Guilt and the working mother

Going back to work is tough. Going back to work after having a baby is really tough.

I know the reasons why I should do it. I have this perfect little picture in my head whereby I have to work to show my baby-birds that you can do it all. Be a parent. Be a wife. Have a career. I want my girls to grow up seeing that balance can happen.

I promise to always come home baby

I promise to always come home baby

I know the reasons but I still do not want to go.

I am so conflicted with emotions.

I don’t want to leave her. I have been her everything, all the time, for the last nine months. I have soothed her cries, I have protected her, and most of all I have enjoyed her.

It is not that I doubt the safety of her care while I am gone. She is with my sister who happens to be one of the greatest mothers I have seen. Simply put though, she is not me.

I am in the situation where I am not required financially to go back to work. Whilst extra spending money is nice, my husband works hard for us we are financially secure. So does this make me a bad mum for going back to work? This is the guilt that sometimes plays on me.

It is easy to justify heading back after six months because you need the money. But what if it is just because you know you should?

I know I should go back to work. It will help my child develop new relationships away from me. It will show my baby-birds that mummy’s career is as important as daddy’s. It will teach them to grow up respecting hard work and independence.

I am conflicted between wanting to show the perfect balance to my children verses wanting to absorb and live in the new baby world for just a little bit longer. I feel like the moment I agree to go back to work she is finally no longer my newly born baby.

Guilt eats me up. What if I miss her first crawl? What if I miss a new word? Will she miss me as well?

For whatever reason I feel more filled with guilt this time that what I ever did with my first born. Is it because I am away from two of them?

Thankfully I have a brilliant employer who has not pressured me to come back but instead supported my return.

The first day back at work finally came. I dutifully packed our lunches. I prepared everything they would need for a day away from me.

I ached saying goodbye. My whole body yearned not to leave her. I felt like I was cheating on her. I told myself again and again that she is safe and this is the right thing to do.

I successfully re-entered the workforce and my baby-bird entered the life of having two working parents. We both survived and we will go again tomorrow.

3 thoughts on “Guilt and the working mother

  1. This sounds exactly like me 12 months ago! I had 12 months maternity leave and then went back to work part time after having my little man. I experienced these exact same thoughts! But 1 year on and I’m so happy I pushed through those intial feelings because I wouldn’t have it any other way. My little man has absolutely thrived going to family care and I really enjoy working- it’s time for me to be with other adults and do something I love that is for me.

  2. Pingback: Guilty Parenting | The Parent's View

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