Welcome to another instalment of my new guest series #MumisBest! #MumisBest is all about the ever-growing SAHM/working mum debate. I really want this series to highlight that there’s no right or wrong way, but whatever works for you and you family. If you’d like to take part do get in touch, I’d love to hear from you! For now I will leave you in the hands of Pam’s Bake and Baby Blog!
Be yourself, Be happy.
When I got married at 24 I didn’t want a family, but as I approached my late 20’s I felt a pull to be a mother. Now at 32 I have a 3 year old son and a 1 year old daughter. For a while I couldn’t quite believe that this was my life. In fact shortly after having my second child I freely admit I had a ‘what the hell have I done’ moment!
I went back to work after 9 months maternity leave both times. I work in the rail industry and the option for flexi time or part time hours wasn’t an option, so I went back full time – 48 hours a week. I work 12 hour shifts days and nights and although it sounds horrendous it actually means that I get a lot of time off and more time with the kids than if I worked a mon-fri job. It means that we need less childcare as I work weekend and evening so husband is able to cover a lot of it.
Before I had children I would complain about the shifts, about how tired I was working such long hours. Now I don’t have days off. I have two children and a house to look after but much less time to deal with everything. I won’t lie it can be a struggle. And after my first child I took a while to get into a routine. There were tears, arguments and struggles. But now me and hubby are on the same page. He is super supportive of my choices and pulls his weight at home (most of the time!). I can’t stress how important this has been and understand this is not the same for everyone.
I shock a lot of people when I tell them that I enjoy working. When I was at home on maternity leave I felt like a huge part of myself was missing. I struggled to find a happy place and (this still makes me cringe to say but) I felt unfulfilled. Being a stay at home mum wasn’t for me. There I’ve said it. It is the hardest job I can imagine. There is no salary, no bonus for meeting targets and no appraisals to let you know how to improve.
I recently wrote a piece about ‘mummy guilt’ and what everyone thinks about everyone else. Working mums tend to look at stay at home mums with envy. They falsely believe that the mums at home are in their pjs until lunchtime, watching telly then doing incredible crafty, fun mum stuff with the kids every day. They are jealous that the stay at home mums get to attend school events and can seemingly do what they like. Stay at home mums look at working mums and are insanely jealous of their freedom. Freedom to have a break, go for a pee in peace and get an actual lunch break. They would kill to be wearing something other than mum gear and to have something else on their minds. Then you have the part time working mums. They have a bit of both sets of guilt. Guilty that they feel they aren’t able to give their all at work in the hours available. Guilty they aren’t doing enough at home. Guilt is a bitch!
We are also bad at hating on each other. In the last year I have heard stay at home mums say they can’t believe that a mother would want to work full time – why bother having kids? Is a statement I hear a lot. Working mums are similarly as bad at dishing out the insults, branding stay at home mums lazy. Why can’t we respect each other more!
Last year I had a breakthrough after I admitted that I enjoyed working. Instead of apologising for doing what was best for me, I am embracing it! Being a working mum makes me happy. But I have also came to the conclusion that we will never ‘have it all’. Whatever you choose then chances are you will have to sacrifice something. And that can be ok as long as you accept this.
To the working mums out there, feeling torn in two I salute you. To the stay at home mammas rocking motherhood, I salute you. To the mothers not having many good days with the littlies, they will get older and leave home someday so I salute you. To the mums waddling though with their eyes half shut I salute you!
There’s no need to be superwoman – that role is old! Be yourself, be happy.
Wife of 8 years-been with hubby for 15 years since i was 17,my first love!
Mother of a 3 year old boy and 1 year old girl.
I work in the rail industry and have done for 11 years now. Previous jobs include a chemical technician in a cheese factory, a mental health support worker and a waitress.
I started blogging last year as a way of getting some writing out there. I have written on and off since I was a teen but never seem to have enough time lately (never dedicate any time to it!) So the blog has been the perfect platform to express myself and I have met so many supportive men and women through it.
You can find more from Pam here!