Wednesday, 19 February 2014

The downside of being a working mum...

There seems to be alot on-line at the moment about the whole working mum versus stay at home mum debate. In fact only a few days ago I read a blog post that is currently doing the facebook rounds called letter from a working mother to a stay at home mother and vice versa, on the Healthy Doctors website... http://carolynee.net/category/blog/
Personally I think it's a little over done and cheesy for my taste but it's worth a read no matter which side of the fence you sit on...

I have always believed in my decision to return to work, knowing it was the right thing to do for my sanity. I love my son to the ends of the earth, but I just know that I am not the type of mum that could be at home 24/7 with my child. I have every respect for mums that do decide to stay at home and make looking after their children their full time job, but I knew that this wouldn't work for me.

You see I didn't even enjoy my maternity leave that much. I know it's not really the done thing to admit that, as I know of plenty of women who loved their time off work and were nothing but depressed at the thought of returning to work. But not me, I found the whole experience for the most part a little dull, uninspiring and pretty lonely. It probably didn't help that the summer of 2012 was pretty shocking, and I spent a fair proportion of my maternity leave stuck indoors watching the rain come down. I would sometimes spend all day looking forward to my husband coming home just so I had some grown up conversation. Don't get me wrong, I would love to have more time at home with my little boy now, as he is almost two and on the whole is a real joy to be around, but a young baby that doesn't do a whole lot of anything didn't really challenge and fulfil my days the ways perhaps I thought it might.

In fact after seven months I was so ready to go back to work that my husband and I decided to swap roles, and he took advantage of the new paternity law and took three months off and I returned to work. For me it was a win, win situation... my husband wanted to spend more time with Evan, I wanted to return to work, and it meant that we could delay putting Evan into nursery for a few more months as I was worried that seven months would be a bit early. This way I could go back to work knowing that for the first few months at least Evan would be looked after by his dad...perfect..

And so that's how it went. I returned to work, Evan finally went into nursery at eleven months and things have remained that way for the last year.

However, yesterday I picked Evan up from nursery and started my usual little chat with his primary carer to talk through the usual topics of conversation....sleep, food, activities, you working mums know the drill. All was going well until she said that Evan had a tummy ache in the afternoon, and was clearly in a little pain as he was lying on the floor holding his tummy, crying and repeatedly calling for his mummy. Well she just as well had stabbed me in the heart with a blunt instrument, because in that split second that is what it felt like. Guilt really is a horrible emotion, and whilst I rationalised it all out that evening, it really brought it home to me what being a working mum sometimes comes down to...and that is knowing that there will be times when your child is in pain or feeling sad or maybe just wants to be with his mam, and you're not there in that very moment that he wants or needs you...and no matter which way you look at it that really sucks....

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