I know I'm not alone in my feelings, fears, stressed out, over tired, over worked, feelings, and you should know that you aren't alone either.
My daily struggles as a working mum
The struggles of a working mum and how real they are.
I grew up with my mum being a stay at home mum. I loved it. I knew that she was only a phone call away, that she would always be there to pick me up from school if I was sick, that she could volunteer at school and that she would be home after school to help me with my school work. When I got pregnant I knew that me being a stay at home mum was not possible for financial reasons, but it was my goal, my dream that one day I would be able to. Hence the blog. I wanted, no I NEEDED to do something to make a change. I’m a teacher, a mum, a wife, a writer and an individual.
When I went back to work after my son, people kept telling me that it would get easier, that it would get better; but it didn’t, it only got worse. The drop offs got easier yes, he would only cry for a minute or two and then have the most amazing time with the best home daycare a family could hope for. But for me, it got harder so much harder. I missed so many firsts, first steps, first words, and so many other things. All in all I just missed being home with him. I hated only having an hour or so at home with him, missing all of his giggles, his cries, his silly faces, and his messy eating. The good, the bad and the ugly I missed it. After only being at work for just a few weeks, we found out we were pregnant with number 2. This news surprised us so much. It took us a long time to get pregnant and stay pregnant with our son that we didn’t think that it would be as easy the second time around. But we did, I went back to work in September and by December I was put on bed rest due to our high risk pregnancy (due to our son being born at 29 weeks and a condition I have called uterary didelphys). Which was a blessing in disguise because I was able to be home with him which gave me some more one on one time before our second one came around.
When my mat leave ended with Haleigh (our second) I begged my husband to let me extend it until she was a year corrected (so another 2 months because she was born 2 months early). He knew how worried I was about going back to work, and the anxiety I had when I would just think about it. He agreed it would be best for everyone that I extend my leave until her due date, and I loved every single minute of it, and it was amazing. I did not take it for granted, and loved them up so much. I then went back to work for just a couple of months until the end of June and then I had the summer off with them. Again I loved every minute of it.
Then September came around and I dreaded it. I knew that I was never going to have another mat leave, I knew that I was never going to spend the same kind of time with Haleigh as I did with Hayden. I knew that I was going to miss so much, an d my heart would race, and breath would shorten every time I thought about it. Not to mention that I have a husband who works crazy shift work hours, and we only have 4 days off a month together. The thought of doing most of the parenting alone scared me. The idea of not being home with them, terrified me. And figuring out how to balance it is what I knew I wasn’t going to be able to do easily. I hadn’t really taught in almost 3 years, and I was having to teach a whole new curriculum in a totally different way. My husband was going back to school, and my daughter, God bless her, is a handful.
I would say the hardest part is seeing my son change. He went from a boy who never had tantrums to a boy that would have epic tantrums because I wasn’t home with him. He would slam his head against the wall, he would just scream for me. My poor husband felt awful that he wasn’t able to calm him down, and that all he wanted was mummy. He felt awful, even though he knew it wasn’t personal, all he wanted was to be able to calm his son down. Hayden counts down the days that mummy is home with him. He keeps asking if it is Saturday yet, and that he can’t wait for summer because he knows that I will be home. He says that summer is his favourite season because it is hot, and mummy is home. It breaks my heart not being home with them.
My biggest struggle isn’t even not being there for them, it is trying to figure out how to do it all, and to do it all really well. To be an awesome mum, a kick ass teacher with awesome lessons everyday, to cook great and healthy meals, to be a loving and caring and attentive wife, to be a good friend to those who need me, to keep a neat, tidy and clean home and to take care of myself, to work out. And I am realizing that I can’t do it. I can’t do it all. I can’t be awesome at everything, no matter how hard I try, hell I can’t even be moderately good at most things. I am still having a hard time. Whether I am or not I feel like I am being judged by my parents, guests, my husband, my students, my colleagues, the list is endless. I still haven’t figured out. I realize that I am not the only one who feels this, that most working mums will feel being pulled in a million different directions. Being stretched so thin that you think that there is no way that there will be any piece of you left at the end of the day. If any of you out there have the answers, have the secret to surviving, the secret to not drowning in your every day life please share it with me.