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About one month after returning to work after my baby was born I was laid off. He was three months at this point. Now, three months later, I have started a new job. I enjoy working and am happy to be able to help support my family, but I miss him terribly all day, everyday. What makes it harder, is that I feel like we've lost some of the bond we gained while I was at home. He doesn't seem to be as "interested" in his mommy as he was (i.e. will reach for his dad while I'm holding him or will avoid eye contact). This is making me feel awful. Maybe I'm just being sensitive and projecting the guilt I'm feeling about the situation. Any advice, suggestions or otherwise?
Don't worry that your baby is "avoiding" you. He's just getting to the age when he is more interested in the world around him than the person holding him. I've also read studies that say babies become more attatched to their fathers as they age because they associate Daddy with play, and Mommy with comfort. Instead try to be grateful that spending the day away from your son is making you love and miss him more. I was so overwhelmed with my first born because I was a 24/7 at home mom and there were times I felt resentful of being the "only one" with her all day. I'm sure that you and your little one will adjust as time goes by, and just think, before long he'll be squeeling with delight when you come home!
Going back to work is a double edged sword - it's great to be contributing and working hard but you miss your baby big time! I would just encourage you by saying that you will always be your little boy's mother. There is a bond there that no one can break. At 6 months old, your little guy is becoming more aware of the world and what is going on around him. He is busy exploring, checking things out, and being curious. My little boy stopped being snuggly or cuddling with me at this age - he is just too busy to be bothered with sweet things like that! :-) We have a great bond now at 15 months, though, and there is nothing to worry about. Hang in there - it will get better!