This article reports an aspect of a life historical study which investigated the part that ‘love’ played in mothers’ decision-making about returning to work and placing their babies in day care. The article begins with a brief discussion of the context, including 21st-century policies in England to encourage mothers to return to the workforce (DfES, 2004; HMT, 2009). This is followed by a critical overview of relevant literature exploring three key themes: an historical view of women in the workforce, Attachment Theory, and theorizing ‘love’ and ‘care’. The life-historical methodology is discussed and justified and seven key themes are briefly identified and explained. The article then focuses specifically on the theme of ‘love’ using life-history interview data and key literature to discuss mothers’ views on the importance of ‘love’, the saliency of ‘love’ in choosing childcare, and the notion of ‘professional love’.