Monday, 6 June 2011
2/365 Back to School
Ouch. Then it hits me again. Square in the face. The Working Mum Guilt. I know that loads of mum's have to work or choose to work and that I am actually in the majority but I can't help feeling guilty for not adjusting my lifestyle to enable me to stay at home with my wee boy. If I am being honest, I want to want to be a SAHM but I just can't. It's just not who I am.
The problem is, it's not about the money. Well, the money is good and without it we couldn't move house or go to Florida this year or keep both our cars but we are lucky enough to be able to afford for me to be part time and at a push, to be a SAHM. The reason I am going back to work is because I love my job. It's not just a make ends meet kind of arrangement. I have been a primary school teacher for 5 years and before that I worked with Autistic children which I also loved. I feel that for my own mental health I have to go back to work because I really miss it. Just as much as I missed my singing. I went back to the wedding band last month and have scaled back my gigs to roughly once a fortnight. JC doesn't even know I'm gone as he is usually in bed by the time I leave so this doesn't have as much guilt attached. I have felt my mood lift so much since going back. I feel more like myself again.
So why am I feeling guilty? I think it's because I am like a sponge. I absorb the negative comments and judgemental opinions of others. I really shouldn't care and I really shouldn't let it get to me but these are some of the comments I have heard from people recently . . .
"Why have children if you are not going to stop working to look after them"
"Mothers who work are selfish"
"You will regret going back to work as you'll miss loads of new things that JC does and you will resent that someone else will be bonding with him"
"When I had my children I cared more about them and their emotional wellbeing than material things which is why I chose not to work"
These comments are just a snapshot and I could write more. I don't agree with any of them. I don't think working mothers are selfish and materialistic women and I don't think that their children are damaged emotionally by that fact that they don't spend every living moment with their mother.
I think that I have given my son 12 months of my life when he needed me most. I have taught him the social skills he needs to cope without me when I do go back to work. I think that by working I will be mentally and emotionally healthier therefore I will be a better mother. I think that the extra money will go towards providing the best for him. I truly believe that every mother has the right to choose whether to work or stay at home and that whatever decision they make should not be made feel guilty. Most importantly they should not allow themselves to feel guilty as regardless of the decision, it is probably the best choice for their family.