I have a confession to make. I used to be a very judgemental person.
Like very judgemental.
Basically anything you did, that I didn’t agree with, was clearly wrong, and made you an inferior human being. I’m ashamed to admit it, but it’s true.
Thankfully, as time has passed, and I’ve grown up a little, I have realised that not everything is quite as black and white as I would like. There may be right and wrong, and better ways of doing things, but life is not usually very clear and accommodating of those better ways. Emotions get in the way. Experiences change who we are, and cloud our judgement. Mistakes are made. Triumphs are achieved. Experience changes us.
One thing, that I used to be so against, (and please don’t hate me for admitting this), was the working mother. I understood that there were some occasions where it was necessary for women to return to work to provide for their family, but as a general rule, I didn’t believe in it.
In my mind, they should have been at home, with their babies, training them, loving them, nurturing them. That’s what good mums do.
Thankfully, I’ve grown up a lot, since then.
I no longer have such polarising views on this subject. Instead, on the contrary, those working mums among us, have my complete respect. Seriously, you guys are a-MAZE-ing.
Most of you know, that this year Boatman hasn’t had a lot of work, and as a result, I’ve had to pick up a few hours at Liquor Land. I’m enjoying it more than I thought I would, and there is a definite bonus to not having to do the dinner dishes a few times a week ;), but I’m also struggling big time.
So ridiculously exhausted.
I’m behind on everything. Blogging, housework, catching up with friends, what have you. I have no idea what’s going on at the kids school. The notes come home, but I rarely get a chance to read them. I don’t do the homework battle, and who knows what’s in their lunch boxes these days.
The awesome thing, is that I have a wonderful husband who picks up the slack, and does so much.
The hard thing, is that they are all the things I really want to be doing.
I want to have the bed time battles, and deal with the tantrums. I miss the cuddles and long winded explanations on the brink of sleep; I wish I knew which girl out of Taylah’s group was being nasty this week, and driving me up the wall.
It makes me wonder if this is how all working mothers feel? Do they miss their kiddies? Or does working fulfil a need that the raising of children can’t even touch?
You hear a lot about mother guilt, and I can’t help but wonder if it’s not because we are trying to do it all, and at some point, when you’re collapsed on the couch and you have nothing left to give, you realise, it’s not actually possible. There need to be sacrifices. There needs to be a line drawn somewhere.
And whether that line means cutting back the mortgage and the amount of new shoes, or perhaps putting the kids into child care and trusting that it will be good for them, the battle is still hard and exhausting. And the mother who stays home and wears old clothes is no better than the one who dresses up everyday and drops her babies off to someone else. They are both mothers, who at the end of the day, love their offspring so much, they will make not only the tough choices, but the impossible ones.
I used to look with disdain upon the working mum, and now I look at her with admiration. How she does, what she does, and still gets through every day, is nothing short of a miracle. That woman (perhaps you) works so hard to give her best in multiple situations. She can change her hats instantly from corporate genius to loving wife to doting mother, in an instant. She somehow manages to get the kids to school, the washing cleaned, and dinner on the table.
She misses out on being there for grazed knees and bruised feelings, but she makes up for it later, holding her babies in her arms, as if they were her whole world.
Because of course, they are.
So to all the mums out there who work hard for their families, I apologise for my old way of thinking, and rude judgements. And I applaud you for what you do, every day. You truly make the world a better place. xxxx