I won’t sugar coat it: leaving my baby at home to go to work was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do. I don’t think any amount of Maternity Leave is ever enough. When the baby is first born, you look at the rest of your leave like a long stretch of road in front of you, but before you know it, you are counting the days till you have to leave that precious little thing at home in the care of someone else. There are quite a few ups and downs of being a working mom, but the same rules apply for stay-at-home moms – Keeping a healthy balance is extremely difficult, but exceptionally important for your well-being as a mom, whether you work full-time or stay at home full-time.
- The Mom-Guilt: You feel guilty for having to leave your baby with someone else, but also guilty that you feel you need the time away from them for just a little bit.
- The Replacement Fear: Your child might start to prefer the nanny or the secondary caretaker over you – this is really hard and makes the above point even worse and you start blaming your career for everything that goes wrong at home.
- Missing Out: you constantly regret the fact that you might be missing out on a lot of “firsts” for your baby – because you’re simply not at home when these occur.
- Sacred Time: You always feel rushed and in a hurry – you leave home in a rush so you can get to work and finish what you need to do in time to get back home and spend as much time with your kids as possible, which also means that you neglect some of your other errands.
- Pumping at work: in a lot of cases, our work environments aren’t really “breastfeeding friendly”, meaning that there isn’t really a space where we can comfortably pump breastmilk for our babies. There was a time I even had to go down to the basement and sit in my car where it was semi dark and pray that nobody needed to leave in the cars around me (thank goodness for my breastfeeding cover!)
- The amount of time you are away from your kids makes you miss them even more, and almost strengthens your relationship with them.
- You are able to have “adult” conversations with people outside of the house, other than just the baby talk
- Baby/toddler starting nursery is not as difficult of a transition because they’re already used to you not always being at home 24/7
- You feel fulfilled in a different way because you’re doing something for yourself and not just living for another little nugget every second of the day
I’m a very big believer that if the mom is happy, the baby is happy too. We don’t realise how much babies can pick up on, and if you are stressed out – there’s an extremely good chance that they will start acting out in some way or other. Even if you are staying at home with your baby all day, it’s really important that you take your own momma-time away from the baby every now and then. You have to trust that the baby will be ok without you for a few hours and that life will go on.
If you’re a fan of good music (come one, who isn’t?), check out my radio show on Light FM Lebanon called “Jammin’ with Mia” every weekday from 4 – 7pm 🙂
We want to hear from you! Tell us about your experiences leaving the baby for the first few times in the comments below.