There have been some big changes in our family life recently because after eighteen months of being at home with the kiddies I have started a new job. I absolutely HATE all the working vs stay at home mum debates because every family is different and you can only try your best to do what works. I think there will always guilt associated with whatever decision you make and having other people’s shitty opinion forced upon you uninvited is really unhelpful. I had mentioned to a woman from one of the baby groups I had been taking the kids to that I wouldn’t be able to bring them after the holidays because I’d be at work and she goes “When I had my kids I gave up a brilliant job because I wanted to be a mum instead.” Fortunately there is a very typical Glaswegian response to dealing with this kind of shit which fit in perfectly here “oh did ye, aye?” (Which can be roughly translated as ‘I don’t actually give a fuck what you did so could you kindly piss off’) The more I thought about it afterwards, the more it annoyed me. I was already feeling anxious and worried about leaving the wee ones but I absolutely don’t consider myself to be any less of a mum by going to work three days a week! Think that’s why the phrase ‘full time mum’ pisses me off a bit, working part time does not also make you a part time mum. When you’re a mum you are always a full time mum! Whether you are physically with your children or not you always think about them, worry about them and provide for them.
I do honestly feel like going back to work was the best decision for me and our family. I feel so lucky that I’ve been able to spend extra time with the children and not have to rush back into work after maternity leave but I really enjoy my job and missed it so I knew getting back to it was something I wanted to do. Also, being home with the kids 24/7 can be really, really hard . My mother in law describes life when they are little like feeling like you are on a hamster wheel, having to keep going and doing the same things day after day and not getting anywhere and I totally get what she means. Between my three year old refusing to do a single thing he’s told, my one year old drama queen with the most horrendous temper tantrums I’ve ever seen, a stroppy 11 year who is rapidly approaching the nightmare that is teenage years, no one ever wanting to eat the same food at the same time, don’t even get me started on the ever dreaded supermarket shop and everything about c-bloody-beebies (except Andy, who is a bit of a babe) I feel like some days all I do is shriek at them all day long like a crazy person while counting down the minutes til bedtime. I don’t want to be a impatient, shouty mummy and for that to be how my kids remember me when the grow up. I feel like getting some balance in my home/ work life will help me to appreciate and enjoy my time with them and I can be more like the parent I want to be.
Although confident in my decision to go back to work the first day was really hard and in the run up to it I cried and worried. A lot. Luckily though we have the most amazing childminder who reassured me, sent me lovely photos and I just know with all the fun things she plans for them the kids have a ball with her and the other children. I’m actually surprised they want to come home with me at the end of the day to be honest!
Anyway I think I’ve rambled on enough now but I’m excited about a new chapter and the challenges that go along with being back in the world of work as well as being a full time mum but I know it’s all going to be just fine! (Or at least that’s what I’m gonna be trying to tell myself when it’s all going tits up and I’m trying to wrestle the kids into their clothes in the morning and running late!)