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Thread: Theory and practice of returning to work

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Mar 2009

    Default Theory and practice of returning to work

    Hi all,
    I'm wondering if Mums can share their experiences with going back to work.
    I'm working five hours a day. I am hoping I can negotiate some time off after the birth and then go back to the five hours a day. I only live about 15 minutes for work, so I can come home for lunch. And I think things are flexible enough that I could take a one and a half hour lunch break ... as long as I'm there for five hours the timing is not so important.
    So, while in theory, returning to work should not be overly demanding... I don't really know what to expect from the baby!
    It sounds a little crazy. I babysat when I was a teenager, have nephews and friends with kids. But I've never been responsible for a little person full-time.
    I've heard stories of couples who've decided that the Mum, the bigger earner, would return to work while the Dad stayed home but after a few weeks the Mum just couldn't bear being away from the baby. I also have a friend who seems to worry more about her dog than her two little kids. (I hope she never reads this).
    I can get someone in, a nanny, but don't know how it will feel leaving a little baby in someone else's care. Financially, I feel I have to return to work and to keep my current job I think I'll have to return quite quickly.
    I'm living and working in Vietnam, so Australian workplace laws and benefits don't apply.

  2. #2


    hi there
    at what age do you think you will return?
    for me the return to work was (relatively) smooth - and i have a very demanding job with lots of travel... i think it comes down to how flexible your employer is and also how adaptable you and your family can be. we eat more takeaway than if i didnt work, and i have to devote a lot of time on weekends to being ready for the week. for example i prepare lots of food onw eekends so i have healthy lunches and dinners for DS, pack his bag the night before, time b/n end of work and his bedtime is manic (getting better as he stays up a bit later) and there is less time for me...
    at first i was still bfeeding so i used to stop past his carer and bfeeed him once per day and also feed him when i dropped himoff and when i picked himup (he was about 6 months at this time). i also expressed a lot in thelead up so i had back up EBM (though in my case he didnt take to this very well at all). when my travel increased morei did intro formula for some feeds only (prob at about 8 months) and this made it a little easier - though i would have preferred not to have to do this, but it was unavoidable as he would not drink EBM and i had to go interstate overnight. once he was on solids ina big way it becamea lot easier and now that he is 19 months it is just our routine. i work 4 days a week but as i said i travel a lot and work longish hours.
    a nanny will help in the early stages, it gives you moreflexibility and will be less disruptive for your bub is s/he is very young (what age are you talking about?). also be very clearwith your emplyer about the conditions you do need (ie the long break, room to express, flexibility inhours etc). try to time it so you can feed before you leave and when you get home - it prob doesnt makea huge diff to baby really but it will make you feel better about it all.
    also the support of your DH is crucial - make sure he is comfortable to do the bed routine (we started to alternate this each night as soon as i went backto work - beforehand i used to do it a lot and he would occasionally), start to alternate mornings that you each get up with the baby (it is so exhausting to manage it all), see if he can cooka couple of nights a week etc etc. also if you can get some help at home - cleaners etc etc this is great.
    feel free to ask me any other questions. it feels daunting now but you will adjust and it will become your norm. xxx

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Mar 2009


    Hi preagainpan!!!!!

    Thanks so much for your post. I think you are a super-Mum for keeping up such a demanding job!

    I guess it all comes down to being organized and prepared, huh? Although from what I've seen, little people never consider the schedule.

    I can count on DP to be super-supportive with cooking, cleaning and looking after the baby. He really is a heavenly guy. I can't count on any support from work, though. It's a take it or leave it type of working environment here. Despite one of the highest birth rates in the world, I have never seen a woman breastfeed in the two years I've lived here.

    I guess I'm thinking I'd have to be back at work when the baby is three months. I saw a three-month-old baby last time I was at the doctor and he was SO SMALL! I don't know how it would feel to leave such a defenceless little bundle with a nanny (who might not speak much English and may have very different ideas about child care). Although, I would probably only be leaving them alone for two and a half hours at a time, rather than five hours at a time.

    I just want to be prepared. I knew a couple who had planned a stay-at-home Dad arrangement cos the wife earned more. The Dad-to-be had visions of playing golf every day with the baby in a sling. Was very shocked at the reality of being the primary carer!

  4. #4


    LOL golf with the baby in a sling!!! i bet he got a new appreciation for SAHMs!!!
    it is great your dp will be so supportive and helpful and yes the key is organisation (as it is with all mummas). you are right a 3 month old will seem small (my 20 month old still seems small to me) but it will be ok, esp for 2.5 hrs at a time... dont beat yourself up about it too much we all do what we have to and you will all settle into it well over time. the initial period with any adjustment will be hard so dont expect it all to be smooth sailing... but it will work out. i found it best at the start to literally write down step by step the day how i would like it - i am not a v routine person but i felt better to know that my nanny knew how i wanted things done and would tell me what had and hadnt gone to plan. you may also consider getting the nanny to come for a few days/weeks beforehand to spend time with you so she gets used to your way of doing things...

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