It's kicking in now. The "working mum guilt"
I just picked up my youngest from nursery (he's tucking into his lunch now next to me) and I walked down the hill to fetch him it occurred to me that this is the last time I'll be doing this for a minimum of three months. Potentially a whole lot longer. Maybe ever....
And there it is. The guilt. Sitting like a ton of bile in my belly. What kind of mum goes off to follow her career and leaves daddy to do all the parenting? Well apparently I do. Because I have to. Because bills need paying, my family need feeding, and it is frowned upon to let them all walk round in rags. My cosy part time job has been taken away from me through no fault of my own and I can only find full time jobs in a different town. So for this last year before my last baby starts school, instead of spending two afternoons a week just me and him I get virtually no one-on-one time with him. In fact for 5 days a week I will only see all of my babies for an hour in the morning and a couple of hours in the evening. All the fun things will have to be crammed into weekends.
"What's wrong with that?" I hear so many people say. Well, nothing I suppose. Plenty of people do the same. But I've only worked part time since having my eldest and, even though there have been times I have been REALLY GLAD to get out of the house and spend time with grownups at work, I really love spending time with my kids. Freddie is going to be the only one I haven't spent a big chunk of my time with in this last year before school.
I've loved not having to rely on breakfast clubs and after school clubs. I love seeing my kids charge into school and nursery in the mornings, I love the way my kids throw themselves at me when I pick them up at the end of the day. I love my afternoons with Freddie. I'm not emotionally ready to let that go to someone else (even their dad). But I have no choice if we want to eat.
I'm a working mum. Not a bad mum or a neglectful mum. I love my kids. And yes this new job could turn out to be an amazing opportunity for me and my future career and I am excited to be starting, but I haven't taken it for selfish reasons. I've taken it because it was the best option to allow me to provide for my family. And I need to remind myself of that every time this guilt kicks in.
I love my kids
I am providing for my kids
My kids are well cared for and safe
My kids know I love them
I am doing my very very best for them
I know I will overcome this. I went through awful Mum Guilt when I first went back to work after having my first baby. It got better. And he is awesome and in no way damaged by me being away in the day. Hubby has been great full time dad for us before and he will be again.
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