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Article in the Guardian newspaper re working mums

Hi all,

I raised a question in the Family section of the guardian newspaper about feeling guilty about working full time and the effect on my lo. Thought I'd post it on here for everyone else to see the response I got



  • how do you feel about it? I know how id feel if it was me who had written in!!!

    Im starting to have the same problem i go back to work full time in jan and my lo will be 9 months old, i cant go back part time, stagger holidays or ask my husband to take days off. We need both incomes to be able to afford to move house and so that when i have another in 3 yrs ish time i can take time off.

    I fullt realise that i will never get this time back but i was in nursery full time and it never hurt me! people do what they have to they dont always like it!! In order for me to work part time or be a sahm my son would have to go to one of the local primary schools as we couldnt afford to move and share a v small bedroom with any future siblings, plus his education would suffer as the local schools are poo!!!! So am i being selfish for going back to work full time?

    Im sure you have thought long and hard about this and have made the right decision for you and your family!!
  • I don't think you should feel guilty as you are doing it for the best. I personally don't work full-time but don't think that people who do are selfish at all. You are doing what's best for your family under your circumstances. x

    Kay x
    **Everyone needs to either save or make money!**
    To find out how you can both, visit
  • Well I don't really think she answered the question as I found out this morning on BBC Breakfast - there was some research which came out which backed up what I asked for.

    The thing is I could probably go part time, as I am saving a chunk each month, but the reason why I am full time as we are trying for No2 so want to have more money when I am off on maty leave again. I guess this is selfish of me.
  • not at all you are doing the best for your family! Dont feel guilty or pressurised to go part time if you believe that going full time in the short term will be better for the family in the long run then do it!

    You are not selfish you are doing this for your family!!
  • Hi there, I wouldn't be pleased with that answer. i think it is massively skewed and that it is the so called expert who has the pre-determined view, and not you. I think some of the comments at the bottom of the article are far more informed and balanced! I hope the expert's response hasn't made you feel too negative. We all do what we can - I work part time, and i still feel guilty, exhausted and displaced by the nanny who looks after my 2 1/2 year old 3 days a week. yet he is a very happy and contented child. You take care hun x
  • My little brother who is now 5 ( i am 25 - was mums little suprise for when she turned 43!) |He was in nursery from around 9months old part time and he loved it. He is actually more sociable, confident around people and so much more aware than my husbands nieces & nephews that had stay at home mums.

    I know I will have to be putting our LO in nursery 4days a week from a similar age and tbh i dont feel too guilty about it as i can back up any negative comments with how i feel 'what is best'. I think it is far more advantageous to have the time i do spend with my child as 'quality' time and the money from my work will be on the nice holidays and the better quality of living i want for my family, I would rather have this than being with my children all day everyday and just surviving on benefits or one wage.
    Are you worrying because of other peoples thoughts or actions?
  • From a so called expert I think that was a poor answer.

    I am so sick of people making working mothers feel guilty all the time. We're trying to the best for ou kids for ffs! I actually has someone at work (where I work full time) say oh I'd never have kids if I had to work full time and its pointless. I was actually speechless and had to walk away before I said something I regretted.

    I have no choice but to work full time as we wouldn't be able to afford our mortgage, bills etc. Working part time is not and never will be an option for me as I'll always earn more than OH. Some days I feel ok about this and some days I feel very upset and other people judging does not make this easier.

    the positive I take from it as others have said the time i do spend with lo is extra special and I try and make sure we go somewhere even just to the park or beach.

    Also I think that the my working full time is good for lo as she is a very confident sociable little girl which I don't think she would be if I was at home with her full time.

    Being a working mum is tough, and the guilt is tougher x

    [Modified by: pink_gerbera on August 13, 2010 08:38 PM]

  • Interesting response. I think some of the points the journalist makes are valid, but she completely gets off on the wrong foot by starting her response saying "I think you're going about this the wrong way." She does sound like quite an aggressive and bossy woman. This does undermine the more helpful points in her article if you ask me.

    Guilt is something that eats away at all Mums. I only work part-time but I hate it when my son says "no work Mummy - no nursery" on the two days that he goes to nursery. Please try not to let it get to you as you sound like a great Mum. Plus spending the first 10 months with your daughter is pretty good and longer than a lot of my friends.

  • Hi Susan,

    I will be in the same boat as you and will have to go back to work full time for financial reasons. I thought your question was really relevant to me and you posed it well. Let's face it, if we had a choice, most women would probably choose to bring up their young children but lifestyles and the cost of living (I'm in London) mean that sometimes our choices are limited.

    I think the lady who answered has made some valid points, none of which surprised me, although her comment that you were "defensive" from the outset was inaccurate in my view. Like you, I would also be interested in knowing what research is out there and it has nothing to do with being defensive, merely it would be of interest to me when considering my own situation and personal circumstances.
    I have many friends who work full time and childcare has been right for their child. I hope that it will also be right for my child at the time. Don't feel guilty. I also know that I will also make the time I spend with my little one as best quality as I possibly can.
    LK xx
  • I had to respond to this as I was in exactly the same position only 11 months ago. My little boy was born in June 09 and I could only afford to take 7 months leave.

    I reserved a nursery place but then when my son was born decided to look for a childminder as I could not bear him being just one of a number. Found a childminder in a perfect location - midway between home and the station as I commute to London. Anyway, I returned to work on a Wednesday and all went well and I found that I really enjoyed being at work! Picked my son up on the Friday, when the childminder announced she was pregnant and gave me 2 weeks to make alternative arrangements! I was stunned and I had just gone back to work and didn't have the luxury of time to look around.

    Fortunately, the nursery still had a place available and my son started there and we haven't looked back. I honestly feel the childminder did me a huge favour in the long run. I know there are good childminders but they can be hard to find. I felt the childminder environment was too manic for my son at 6 months as she had before and after school kids there and I turned up one night to find a toddler giving my son a bottle which I didn't like.

    Anyway, my son attends nursery from 7am-5pm, 5 days a week and enjoys it so much he almost doesn't want to come home! He gets so much variety; no electronic toys or TV which is good, but lots of play in the garden, together with playing with flour, water, spaghetti, painting, icing biscuits etc. He also gets a better social life than I could ever provide. Compared to friends children who are home-reared, he is ahead of them in speech etc. He's doing so well that he moved up a class 3 months early and is extremely happy there. I know the nursery staff are young, but make up for that with their enthusiasm and they genuinely care for the children. In fact, one of the girls has become our childminder and my son loves having her to look after him.

    What I'm saying is do what you have to and ignore all the negative comments. Seriously, you will know if your child is happy or not and I don't believe all the reports that say children brought up by nurseries etc are missing out - they're not. They have happy, well-adjusted parents (maybe a bit tired too!) and that counts for so much. We don't live in an ideal world and if anyone from the older generation tries to tell you otherwise, times have changed and it generally takes 2 salaries to have a decent standard of living.

    Hope this helps.

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