The WonderBaba Cure for a Working Mammy’s Guilt!

August 4, 2016 by WonderBaba Blog

slingMaternity leave comes to an end all to quick. Precious days spent getting to know this amazing little person who has just joined your family.  It almost feels like they are just starting to blossom into  their new personalities when it’s time to go back to work.  Some people have the option of taking a year off, some people only a few weeks, whatever your reasons, choices and commitments it boils down to the same thing…you have to leave your baby.  Don’t get me wrong, there’s plenty of mums out there who are excited to go back to work, I was one of them in many ways, but even with the best job in the world it can be a phase of major adjustment, upset and turmoil!  Otherwise known as ‘the mammy guilt’.  Rather than going down the road of discussing why people make a choice to go back to work or to highlight that many people don’t actually have a choice in the first place I thought it might be refreshing to focus on the positives! So this little article is for all of you working mammies out there who are struggling to cope with the guilt of having to leave your baby whether it be for a couple of half days a week or a five day full time working week.  This article is a focus on the positives – and actually I’m amazed by the length of it!!!

Work Life Balance Signpost Shows Career And Leisure Harmony
Possible?!

When I was expecting my most recent little addition I came across an amazing group of women who were all in the same boat (LOTP you know who you are!).  Out of the group many of the women have gone back to work and some are just returning now. There are also some stay at home mums who went back to work after having earlier babies but have chosen to stay at home this time around.  Of course there is a collection of full time stay at home mums and I have to say – being at home is just as hard a job as being at work – I think this will become even more evident as this article continues!!  After a few hard days at work this week I was feeling a bit exhausted and wondered if I had the choice to be a stay at home mum would life actually be any easier? In the interest of a bit of a giggle and a bit of perspective  I asked this group of women a simple question “what are the positives about being a working mum”?  Here is a sample of the answers to cheer any of you emotionally drained ‘working mums’ up!  Let’s be clear..this article is not my ‘norm’.  You will not find any evidence based guidelines or medical research here…but sometimes, just sometimes…laughter is the best medicine!

What are the positives of being a ‘working mum’?

  • cup-of-coffee-Being somewhat appreciated for what I do.
  • Saying ‘I’ll do it in a minute’ and your word being accepted instead of being asked again and again every 5 seconds until you give in.
  • Going to the toilet in peace and without an audience.
  • Coffee in peace – and it’s even hot!
  • Lunch in peace – again even hot if wanted!!
  • Feeling like you have done something productive instead of the ‘futility’ of housework etc.
  • “I’d quit my job but its the only place I get any sleep!”
  • Exercising my brain.
  • ‘I like those 16 mins a day when I’m on my own in the car.  I like that I’m me and not just mammy.  I like that at the end of my shift I can just stop what I’m doing’.
  • Feeling like I have a goal apart from eat, sleep, clean up mess, repeat.
  • The feeling of having a purpose other than being a mammy to help retain a sense of identity.
  • Being called by my name.
  • musicThe commute and singing along to the radio without the kids asking 20 questions!
  • ‘Adult conversation..being a stay at home mum I can go days without adult conversation apart from husband! Sometimes I go to ALDI for a chat.’
  • ‘I go to my local shop – I now know all of the staff!’
  • Dressing in work clothes.
  • Listening to talk shows on the radio.
  • ‘Eating…alone like. And swallowing’
  • Putting on make up.
  • Having the craic with colleagues and friends.
  • makeupSitting down.
  • People listen to me when I speak and don’t respond with ‘why’?
  • Not being pooped on.
  • Not talking about poop.
  • Going for lunch with friends.
  • ‘I love my house being clean because we are not in it to mess it’
  • Lunch cooked by canteen staff.
  • Wearing high heels.
  • Work people don’t steal food off your plate.
  • Browsing on the internet without feeling guilty about ignoring the kids.
  • Talking about things other than power rangers and dinosaurs.
  • Being a person other than ‘mammy’
  • phone‘Not being called mammy, however being a teacher I do get called mammy at work from time to time!’
  • Being on your phone without someone wanting to snatch it from your hand.
  • Facing different challenges and exercising different skills to what I do at home.
  • Financial benefits help make it feel worthwhile.
  • ‘Having new things to talk to hubbie about at dinner time other than the consistency of poop and the price of food in Tesco’.
  • Sharing night time baby duties and early wakings as both of us at work.
  • ‘not having to chase an energiser bunny all day – jesus it’s exhausting!’
  • Not having to try and get the baby to nap.
  • Wearing clean clothes.
  • Being able to wear jewellery.
  • Lunchtime shopping.
  • If you’re sick you can go back to bed as the kids have childcare as being at home minding kids when your sick is no fun!
  • Not bringing a buggy.
  • Walking with two free hands.
  • Husband gets a taste of what it is you’ve been doing whilst ‘off’.
  • ‘Not having to get my boobs out for eight whole hours’.
  • ‘Being better at my job because of having children…can survive on very little food and drink for days on end and can go without sleep – every employers dream!’
  • Being appreciated.
  • Getting to carry a handbag with things in it just for me.
  • Having lunch at lunchtime.
  • Being able to drive with the music blaring at ridiculous levels.
  • ‘Those sneaky mental health days as me and husband call them where we take the day off and still send the kids to creche and go to the cinema.’
  • little handComing home to big cuddles.
  • The look of joy/relief on their faces when you collect them or get home.

Well I hope reading that little list which was created by fellow ‘working mammies’  has helped you to realise that actually maybe going to work isn’t such a bad thing!  Going to work may actually help you to be a better and more tolerant parent by allowing you some very precious ‘you’ time.  You may actually spend better quality time with your kids during your time off than you ever would if you were with them every day of the week.  So let the ‘working mammy’ guilt be gone – consider yourself cured!  You are now free to move on to any of the following common forms of mammy guilt:

  • My child doesn’t eat enough fruit and vegetables guilt.
  • My child watches more than 5 minutes of TV per day guilt.
  • My child just licked a dirty floor guilt.
  • I gave my baby formula guilt.
  • I use disposable nappy guilt.
  • I pretended to go to the bathroom just to get a minutes peace guilt.
  • I dress my child exclusively from Pennys guilt.
  • My child ate a lollipop guilt.
  • I fed my baby food from a sachet (without a spoon) guilt.

 

Author: WonderBaba Blog

My name is Sheena Mitchell and I'm a pharmacist with my own business Milltown totalhealth Pharmacy in Dublin 6. From working in the pharmacy I've realised that there are a lot of first time and experienced moms who might benefit from hints and tips from a pharmacist who can balance healthcare advice with real hands on experience from my important work as a mother of two! I hope to bring you regular advice and information and answer questions that you have! Being a mother and pharmacist are my two favorite things and I'm delighted to have this way of bringing my two worlds together! All questions and queries are gratefully received but otherwise sit back, relax, and let the solutions come to you!

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