• Welcome! Log in or Register Now for a free ProTeacher account!

Return to work after maternity leave???


Teacher Mom

I have been off on maternity leave after having our first baby 2 months ago. I will not have to return until the new school year in August. I realize I am very lucky to have this much time off, but I am dreading going back. I absolutely love staying home with my son. Financially, we can not afford for me to stay home right now. I am not thrilled with leaving him with a lady that watches 3 other kids as well...but also do not want to leave him at a day care facility. Our parents can't help either nor would we expect them to.
I guess what I am asking is...how do you deal with all of this? Any ideas? Or even ways to make it easier from your experiences?
Thank you!


Senior Member
Had to giggle.....

not about you- I was reading the different posts tonight and saw yours. We have a lady at my school who gave birth 3 DAYS ago and is already emailing instructions to us at school! So good for you to have (and enjoy) that time off. Best of luck to you!


Senior Member
Maternity leave

In Canada we get 1 year of maternity leave. During that time we are paid by the government about 60% of our wage (up to a certain amount). Our school board also "tops" up the first three months we are off, so that we get a full pay check for that time. It is wonderful! I cannot imagine having to go back after 2 months. I truly feel for you!

Ways to make it easier....take your daughter to visit this lady and get a feel for her. Don't be afraid to call when your daughter is there. Ask questions....lots of questions!


Senior Member
If you don't have the option to stay home, maybe you need to start self-talking yourself that it will all be great.

I want to offer a shout-out in defense of day care centers. I guess there are some that are hellholes, but that was not the experience I had when my kids attended one.

My children were raised by a daycare center and it turned out great. It was very reliable. They were able to care for the kids every day even if someone on the staff felt sick or had a compelling reason to not be at work. In private care, illness or emergency trips out of town can be a snafu in your childcare plan. It was very clean and sanitary. It was a stimulating environment. They systematicallly disinfected toys and surfaces. Do you do that at home? I never did so I really felt confident that my kids weren't being exposed to filth and dangerous microbes. My kids never went on car rides during the day to accompany the caregiver on an errand. That provided a lot of peace of mind for me. The women who worked at the center were like family to my kids. They treated my children lovingly and compassionately. My kids marched or scampered off to their classes without a backward glance. The center had a curriculum that was stimulating to the kids. My children weren't parked in front of the television as they might have been in private care. The caregivers didn't yack on the phone all day while the kids did whatever they wanted. My toddlers/preschoolers never cried or dreaded going. They became very attached to their day care buddies. It wasn't perfect every day all the time, but overall it was a positive (but expensive) time in our family history.

At first I had private care, and I felt like my caregiver (a niece) was doing little more than keeping my child alive. She was constantly on the phone, didn't clean, didn't change my baby's clothes all day, watched soap operas all day, and sneaked cigarettes that she stuffed in the couch (she lived in our mother-in-law suite). I know she isn't the norm, but I experienced great peace of mind when I put my baby (babies) in the hands of professional caregivers ready and willing to give my child premium loving care.

If you find yourself choosing professional daycare, I think in most cases, you can be confident that you are making a decision that is good for kids.

Mackenzie AK

Senior Member
It's a mind set

I had to return to work when my baby was 4 months old and looking back on it now, she is 21 months, it was really the best thing I did. Now don't get me wrong I love my daughter to death and do miss being with her during the day, but I think I am a much better mom to her when I am with her because I do work and cherish our time together more than before. You have to get into the mind set that when you are at work, you are at work, and when you are at home you are there for your baby 110%. I have learned to bring very little home, okay almost NONE!!! It is good for you to have social and adult contact with others, and it is healthy for your baby to be loved by others as well. Not that stay at home babies are not well adjusted, but those who have experieinces outside the home do tend to be a bit more adjusted and able to handle new situations a bit better. I used to teach K and we could definitely tell those that had been in preschool/daycare and those that had been at home.

Open your mind to the fact that it is going to happen, and you will be fine!!! Let us know how things go as August rolls around :)


I understand where you are comming from!! My VERY last is due July 15th, also have a 16yr old, 13yr. old, and 11 yr.old, and I will be back to school Sept. 1st!!! I did stay home with my others, because they were planned on a little better, due at end of yr, and this one was NOT planned after 11 yrs!! (We are sooo excited though!!!!) But, make sure you check out places to be able to take your little one to, and be sure YOU feel comfortable and are able to stop in ANYTIME, and DO make surprise visits!! The in home provider who watched my boys before they could go to school is now my best friend!!

Good luck!!!


Junior Member
Dreading it for a reason

I can't help but reply here. Day care centers should not be raising your child(ren). Your job as a mother is much more important than your employment. Can you find a job that is part-time or one where you can be with your child? Can you tutor or babysit in your home? Can you cut back on your expendatures a little more?

I know there are child care centers out there where the mother can work there while watching her child(ren). With an education background, you'd get hired no problem. You can always go back to teaching after a few years, but you can't go back in time to re-raise your precious infant.

There's a reason you feel pangs at the thought of leaving your child to head back to work. Good for you! There are alternatives out there for mothers who want to stay at home.

Mrs. O

Senior Member
My husband and I worked out our shifts.

I started working right away after both of mine. One was born in July and the other in August. My husband and I worked out this problem by him doing shift work. He took the night shift at his job, which actually gave him more money. He would watch the boys during the day, get sleep when I came in, and then go off to work at night. It was harder on us, but in the end we were glad that one of us was with them all of the time. Now both of our boys go to school where I work, so hubby is back to second shift, and we are back to normal.


Full Member
Tough one

I couldn't go back to work, and I'm glad I didn't. Compared to my friends' children, the kids are all about the same. I was glad to have that time with my children. It has to be a decision you are comfortable with now, as well as when they begin to leave the nest. My oldest, now almost 17, will be leaving for college in little more than a year. I'm glad I was here for that very fleeting childhood!

Of course the debate of the century is work & childcare VS. stay-at-home mom (or dad).

What can you live with in 18 years? Will you have regrets or not? Being a stay-at-home mom is tough, and so is being a working mom. Do what feels right in your heart.... everything else will fall into place.


Senior Member
let me rephrase...

My kids were/are raised by hubby and me. While they were preschoolers, they attended daycare during the hours when both of us worked. They were with us every afternoon and evening when we finished our jobs. They were with us every weekend and holiday and vacation. Even though we used daycare, we actually raised the kids.

The daycare though was NOT a negative experience for any of the involved parties. My kids were not emotionally scarred. I didn't feel a heap of guilt for pursuing my career as a teacher versus taking time off to be a SAHM. I respect people who decide to stay at home, but I frankly couldn't afford it at the time. The point I am trying to make is if you must or want to work, then daycare is not necessarily a horrible last-resort choice for childcare. It is often a loving, stimulating, and safe environment for the children. It is a reliable resource for the parents.


Full Member
Good Message Fun Friend

I believe I saw or read a report that daycares were statistically safer places for children due to stricter regulations than in-home care. Of course, I would check into either one on a case by case basis. Best of luck to you in finding the childcare situation that is best for you & baby!