Heading back to work after having a baby can be an emotional transition. Even if you love your job and can't wait to return, there's no denying things have changed. The stress involved with leaving your baby isn't just on who you leave them with, but what you might miss when you're away.
I was a daycare provider and nanny for many years, and witnessed many special moments for the first time. I also had to deal with upset moms realizing there was at least one milestone they missed because they were at work. In fact, I would often hold back from telling a mother that her little one took his first steps or said her first word, for fear that mother would dive into a pit of unnecessary (but very real) guilt. Plus, I knew the little one would repeat the action in his or her parents' company very soon, so why rob those parents of that magic moment, even if it was technically a "repeat," right?
I missed my own baby's first steps, actually. He took them in front of his dad while I was in the kitchen. So, even though I was working from home, there was no guarantee that I would catch every milestone. Small children have so many huge achievements in their little lives, it's safe to say that if you miss one there's really no need to sweat it. Chances are, another will be along shortly. So, with that in mind, here are 10 moms, fearlessly explaining how common it really is to a miss a milestone.
"I missed my baby's first word. It was 'dada,' but still I would have liked to be there."
"I missed the first steps. I was at work. I am a lawyer and I was in court that day. I didn't feel too bad about it until the babysitter gave me a hug and then it hit me."
"My husband is a stay-at-home dad, so he basically saw everything first. The one that upset me the most was when [my daughter] did her first wave goodbye to him, and I had practiced that with her for months."
"My toddler kept saying 'baby roll.' We didn't know what he was talking about, but then one night my partner called me at work and said the baby rolled over and our toddler started shouting, 'See, daddy? Baby roll!' I guess we both missed it really!"
"My son crawled for the first time while I was working late on a project. I was devastated."
"I missed my daughters first preschool concert. I had booked the day off work, but three employees called in sick and I am the manager so I had to go in. I made my babysitter film it but it wasn't the same, and my daughter cried."
"My boyfriend gave our baby his first bath without me. His little belly button scab fell off so he decided to bathe him while I was at work, but he didn't realize how much I wanted to be there."
"My workplace didn't offer anytime off at all after we adopted our son, so I was back at work the weekend after he was born. My girlfriend was home caring for him and she saw everything first. She would send me little videos and texts but I felt very isolated from them both and like I was just a friend or aunt instead of his other mom. It took me a while to heal."
"I work from home but when my daughter was about 14 months old, I decided to hire a babysitter so I could go and get a haircut and have some time to myself. In that one morning she said her first sentence, "Where mommy go?' and took her first steps. I couldn't believe it, the first time I left her and the first time I wasn't working she did everything cool!"
"I missed, like, every milestone for my daughter. I suppose it's a bit disappointing but, seriously, she will do so much in her lifetime and will have lots of opportunities because of how hard I am working to run my business now. So there is a trade off, but I hope she'll be proud of me."