Sunday 4 December 2016

Q&A: Going back to work after having second baby

Published 16/02/2011 | 08:47

Picture posed. Photo: Thinkstockphotos.com
Picture posed. Photo: Thinkstockphotos.com

Q I am very proud of my two children who are now six and four, but after being a stay-at-home mum since the first one was born, I've decided to go back to work.

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I've got a really good job lined up and I am due to start in a couple of weeks. I'm really excited by this and asked my mum if she could collect the children from school a couple of times a week.

Instead of the support I expected, I got a long and rather unpleasant lecture about a mum's place being at home. She's refused to collect the children and says that even if she were prepared to, she's not got the time.

I wouldn't mind so much except she's always complaining she doesn't see enough of her grandchildren and that she's often bored. I found myself a childminder which seemed like the sensible option but now mum is so angry, she won't talk to me.

My husband has suggested that I just ignore it and wait and see how long she keeps it up, but I don't like the atmosphere this is creating and the implication that I'm a bad mother.

Should I tackle her about it? F. B.

A Children with a happy mum are more likely to be happy and well adjusted. At six and four your children won't suffer from someone reputable looking after them for a few hours.

As long as they know how to contact you and understand that when you are not working, you will be around for them then they are unlikely to worry.

I am with you rather than your husband when it comes to your mother. You need to tackle the ill-feeling between you before it becomes entrenched. Do you have any idea why she might hold such extreme views - could she, perhaps, be jealous?

You say she claims to be bored so perhaps she resents the fact that you have a busier, more fulfilled life than she does? Perhaps she never had the opportunity or ambition to do all the things you do?

Try having another chat with her and let her know how much this all means to you and how much you would welcome her support.

You may not change her mind but at least you will have done all you can to smooth the waters.

To find a suitable childminder ask around locally. There is plenty of advice on how to choose and the questions to ask but once you've checked the childminder is registered make sure your kids like being with them and enjoy your new-found career!

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