Mother’s guilt is an age old topic whether you are at Stay at Home Mum, who doesn’t do enough arts & crafts, a Full Time Working Mum who doesn’t get to see her children enough, or a mum who is somewhere in between. I have now been both those mums and a mum working from home. No one role is harder or easier. Mother’s guilt is mother’s guilt.
Recently returning back to work full-time, and with longer than normal, working hours, I suffered huge guilt. I was torn between getting an au pair, a child minder or paying the extra and putting them in creche. I decided to go with creche.
Every day I thank the girls in the creche for minding my monkeys and every day I am so thankful that they are happy there. One less stress in the day. Despite being very happy to go back to work, the guilt still pops up from time to time.
For every negative there is always a positive. Here are my top 5 guilts and pleasures of working fulltime.
Top Guilts (in no particular order)
1. Waking the monkeys up at stupid o’clock on their summer holidays because they have to go to crèche. Their little tired faces think I am so mean waking them up. Breaks my heart every day.
2. The wee man can’t go to his Wednesday football, which he loved so much. Every week he asks me not to go to work so he can go. It kills me to say “I can’t. I have to go to work”.
3. The monkeys are, at the ages of 5 and 6, already caught on the repetitive roller coaster of the weekly routine. The little man even said this morning “I don’t want to go to creche, I just want to go back to Saturday”. Gulp!
4. They are always tired. Tired in the morning and worse, tired in the evenings. One little lady goes to bed overtired a few days every week, which means she falls asleep in the car on the way home or it is tantrum city until she falls asleep crying.
5. Out of the 12 hours of their day that we are apart I only hear a tiny amount of it. All of a sudden the little man is writing little paragraphs and reading on his own. The little lady can add numbers in double figures and can tie her hair in a bobbin and it wasn’t her mum who taught her how.
To be totally honest though, as much as I miss the monkeys, I do love going to work…
Top Pleasures (in no particular order!)
1.. Money money money. Money money money.
2. The time I spend with the monkeys is quality time. We do arts and crafts, baking, play football, make looms. I appreciate their company but more importantly they appreciate me.
3. My voice: I do not sound like a fish wife every few minutes. When I speak I do not have to repeat what I am saying 15 times. I do not ask my colleagues repeatedly to “put on their shoes” and make sure they have cleaned their teeth. When I call a colleague by their name, they do not pretend they cannot hear me. (Perhaps this is “Pleasure No 1!!).
4. The monkeys run down the path to greet me when I come home from work or when I collect them from creche. Hubby doesn’t quite run down the path but he values the pressures of juggling children, housework, dinners, work and as a result we have become a great team.
5. My evenings are officially down time. No longer working at home in the evenings means my evenings are a time to play with the kids and catch up with the hubby. I am not rushing them to bed so I can go and work. I can be more relaxed and spend the extra time cuddling and chatting. That is the best time to chat to the little man.
Feel free to add your own guilts and pleasures to the list…