I love being mum it’s everything, I mean literally everything! You grow your baby and build this amazing bond before you’ve even met them. They completely turn your life upside down, I spent the first year being so sleep deprived that night became day, day became night and there was a general blur of how many days, weeks or months had passed. But at the same time it’s the most wonderful, fulfilling and joyful experience you can ever imagine.
I loved my maternity leave and never wanted it to end but like so many others I had to go back to work after 9 months. I remember being so fearful of it, dreading it even but found that when it came to it, it actually wasn’t too bad.
I could enjoy small things again like having a cup of tea whilst it’s still hot, going for a wee by myself, sitting down for longer than 2 minutes and speaking to other adults about non- baby stuff.
But then there’s the guilt, the mothers guilt that’s always there in the back of your mind. Especially at first when you feel like you’ve abandoned your mini one and you’re constantly worried what might happen. In my first official day back at work someone asked if I was okay and I burst into tears! I had my phone out constantly checking in case the nursery called and then called them at every break to make sure he was okay. Yep I was ‘that’ mum.
I love the balance of working and having my mummy time. Purely because I know he’s only going to be this young, this age once and you can never get that time back. I want to watch him develop his new skills, be part of the story and have those memories of these early years. But it is hard and here is why . . .
- Feeling guilty about leaving your mini one- as much as I know it’s good for him to spend time with other people and with other children at nursery, I feel guilty about leaving him. It’s almost been two years and it hasn’t gone away. Especially on the occasion where he doesn’t want me to leave when dropping him off at nursery, cries and clings to me like koala bear. It literally tugs at my heart strings and I still get the prickle of tears threatening to well up in my eyes.
- Feeling guilty on my days off about leaving my colleagues with any unfinished project work, or if it’s busy and I’m not there to pull my weight. I come in part way through the week Weds – Fri and do what I can to contribute and add value during that time but feel it’s hard to fully feel like you’ve accomplished entire goals. I also worry about what they think as I’m not full time and most of them are.
- Feeling guilty about not contributing enough money to the household. My other half works full time and earns the greater salary. I hate that I don’t earn even half of what he does. I feel guilty like I’m contributing less even though I’m balancing that with caring for our child. I’m always money conscious when it comes to activities and have to prioritise what we want to do and have to ask can I afford this? I’d love to earn a full time wage but not at the expense of missing out on my babies childhood. I think maybe when he goes to school I could go full time but then what about drop off and pick up? What about school plays? What about all the things that truly matter – I guess being there? But then part of me thinks what about the opportunities that more money could bring to like holidays?
- Feeling guilty that you’re constantly juggling work commitments with child commitments and never fully focusing on one thing at a time – it’s exhausting! I’ve said before and it’s still true that sometimes I feel I have too many tabs open in my mind and I’m constantly clicking between them all. But I guess that’s what all mums feel like right?
- I feel guilty when talking about this kind of thing to other mums who have more than one child, how do they do it? I know everyone’s situation is different and I’m lucky to be able to work part time and not have to work full time, to some mums it’s not a choice. Some don’t work at all and maybe wished they did. Trying to find a work vs life balance is hard and I guess everyone works it out in their own way.
I just wanted to write this post to let some of my thoughts about being a part time working mummy out. I think people who don’t have children think it’s easy as you’re working less but between the two I know where I would rather be every single time.
Now that I’ve reached a crossroads in my career I’m looking for a change that will allow me to be more flexible around Ollie and be able to do my own thing to earn a decent wage.