I’m not Failing, I’m a Working Mum

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Since I went back to work at the beginning of last month, I’ve really struggled to shake the feeling that I failed at being a SAHM.  Every time I sit down to work, I look back at my children’s faces and a pang of guilt rocks me.  Once I get going the feeling usually passes and I get on with my job, but I still get fleeting butterflies when I worry about what my children must think of me.

I was supposed to stay at home until the littlest went to school, then the world would be my oyster.  As it turns out giving up my job nearly drove me insane, as I waved goodbye to my business I  inadvertently packed off my identity too.  For a while I felt completely trapped.  Not willing to admit that I needed to work, whilst not wanting to be a full-time parent left my brain in a constant state of battle.  I had no idea which side would win, until one day I woke up and told Hubs that I wanted to work again.  Enough was enough.

Now I have my identity back.  I work, I bring home a bit of the bacon and I know in my heart and head that it was definitely the right decision to make.  So why do I feel so guilty?  Why do I feel like my girls will never forgive me, for not staying off work until they head off to school?

I’m not saying here that all mums who work are failing, far from it.  I commend any mother that works to provide for her family, it’s a plate spinning exercise that leaves us in fear of smashing record breaking amounts of porcelain.  My feelings are entirely personal and I know that they are completely irrational, but knowing our thoughts are irrational doesn’t stop our minds working overtime.

I hope that as time goes on I will feel less like I’m failing and more like I’m stepping up to give my girls the best life possible.  I hope that as my children get older they will develop an immense amount of drive and ambition, so that they’ll appreciate why I had to go back to work.  I need them to know that I didn’t fail, but that I’m a working mother and that’s something that should be championed not put down.

 

Tools down until nap time then? 😂 #bloggersdaughter #toolsdown

A post shared by Zoe • Blogger • Writer (@thetaleofmummyhood) on

 

49 Comments

  • Mom Of Two Little Girls May 18, 2017 at 8:31 am

    You are definitely not failing. It’s good for our daughters to see that mommy can work if she wants to, or needs to. Working is something to be proud of. I would go back to work tomorrow if I could make it work for my family.
    Good for you. And your girls will be fine!
    #stayclassymama

    Reply
    • The Tale of Mummyhood May 18, 2017 at 8:32 am

      Thankyou! X

      Reply
  • mamagrace May 18, 2017 at 8:57 am

    You are doing the best in the moment and if you’re enjoying it you’re on the right path. Working not working you’re still parenting. There’s no right or wrong just different. They will get a huge amount from you working and they will get a huge amount from you not working. There’s no how it should be just how it is. I hope you and your littleness enjoy every day. #coolmumclub

    Reply
    • The Tale of Mummyhood May 23, 2017 at 12:14 pm

      Thankyou x

      Reply
  • Tubbs May 18, 2017 at 9:41 am

    What Mom of Two Girls said. You’re not failing, you’re making motherhood work for you and your family. And for you, that means working. Teaching our children there’s many ways of doing and being the same thing is a valuable life lesson I think. Don’t feel bad! Sending hugs and tea

    Reply
    • The Tale of Mummyhood May 23, 2017 at 12:13 pm

      Thankyou x

      Reply
  • motherhoodtherealdeal May 18, 2017 at 10:55 am

    You are most certainly not failing. I agree being a working mum is a massive plate spinning exercise but keep your eyes on the prize lovely…you are also being a fab role model to them too! Thanks for linking up to #coolmumclub lovely xoxo

    Reply
    • The Tale of Mummyhood May 23, 2017 at 12:13 pm

      Thankyou x

      Reply
  • Lydia C. Lee May 18, 2017 at 8:38 pm

    You feel guilty because there’s a whole media industry in making you feel bad. Shake it off. As a wise woman once said “Anyone can change a nappy. It’s the teen years that you need to try to be home for” and a Doctor has also said this to me “Teenagers that know they’re coming home to an empty house are always the ones that seem to come to me in trouble”. Now I know it’s not possible for everyone to quit their jobs for 6 years while their kid is in high school, but you also don’t see the same level of grief and judgement for those mother’s in the media (or the playground). So head high and ask your male friends/partner why they don’t feel any guilt. Maybe we need to take a leaf out of their book….? (And I’m a SAHM, so I’m not pushing my own barrow, I just see things as they are) #Stayclassymama

    Reply
    • The Tale of Mummyhood May 23, 2017 at 12:12 pm

      Thankyou x

      Reply
  • Musings of a tired mummy...zzz... May 18, 2017 at 9:08 pm

    I think I am setting my children a good example by working my 3 jobs, plus they are proud to be involved in my blog. I am happier and have more self-worth now, I have a voice and am a real person not just defined in my relation to my children. #stayclassymama

    Reply
    • The Tale of Mummyhood May 23, 2017 at 12:11 pm

      It’s nice to have your own identity xx

      Reply
  • Mrs Hergerburger May 20, 2017 at 7:04 am

    It’s important to work, especially if you have girls and especially if it makes you a happier person. Happier Mummy means happier children. I try and focus on what the girls do when I’m not with them – often it is spending time bonding with their Daddy or doing things at nursery like building relationships that we wouldn’t be able to do at home. Focus on the positives! #blogstravaganza

    Reply
    • The Tale of Mummyhood May 23, 2017 at 12:08 pm

      Thankyou x

      Reply
  • oldhouseintheshires May 20, 2017 at 7:16 am

    It’s got to be a personal choice hasn’t it? I have worked full time, stayed at home and part time. It’s all hard to be honest and as children change their needs change too so that is why my work patterns have been different! But then I am lucky in that my career I can do this and I have some flexibility with earning as my husband has a good job too. Would love to be a guest blogger if you want!] and chat more about this! Oh and thanks for the feature this week. X #blogstravaganza

    Reply
    • The Tale of Mummyhood May 23, 2017 at 12:08 pm

      It’s great that you have flexibility! It’d be great to have you as a guest blogger, get in touch! xx

      Reply
  • mommyandrory May 20, 2017 at 8:44 am

    I hope it gets easier for you. I’ve recently returned to work and I’ve been struggling with guilt because I actually quite enjoy been at work 🙊 Don’t get me wrong I never want to get up on Monday morning and when Friday arrives I’m running for the door but I really missed the adult conversation. I loved maternity leave but I just don’t think I’m made for a life of full time soft play and baby groups #stayclassymama

    Reply
    • The Tale of Mummyhood May 23, 2017 at 12:04 pm

      Thankyou x

      Reply
  • kerry May 20, 2017 at 8:53 am

    I don’t think its anything to do with working/not working, as everyone does what’s right for “their” family. I think mummy guilt is from people having fat too much opinion on how others mothers go about their parenting, we are cosntantly judged for whatever we do as parents and sometimes it all gets a little too much and the guilt kicks in.

    #blogstravagnaza

    Reply
    • The Tale of Mummyhood May 23, 2017 at 12:03 pm

      Very true, thankyou x

      Reply
  • Gary May 20, 2017 at 9:15 am

    As a SAHD I understand how you feel. Difference for me is there is very little I can do to get back into work and make it financially worthwhile while fitting it around my wife’s shift and working pattern. Our money would be wasted on childcare, which is the whole reason why I gave up work in the first place! I’m hoping to return early next year when our son can start at the preschool setting we like (aged 2). I actually think he needs it too. My daughter has thrived from being in nursery. She starts full time school in September but truth be told she’s been ready for months. We always say in our house we do what’s best for the whole family unit, that way you won’t go far wrong. #blogstravaganza

    Reply
    • The Tale of Mummyhood May 23, 2017 at 12:02 pm

      That’s so true, thankyou x

      Reply
  • anywaytostayathome May 20, 2017 at 9:26 am

    Guilt is the worst. I loved being at home with my boy but the business I’d tried to run failed. No two ways about that part. But I struggle to separate the feelings of failing as a mum with failing at a business. I know you are not a follow though. You have to do what is right for you, so you can do what is right for them #blogstravanza

    Reply
    • The Tale of Mummyhood May 23, 2017 at 12:01 pm

      Thankyou x

      Reply
  • ruth cartwright May 20, 2017 at 10:47 am

    You have to find what works best for you, every family is different #blogstravaganza

    Reply
    • The Tale of Mummyhood May 23, 2017 at 12:00 pm

      Thankyou x

      Reply
  • Jo - Cup of Toast May 20, 2017 at 1:26 pm

    Lovely post, and you are definitely not failing them! I paused my consultancy when I had children and also felt that I had hung up my identity. I have recently started blogging which is helping to carve a little of ‘me’ back into my weeks and give some differentiation and routine to my Monday – Friday versus my weekends. #blogstravaganza

    Reply
    • The Tale of Mummyhood May 23, 2017 at 11:59 am

      Blogging definitely helps! x

      Reply
  • mums army May 20, 2017 at 6:07 pm

    Isn’t it horrible how our minds torment us, you are happier in yourself for getting back to work so in turn your children will be happier because you will give off a happy vibe. Can you remember anything before you were 5? I can’t, my earliest memory is when I was 5 and I did a poo in my knickers at Pontins because I was having too much fun at the playground and didnt want to go back to the chalet to use the toilet. Your children will have no memory about whether you went to work when they were 3 months, 6months, 2 years or 4 yet we still beat ourselves up. Sounds like you are doing an awesome job to me because you care so much and I imagine your children think you are the Bees Knees! xxx #Blogstravaganza

    Reply
    • The Tale of Mummyhood May 23, 2017 at 11:58 am

      Thankyou x

      Reply
  • talkingmums1 May 20, 2017 at 8:09 pm

    I don’t think they will ever see you as a failure for going back to work. I think they will look up to you for being you and doing what you needed to do x
    #Blogstravaganza

    Reply
    • The Tale of Mummyhood May 23, 2017 at 11:54 am

      Thankyou x

      Reply
  • Keepmum May 20, 2017 at 11:02 pm

    It can be so hard to know what to do for the best. Though I can guarantee you, either way, you’re kids will love and admire you 😊 You’re doing great! #blogstravaganza

    Reply
    • The Tale of Mummyhood May 23, 2017 at 11:54 am

      Thankyou x

      Reply
  • mamagrace May 21, 2017 at 9:11 am

    And it’s great to let both our sons and daughters know that women have the choice to work if they can. #Blogstravaganza

    Reply
    • The Tale of Mummyhood May 23, 2017 at 11:53 am

      So true x

      Reply
  • Aleena Brown May 21, 2017 at 12:35 pm

    So well said! The battle in our brains is a constant and challenging one, but ultimately we all do what is best for us and our families. Seems to me you’re doing exactly what works for you and yours, so high five to that mama! #Blogstravaganza

    Reply
    • The Tale of Mummyhood May 23, 2017 at 11:53 am

      Thankyou x

      Reply
  • JakiJellz May 21, 2017 at 3:02 pm

    I remember the feeling well. I always had to go back, albeit only part time, but I had to go. It soon became normal and little man was none the wiser. I sometimes feel guilty when I spend time on the blog at the weekend, but I can’t always work into the night doing it, I would go insane. I just keep telling myself that I’m working hard at it for him, to be able to provide more for him in the long run. We really are far too hard on ourselves. #Blogstravaganza

    Reply
    • The Tale of Mummyhood May 23, 2017 at 11:53 am

      Thankyou x

      Reply
  • Musings of a tired mummy...zzz... May 21, 2017 at 9:02 pm

    My daughter wants to be a mum when she is older and nothing else, food for thought…Popping back from #blogstravaganza

    Reply
    • The Tale of Mummyhood May 23, 2017 at 11:51 am

      Thankyou x

      Reply
  • Muffintopmummyblog May 22, 2017 at 9:09 pm

    It’s so true that everyone is different and wants different things! I have to go back part-time, but I really want to be a SAHM instead. Although having said that, I’ve always loved bringing in money – so I’m guessing I’d eventually change my mind anyway! I don’t think any of us are failing – we’re just trying to find the right way for ourselves. And it looks like you’re on the right track 😊 #blogstravaganza

    Reply
    • The Tale of Mummyhood May 23, 2017 at 11:50 am

      Thankyou! x

      Reply
  • whitecamellias May 23, 2017 at 12:39 pm

    I completely understand you and often feel this way however I don’t thibk you are failing at all. Working works for you and I’m sure your daughters will never resent you for it or think any less of you. A good mother (like you) knows herself and is able to make the right decisions not only for her family but also herself because if mother goes insane, is unhappy and resents not being proactive to find a happy balance the surely the kids can’t be happy either. Thank you for sharing with #StayClassyMama

    Reply
    • The Tale of Mummyhood May 25, 2017 at 11:32 am

      Thankyou x

      Reply
  • Autumn's Mummy May 25, 2017 at 5:37 pm

    As many others have said, you are not failing! Hopefully one day you’ll know you’ve made the right decision and won’t feel guilty. #Blogstravaganza

    Reply
    • The Tale of Mummyhood May 26, 2017 at 6:22 pm

      Thankyou! x

      Reply

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