Thursday, February 14, 2019

Working mother guilt

I was planning a post on whether it's possible for women to "have it all" and about the balance between motherhood and working but instead I can't help thinking about guilt. It's my impression that the majority of working mothers feel guilty to some extent. We know logically we are doing the right thing for our family by continuing to work whether it's due to financial or personal reasons but it still doesn't make it less hard leaving your child and hoping they are managing fine without you. I like my job and it has taken me a long time to get to where I am and I also don't feel like being a stay at home mum is for me. There was a stage where, I felt like I was losing myself in motherhood. Right now working part time gives me the best of both worlds in many ways - I can have some time to be "me" again and still retain that part of myself while also having more patience and appreciation for the time at home with my daughter.

Sometimes it feels like it is going perfectly too! I have my office days where I concentrate on work and the other days where I can go to various play groups with my daughter and enjoy family time. However there have also been some weeks where it feels like a total fail. Lately work has been extra stressful and I often have to do overtime then I can't shut it off easily once I get home. I feel guilt at work when there is lots to do and I don't want to leave colleagues in the lurch so I end up staying late to support my team. However when I make that choice then my daughter is missing out on the time with me which I feel guilty and sad about.

Recently some potential opportunities at work have been mentioned but they would mean trips away for conferences or evenings/weekends spent doing further training. Mini still seems so young and I am struggling with what to do. In a few weeks my husband will be going back to work himself and she'll be going to KITA here (daycare). My plan has been to increase my hours at work. The trouble is that I already feel like it's hard managing the work life balance lately and I wonder how it will be when I am working longer and spending less time at home. I hate the thought of barely seeing her all day during the week. However, I know I am very lucky that my company supports a part time working arrangement! Recently I read that quality of time spent with children is more important than quantity and it helps me to think of it that way.