Going back to work is a discussion we all eventually have to have. A reality, that as much as we all would like to ignore, we in time have to face. And with that comes an overwhelming amount of guilt, whatever you decide.
It’s something I’ve struggled with and been excited about in equal measure. I have two jobs. One fun job. One “pays the bills” job. I’m back at work part time. I cherish the adult conversation I get two days a week. I hate being away from baby. And I’m desperately seeking a more “grown up job” because I’ve done the same thing practically, since I was a student.
I love my fun job. It’s short enough hours that I can work it around family life. It’s rewarding. I get to be part of some of the biggest days of children’s lives. I get to visit sick children in hospital and make their day that bit brighter. I host parties and charity events and volunteer myself to hose who need me. Four year old me would be so proud of the job I have today.
My “bill” job is working in a cafe and it comes with its own perks. Regulars become family. You can cheer someone up just by offering a smile and a ear to chat to. You develop patience. and don’t forget the free coffee.
As much as you might enjoy parts of a job though it’s an awful feeling leaving that beautiful little bundle you’ve become so attached to. No matter what you do retuning to work is difficult. There’s an inordinate amount of guilt filling your heart from the second you wake until the minute you return.
There’s guilt because you’ve left them. (Not alone but it feels that way) guilt because someone else is looking after them. Someone else is putting them down for a nap. Feeding them. Giving hugs and getting smiles. Comforting them when they inevitably hurt themselves. Someone else is doing your job and it didn’t sit well with you at all because you want to always be there.
You will always be there. They will know that. You might pop away for a few hours but you will always be back. It’s not forever (as much as it often feels like it is) and you will grow to appreciate the adult conversation, as mundane as it can be at times.
The best part about leaving them? Coming home to see that little face light up. To watch the excitement as you walk it the room. Legs kicking, smile beaming. It makes it worthwhile.
It’s just as hard though for those mums who don’t return to work. They give up part of their social lives for their babies. (We all did) the difference is we have two days a week we are –insertnamehere– instead of just babies mum. They do what we do and they do it all day often with little support because the rest of us are at work. They lose contact with many of those ‘friends’ you make at groups because you spend their days off having family time and they work on the days you need someone anyone to remind you that you can infact hold intellectual conversation.
Being a mama is hard on everyone as we all have our own challenges.
As usual, there’s always someone spouting an opinion. There’s always some douche waiting to tear you down. Because no matter what you do, to someone it’s completely wrong.
It’s not though. It’s okay to go back to work earlier if that’s what you want/have to do. It’s okay to not go back to work. To go part time. To stay full time. To go to college/uni or art school. It’s okay to work from home. It’s okay to do whatever it is you need to do you keep your family and yourself sane, happy and healthy.
I hope your family days are long and happy and your work days / alone days are quick.
Love and hugs,