Today’s guest post is from the lovely Ally over at dairysoyafreebubba. Ally posts all sorts – from yummy recipes that are soya and dairy free, to pictures of her gorgeous little boy Jenson! So it’s definitely worth checking her page out. However, when discussing doing a guest post she said she’d love to write about mum guilt and going back to work. Of course we said yes, as this is something I’ve struggled through as well! So with the introduction out of the way, I’ll hand things over to Ally!
There I was, a naive pregnant woman, spewing the old ‘I won’t be any different when I’m a mum’ nonsense, ‘I won’t change’. Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t say I’ve drastically changed, I am still me, the old Ally, but I was deluded to think that this little person wasn’t going to change something about me.
My job is in events and sometimes involves me going away for anything between 1-6 nights at a time. My boss is lovely, and a great friend of mine, and from her experience, warned me that after having my baby, I might not want to do these trips/overnighters. “You’ll miss them,” she warned me. Nah- miss them? I’ll be dying to get away, I laughed.
Then before I knew it, mat leave was over, and there I am standing at a nursery handing my precious baby boy over to a bunch of strangers. My friends warned me to wear waterproof mascara that day! But no, I did not cry, I was glad for him to socialise and develop, but god I didn’t stop looking at my phone that first day and raced home!
Going back to work was honestly one of the hardest points that personally I didn’t expect, in fact, I found it really really tough. Everyone has their own situations, they may return to work or not. They may want to go to work or may not. I totally respect everyone’s individual situations, but for us, financially I needed to go back, and I was initially quite looking forward to having the career again.
What I hadn’t expected, was how hard it is having to juggle getting me ready, him ready, out the door in time, getting to work, functioning with adults and noticing halfway through the day that I’ve got vomit or toothpaste or another reminder on me. I hadn’t expected the enormous amount of mum guilt ,worrying about him all day whilst also enjoying a lunch break and having a chat to adults who respond without flicking their food at me! The never ending day where I race home to get him to bed, sort everything out for the next day and finally put my feet up after sorting dinner and other chores- the job never ends!
Starting nursery also bought with it a barrage of illnesses, and that was the hardest part. He was getting ill every few weeks at first, and the guilt that bought on was immense. Guilt for leaving work. Guilt for him being there. How do you work and look after a sick child? It was really tough those first few months where I felt pulled in every direction, but luckily, he settled down and obviously built an immune system up.
Now I’m almost having another mat leave, being off whilst we’re in lockdown, and its lovely to spend the time with him, especially as he’s 18 months and the personality is really shining through. Don’t get me wrong, I will enjoy when we eventually go back to work and I can listen to the radio in the car rather than The Wiggles on repeat, and sit on the toilet without someone tugging at my trousers (unless work really has changed!) But I also appreciate this time I get with him and realise that it’s a chance most of us won’t get again.
In the meantime, I will still work on coming up with some amazing business idea that means I can work on my terms and see him. I’m thinking of inventing a wine called Mum Guilt- all mums have it, I know I’m not alone, and what better way to rid of it then pouring a glass!