The Mummy-Guilt Starts Here

I had always prided myself on not being the sort of mother who got all soppy and upset about being separated from her wee bambino.

Because we are all sorts of mothers, right?  Working mothers, stay at home mothers, breastfeeding mothers, bottle-feeding mothers.  Like, it’s ALL ABOUT THE JUDGEMENT.

Anyway, I had previously poured scorn upon those who worry about their child’s first day at school, or their own return to work after maternity leave.  After all, I braved it like a champ.  I went back to work full time and all guns blazing (read: work gave me very little to do-cheers work!-and I spent most of my day chilling out reading novels and exclaiming “OOH!  THIS IS A BIT OF A RAUNCHY NOVEL TO BE IN THE SCHOOL LIBRARY!” to over-worked colleagues whilst they got on with, like, actual work all around me, and cursed me from the very depths of their souls for being a freeloading peasant who actually enjoyed having a few short hours away from a mewling baby and wearing something other than a pair of baby-snot stained leggings.

Well, people, that all changed this week.  I have been back at work.  Proper work, this time, as opposed to sitting at a desk for a bit while Piglet goes to the childminder and has the time of his little life languishing in the paddling pool.  And it has been HARD.

Two days, it has been, and it feels like two weeks, if not two entire years.

I am basically worried that Piglet is going to forget that I am his mother.  He is going to think that Granny is his mother, and I am just some sort of part-time joker who pops up occasionally and sings ridiculous songs about poo.  Like I’m his dad or something.  An old-school dad, obviously, like Mr Banks in Mary Poppins.  Or perhaps Mrs Banks, who was flying the flag for feminism, going on suffragette marches in the days when fighting for women’s rights was roughly akin to joining ISIS in terms of polite dinner party conversation, but sadly neglecting her children and leaving them to be raised by Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke in matching stripy blazers.  That is me.  Flying the flag for feminism and neglecting my child and is he going to grow up to be a juvenile delinquent and aargh aargh aargh.

Karren Brady, I keep telling myself.  Think of Karren Brady.  She went back to work about three days after her first child was born, or some kind of ridiculousness, and I’m sure her children are perfectly all right.  GOD, KARREN JUST TELL ME IT’S GOING TO BE ALL RIGHT, WILL YOU?

 

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15 Comments Add yours

  1. I’m not Karren Brady but I can categorically claim that it will be fine. I too am a single mother by choice, which unfortunately can mean limited choices with regards to the work versus home thing.

    I had to pack my son off to nursery full time at the ripe old age of six months. He bawled his eyes out, clearly distressed every single day I left him for a couple of years. But six and a bit years later, I’m still working full time. He’s fine. Happy even. And settles in and adapts to most situations.

    Still trying to find a part-time/home working solution but for now this is the only life we know as a family, and you know what, I’m proud of it. And once you get past this tough bit you’ll look back and be proud of it too.

    Good luck. It does get easier but there will always be a few hard bits in between.

    1. Min says:

      Thanks. That really is good to hear. You just hear so much about the first few years and how they’re the most important and it fills me with terror that I’m getting it all wrong. Thank you, and thanks for reading!

  2. You will be fine I promise! I had the worry that Zach would think my mum is is his mummy but it’s not the case, he still loves me like no other and knows I am mummy. It’s just wonderful to see the relationship he has with my mum at the same time. It’s not easy but you just deal with it knowing that there is no choice. Make of it what you can lovely xx

    1. Min says:

      Thanks. That’s good to hear. Already I can see that Piglet is developing good relationships with the members of my family that he sees most often, particularly my mum, which is lovely. Thanks for reading.

  3. Oh bless you!! I am one of those mothers that worries about everything and hated going back to work! finley was having fun with nana while I sat working 🙁 thanks for sharing on #justanotherlinky xx

    1. Min says:

      I’m sure Piglet has great fun with Granny. He thinks she’s his mother I think! I’m taking him to nursery tomorrow so not looking forward to the tears…

  4. Pen says:

    Yep, totally with you . I work full time – well compressed hours actually – I work 10 days in 9 which means I take alternate Wednesdays off but still get a full time salary . Baba’s father and I split weekends (separated) and the rest of the week Baba is either in nursery or with Grandma – both are great. I am convinced that Baba thinks I need to be avoided at all costs – I am the one who tries to shove a tooth brush in his mouth, cut his nails, wash his hair and this week I took him to the doctor for his injections. I swear he trembles at the sight of me and he doesn’t see me very much x

    1. Min says:

      You do feel like you barely see them sometimes, don’t you? I took Piglet to London this weekend and we had a bit of a mishap when I got to the station (well, actually on the train) and realised I had forgotten a very necessary set of keys. My mum kindly brought them to the station and when she left us Piglet started bawling. I’m pretty sure he was thinking “please take me away from this woman who is walking me round a station in the middle of the night.”

  5. ha ha ha – this was brilliant – I’m currently experiencing mummy guilt – am going back to work one day a week with youngest only seven months. Some one at work said the other day “how could you leave that baby?” You know what? I blooming love that day at work. Baby goes to my mum and I get to remember being me as me not me as mummy 🙂 #effitfriday

    1. Min says:

      That’s a bit harsh, asking how you could leave the baby! Glad to hear you’re enjoying it. To be honest, I do too.

  6. All I’ll say is my hat off to you working mums. I’m in awe. Mummy guilt sucks big time. Thanks for linking to #effitfriday

  7. I’m a working mum and I promise it will get easier. I can’t say you will ‘have it all’ because I think that’s a load of rubbish. But you will still be a mum with your own identity. And have the chance to drink a hot cup of coffee!

    1. Min says:

      Thank you! And you’re right, the chance to drink a cup of coffee is priceless.

  8. Michelle says:

    Another great blog post from you. I’m a worming mum and it does get easier x

    1. Min says:

      Thank you! This is an old post and it has got easier since, although I say that as one who had to take a day off today due to a vomiting child!

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