‘One should work as though they don’t children yet parent as though their children are their only job’ – agree? OF COURSE NOT.
The role of a working Mum is a conundrum to a lot of people, many people like to have an opinion on it, I have lost track of the amount of people that have made comments because I WANTED to return to work. A woman shouldn’t be made to feel like less of a Mother because she wants to return to work nor less than a woman because they don’t want to return to work!
For a lot of Mums once they start a family they believe that they should be at home with the kids all day, some WANT to stay with their kids all day, some don’t have a choice but to stay at home all day and there is a minority that have kids so they can stay at home all day!
Going from full time to part time was potentially the biggest transition I have made in my working career. Despite being off for the best part of 13/14 months you return to work and everything is pretty much the same but fast forwarded a little, you are thrown back in the midst of it all but slightly disregarded at the same time as you have only come back for 30 hours or less or you’ve missed the big pitch they’ve been working on whilst the only thing you’ve been working on is reciting nursery rhymes on little baby bum but I have worked since I was 16 years old, I love working and the industry that I am in, for me there was no question on whether I would return to work once SMP stopped.
I find that a lot of the men at work have more of an opinion on telling me how much their partner’s just loved staying at home with their little ones, do they though? I have friends that have partners that are in a position that they don’t have to go back to work and can stay at home with their little ones attending baby groups or doing the typical ladies that lunch things, I have other friends who struggle but they just cannot afford the childcare on top of going back to work and I have a few friends that would love to go back to work but their partners feel strongly that they should be at home so they go with it!
I love a messy play and toddler session as much as the next Mum (love/hate relationship) nothing makes me happier than watching my toddler jump up and down a softplay centre or laughing at tipping sand and glue all over someone else’s floor but I honestly don’t think I could be truly happy without a career path. Why shouldn’t a Mum still want to do things for herself? Why should we feel the #mumguilt?
I remember my first day back at work from maternity leave, I settled myself in for the morning caught up in the kitchen with the girls and tried to clear my year away inbox! When lunch time came I went out and bought myself some food and a magazine and sat on a bench to eat and read, instead of enjoying my lunch break I rang my Mum SOBBING because I felt so guilty over leaving him and being on my own without his stubby little hands all over my food! But the reality is even if I didn’t have to work I would still do something for my own sanity because for me there is more to life than just being a Mum, yes it’s 95% of me now but the other 5% is just me and I don’t feel guilty that I can have a drink the own foam off my latte three times a week and not have to think if my outfit is ‘toddler handprint appropriate’.