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lacking maternal instinct - can't wait to get back to work

(10 Posts)
Breth Fri 19-Aug-11 15:28:37

We are extremely close to a young family and have helped and supported them over the last 5 years in the absence of their own parents. I am constantly saddened that the mum, a professional woman currently on maternity leave, cannot wait to get back to work. She puts the older child into nursery every day even tho she is at home with the baby on mat leave. They have planned a holiday and the children will go into the resort creche. Am I the only "gran-type" who feels that these children are getting a bit of a raw deal these days by not having enough quality time with their mummy?

absentgrana Fri 19-Aug-11 16:45:41

Breth It could be that the elder child really enjoys nursery and that mum a) wants to disrupt his/her normal,enjoyable routine as little as possible and b) is glad of time spent with the baby and getting a little bit of breathing space before she has to cope with both baby and an active pre-schooler simultaneously. Even if the older child is in the nursery "full-time" he/she probably still gets a fair amount of time with mummy and, presumably daddy. You say that she is a professional woman and if she's that eager to get back to work she must enjoy her job. Someone's profession is an influential part of how they see themselves and evaluate themselves. It's quite a difficult juggling act and it's difficult for anyone outside the family involved to understand exactly what's going on in detail and to see the bigger picture. We all have to sort out our own priorities and, of course, sometimes we get things wrong. I don't think there are many women having babies (plural) these days, when it's avoidable, who don't have any maternal instinct, but I suppose it's possible. This couple are fortunate in having you as substitute parents and as you have done this already for five years, I suspect you will have no trouble in carrying on – and that, I think, would be the best and kindest thing you could do.

glammanana Fri 19-Aug-11 18:36:15

Very well put absent and how lucky is the girl to have Breth on her side,
she will be aware that she has back up if ever she needed it and I'm sure if
she where having difficulty in coping with two little one's she would let you know,how lovely are you to take such a caring interest in this family

Faye Sat 20-Aug-11 05:35:36

Breth, I actually wonder why people have children sometimes. Why would you put a child in a creche every day if you are home. If you wanted to keep them familiar with the creche after the maternity leave is over, you could put the child in one or two days, but a whole week. Week after week, then while you are on holidays too. Children do like to spend time at home. I do realize that some women are not maternal and the baby may be better off with someone else each day. I guess, why not get them used to it as soon as possible, they are going to spend their baby years there. confused

jackyann Sat 20-Aug-11 12:15:13

Although I understand exactly what you mean, I think there are many different ways to be a "good enough" parent.
I think that children sense at a very deep level when their parents love them and are doing their best, even if it is expressed in different ways.
Breth, you don't say exactly what your relationship is or how you support them. I would say that encouraging you into their children's lives is a positive thing they are doing. This mum may sense in herself that she is unable to provide some kinds of care, but is encouraging people who can. That is so much more healthy than people who cut their families off & won't accept help.

jangly Sat 20-Aug-11 12:38:47

When I was out the other day I saw a sign outside a school saying "Nursery now open 49 weeks a year".

I thought that was a bit sad.

Was a very affluent area. hmm

FlicketyB Sun 21-Aug-11 11:46:47

I confess to being a mother who couldnt wait to get back to work, but that was 40 years ago and I did not get back to work until my younger child was 4 - and then it was only part time. I can still remember the feeling of exhilaration the first morning I stepped back into the work environment BUT my children always came first. My husband and I had made the decision to have children and once the children were with us it was our responsibility to make sure they got the loving parenting they deserved and that means being prepared to spend plenty of time with them.

I think packing the older child off to nursery when the mother is on maternity leave and putting both children in a resort creche when on holiday is an appalling thing to do. I have worked with women like this and 15 years down the line they are complaining because their teenagers never speak to them, take no part in family life and are always 'just going out'. With childrearing, with exceptions, you reap what you sow.

HildaW Sun 21-Aug-11 17:06:45

Breth, its interesting that you have stepped in to help this family because there are no other grandparents around. You tend to get some of your parenting 'skills' and/or mindset from your own parents. So perhaps this family dont have close connections with their own parents because of this. Mind you we can 'break the mould' if we put our minds to it.
That being said......I do find myself wondering why these people had children....I found myself a single parent for a while and bitterly resented having to go to work and leave my baby with a carer....even though it was my darling Mum. As for the holiday arrangements.........yea gods........some of my favourite memories are all centered on the things we got up to whilst the girls were young on our varous cottage rental holidays.
I fully appreciate that modern family life is complicated and two incomes are often very very neccessary but making time to spend together as a family is so important.

Gally Sun 21-Aug-11 17:39:16

2 of my daughters put their children into a nursery for 2 days a week. One hates doing it but needs to work and the other loves to work but can't afford any more days (for which I am very grateful!) £54 a day is quite a lot so she needs to earn at least double that to make it worth while and her MIL (a retired Headmistress) does one day a week to help out. I never ever considered working when my children were small and there's no way my Mum would have taken over;We just had to get by on one salary and did without, which a lot of young people don't seem to be able to do these days. I am firmly of the belief that if you have kids, then they are your responsibility and they need you at home, at least until they go to school; as it happened, I never went back to work - but that's another story.

apricot Tue 23-Aug-11 20:45:39

I didn't work while my children were young, but domestic life was very different 30 years ago. Most mothers have no choice now, they have to work. One of my daughters is away 12 hours every day and deeply resents it but her husband earns next to nothing. As long as children are loved and cared for, it doesn't matter who does that loving and caring.