I love my baby. And I love my job. Not in equal measures of course, nothing will compare to the love I have for my child.
But see, right there… that last sentence is fuelled by Mummy Guilt. The reassurance and affirmation that nothing is bigger or better than baby!
I was petrified about leaving work to start our family. I was induced 5 weeks early… a blessing in one way for it skipped me the whole waiting and watching side of things but in other ways, my fears went through the roof! Upon being told about our induction plans, PB was overjoyed and excited at meeting our son early and my response was ‘B…bbb…but I have work tomorrow?!’. Having the control and the independence stripped from me was scary and I felt so scared.
Mother’s are workers regardless. Stay at home, working, part time or full time mums, we all put in hard graft in different ways. And we all face different guilt through our choices.
As a working mum, I get hit with the guilt truck multiple times a day. I’ll be answering texts and emails whilst spooning Ready Brek into BB’s mouth and half way through, mummy guilt radar sounds and I force myself to put my phone down and focus on BB’s spoon to mouth movements. And I feel bad for ever picking the phone up in the first place.
Or I will sometimes take BB to bookings with me (I’m a hair and makeup artist by trade) if they coincide with my childcare days and he will sit in a corner with toys and an ipad whilst I try and do a good job despite having one eye and ear fixed on my precious assistant across the room. Then, as I drag him in and out of the car with all my equipment and baby paraphernalia, the mummy guilt hits me and I find myself getting tearful on the way home because it is past his tea time and he can’t understand why I am in the room but not in the room at the same time.
Then there is the fact that you enjoy your work and being away from motherhood for a little while. Work suddenly becomes a haven. A place where you can pee in peace, eat a sandwich without one hand spooning puree into a mouth and no need to be on alert for choking risks. You can soak up conversation that doesn’t just consist of vowels and being on your phone isn’t a bad thing.
And feeling that great about going to work makes you check yourself. Like there’s a little Self Doubt Fairy sat on your shoulder, whispering things in your ear… Things like ‘Are you sure we shouldn’t be spending more time at home? Are you sure you shouldn’t be enjoying changing a nappy as much as you do blowdrying someone’s hair?’.
Then I catch said Fairy and banish her outside. She can piss off. Aside from needing to work financially, I also need to work because if I didn’t, I wouldn’t be a very good Mum. I would be resentful and bored. Controversial as it may be to say, but being SEO at Mummy Ltd isn’t enough of a role for me. I love it but I also love having a little space in my life where I can remember who I was before BB came along, I need the pride I take in my hard worked for skills and I also need interaction with adults.
So I do my best to balance things as best I can. I tread this tight rope line that divides selfishness and self preservation.
And so far; I haven’t fallen off.
Additional information and findings from this week :
– Brushing BB’s teeth is possibly my least favourite task as his Mummy. He fights against me big time, flailing his head about and kicking his legs with gusto as I try to brush 6 little nuggets of enamel with a Star Wars themed stick with bristles attached. One night found me being ninja kicked in the oesophagus as I leant over to reach his mouth. Ouch.
– I have been taking BB out in his buggy every afternoon that I’ve not been working, now that the weather is getting nicer again. It takes a real push on the tired days but once we’re out I’m always glad to have done it.
– This week found us having the first morning where we came into BB’s room to find him sitting up, playing in his cot. He usually can’t get himself from laying down to sitting up on his own whilst in his sleeping bag, but his confidence with movement has soared in the past week and myself and PB were awestruck to walk into his room and find him happily playing with his soft toy rabbit. Proud moment for sure!
– Said soft toy Rabbit is called Babbit. He only lives in BB’s nursery and so far has never ventured out from the cot. I picture him as a quiet little bunny with a lot of patience. And resilience… he doesn’t seem to put up any fight when having his ears chewed whilst BB falls asleep!
|A proud BB sitting up all on his own in bed for the first time, with Babbit for company in the background.
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