Hiya, you needn't reply to this if you don't feel like it, I just need to worry about it out loud. I'm fairly sure that guilt is a pretty common emotion for working mothers though so I'm sure I'm not the exception! Yoghurt Lite is now six months old. I am a single mother, and moved in as a lodger with an elderly relative in the back of beyond to eke out my maternity leave. I went back to work full-time just before Easter, and Lite goes to a childminder. It's all going well on paper - Lite is an absolutely gorgeous child - very happy and bubbly, the childminder is ace and I suspect that Lite has a better time with her than he would with me. I'm really enjoying being back at work so everything should be great. Only I'm starting to feel really guilty about the quality and amount of time that he spends with me. We have about an hour together in the morning, which I spend rushing around like a mad thing, getting dressed, getting him dressed and packing his bag before dropping him off, I pick him up at four and his bedtime is eight. In the morning I'm zapped (he still isn't sleeping through) and have to remind myself to chat to him as we're getting ready. After work I'm also zapped - used to have a snooze in the afternoon pre-baby - and am not really a lot of fun then. When I play with him it feels really forced and sometimes I feel a bit despairing about how to keep him entertained - you have to be all-singing all-dancing all the time at the minute and rotate his toys every three seconds so that he doesn't get fed up. Being in the back of beyond in a rural area, there aren't many options for going out without packing him up in the car and driving somewhere - even the walks are limited - and even then there aren't many places to go or things to do in the evening. He goes to his dad's twice a week for a few hours at a time. When this falls on a weekday I barely see him from getting-up to bedtime. I used to go to his dad's house with him, but the relationship has deteriorated and it wouldn't be prudent for us to spend time together (I don't want to risk a HUGE ROW and as I have trouble Not Punching him every time I see him it's just not advisable) so that's more time that I don't spend with him. The worst thing about not seeing him very much is that I don't mind - generally it means that I can get some marking and prep done and perhaps get to bed before midnight. I think that I love him very dearly but then surely I wouldn't feel alright about being apart from him so often and for so long? Also I'm worried that he will feel the absence and it'll damage our relationship as he's growing up. Sorry, I know that this sounds very whiny and I know that I am really lucky in a lot of ways, but I feel like I'm doing everything wrong all the time, and I don't know what to change to make things work better.