Mummy guilt. A working Mum.
To say I USED to feel guilt over silly things would be an understatement. I used to feel guilty for having my kids sit in the car for a car trip that was longer than 20 minutes. I'd feel guilty if I spent too long doing errands. I'd even feel guilty that on a Wednesday night we always get Japanese rather than cook (go figure ?). But my greatest struggle with guilt has been over work. I don't have to physically go to work Monday to Friday, 9 to 5; and for that I am truly grateful. Some Mums do, some choose to and for others the choice is out of their control. Some Mums work part time, some casual, some don't work. In my experience the amount a Mum had to work hasn't always matched in relation to the guilt they've felt over it. The amount of guilt has been more based on the feelings and ideas she'd placed around being a working Mum. I remember once in a moment of sadness when I left the kids to go to work. Two thoughts came to my mind.
Children are always learning.
My children are learning from my absence.
- That I will always come back and
- That women work too. We contribute, we lead, many enjoy it ( ?) and ultimately we play the roles we need to play in order to do what's needed. Can you imagine the work force without our nurturing souls, fierceness, our talents and our passion? I had two strong Nurse unit managers both who were Mums and their abilities to run that shit will forever have me in awe. My Mum works tirelessly too. When I think of Scarlett the song that I want playing in her head is none other than Beyoncé "Girls... who run the world" I hope that the efforts that I put in today, tomorrow and the many days after will instill a good work ethic in her too.
- The phrase that I have told myself at the times I needed to reign in those unnecessary feelings of guilt.
A Mothers (and Fathers) Love - There is no one on this earth that loves my child more than me (dads equal of course ?) so therefore every decision I make for them, every choice is made with their best interests at heart. If my decisions are coming from a place of the purest love and I feel working is either a must to ensure we have the things we need or a want, because for many women it is a huge part of who they are. I am sure to make the right decisions and even sacrifices necessary based on the love I have for them. Even be that going to work.I remember some really important people in my life once asked me " what's my greatest fear with my business" I think they expected me to say feeling like failure if it doesn't work or failure in general. Here's my rawest answer "I have a terrible fear that if it doesn't work I will need to physically leave my children for 8 hours a day a number of times a week to return to nursing". I couldn't hold back to tears as they streamed down my face. One part of me felt so selfish because so many women do this, they work more, in fact. But here's the thing, if I had to I would. Just as you do as you have to because we will always make the sacrifices necessary for our family.
I Am Superwoman!
Re-frame the meaning of being a "working mum" and say confidently to yourself "I am a Mum and I work - I am a superwoman"!
I had a client once who was returning to work the same week we started working together and in tears on the phone she was upset about returning to work. It was a must, so I said to her, you are a teacher and everyday you get to affect the lives of our most precious. Be an impacter, be a safe place to these children, you play a sacred role and I am thankful for you.
Find the roles of importance you can play when you are away from your little ones, soak them in your presence when you're home, find a balance where you can, have plenty of time just at home on days off. And just know that one day it will be the norm for them to go to work as Mums or Dads because of the example you set for them. Heck they might even say "I was never without, my parents worked hard for us kids".
The world needs you working Mumma's ❤️ oh and for those of you who are full time at home with the kids... you have my round of applause.
The Gentle Sleep Specialist xo