I read an article on LinkedIn “Working Moms Raise More Successful Daughters and Empathetic Sons: Harvard Study” and was like to myself….thanks Mum I’m sorted.
I recall a WhatsApp conversation I had with two college friends who are working mums and took a look back through the chat to glimpse at what we had chatted about. It was around the time one friend was returning to work while another was still on maternity leave. “Mommy guilts” was mentioned. Me being my usual over opinionated self, jumped straight in to set the record straight:
Lads honestly this notion of mum guilt, you need to banish it. Everything we do is actually in their best interest, we’re smart mums.
Other than the time we left Missy fall off the bed when she was a baby, everything else has totally made her stronger.
In fact I’m sure she learnt from the fall as well 🙂
To be honest I’m cracking myself laughing reading this back. Poor Missy.
As my friend replied:
It’s engraved into us that we should feel guilty, whereas we are doing it for them! Plus we are showing them that we can be mammies, wives & have a career
It’s mad that until people started mentioning or asking did I feel guilty about working it never entered my mind. And rightly so to be honest with you. This stems from my own mum working throughout my childhood. Check out how great I think she is. Oh, I also blame being so dang opinionated on her. Sometimes I just wish I didn’t care about what’s for dinner or what should be in a header of a document. The latter can cause world war III.
I know there’s a whole host of issues for Dads in the workplace as well, like heading away to pick up sick kids or leaving on time for creche pick up. But that’s for another day.
I also know there are plenty of challenges facing stay at home parents. I imagine loneliness is up there in the top three.
For the past 4 years or so I’ve popped off to work, occasionally having to bring a little one or two in toe for whatever reason. I’ve checked my mails on days off, I’ve legged it from the office early to pick up a sick kid. I’ve juggled and managed and on occasion enjoyed the madness. But this past week things felt different.
Now I’ve travelled a lot with work. Before the kids it was all over America & The Philippines. After Missy was born I ventured to Brazil & Cameroon. Last September I left both Missy & Junior for 4 days in America. This week I’ve abandoned parenthood again for a week in Kenya.
I’d normally feel excited about such a venture. A new country, new hospitals to visit with work, new culture. But last week I just wasn’t feeling it. I completely overthought planning dinners for The Dad and his parents, who are very kindly staying for the week to help out. I was panicking about work clothes in a hot country where it rains A LOT. I just couldn’t relax, my head was in a complete daze.
I wasn’t apprehensive about leaving the gang, The Dad is always all over all things domestic. I wasn’t doubting my ability for the work we would be conducting. I just wasn’t 100% content with heading away. I was feeling a combination of being anxious and guilt I reckon.
But here I am, just over half way through my trip and I’m back to feeling normal(ish). I’ve managed to speak with the kids in the evenings without it ending in tears (last trip The Dad had a hard time comforting them after each call, so I stopped calling when they were up). I’ve so far had 3 nights of amazing sleep in the most comfortable little cocoon of a bed. Work has had it’s ups and downs, but we are looking forward to heading on a mini safari tomorrow. I’m really looking forward to all the hugs that await my return.
So mums if you work, kick ass at what you do and enjoy the toilet breaks and cups of tea. If you work in the home, fair f**ks coz after every Wednesday at home with my 2 I’m running back to work.