Working Mum Guilt

Whether you are a working mum, a stay-at-home mum, a mixture of both, or an undecided as to what you’ll be yet mum, I imagine you may have wrestled with mum guilt.

I have felt the need to justify my work decisions since becoming a Mum over and over again. I’m sure that people haven’t meant to make me feel judged by asking questions but it has happened.

Partly my response is, if I’m happy with what we’re doing then why does it matter to anyone else? But, you know what, even if I’m not happy with my decision, why does it matter to anyone else?!

By working I enable us to save a little money for the first time in over a year. I am doing a job I absolutely love. I’m working on a project I’m super passionate about and I get to work closely with a dear friend who I love learning from.

But on the flipside, I miss my kid all day long. Working from home I feel particularly aware of him missing and I have stood in his room some days just thinking about what he might be doing. Whilst I am saving money, the reality is that I’m also spending a heck of a lot of that on childcare. I ask myself every week whether putting my kid in childcare now will have a negative long-term impact. I know there are studies on attachment that recommend waiting until they’re two but my kid seems happy so I’m following his lead.

So, when I’m asked questions like, “isn’t that a lot of hours?” or “is your kid ok in nursery that long?”, I wonder, do people not think I wrestle daily with those questions?

I would love to spend all my time with my kid but for now I feel that what I am working is right. I have made a decision that works for us. It doesn’t mean I’m always comfortable with it.  It doesn’t mean I’ve struck the perfect working mum balance.  But, it is what I’m doing and the reality is that it shouldn’t matter to anyone else.

Perhaps you didn’t want to go back to work but you had to go back for financial reasons; perhaps you had to go back for your sanity; perhaps you don’t need to and you’re going to spend some time with your kid instead.  Parenthood is not one size fits all. We’re all so different, we all feel differently about our work and we all have different financial situations so there is no way we can begin to compare our work situations with one another. I think all that matters is that you find the option that works for you and you enjoy parenthood to all its fullness, however that looks for your family.

 

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One thought on “Working Mum Guilt

  1. Caroline says:

    Oh my…Annie, did I need this tonight. I have spent the last five years juggling motherhood, college and work!
    The last year has been unbearable…after 19 years of being a Mum it still hurts when you have to make decisions to ‘work’, …am I listening, feeding, ‘there for them’, or am I a selfish, neglectful mother?
    It is true that the financial help has made the difference between struggling or not, I still don’t know what is best! But what I do know is that I should stop worrying about what others think and pray that all will be well, one day. xx

    Liked by 1 person

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