I’ve been really struggling with the guilt that I feel for being a working Mum over the last few weeks. Having returned to work from maternity leave I’m finding it hard to leave my baby and missing seeing the boys after School for a decent amount of time. I’m used to seeing Finlay more than I do now as he is now at full time School too. I’m jealous of the people that get to spend that time with Ava that I don’t. I worry about fitting everything in. The days I work I don’t have enough hours in the day to do reading, spellings, homework, swimming lessons, or even be able to have a conversation with them over dinner. I’m tired and grumpy when I get home from work and it’s been pretty stressful meaning that I am worrying about it on my days off.
A while ago I stumbled upon a video through Twitter. A video promoting a book and a company by making working Mums feel bad. It angered me as working Mums and Mums in general feel guilty enough without people trying to capitalise off the back of your guilt. Not cool! I would link it, but I don’t want to get them more attention.
I’ve worked part time since I had my first child as a Primary teacher and I know how hard it is to juggle everything. The guilt that you feel. The firsts that you miss. The events that you can’t attend. The nights that you cry yourself to sleep with having to leave your baby/child.
I had to work when we had Kyle, I was 23 and we couldn’t afford for me not to work. With Finlay I was able to do less hours. Then I became a single Mum and I had to up my hours. I had a difficult decision to make at this point as my babies needed me. But they also needed me to keep a roof over their heads. To be able to buy food, clothes and have money to do things with them. I wasn’t getting any maintenance and so I had to do it all myself. Should I feel guilty for doing that? No, but I did!
I would love to be able to be a stay at home Mum. To not miss the first steps and maybe first words. To be able to go to every School assembly and Sports event. To be able to take and pick up my boys from Pre School and School. To be the one that Ava will wake up to from a nap and have sleepy cuddles with.
In an ideal world I would do a job that fitted around my family, my children more. Enabling me to do these things and still exercise my brain and bring in money. However I’ve yet to come across one.
Most families in current times need more than one salary to pay the increasing costs of living. Sometimes working just for the extra couple of hundred pounds a month after paying the ridiculous cost of childcare because they can’t do without. Then there are the Mums who want to work, who enjoy their jobs, their career. Who are better Mums as a result of being happy. As women we have been brought up to believe we can have it all, but in reality it’s so hard.
It’s not so black and white. Being a working Mum does not make you a bad Mum. It does not automatically mean your kids are missing out. It means you are doing the best for you, your family and therefore your child.
I really need to remember this at the moment.