Since starting First Days I have realised something that has made me more and more uncomfortable. I want to, for a couple of days a week, go to work.
I really didn’t when I had to go back to work after having Joni. I hated the job – looking back I think I was bullied at work whilst pregnant, which didn’t help. I always wanted to be at home and when I became pregnant with Wilbur and was made redundant it was sweet relief that I wouldn’t be returning. However, I felt like a complete failure. Somehow, after having a baby going back to that job didn’t work. I couldn’t do my best.
But this time, things are different. I LOVE the job. I’m passionate about it. It makes me feel good. I want to do more and my brain is buzzing with ideas and frustrations at not being able to commit regular child free time to it.
This has made me uncomfortable because I felt like I’d failed. I felt like a bad mother. Not because I think all mothers should stay at home with their children but because I thought I should. I thought it was the best thing for them.
Recently a family friend said that he was surprised that I had ‘taken to motherhood so well’ as he thought I was career driven. I was shocked, I’ve never thought of myself like that. I guess what I am is driven. Driven by a desire to help people, driven by a desire to do well and driven by a desire to – if I’m being really honest – be the best at what I do.
It’s taken a few months to accept this realisation: it’s ok to do both. It’s ok to work. I don’t love my children less. They will be ok. I won’t be damaging their development, in fact (and this is the hardest part) they could probably do with some input that isn’t mine. We are in a position where I can work just a couple of days a week and still do breakfast, nursery drop off and tea time onwards with them; I know that’s a fortunate position to be in and I’m grateful for that.
I’ve come to realise that being a good mother isn’t about being perfect, whatever that means. It’s not about being ‘the best’ amongst my peers either, it’s about being the best for Joni and Wilbur … And you know what? I think I’m doing a good job.
I had this post written in my drafts for a while and then I read Charlotte’s post and was inspired and encouraged to post this one – thank you lovely lady x