I have working mum guilt.
Everyday working day I say to my partner ‘Can we keep her today?’
It’s my mantra. The mantra of a working mum.
You see I miss her – deeply.
I know that Isla will probably be my only child, due to age, previous struggles to conceive and the miraculous circumstances that surrounded the conception of her.
But our financial situation means that I have to work – like many other mums and dads across the globe. And it seems like such a first world problem talking about this, but nevertheless, I feel the working mum guilt and that has to count for something – right?
In my head, I hope that one day when I ask the question, Scott will turn around and say:
‘Of course we can keep her at home darling – we’ve won the lottery!’
He would never speak like this, but in my head this is how he will respond!
Balancing working life and being a mum, we all know is tricky. Making sure you give enough love and attention and guidance to your child to ensure they grow up into a happy, well balanced individual plays on my mind all of the time.
Is that grumpiness in the car on the way home from nursery because I haven’t been there?
Is hitting mummy happening because I’m not there and I don’t understand?
How could I, when I haven’t been with her all week.
Of course, I rationalise this working mum guilt and know it’s not true. She’s a vibrant, independent 1 year old who embraces life and risk it seems (!) at every opportunity. But it whirls in my head quite often.
How am I possibly giving her the best start in life when I’m not there for half of it?
Luckily her nursery is superb and she adores being there. She often comes home covered in mess, with multiple sets of clothes that need washing! The care, attention and most importantly fun, she has is second to none. I’m also blessed that they run lots of extra curricula activities so parents and family can be engaged in her learning and development and with community of staff that look after her.
I also believe quite strongly in social skills. I think it’s one of the most important traits to develop in children. You can build up your emotional intelligence, which in turn gives you greater understanding, and hopefully connections, to people in all walks of life. So, exposing her to friends and social environments at this early age I think is important too.
We’re also making a really concerted effort on a weekend to make sure we do things for her. We’ve finally found a class that runs on a Saturday morning where we all get to sign songs and dance and play. And Isla loves it. We get to see her enjoyment and are there for all of it.
These are really precious times and we’re developing memories that will stay with us forever.
By focussing on what we can do together, when I do keep her for the day, means we all get something out it. A concentrated period of time, where it is about love, playfulness and of course the odd tantrum still!
It’s not all bliss!
I will keep in asking the question, if we can keep Isla home that day as the working mum guilt whirls around me head. She too adorable to not want to be with her all of the time.
But I have accepted that the times we do have are there for the taking – to maximise every kiss, cuddle, laugh and joy that comes from spending time together.