I know I'm not alone when it comes to Mum Guilt, but this is something I've been struggling with more and more lately. Mainly because, I've decided to throw myself back into work and follow through with my passion project Monday Mumday a parenting podcast series, focusing on all sorts of raw, real and honest parenting pains...like Mum guilt.
Being freelance, for me, means that work often comes like buses, all at once. Probably because I have a problem saying no, and I love what I do so, begrudge saying no. Of course, this is amazing, but I can't help but find myself wondering if I'm neglecting my other job, being a mother. Whenever I'm working, I have a daily battle with myself, what am I missing, does Knox need me and, this is amazing, I feel like myself again after so much sacrifice. I deserve this, I owe it to myself, my mind AND to him.
For me, I'm not so worried about being the best mother at batch cooking, home-baking and craft making toys. My guilt is time. I was listening to a podcast by Alison Perry (Not Another Mummy Podcast) who was interviewing Father of Daughters and he hit the nail on the head when saying, "we're so good at ignoring our kids" I couldn't help but think, shit that's me.
The first year of motherhood, I was obsessed and I think that was down to hormones and lack of sleep. My body went into overdrive, I was a book-reading-soft-playing machine. I also was a shadow of my former self, everyday was similar and it wasn't at all how I'd imagined being a mother would be. No one tells you how boring and isolating it can be at times. As the first year fog lifted, I trickled back into work, and finally started to feel myself again.
Don't get me wrong, I love nothing more than playing rough and tumble with Knox and reading books in all sorts of different accents, but I was definitely starting to struggle with motivation.
Now more than ever there is a shining light on the power of being a woman, women in business and women supporting women, but why are we our own harshest critics and how can we separate our own guilt with wanting to support and succeed ourselves. Part of me wonders if having no maternity leave deadline hanging over my head, meant I felt guilty 'wanting' to work rather than 'having' to work.
After speaking with other parents, one word is often repeated, balance. Its simple saying it, but actually managing a healthy work-family-life balance is hard. Two months into my 'return to work' I definitely think, I am learning to manage my time more wisely, and truly enjoy those mundane moments again. I still have mum-guilt on a daily basis, but I'm also trying to look at the positives of every decision we make, and more than anything treasure all of the little things. It's true what they say, they grow up so fast.