To the working mom of an infant

Slaying motherhood and work all in one.
Slaying motherhood and work all in one.

Dear working mom of an infant...

You had done your research to prepare for returning to work and leaving your child behind. You might know the advice for transitioning to work after baby inside out, but you are still not ready to leave your child.

Yet you still find yourself sitting in your desk with guilt as you had left your little baby crying while you rushed off to catch the next bus to work. Guilt that you had failed your child the moment you decided to pursue your career instead of spending quality time together. 

Also see: Working mom receives encouraging words from 8-year-old daughter

How did you cope with the transition to work after having a baby?

Tell us and we could share your story. Anonymous contributions are welcome.

This is my story

I have been in your shoes. Guilt seemed to be my second companion. Guilt that I am not doing enough for my son. And the hard truth is that for me working was my only option to secure a better future for my child and for me to maintain a balance, because being a stay-at-home parent had a financial, social and mental strain not only on me but also on my partner and family.

It seemed better for me to work and come back to my little boy with a better attitude than for him to stay with me all day while I'm tired and worn out from all the housework.

Don't get me wrong, I love being around my son, but the endless housework just made it hard to find a sense of accomplishment at the end of the day. More so, I had to start building my career and provide for my son. 

Even though I had wanted to get a job, leaving my child in the care of a babysitter was emotionally challenging. I had just finished my degree in Media and Writing when I found out I was pregnant. I had studied full time to finish my degree. The drastic change can lead to bad feelings, and it made me feel very lonely and overly tired of being at home full time.

I was very fortunate to receive a job offer from one of the biggest media companies in South Africa almost three months postpartum. I stayed at home for 12 weeks before I was able to start working. 

Also see: "I might be a bad mom, but I have a sweet, smart, well-mannered child"

Perfect timing

Luckily for me, the offer came at a time when I was more 'comfortable' to leave my precious baby in the care of a loving babysitter.

At two months, I started introducing him into a routine that would make it easy for both of us to transition should I get a job offer. I left him with the babysitter for a few hours while I went for interviews, and in this way she could get to understand him before I left him with her.

I am fortunate enough to be in a working environment that understands parenthood and allows me to be pretty flexible. I love my job and feel that I am a much better mother now that I am working.

I have the freedom of going to work and doing what I enjoy and be paid for it, knowing that my child is in the care of an experienced and loving babysitter while I am doing all I can to make sure that he lives a comfortable life.

So mom, it is okay to share your load with other people.

Also see: To the working moms out there - we really can have it all

You're doing the best you can

It's normal to feel like you are missing out on the important milestones and the fear that your child will grow up thinking the nanny is his/her mother. The few hours you spend together while your child is awake are worth it.

I believe that it is not the quantity of time spent with your child that matters but the quality. It is really amazing what bath time and readings and conversations can do for you and your child's relationship. A routine including good quality time with your child is a great way to bond.

So mom, don't listen to other people who will try to make you feel bad about your decision to start working early. Other people aren't you and people will not always understand why people do what they do. Being a stay-at-home parent doesn't work for everyone. So, it is best to do what works for you and your family.

My son is a fantastic and bubbly little boy and we have such a great time together. I wouldn't trade anything for him. He is my everything — my joy.

Chat back:

How did you cope with the transition to work after having a baby?

Tell us and we could share your story. Anonymous contributions are welcome.

Sign up for Parent24's newsletters.

Read more:

    We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
    In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
    Subscribe to News24
    Voting Booth
    Zama zama crackdown: What are your thoughts on West Village residents taking the law into their own hands?
    Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
    Authorities should bring in the army already
    11% - 1380 votes
    Illegal miners can't be scapegoated for all crime
    50% - 6475 votes
    What else did we expect without no proper policing
    36% - 4756 votes
    Vigilante groups are also part of the problem
    4% - 460 votes
    Rand - Dollar
    Rand - Pound
    Rand - Euro
    Rand - Aus dollar
    Rand - Yen
    Brent Crude
    Top 40
    All Share
    Resource 10
    Industrial 25
    Financial 15
    All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
    Editorial feedback and complaints

    Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.