So I’m failing! I promised myself I would NOT feel guilty about wanting a career and guess what I’m sat on the 17.07 from Euston feeling a whole heap load of guilty.
I’m the mum you never see at the school gates (drop off or pick up), the mum who can’t come to the school fate or help out manning a stand, the mum who can’t make it to the last minute sports day change of date or the kids party that starts at 4pm, I’m the mum who can’t do after school clubs, can’t chaperone school trips, can’t do mid week play dates or parent teacher lunches. Basically I’m the mum who can’t.
It’s simple then you may think as to why I feel guilty, it’s obviously because I can’t do all of these things but that’s not it.
I feel sad I can’t do these things, sad I can’t wave my child into school, sad I can’t take part in school activities, sad I can’t take my child to clubs or see the look of excitement and achievement on his face and most of all I feel sad that on days like today I don’t get to eat dinner with my boys, tuck them into bed and kiss them goodnight. But I don’t feel guilty.
I don’t feel guilty because they know they are loved, they are happy and they are with their daddy. There is always someone there for those important school things, they never miss a party and they have so many play dates their social calendars are busier than ours. They just don’t always do it with me.
The guilt I feel comes from my assumptions. Like many working mum’s I see other mums and maybe I hear the odd comment in conversation or in the media or maybe I jut catch a glance and I assume.
I assume that I am being judged, that other mothers disapprove of my choice and to be honest desire to work full time. I assume ludicrous things like other mums must think I love my children less than they love there’s and that I must be a bad mother because I want to have a career that sometimes keeps me apart from them. I assume and assume and assume and on evenings like this as I sit and eat my sandwich on the train whilst my husband puts our children to bed I feel guilty.
I feel guilty because I start to believe these assumptions and because I believe it’s how society thinks I should feel. Yes of course from time to time I feel guilt for missing something but for the most part the guilt I feel is inflicted upon myself through my preconceived ideas of what a ‘good’ mother is and what I believe others think she is.
The truth is there is no escaping our preconceptions or the stereotype images we have in our minds, there is no escaping caring what others think of us or what we believe they think but it doesn’t mean these thoughts are right. The 100% truth is all that matters is how you and your family feel about the choices you make.
I will forever feel tinged with sadness for the things I miss but I must forever fight feeling guilty.
Love An Ordinary Mummy (Mother. Wife. Career gal)