Can you be a working mum without guilt?
So I feel like I’ve been juggling / multi tasking what ever you want to call it.
I’m a wife, a mother, a step mother and until recently I also worked full time. Not full time in the essence of 5 days per week 8 hours per day in an office environment, but 4 days working from my home office averaging 6 hours per day and then in the office one day per week for 7 hours.
I have always worked full time and always supported myself. Even when I married. My husband has an 11 year old to his first wife so I have been step mum for the past 8 years. We now also have our own adorable, wonderful, amazing little guy who is 16 months old.
So that’s 2 boys and a husband in a very demanding role which requires him long hours in the office and stressful odd hour phone calls to international branches of the company he works for. Providing a stable environment for them including cooking healthy dinners every night for all of us, daily cleaning, packing lunches, doing the washing, ironing, vacuuming, groceries, dusting, mopping as we have floor boards, and many other house hold duties.
With this I still worked full time – 40 hours per week right up until a week prior to giving birth. I then proceeded to work from home averaging 35 hours per week since my bub was 5 days old. I was only in hospital 2 nights.
Yes this was a struggle as there was not a single day throughout my pregnancy where I wasn’t ill. I threw up minimal twice daily and was constantly tired and nauseous, however I loved my role and felt obliged to work as I had only been with the company / business 10 weeks when we found out we were expecting.
I told the CEO of the business straight away as I was also still within the probation period so thought it was the right thing to do. Give them the option of letting me go within the probation period. Although I was t through my 12 week safe zone, I felt I needed to be honest with the company. To my delight they decided to keep me on.
After bringing my bundle of love and joy home I worked 35 hours per week from our home office up until July where I started going into the city office on Tuesdays. I had a private Nannie for my bub as he also suffered severe reflux and had dairy intolerance which meant day care didn’t want the responsibility of him in there care at 6 months old. As he had reflux he refused his bottle and rightly so as it would be painful and burn him when swallowing the milk and reflux also causes acid burn within the trachea – quite painful. With his dairy intolerance it would mean also being very cautious as to not allow him access to any dairy.
I understand they didn’t want the responsibility so we chose the safe option of a private Nannie in our home.
This was also not a cheap option costing us $250 per day. It did however give peace of mind knowing the love of my life was safe and in his own surroundings.
I know it was a hard position for me to return to work as being a first time mum I didn’t want to leave my 6 month old son.
I also appreciate it was a hard position for my employer as they didn’t have me in the office full time. Being in the office full time provided team moral and as I am quite a bubbly, easy going, energetic, ‘up and at Em’ kind of girl I feel I provided a sense of energy in the office. I was also the only person within the company doing my niche role.
I know they wanted and needed me in the office full time however I just couldn’t do it. We didn’t have confirmed day care and we certainly couldn’t afford a private Nannie 5 days per week.
This played on my mind daily as I felt I was letting them down, especially after they were so good to me and understanding and supporting my position with my bub and also especially after keeping me employed when I announced my pregnancy.
But who was I really letting down?
I loved working and felt lucky to work in the role I was in. I’m a qualified interior designer and worked for an art investment house. Quite niche and with only 5 competitors within Australia very fortunate to be employed within the industry. Id been working in this role for just over 4 years. I’d previously worked with another company doing the exact same thing for 2 years prior to being head hunted by this company. (Head hunted is where the company approaches you and offers you to work with them)
I have however sadly since resigned from this position.
There were many factors which equated to any decision, however I ask myself – have I don’t the right thing?
This is the first time ever in my life that I’ve never been employed. Well since I was 15 – I started waitressing and worked in a restaurant kitchen 4 nights per week after school at the tender age of 15 but prior to that was baby sitting on a regular basis from about 13 years old earning approx $50 per week (back then – think circa 1993 – this was a lot of money for a tween) This is also the first time ever that I’ve had to rely on someone else. I’ve always provided for myself.
So this is a bad thing you ask? It is as I’m very self sufficient and proud. At any point in my 20’s I would work 2 jobs and an very proud to say purchased my own first home at 26. With my own hard earned money with no hand outs or gifts or help from anyone. Just me and my savings account. 🙂
So I’ve had to learn, to ask my husband for money – this is a task to me as I’m a proud person to hates to ask for anything.
I’ve always been on a budget as I’ve also arrived to save and provide for myself so this isn’t new, but I’ve never been unemployed.
How will I fill my days?
Well I plan on spending every minute with my little guy. I’ve felt guilty working whilst he has been so young. I’ve been consumed with thoughts that I’ve missed out on precious moments with him.
Now it’s time for me to relish in being a mummy. Gosh we tried so hard to have him – that’s another story of daily Chinese herbs, acupuncture 3 times per week, daily meditation, a clean natural diet with no preservatives and weekly yoga!
So my time to be a mummy!
Tell me do you feel guilty?
Do you feel society puts pressure on you to work and be a mummy?
Do you feel judged for not wanting to be employed?
How do you juggle being employed and being a mummy?
Don’t get me wrong, I actually believe that being a mother is the most rewarding job ever. If I were to write a list of daily jobs that make up being a mother you may be shocked however I defiantly take my hat off to those mothers who can do it all.
I struggled not with time management but with guilt. I couldn’t get my head around leaving my little guy 5 days nor could I stop feeling guilty that I had a sense of owing the company that I worked for.
All in all a very tough decision for me.
Well I always have my blog!
Tell me your story. Do you work? How do you juggle? Do you feel guilt with regards to your company or your family?