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Back to work after Maternity Leave and Struggling Immensely


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I feel in a desperate situation right now. I have been back to work for almost a month after being off on Maternity Leave for one year and already about to crack!


I'm really struggling with the demands of work and then coming home to face the demands of my child and I'm exhausted and feel like I'm going to snap!


The first couple of weeks were great. I had no trouble leaving my daughter, I felt refreshed to be back at work and most of all, I felt like I was on top of it all - no problem at all.


It's all caught up to me in the last two weeks and I'm experiencing headaches, extreme tension in my shoulders, dizziness and I find myself losing my temper ALOT! The pressure has increased at work (as I'm the only one who does what I do) and my child has been in and out of daycare for the last 2 weeks due to illness.


I can't seem to make the two work right now! My husband is helping but it's not helping me a whole lot.


How do women do it? Balance demanding careers and sick kids. Please tell me how?



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You poor thing. You need a hug, a cocktail, and a full day of pampering at a spa, for starters. ((HUGS))


I'm expecting a baby myself, and although I work from home, I'm already worried myself how I'm going to balance that with a child three feet away needing my constant attention.


Could you afford a nanny? That might be a bit more expensive than daycare, I know. But if your job brings in a significant portion of your family's income, and there's enough left over after your share of bills, etc. for one, it might be a better option than daycare while your child is still in the toddler stage where they seem to pick up so many bugs when around other children.

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Hi Chickie,


Wow, it sounds like you've really had a tough couple of weeks. You mentioned that your baby has been sick, I wonder how much of this is exhaustion from working and caring for a sick child, then just the going back to work part? Sounds like you were enjoying the space and adult company before your baby got sick.


It's definitely a challange to balance motherhood with a career, and if you are finding that it's a bit overwhelming for you, maybe you could arrange to work part time and cut back on your hours at work so you have a little time to yourself as well.


Is that financially a possibility for you?

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This is probably the last thing you want to hear... but I'll be honest - Im a single mum (4 yo son), working 5 hours per day - and I still struggle with all the demands of daily life....

There are days when I wonder how my house could have been spotless just 2 days ago - how on earth did I manage to fit it in then and not now?

It can be hard, dishes, washing, cooking, cleaning, all the while trying to actually spend some time with your child - not leaving them sitting in front of a TV just to get your chores done...


It's normal to struggle - it really is - I remind myself I'm doing the work of two people... I have put a chore chart in place, if I stick with it, it works....

Like doing one load of washing in the morning before anything else, hanging it out before I leave for work - it's dry by the time I get home etc.


Maybe that will help?? You'll still feel flat for a while though - I usually fall asleep on my son's bed while reading him a book at night!!! hehe

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Yeah, maybe there isn't really a "cure" for juggling motherhood and work, and it just takes time to get used to it, get your rhythym going, figure out where you can make adjustments, or at least take some shortcuts.


In that case, I guess I would advise (and I'll remind myself of this when the time comes!): Don't forget to laugh. Gotta keep our humor when life gets stressful, that's for sure.

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Yeah, maybe there isn't really a "cure" for juggling motherhood and work, and it just takes time to get used to it, get your rhythym going, figure out where you can make adjustments, or at least take some shortcuts.


In that case, I guess I would advise (and I'll remind myself of this when the time comes!): Don't forget to laugh. Gotta keep our humor when life gets stressful, that's for sure.


Spot on - it's just about getting used to it - I find I get by on autopilot - a week goes by and Saturday comes around and I think "I made it!" hehe,


I suppose the ikportant thing is - you have to make time to do things for yurself and for your relationship as a couple and as a family - the washing will still be there tomorrow - that much you can guarantee - hehe!

We schedule times for craft and just once a fortnight or there abouts I allow my little guy to stay up a little later on a Friday night and we have a PJ party, or we go get a chocolate Sundae or something and we go sit by the lagoon and feed the ducks... I even make myself take baths some nights, instead of showers, it seems like a struggle just to get the water run, but once the bubbles are in and the candles are lit and I'm in - I know it's worth the hassle... because it's 5 minutes for me...


Sometimes you just have to let the work go and do what you need to do to ensure you're relaxed and the time you are home with your family is peaceful and meaningful!

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This is a perfect example (in my opinion) of how much women are expected to do these days. Mothering is a FULL time 24/7 job. So when you add a full time job to a full time job...you get a mother who is literally ready to go insane. I'm a single mom and with child support and part time work, I manage to pay my bills while going to school. VERY HARD.


Luckily, my ex is very supportive of me and I of him. Whew. Still hard, tho.

Is there a way you can get extra help around the house? How about a housecleaner? Have you figured your actual income after child care, traveling expenses, lunches, etc? Sometimes women find that after all that, they are stuck with hardly any money ahead and a really really big headache!

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Thank you so much for all of your responses. It was a rough couple of weeks but things are getting better...although now that our daughter is well again, my husband and I are both sick!


It's been especially hard the past few weeks as I'm just back to work and trying to make a good impression on my new boss. It hasn't helped that I've been faced with unrealistic demands and doing everything in my power to meet them. This has meant skipping breaks, having a 10 min. lunch and working late to meet these crazy deadlines all while I have my daughters daycare calling every other day to tell me she's sick and can't return for 24 hrs. It's a great deal of pressure.


On top of all of this, there has been so many changes in the company I've gone back to that morale is terribly low and everyone seems to be walking on eggshells for fear of losing their jobs - including me! This negative air has me paranoid now that I'm working myself to the bone.


Anyway, I'm going day by day trying to find my rhythm. I'm getting there but every so often something breaks the momentum and then it's that much harder to get things back on track.

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Maybe it's not so much juggling motherhood and working then, as it is with juggling motherhood and a demanding boss & insecure job position. The latter would be stressful enough for me, I'd be looking for something else even if I didn't have a child.

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Chickie7, Hang in there. It's super tough those first few weeks, and maybe even the first months. But you will get a rhythm in your life eventually, and though it won' t be totally easy, it's very doable. I have 2 kids and I work fulltime. I went back to work after my 2nd baby, and felt like my heart was being torn from my body. I didn't trust the daycare, cried, had trouble pumping, and basically had a miserable first 2 weeks back at work. However, after time, I gained some perspective. She was happy, I got a better daycare situation that made all of us happy, and the income made our family life better. We don't fret as much about our finances as when I stayed home.


Staying home with your baby is great, too, but remember that there are advantages to going to work. You will maintain some equilibrium about being an adult AND a mother while at work, whereas when you are at home wiht baby, you sometimes "lose" yourself in the motherhood role, and forget about the fact that you are an adult woman, with thoughts and needs and feelings. So, work helps to keep that in check.


Good luck with all of that. It gets easier, I promise.

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