Dilemma Of The Day: Should I Feel Guilty About Returning To Work?

15/11/2009 19:22 | Updated 22 May 2015

Q: My baby is 4 months old and I really want to return to work when she reaches 6 months. The trouble is I am so torn – I want to go back but I feel like I am letting my daughter down. My partner says I am not but both my sister and my mum say a baby should be with her mother. Am I wrong to want both and how do I make it easier?

A: Returning to work is a difficult decision for the vast majority of mums. Every mum wants to nurture and care for her child, but we live in an age where motherhood and working often go hand in hand - whether for financial or individual reasons - and millions of mums are doing both, and very successfully too!

It is not for your sister or your mum to judge on this dilemma. This is a decision for you and your partner alone. If you are sure that a return to work is what you want or need, then perhaps it would be a good idea to reintroduce yourself to the workplace slowly and steadily.

Would it be possible to arrange going back to work on a part time basis? By law, your company must consider a request for flexible working. Or perhaps returning to work on reduced hours could be an option for you. This could help both you and your daughter adapt at a more gentle pace.

Another very important point is to arrange your childcare as soon as possible. The waiting lists for good nurseries and childminders can be long, and it is important to find a provider that you trust and like.

It can take time for young children to get used to their new surroundings, and settling your daughter into her new routine as soon as possible will certainly make life easier for both of you. Naturally it will give you great peace of mind to know that your daughter is settled, happy and looking forward to a day of action-packed fun while you are in the office.

Whatever you choose to do, you should keep in mind that being the best mum you can be means being happy and fulfilled in both your family and work life. Carrying guilt around with you is not going to help anyone. So stay positive and keep in mind that happy mums mean happy babies.

Do you enjoy your time in the workplace or do you wish you could be a mum 7 days a week? Leave a comment below...

Suggest a correction