacob is poorly or is going through a grizzly / clingy phase that i feel bad about going to work. invariably though, he perks up as soon as he is dropped at nursery.  most evenings he doesn't want to come home, and we have screaming fits when we try to take him away from whatever he is playing with at the time (he is very attached to a pink trike at nursery, much to my husband's consternation!)

he now runs up to the nursery door in the morning and starts banging on it and bouncing up and down waiting for someone to open the door.  as soon as the door is opened, he runs off into the nursery and that's it - doesn't stop to say goodbye or anything.  it's quite amusing really - better than being clingy, i suppose, but it would be nice if he showed us some allegiance!

just been for a BUPA health assessment (mandatory as part of my job).  last time i had one was 3 years ago - so a year before i got pregnant.  was marathon training at the time and quite fit.  the exercise results do show that i'm less fit than i was, but even on the 20 miles a week or so i'm doing now, i still come out in the top 10% fitness for my age!  so i'm reasonably happy.  somehow my waist to height ratio has also gone down, which is a bit weird!

04/10/2007 at 16:44

Thanks DCM, I know (logically) that you're right but emotionally I'm finding it tough.  Still, it's early days and as you say, at least I know Kit is being well cared for by someone he knows very well.  I guess it would be easier if I hated being at home, but I've loved every minute of it and would far rather be at home than back at work.  I hope he doesn't get to the stage where he objects to being left as that would be really hard!

I'm not convinced I'll ever enjoy work again - never enjoyed it that much before! - but I suppose I'll settle into the routine of it eventually.  It's just another big change - just when you get used to one way of life, you have to get used to another ...

04/10/2007 at 16:50

Thanks also to Tabtri - had typed out my response to DCM earlier but forgot to post it, then didn't realise there had been another post from you in the interim!

I suppose there is no such thing as a 'proper' mum.  I was lucky in that my own mum stayed at home and was always there for my brother and I when we were small, and I just kind of wanted that for Kit.  But I guess he won't know any different and as long as he's happy and healthy then I can't ask for more than that.  It's more about me wanting to spend more time with him and missing him when I'm not with him.  Hubby says that eventually it will be good for me as it's easy to become a bit limited when you're at home all day with a little one, but it's hard to see that now.

DCM, that's good about your BUPA check.  I'm only running about 20 miles a week at the moment, and am now pondering the wisdom of sending off my FLM GFA form.  Long Sunday runs are yet more time away from Kit, but if I don't use my GFA place this year then the only option if I want to run FLM again is the ballot.  So hard to know what to do.  On the one hand, I want to do FLM again for me, but on the other Kit will only be a baby once and I have (in theory!) the rest of my life to run marathons.  The training is hard even if your heart is 100% in it - if it isn't, I suspect it's unlikely to happen ...

04/10/2007 at 21:03

I feel for you Minks, must be really hard and I am dreading it already.  Like the others said though I am sure it is harder on you than Kit! Oh to be in a position to be full time mum... it annoys me that this country is so useless at supporting families, a friend of mine is employed in Norway and either him or his wife can take ages off on close to full pay.  I think it would be lovely for Dad to be able to have leave to take when i go back to work.

Babies had their 2nd jabs today which were fine.  took my SIL to help with the cuddles after but they didnt cry for nearly as long this time then crashed out in thier buggy so I sat in the sun in the park with a mag for 2 hours..... bliss!  Got them weighed as well and both have jumped a centile line and put on way over 2lb in a month.  And to top it off both asleep by 8pm without a single tear or wail !!

04/10/2007 at 22:11

Minks, I am dreading it too so I really sympathise.   i do enjoy my job and I know I will be fine when I get there but I wish there was some scope for me to work part time.  I will just have to make the most of my weekends! 

We had baby clinic this morning - knew Louise had had a growth spurt but was still taken aback at a 12oz gain in one week!

Went to the gym tonight and did 7k.  It was a lot easier than last time and I feel that slowly but surely my fitness is returning.  thank goodness! 

We have 2nd jabs on Monday.  Last time Louise cried a bit but the main effect was for her to sleep most of Tuesday!

05/10/2007 at 09:39

Oh Minks you sound so distraught. Am sure Kit will be fine but I totally sympathise especially with your relliance on public transport too.

I can't add anymore other than to agree with you about being a full time Mum. Our main issue is the cost of childcare for two, we have no family nearby to help with childcare so all my wages would go on on looking after the twins. We could see no reason for me to go back to a job I hated just to pay the childminder! I am now doing some book keeping for hubbie's business during lunchtimes and on the one day they go to the childminder, and finishing my diploma so I can set up my own business.

My other issue was finding childcare that was suitable, my childminder can only offer me one day because they are twins, nightmare. The closest nursery to us is £5.50 an hour each, with no discount for the two of them, plus food costs on top, another £2 a day!

I hated leaving them the first day, and cos I'm working at home the house was so empty. I have got more used to it now and get lots done. I also try to go for a run with a friend so I get some me time. So maybe try to go running while at work to make use of your time away from him. I know lots of Mums who do this!!

I do hope it gets better for you.

05/10/2007 at 09:39
Hetty, when I was a child most mums stayed at home and didn't work - mortgages were sustainable on just one salary then.  Sadly that's no longer the case and most of us couldn't manage on just one salary so we have no option but to work.  I think I'm probably luckier than most as Kit is being looked after purely by family and we haven't had to put him into a nursery.  I don't think I could have done that at 7 months - maybe if he'd been a little older, but he's still so little.
05/10/2007 at 11:21
Minks - Well done on surviving the first week back. It gets easier and like you said you soon settle into a routine.Although as you said just when you get that settled it's time to move on to another routine.  I guess that's what we agree to when we become parents.  My baby turned one last Sunday, still can't quite believe it.  He starts nursery full time on Monday, my MIL has looked after him for the last 6 months while I've been back at work. 

I know I'm going to have to be like a soldier and be super organised or it'll all fall apart.  


MM - I know what you mean about childcare, I've just been given the bill for two kids in full time nursery.  I am lucky that I earn enough to cover it and still have a decent bit left over but I still debate at the merits of paying all that money to a nursery.  But also not sure how much value I would add to them being at home full time either  I am hoping for some brainwave so I can come up with some business idea which will allow me earn some money from the comfort of my home.


I took JK (my 3 year old) for an assessment day at a pre-prep school.  I have no idea what went on and if he will be accepted, but just found it terrifying and hilarious that my baby was being assessed.  He seemed to enjoy the whole thing and wanted to go and play there again today.  Aaarrgh, I’ve got to start thinking about school runs soon. 

05/10/2007 at 13:12

It is awful to think of the cost of these places. Sadly I am/was a PhD scientist working in a small company. Us scientists don't get paid very good salaries, but decent all the same, and even with a PhD and 8 years experience my salary would bring me home £100-200 per month on 3 days a week. I guess you do get childcare vouchers but even so.

We were dependent on my salary to pay the mortgage but we have cut out many expenditures and hubbies business is better this year than last, and we are just about getting by. No holidays for us for a few years! Guess it means I either go back to work just to keep my hand in not for the money, I do something else ( the option I have taken) or I stayed a full time Mum. After 11 months of being a full time Mum I am ready to do something else, but I also want lots of flexibility. I really envy those of you with family nearby. I have a great husband, but we do it all alone.

05/10/2007 at 14:21

MM, I wish hubby would see it that way - that it's worth making sacrifices for a couple of years so that I could stay at home with Kit.  I think though if it were just a matter of cutting our expenditure we would do that, but hubby and I have worked through the figures and we would be very, very skint without my salary.  Although I'm only an administrator I am fairly well-paid - and we are in the fortunate position of having my mum literally 2 minutes' walk away.  It was her suggestion when Kit was born that she would cut down to working two or three days per week so that she could look after Kit on two days and he wouldn't have to go to nursery.  We are paying her, as she's had to sacrifice some income to do this, but obviously nowhere near as much as a nursery would charge.  Had nursery been the only option, I think I would have rebelled and refused to go back to work!

I think your suggestion to run at lunchtimes is a good one, as I'm already struggling to get my run in when I get home from work in the evening.  The only downside is having to lug running kit to and from work, and the hassle of having to shower etc. after the run.  But it would mean two evenings a week would be freed up. 

05/10/2007 at 15:16

I would have been quite happy not to work and was fortunate that my Mum came and stayed with us for 7 weeks so I would work my full time contract.  Then the childminder was part-time.  James gives her big smiles although his 3rd day with her she said 'It's not as bad as it looks'  his face was covered in scratches where another child was apparently jealous and went for him.  thankfully as a teacher I know things do happen and I feel sorry for the other parent.  She won't like her little daughter having hurt him!

I think working does get easier - you just learn to accept each day - it's just life.

I asked my husband about what about if we had another child and childminding etc. and he said that I would just stay at home.  well if I could do then......  I think we need to really work on the mortgage, the way payments keep going up rather than down is demoralising.

Also I really make the most of my days with James and don't take him forgranted which I may personally have done if I was with him all the time.  My neighbour went back to night shifts at Sainsburys - I would seriously consider that as I can survive on little sleep and then I could have James all to myself during the days.  However hubbie says he wants to see me.... so not yet. 

05/10/2007 at 16:08
whilst I don't think I could be a full time mum indefinitely I would love the option of part time and then sending Louise to family the rest of the time.  As I said though, it's just not feasible neither from the money viewpoint nor the practicalities of my job.  Our mortgage fixed rate is ending and it's proving a nightmare trying to get something even approximating what we are paying now.  Looks like payments are going to go up by at least £150 a month and adding to that £500 of childcare - I used to get within about £70 of my overdraft every month as it was, how I'm going to manage with finding an extra £650 a month is beyond me.  We don't get much in the way of tax credits either.  Really though it's the mortgage that's a killer, if that wasn't so high already then maybe we could manage.  It's not like we live in the lap of luxury either - just a normal 3 bed semi on a housing estate!
05/10/2007 at 16:35

I don't know if such jobs still exist but 6 years ago I used to work weekends 4pm - 12pm at one of the investment banks in London.

It was a Secetarial/Admin type job doing PowerPoint/Excel/Word Type documents for the Analysts. They worked a 24 hour shift and there were plenty of options. 

 I was a student then but there were lots of Mums there who worked the night shift.  The pay was good and they had a taxi take you home at the end of the shift.

05/10/2007 at 16:52

That sounds quite interesting, Tonia - an option I would not even have known existed.

EF, know what you mean about the mortgage payments.  We did rather well on a tracker mortgage for a number of years and decided to risk another one the last time we renewed.  Turns out to have been a mistake, with constant Bank of England base rate hikes ever since.  We are now paying more than we would be had we opted for a fixed rate last time, but on the plus side if we work out how much we've paid over the entire term of the mortgage we're still probably quids in.  However, repayments are now at the highest they've been for us at the worst possible time as we now only have one full-time salary coming in.  And we only have a 2-bed terraced house on an estate!  We were thinking of ridding ourselves of our car loan and getting a cheaper car - but that's on hold for the moment since the recent collision as the car is still being assessed by the insurance company and last we heard it may be "borderline" for write-off ...

It never rains but pours ...

05/10/2007 at 22:27

It's a shocker isn't it Minks.  I earn double what hubby does so me being on leave really does kill us and is really why I have to go back to work. We're contemplating trackers just now cos I just keep thinking base rate cannot continue to rise surely and I don't want to find myself lumbered with a really high fixed rate.  I hate this sort of thing - it's just total gambling!

Mare re the car.  We bought a cheapo runaround which we plan to sell in the new year when I go back - it's just so Louise and I are not stranded during the week.  Hoping to get nearly as much as we paid for it! 

06/10/2007 at 11:11

We are in the same boat... my wage is more so i will definateley have to go back.  I work shifts so that will cut the amount of childcare we need as i can work every other weekend, do one overnight a week etc... only prob is we will never see each other!  I think my ideal would be if we could both go part time and then maybe would only need 1 or 2 days at nursery but not sure if it will be an option, I cannot work less than 30 hours and keep my management position due to government regs.

We got a tracker too... really worrying.  Was thinking of moving to a bigger house in a year or so (before we realised we would have 2 lots of childcare costs) but doesnt look like it will happen til at least the girls are at school...luckily can just fit 2 cots in the girls bedroom! 

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