The reality and guilt of being a working mother.
When I was pregnant, my thought of being a mum was, having morning cuddles in our PJ’s, dressing my baby in beautiful clothes to have coffee with my other mummy friends, then at the right age dropping them off at nursery, where they would run in so excited to see their friends, and I would happily drive to work.
The reality is, you dress your bundle of joy in the most fantastic outfit, and 2 minutes later, they have been sick all down themselves and by the fifth outfit change, you give up, you run around all day cleaning, sorting, changing nappies and doing all the chores you still managed to do when you were at work full time, you spend most of the day in your PJ’s and barely leave the house for the first few months, you rock your baby for an hour to get them to sleep, and the second you put them down, they start crying. Your first week back at work ( which you are excited about), you drop your walking toddler off at nursery, and they scream the place down, shouting mummy, mummy, and the entire drive to work, you are crying and feel like the worst mother in the world.
Have you been there?
Now my children aged 12 and 8 understand what is meant by “mum the taxi service”- I live most of my after-work life running my children from activity to activity, living on Starbucks coffee and blueberry muffins.
Being a working mum is a complete juggling act, and yes, it’s tiring some days, but it’s so worth it. My children understand the importance of a happy working mum, and my kids have grown up in a fun environment around other kids in after school clubs and have learnt more than I could ever have taught them.
I will never be one of those mums that does the school runs, goes in for the reading classes at school, or be that mum who packs their kids a fantastic pack lunch for the school trip- normally it’s last minute.com and a meal deal from Tescos on the rush to drop off at breakfast club.
I am up at five every morning, packing school bags, ironing uniforms, hurrying them along (screaming in my head) and then grabbing a coffee as we rush out the door without barely saying a word to each other but, during that 15-minute drive to school- that is our 15 minutes where we chat, sing, laugh and constantly tell each other how much we love each other and how much we will miss each other. Those 15 minutes are the best 15 minutes of my day.
I felt guilty for years, and I struggled to leave my kids at times, but you know what- that’s made me a better mum- it’s made me appreciate the time I have with my children, the time I have to be a career woman and to be me.
My kids always tell me how much they love me and how proud they are of me, which makes all those little things I miss so much easier.
I wouldn’t change the way I brought up my children; I wouldn’t change the fact I chose a career. I just wish society wouldn’t make me feel guilty for doing so.