Back to work after a year at home
When DD2 was born I quit my job to stay at home with my 3 year old and her. Now DD1 is 4 and DD2 is 1. I decided I wanted to go back to work so I could be back around adults and my children could go to school (daycare) to get some socialization with other kids. DD1 literally craves it. She was in daycare from about 19 months to 3 years. I was only working part time though. Now when I go back I will need to work full time in order to afford daycare and still make some money. I was excited about the idea of it until it became a reality when my old boss told me he could finally hire me back. Now, I start on Monday which happens to be DD1's 4th birthday. I'm not ready, with travel time and time at work I feel as though someone else will be with my children more than I will. I guess it feels selfish, but they are only young once and before long they will be going to school. DD1 will be going to daycare 3days a week and the other 2 days a close family friend will keep her. DD2 will be with the family friend all week. That way they can still be with each other during the week some. Also, they will be close to where I work so I can go have lunch with them if I choose. Although I am nervous about doing that with DD1, she may not like me leaving. I have good setup I know, and I know a lot of moms have to work, I just don't know if I am cut out for it. Also when I went back to work with DD1 at 18 months, I went full time but dropped it to part time and that helped a lot. But this time, that won't be an option. I guess I am just looking for tips and advice on how to get through this. I don't want to be crying on my first day of work.
Re: Back to work after a year at home
Your DD2 and my boys share a birthday! Happy birthday to her! And a happy upcoming birthday to your DD1!
Starting work on your daughter's birthday could be your big emotional trigger. Those are the days that always pull working mums in two directions- birthdays, holidays, sick days or any special day... The days that we really wish we could be in two places at once. So the timing of all of this happening might be why you're really starting to freak out.
But just know- it really is ok to return to the world of adults. And your girls really will be ok in daycare, even on special days because the day care staff know when the special days are and they make them special too.
Usually daycares have experience helping newcomers adjust to the transition, and newcomers includes the parents. When I interviewed daycares for my daughter (and this was years ago), one daycare I looked at had video chat that they set up for the kids throughout the day for parents to check in. Maybe that's helicopter parenting, maybe it's not- it was just nice to know that if I was going to be away for a long day I could always log on and see my girl's beautiful face.
I bet if you ask, you could get some email updates throughout the day or maybe even some picture messages. Communicate with the staff and let them know what they can do to help you.
And if I'm reading right between the lines here, you don't necessarily need the financial boost- so keep that in mind- Go to work- nourish your professional self. And if it doesn't fit you as you hoped, you can always come home.
Re: Back to work after a year at home
I think it's totally normal to not feel ready to go back to work, to feel nervous and anxious about it, and for it to be hard. Going back to work, especially this last time, was really hard for me. And a lot of Mondays it's hard for me too, after I've been together with the kids, to leave them and go back to work again. At some level we are biologically programmed to be with our kids, especially when they are very young. But, we also don't live in caves and spend all our time searching for food, and in the society we live in, a mother may have many reasons for working. Every mom has to figure out what the right balance is for her. I would say, don't make a decision based on the fact that you feel anxious about going to work on Monday. Because you are going to feel anxious about that. For whatever reason, you made a decision to go back to work. So give it a try, for a few weeks or a few months. Maybe you will find that you and your girls are really happy with the new arrangements. Maybe you will find that you prefer part-time work - and it may be easier to find the ideal job when you are already working, rather than trying to re-enter the work force after a hiatus. Maybe you will decide you want to wait until your girls are older to work again, or that you don't want to work at all. This is not an irreversible decision. But you've committed to this job so at least give it a chance.
I agree with PP's suggestions for helping ease the transition.