Guilty or Not Guilty......of being a bad mummy.
Advantage Gane (HR)
My whole world changed, for the better, in 2003 with the birth of my first child. Nothing prepared me for the intense feelings of love and the fierce need to protect my baby from hurt or sadness.
I had taken maternity leave from a job which, up until this point, had been my passion. I have worked hard on my career, using redundancy money to gain my BA(Hons) degree in Human Resource Management as well as studying in the evenings for my Chartered Institute of Personnel qualification and since gaining the Management CIPD status.
I should probably explain that I am very loyal......in personal and professional relationships, maybe instilled through my upbringing but certainly through my own moral code.
So, after the precious time on maternity leave I had to return to work. This is the time when the “guilt” set in. Firstly guilt that I was leaving my baby, and second guilty that I wasn't wholly focused on my job anymore.
There are many papers and articles on what are perceived as being “best for baby”, a stay at home mum or a working mum. Neither it would seem is right. All mothers need to make their own decisions based on our own personal circumstances.
The morning routine changed, it wasn't just me I needed to get out the door at a certain time. The daily calls to find out what my baby was up to both helped and hindered my feelings of guilt. The evening routine changed, it now included picking up my baby and the time this took before I got home. Then the bedtime routine which pre baby included whatever I fancied doing: visiting friends, cinema, studying, nights out etc. Post baby was either idyllic with bath time or petrifying with sleep time with a colicky baby. I talk to my husband to check if he feels the same about feeling guilty..... “No” is his reply.
I could go on with many examples, and I would like to say that the feelings of guilt have diluted once my baby started school but they haven’t. What I have learnt to do is cope with those feelings better. How? By looking at my now two children and seeing them both happy (most of the time) and thriving. They are my measure now.....that and lots of tips and techniques for juggling motherhood and a career!
Am I guilty or not guilty then of being a good or bad mummy? The debate will go on, what I do know is next time; I am coming back as a man........ That’s a whole different debate – whether men or women have it easier, one I’ll keep to myself (and my friends on rare nights out!)
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