hi ho, hi ho…..

I spent the day in the office today. Not yet officially back from maternity leave, I went in to lend a hand to the very busy team and to make use of one the “keeping in touch” days I’m allowed during my maternity leave period.

It was nice….

It was nice to dress up and put on heels (unnecessary, but nice nonetheless).

It was nice to use my brain and once again connect to an industry that I love so much.

It was nice to feel needed by the team and to feel that I still have worth within my workplace.

So why do I feel guilty?

My son was at home spending the day with his Grandma who no doubt spoilt him with endless hugs and kisses. He probably had no idea I wasn’t even there. All he knows at this young age is hunger and love and both of those would have been taken care of in abundance. Yet I cant seem to shake that feeling in my stomach that being there makes me less of a mum.

Is it wrong, that only 7 weeks in, I’m ready for stimulation outside of my motherly bubble?

Society is making me feel like it is. I have found myself explaining my choices to complete strangers. Not only about today’s little workplace stint but also about my plans to return to the workforce part-time in August. “That’s not long off from work” people quip, “gosh, are you sure you’ll be ready?” numerous people ask. The truth of the matter is, financially we don’t have a choice. But even if we did, I’d be going back.

It will be with the needs of my son in the forefront of my mind and of course, things will need to adapt, but with or without the financial burden that forces my hand, I’m ready, even now, to get back into the workforce.

Intentional or not, many people have made me feel guilty. Made me question my decisions and my desire to return to work.

Too soon?

According to many, apparently so.judging copy

According to many, a new mum should be home (apparently for a year). For many, being out of the workforce is a relief and something to be relished. For many, the fact that I am going back to work sooner than most, makes me less of a mum. It’s a judgment that although I am sure is not intentional, has been felt.

Maybe it’s my interpretation, maybe it’s my over sensitivity, maybe it’s just how they feel.

I was never going to be the all-baking, crochet knitting, P&C mum. I love that other women  fill those roles; it’s just not me. I’m the mum that will juggle a meeting to make it to school assembly and a schedule a gig around his soccer game. I’m the mum who may have go to work some days but will spend others in PJ’s watching cartoons. I’m the mum who wants it all and isn’t afraid to try for it.

But he will always come first. He will always be my priority, but I can have my work too.

It doesn’t make me less of a mum.

Does it?

Xx A

10 thoughts on “hi ho, hi ho…..

  1. How lucky is that boy to have a Mum like you who knows what her family needs and what she needs. I may be a stay at home Mum now but when my baby was 8 weeks old I went to fulltime Uni so that by the time she was at school I was able to provide for her a much better life, plus it was what I wanted to do. She was at daycare 4 whole days a week. She is a great 18year old at uni herself now.

  2. everyone is different and every job is different. Some jobs allow you to be a mum and work. Some jobs don’t. Mine didn’t (it was very much 12 hour days and part time was not an option) ……
    there are SO many things that come into play, the cost of childcare, the quality of the child care, the amount of time away, how much you actually love your job, how much it stresses you and how much of that stress you bring home, etc etc etc
    ONLY you can judge your decision. ONLY you. Working women shouldn’t judge those that choose to stay home and those that stay home shouldn’t judge those that go back.
    It is as simple as that.

  3. Agree Miss Fanny P! Abs… AHHH Mother Guilt… ‘society’ is awesome at making you feel like a second class citizen regardless of your choices and decisions. At the end of the day you have to do what’s right for you and your family – there will always someone who disagrees, who questions you … your style of parenting, what you feed them, how you feed them, the way you discipline etc and in this new role of ‘mum’ you will doubt yourself more than you ever did before. Hold on to your values, morals and beliefs and ignore everyone else. You are blessed to have such incredible family support with their desire to assist and be apart of A’s life, while allowing you to pursue what makes you happy too because yes, child care IS expensive! We should all support each other rather than judging or criticising. Everyone is different yet should still feel valued regardless of their ‘choice’. x

  4. I’m often guilty of “mother guilt”. I don’t care what anybody else is up to … it’s completely their right to do what the hell they like! So why do I worry so much about what people think of me? Maybe nobody else really cares either? Most people’s opinions are justifications for their own actions anyway. In my oh so humble opinion, when you’re with your kids – be the best mum you can … and when you’re at work – be the best worker you can … and enjoy them both equally and fully! Have a great time and welcome to Motherhood!! Cheers, Alison

  5. There is no set time to go back to work and feeling guilty would happen now or a year from now…it’s embedded in all of us! I am a stay at home mum with a part time/casual gig that sees me at work on weekends and I love that I can escape for a while. There’s certainly nothing wrong with wanting a career and feeling good about it! Enjoy it all!

  6. Oh, you’ll always feel like you’ve never got it quite right. Enjoy your time at work so that you can enjoy your time with your baby. Plenty of room for both sides of life. Screw anyone who tells you different

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