I often wonder if I should be feeling the ‘mum guilt’ more than I do. This week I had my probation review. I passed, which is amazing as I love my job. It means, however, that it’s been 6 months since I started my ‘new’ job. 6 months since I went back to work full time with a toddler in tow. And 6 months since that toddler went full time at nursery.
At first it was hard. And I’m not gunna lie; there are still hard days. Especially when I need to have my work head on but I can’t help think about how she’s getting on at nursery. It’s a struggle to get going on days you’ve had 5 hours sleep and woke with a screaming toddler at 4am. Its especially hard when you work in a creative industry and need to actually bat decent ideas around with your peers.
I work as a digital marketing assistant. I need to be creative, and think about what will grab people’s attention. What will work for our business and what hasn’t worked that we should stop. There’s not a day goes by where I can just sit and get on with mindless stuff because I don’t really have anything mindless to do. It’s a struggle, but its one I love. It’s also one I’m not willing to walk away from.
I want to embrace my career. I don’t think being a mum should stop that. But I do worry about how other people view me because of it. Working full time and trying to have a career shouldn’t be something I feel guilty about. But I feel like people think I should. I wish it worked more around my little girl, but it isn’t that bad. At least she has me every evening and every weekend almost without fail.
There are times when I wish I could jack it all in and be with her 24/7. But then I think about what that would do to me, and it would drive me insane. I need a ‘me’ that doesn’t revolve around her. Maybe that’s selfish, but it’s true. So much of my life does, so I need that 9-5 that doesn’t. I wish my work was closer to home, but its not and that’s something we have to deal with. And yes, I do sometimes feel guilty, especially on the days where I know she’s not 100% and wants cuddles. But I know, and I hope she knows, that on the days where she really needs me, I’ll be there.
I’m lucky in the sense that Spike isn’t a sicky baby. So far she’s taken every illness in her stride. If she’s really ill, I know about it. Other than that though, she’s good to go. Once she’s at nursery she forgets that she wanted a day with mummy at home. I don’t though… and its those days I do tend to feel a bit of that mum guilt.
Those days don’t come often though. Most of the time I can go to work, come home, and be Spike’s mum without feeling bad that I’ve left her all day. And I think it says a lot that the thing I’m most worried about is the fact I’m not feeling the mum guilt. After 6 months though, I’ve realised that not feeling guilty doesn’t mean I love her any less. It just means I know that how we’re doing things works for us, for now – and that’s got to be the right thing, right?