Soon after I returned to work, I wrote a post about why it wasn’t so bad and how well I’d settled back in. Now that it’s been a good six months since I’ve been back at work, although I’m settled, I can definitely say there’s a lot of guilt that consumes me on a daily basis. Many mums may be able to relate. I’m still so grateful that I work part time which enables me to spend a few extra days with Arjun and also focus on the other things I have going on such as the blog and Baby Brain Apparel.
The early wake ups have resorted me to tears once or twice – not because I’m too tired. No. I’m ok. I’m an early riser. More having to wake my sleeping babe up. How unsettling for him? One day we’re encouraging him to sleep for longer and the next he’s being woken at 6.45am. I feel so consumed with guilt for doing that to him. What a way to start the day. Some days we change him while he still has his eyes shut as they’re so heavy with tiredness. I feel guilty for disturbing his precious sleep, for disrupting his sweet dreams and for giving him such an abrupt start to the day. I wonder if he resents me for it. But I’m grateful that he’s settled in at nursery and the lovely staff ensure he gets sleep when he’s tired.
I feel selfish – I chose to work 7.30am – 4pm so that we’d have some time in the evenings together. I made that decision, not him. I wonder if he’d prefer to sleep for a little longer and have a little less time with us in the evenings? I’m grateful that he’s full of love when I pick him up, he drops whatever he’s doing to come over and embrace me and my favourite part is feeling his tiny heart beat fast against mine.
I feel guilty that our mornings are so rushed, that cuddles with daddy are no longer than a few minutes as we wake Arjun up as late as possible so he gets as much sleep as he can, but the flip side is he doesn’t get to spend as much time with daddy. I feel so guilty hearing his screams and cries as I pull him away from his daddy to take him to nursery. My heart breaks. But I know even five minutes longer wouldn’t be long enough.
I feel guilty that sometimes the first proper cuddle I give him in the mornings is when I leave him at nursery because I’m so busy trying to frantically get ready despite preparing everything the night before. But I’m grateful I get two extra mornings off to make up for it.
I feel guilty that not all the meals I give him are Instagram friendly. There have been times we’ve just had cereal for dinner on the days I am at work. I comfort myself in knowing that he’s had 3 decent meals and 2 lots of good snacks while at nursery on the days I’m at work and too tired.
I feel guilty that I’m always so tired. I don’t have the best health which often results in me feeling full of fatigue. That means I can’t always be the best mum. Sometimes I let him play independently while I lay on the sofa beside him. I feel guilty that I’m not down on the floor playing with him. I feel guilty that I’m not that fun loving mum that’s always full of energy – in fact I hardly have any energy at the best of times! But I’m grateful that he enjoys independent play to give me that ten minutes of down time. But I’m sad that he has to.
I feel guilty that my house looks like a disaster zone a lot of the time – that sometimes last nights dishes are still there in the morning, toys are scattered all over the lounge, the sofa cushions aren’t placed back neatly in the right order the way I always want. I’m grateful that I have a cleaner that comes twice a week otherwise only God knows what state my house would be in! I try and comfort myself in knowing that we often have people over and are entertaining and that I can’t possibly manage everything. Or can I? Should I? I used to be so OCD and house proud, and now I feel like I don’t have the time to sort through the junk I’ve managed to hoard! But I’m glad that I’ve let go of my OCD a little and my house looks like a baby lives here – it’s house too after all.
I feel guilty whenever I have to take time off work to be with Arjun if he’s unwell. This one pisses me off the most. Why do I feel guilty? Nothing or no one comes before my child. I’m used to being a perfectionist and giving everything I do 120% but right now it feels like I’m doing a million things at 70%. That’s tough to deal with. I feel guilty that I have a constant mental battle between my priorities.
I feel guilty that it’s someone else that’s full of energy and fun gets to spend the day with my baby. They get to see his eyes light up when they do have the energy to play with him, to cuddle him when he wants and to watch him eat. But I’m grateful to his lovely nursery staff that help him make me the cutest keepsakes like this one.
I feel guilty that I make his food and leave him to eat while I clear up the kitchen. This hit me hard last Sunday when Preetam and I took Arjun to town for lunch and I saw him eat a sandwich like an adult for the first time. It reduced to me to tears. When did that happen and how did I miss it? I’m so consumed with everything going on because I’m trying to juggle so many things like many mothers that I feel I miss things that are right before my eyes.
I feel guilty that I’m not there for him at nursery when he may need a cuddle. It’s a ratio of 3 children to 1 member of staff at nursery. That means he won’t always have someone as soon as he needs them. I’m grateful though that he takes comfort in a few of his favourite members of staff at nursery and they’re always offering him cuddles.
I feel guilty that my time after work is often spent blogging and working on Baby Brain Apparel – both of which he was the inspiration for. But I take comfort in knowing that all of it is for his future and that I’ve managed to find a more sensible balance recently.
It’s tough as I don’t have any “me” time. But I’d rather have mummy and son time over “me” time. When he’s older, I’m guessing “me” time will be in abundance and I’ll be reminiscing about the times I wish I’d spent more time focusing on him.
Being a working mum isn’t easy, but being a mum full stop isn’t. The most difficult things in life are often the most rewarding. I definitely don’t have it the hardest, nor do I have it the easiest – managing work, housework, cooking, cleaning (when Jeta isn’t here!), blogging, entertaining, being a mummy, a wife, a daughter in law, a daughter, sewing and all the other randomness I have introduced in my life plus a baby is hard work!! But ultimately I’m grateful for all the blessings I have to help me cope with the guilt I’m often consumed with x