Nursery Visit 1: A Lump in my Throat

Now that my Maternity Pay has come to an end, I am faced with the horrid realisation that I need to return to work.  Since the day Jack was born, I have dreaded this moment.  Who wants to leave their baby in the care of somebody else?

For me, a 9-month old is far too young to be placed into any care. Now I know that some people have to return straight back to work and that everyone finds it tough leaving their children behind in childcare, sometimes with a stranger.

Financially, for us it is the right thing to do and having recently had my ‘work from home’ request denied by my employer on the grounds that it would be ‘too difficult’ to oversee, we find ourselves looking at Nurseries for Jack.  Funny how my Manager, a week into my Maternity Leave was constantly messaging me about doing ‘Keep In Touch’ days and coming up with plenty of ideas for work that I could do from home.

MY Life

So yesterday, we visited our first Nursery and the moment I walked into where the other babies were, I had a lump in my throat.  The thought of leaving Jack there made me feel physically sick.  I actually couldnt speak for a moment whilst I fought back the tears.  The Nursery was absolutely lovely and the staff very nice but he is MY son and it is my job to care for him, nobody else’s.  What got me straight away was that the 3 babies and their carers were at different corners of the room.  One carer was cradling a baby to sleep, one changing a nappy and the other playing on the mat.  My immediate thought was that ‘their mum should be here doing that’.

Don’t get me wrong, I am judging no-one but its just a personal anxiety of mine at the moment about leaving Jack behind.  Also, the idea of someone else being so close to him and kind of his ‘stand-by mum’ whilst I am at work just feels so wrong.  Perhaps I would find it easier if someone I knew could care for him whilst I went back to work, the trouble is, we don’t have anyone available.

The reason for this post is a cry for support really, stupid I know but how the hell did all you mums cope?  I don’t think I can face it.

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14 thoughts on “Nursery Visit 1: A Lump in my Throat

  1. It’s a really hard and important decision. Some people are lucky enough not to have to go back to work until their children are older. But if you need to, please don’t beat yourself up about it. A year ago we were in the same position, looking around nurseries with our little baby.
    Like you we felt that although there was nothing ‘bad’ about them we couldn’t bear to leave our baby in an environment where he was one of many. I don’t actually think it harms babies. In human history babies were cared for by the community; a broad group of extended family, neighbours and friends. Some people think it is easier for them to get used to other carers at nine months than later.
    However, in the end we opted for a childminder. We were lucky to find someone nearby who we liked and trusted and more importantly who Little B took to. A childminder seemed to us like more personal care than a nursery but cheaper than a nanny.
    They are self employed, make sure they are Ofsted registered, and you talk through all their references and safeguarding info. But if you can find someone they may be just what you need to see your baby through to toddlerhood.
    At nearly two there is now a massive difference in our boy and we’d have no problem putting him in nursery – in fact he probably needs the stimulation and company. But from nine months to eighteen we found a childminder to be the best option for a gentle first step from being with mum all day long.
    Hope you find a solution that works for you and your family.

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  2. I know how you feel! I’ve had to go back to work with my baby only being 3 months old and it has been so hard leaving her in a nursery. I am fortunate that I am a teacher so I know after a few short weeks we get a holiday. This is the only thing that keeps me going!!! Make sure you check their OFSTED report!

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  3. I’m in the same boat. We’ve been looking at nurseries as I’m going back to work after Christmas. It’s so tough, the hardest thing I have ever dealt with. I’ve got no answers. We’re lucky in that Finn will only be in nursery for 2 days a week, and as he is so energetic I think he will genuinely enjoy it (that is what I keep telling myself! ) I work in retail so work long hours and weekends, but one thing I do know-I will not waste a single second of our very precious time together.

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  4. My mum had a long career in childcare and while I was growing up we constantly had three or four other children at home during business hours as mum cared for them in a family daycare setting. She was brilliant. All of the kids loved coming to her. There were never any tears. BUT she never replaced the mums of those babies. Not even for a second. There was nothing broken or damaged about the bonds between mother and child. The fact that their parents had sought out and found wonderful, loving care ensured that their children continued to be happy and thrive. It sounds like you have put similar thought and care into the selection of your placement. It will be terribly terribly hard for you to leave your precious one for a little while, but once you see he is ok and still loves you just as much it will get easier. *Hugs*

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  5. I went back to work after 5 months with my first son. I left him with his grandparents (my inlaws). Whilst there was good points about it, there were parts I hated. They gave him stuff I didn’t want him having, had no structure to day, didn’t really ‘play’ with him etc… As it was my mother in law, I didn’t have the courage to stand my ground and tell her to stop feeding him sh*te (I now blame her for his fussy eating) and my partner wouldn’t say anything on my behalf. There are pros and cons to leaving with person you know/child care – it’s hard now, but you’ll get to know the carers and will get easier. And you can never be replaced in eyes of your child. Big hugs Mrs xx

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  6. Oh I want to weep for you I really do. Zach was 10 months old when I went back to work and I was very fortunate that my mum had him the three days I was there. He started nursery one day a week when he was one and then when I went back full time when he was 18 months we added another day. I am still so thankful that he spends the majority of time with my mum but even those two days he is there can be hard. He does love nursery but goes through stages of sobbing when I leave him yesterday he cried because he wanted another kiss and I could hear him saying I want my mummy. It is heartbreaking and horrible and yes we absolutely should be the ones looking after them. BUT. We can’t and so we have to make best of what we can. If there’s one thing I will say for nursery is that they honestly thrive. As soon as Zach moved up to the next room with the bigger children his speech came on in leaps and bounds. He has friends. Real friends who he loves and talks about. Yesterday he was playing babies with abigail and he’s excited that evie has moved up to his class. So yes it’s hard but I promise you it’ll be OK. It might not feel like it but it will. You just wait for the day that you pick him up and he comes running at you while pointing and saying, look there’s my mummy! It’s wonderful. You’ll be OK xxx

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  7. I went back to work when my daughter was 4 months old, my employer had all these great ideas about working when I could or working from home which never happened! Luckily I was able to work nights but I gave up before having my son because it was just too much.
    My daughter is now in nursery as she is 3, I did look around the baby room as I need to go back to work part time. All the staff and so lovely and understanding which puts your mind at rest a little. I will miss him so much because he is my baby boy but it’s some thing that has to be done eventually xx

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  8. Well the good news is that you’re not alone. I know, have known and read about many who have gone through this. And the truth is that it’s hard. Leaving them will create the anxiety for the reasons you’ve said.
    The only thing is that I hope it eases a bit and routine will help; as it does at time.

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