Returning to work after having a baby can be a harrowing time. Since April 2007, many mothers have been able to enjoy a full twelve months maternity leave, during which time a great bond forms between mother and child. The guilt about leaving your baby when it is essential for you to return to work is compounded by the need to place them in childcare.
According to a recent survey, an estimated 3.25 million UK families place their children in childcare. Although the environments are safe, loving and educational, almost half of these parents worry about the long-term effects childcare may have on their children.
This guilt-fuelled reaction is typical of a mother (and father) who wants the very best for their child. However, having to go back to work is often a necessity and should therefore be seen as a positive way to support your family.
When being faced with this situation, remember that placing your child in childcare has positive results, with many parents believing it makes them calmer, enabling them to be more patient with their child when they spend quality time together.
Avoiding childcare guilt can be avoided if you find an establishment that holds the same parenting ethics as you do. If their approach to childcare is similar to your parenting techniques, it is likely you’re a good match. Don’t be afraid to ask plenty of questions – the right place for you will be able to answer them all positively.
When you take your child to your chosen nursery or childminder etc., assess their reactions: usually children race to the door and cannot wait to get going with the day’s activities. When they are happy, you can release any feelings of doubt and guilt, knowing your child is in safe hands.
Talk to your child about their day away from you. This will bring you closer together whilst giving your child a feeling of independence – that they can tell mum all the things that happened to them that day. They are learning to stand on their own two feet. Embrace this fact and celebrate your social, happy and content child!
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