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 Rhian, From Tum to Mum!
Mum is best – Can we have it all?
When you get pregnant, you mentally make lots of decisions about how life might be with a family.
You may decide that you want to follow some kind of “written” guidebook of how life will be (the likes of Gina Forde). Or you might like the idea that you can fit the baby into your life and it’ll be easy to have it all.
Of course, you know it’s going to impact your life and there’ll be sacrifices, but you have no idea what they will really be until that little face pops out and drains every last smidgen of energy you have left. The chances are that the naive decisions you tried to make during pregnancy will turn out to have been a pipe dream.
For most mums I know, even though they may have been super ambitious prior to pregnancy, changes happen. Priorities change. Energy levels change. Work changes. They change.
For some Mums, they continue their career path and choose to return to work full time. That’s fine. For a lot of us (me included) they seek a more flexible working pattern because their job is suddenly not the ‘be all and end all’ that it once was. That’s fine too. Many may not be able to change their work situations financially. Equally fine, although I’m sure they’d prefer not to. Whichever it is, that good old “Mum guilt” will go into overdrive.
I am self employed so I didn’t really take a break at all, as I’d work around the clock. I mean, I was up anyway, so I thought I may as well sneak a bit of work in whilst she was feeding. I now have a more organised structure working only during childcare or at night time if I need to.
Once your offspring is sleeping more, you’ll most likely feel more tired. You might now be doing those extra jobs you didn’t get around to during the day well after little one is down for the night. Or you may still be up throughout the night. In short, you’re still going to be knackered most of the time and that’s likely to influence whatever work situation you have.
You haven’t been around for a long time, and in most businesses, a lot changes in a short space of time. So it’s likely that work won’t be the same place that you left.
So what does that mean?
It means that “having it all” might actually not be the easiest thing to achieve. There is a strong possibility that you’ll constantly feel as though things aren’t quite right and you could do something better. You will probably always feel as though you are letting someone down.
So here’s the thing… you’re not.
You’re doing something amazing.
Whether you’re back at work, a SAHM or somewhere in between, you’re showing your child the realities of modern life. It bloody hard and we think we can do everything. Very rarely do I say ‘no’ to much, hence working with a newborn, but seriously, it’s knackering.
There is no perfect solution that won’t make you feel as though you’ve done 10 rounds with Mike Tyson.
It’s an ever-growing debate, and there is certainly no right or wrong. You just have to do what is right for your and your family.
The way I work, I feel like my daughter knows that I am always around for then important things, but she also knows that Mummy works too. That’s her time to have fun with her friends at nursery.
So my advice is, don’t try to have it all. Try to have a good balance and continue to be uber awesome, because Mum, you are.