My little one hasn’t even arrived yet and I am already being judged on how good a mother I will be. Judgement is not in short supply – apparently.
The fact is there is no ‘right way’ when it comes to raising children however the one question I am asked most, hands down, is “so when are you giving up work?”.
Truth is I am not.
I will be a working mum, something which I am open and honest about. However, as soon as I mention this fact, the judgement starts. I have had some absolute gems this week from close friends… “you can’t replace presence with presents” and “money can always be earned they are only little once”.
They are beautiful quotes and ones that I totally agree with, I am sure the friends that said them along with many others had their hearts in the right place – but the truth is that no one has seen how I will balance my family yet (not even I have) and let’s be honest here, it doesn’t directly affect their little family so why get involved?!
We are all different – our personalities, circumstances, beliefs, upbringing, level of privilege and not to mention the choices that we make that enable us to feel strong, happy and whole – they will differ also. Parenting is not a one-size-fits-all type of gig, although wouldn’t that be helpful. It’s going to look different on each of us, we’re going to need different approaches and tactics and each of our children will be different – so, just when we think we’ve got it figured out…
I respect every family set up and I am under no illusion that I am about to embark on the toughest job in the world, and my working life as I have it now will completely change – perhaps my thoughts on this will too – and that’s ok. They’re all changes that I am ready for.
So, to the mothers who decide their job is full-time in the home with their children and to the mothers who decide they need to work outside the home whilst also managing family life… You’ve got this!!
One thing I know is that whatever decision we make, it is going to be HARD! I know that for me, finding the elusive working mum life balance will be a constant work in progress. I have been warned about ‘mum guilt’ and I reckon it will be the hardest decision of my life not being there every day with my little one.
So let’s go easy on one another, hold the judgement. The best mother’s I know are those who don’t thrive on critiquing parenting skills like it’s their damn day job – hello ‘Mum Police’. We are all probably giving ourselves enough of a hard time spinning the plates of life (whilst acting like we are all totally in control, right?) – so let’s down swords and just support each other – no questions asked.
All of that aside (thanks for letting me get it off my chest – you guys are the best!) I’m currently 29 weeks pregnant so if you are also in your third trimester and would be interested in a WhatsApp support group to see us through this stage and beyond, let me know in the comments section below?