With just over a week to go until the Digital Parents Conference, it’s about the time of year that I’m starting to feel like a really bad mummy. I have a hundred things to do between now and then, (including preparing some meals for the family), and then I’m just going to bid the kids good night and head off interstate for a few days on my own.
I know it’s going to be ok.
I know that it’s actually probably a good thing for all of us; me to get a bit of a break, and really appreciate the awesome family I have had. And the kids to realise that I am actually a person as well as a mum, and really appreciate the awesome one that I am ;).
Having said that, right now, in this moment, I just feel bad.
Since starting work a few weeks ago, I’ve had to try and rearrange my schedule to fit everything in, and let me tell you, whilst I always had a great level of respect for working mums before, now I hold them even higher. You girls are amazing!!! The fact that you can work out of the home, and then work in the home, and still actually be a person is nothing short of a miracle.
Now to be honest, I haven’t had a huge amount of shifts since starting, but it’s been enough to stretch me. 7 hours on a Saturday night, and I’m so tired on Sunday, I can barely function. It’s craziness. Add to that, that Sunday is usually a day where I do quite a good chunk of blogging, and I suddenly feel very behind.
But the tiredness, and the being behind, that I can cope with. I can work out a new system and put it into action. It’s workable.
The thing I hate the most, is the missing out on the kids.
Even for just a few hours, I miss them. I feel like I should be home with them, running my home. Learning to leave those responsibilities to Boatman is not an easy learning curve.
It’s left me with a fairly healthy dose of mother guilt, and when I say healthy, I actually mean healthy.
Whilst I’m not advocating that guilt is a good or positive emotion for us to carry, I definitely think it does have its benefits, if we can look objectively at the source of why we’re feeling that way. So in my case, it’s ridiculous that I feel guilty for working, and I need to work on changing my mindset, but when I look deeper I realise that what I actually am bothered by, is that I don’t appreciate the time I have with the kids enough. That at the times I should, and have opportunity to be more engaged, I’m distracted by my own rushed agenda, and desires. That’s something I can and should change.
I know I’m not the only mum who experiences this. Just in the last week, I’ve come across two blog posts, from two different people talking different sides of this debate. One was a well meaning mum in the States, doing (in my opinion) her best to encourage other mums to make the most of the time with their kids.
She has suffered for her blog post ever since.
The post went viral, and she has been accused of being judgemental and adding to mothers guilt, which could be debatable. Like I said, I think she only met good in writing it.
The second post, was a mother writing about how she is entitled to her opinion, and that just because she believes something, it doesn’t mean that others are less than her, for having a different opinion. In essence she was saying, just because I do one thing, does not mean I judge you for doing another. A way of life that we could all do well to adopt.
But what strikes me about both of these posts is this: if you read a post and it touches a nerve with you, you owe it to yourself to work out why. Is it because it was a poorly written piece of writing, and the author was being deliberately condemnational?
Or because maybe, just maybe, there was something in there that struck true?
Something that you knew was an issue anyway, but you hadn’t quite realised it yet?
When I read the first article, it hit that nerve, and made me look at lots of things. I realised the source of my guilt is not that I’m going to Sydney, or to work, but because I’m absent even when I’m present. And that needs to change.
And that will change.
At the end of the day, whatever we do, we mums usually feel guilty about something or other, but what we do with that guilt, is what actaully defines us.
We can sit, wallow and blame everyone else for our shortcomings, or we can choose to look at ourselves honestly and decide if change is necessary, and then embrace it. And if we can do that?
We’ve got nothing to feel guilty about. 🙂