Last month Rory celebrated his 2nd birthday without me. A day reserved to mark the moment I birthed my child and instead of spending it with him, I spent the day at work. It certainly wasn’t the first milestone I’ve missed and I know for sure it won’t be the last but that doesn’t make it any less shit.
While working a full-time job comes with its perks – hot coffee and toddler free toilet breaks – it also has it’s disadvantages, the main one is that fact that I miss out on so much. I was really fortunate to spend the first year with Rory but since returning to work last March I’ve found it really tough to maintain a good work-life balance.
One of the big difficulties for us at the moment is timekeeping, mornings are especially hectic. Breakfast is usually on the go, we’re almost always late for nursery and it generally takes me until lunchtime to realise I’ve forgotten to brush my hair. * Fun fact: last week I nipped to the ladies room as I was leaving work. It was only then that I noticed I’d had my knickers on back to front all day – thank goodness I wasn’t wearing a thong!
Amidst the chaos, I try to make the most of the time we get together. Being a busy mum means I’m the master of turning everyday mundane tasks into memorable moments. We sing songs while getting dressed, make silly noises as we brush our teeth and practise counting numbers in the car. Getting to enjoy these little moments means I don’t feel like a miss out on quite so much.
One bonus of being a working mama is that my weekends are always extra special. Everyone says they look forward to the weekend but for me, it comes with a whole new meaning. It’s no longer about sleeping in until noon (although that would be nice every once in a while) or drinking with friends, it’s all about family time. Nothing makes me happier than a quiet weekend at home with my two favourite boy – and Ryan.
Despite having been back at work almost a year, one issue which still plagues me is the guilt. I know it’s ridiculous. I work because I have to. I’m supporting my family, what is there to feel guilty about? It’s a situation which is completely out of my control yet I can’t help but still feel like I’m somehow failing. It has got easier with time, as we’ve slipped into our new routine and I see how well Rory is progressing at nursery but I think it’s something which will always bother me.
The truth is being away from your child is really fecking hard. Some days they’re all you can think of, other days you feel guilty for not having the time to miss them. You appreciate your weekends so much but you also feel guilty for still needing time to yourself. Your one missed parents evening away from losing it and you can’t remember the last time you had a chance to hoover the stairs.
No one ever said parenting was going to be easy. Whether you’re a stay at home mum or your work full time, we all face challenges. It’s really easy to become your own worst critic. Just remember you can only do your best and your best will always be good enough! Cut yourself some slack, you work hard and you’re bloody amazing!!
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