Posts Tagged ‘working mothers’

Motherhood with a capital G

Wednesday, February 6th, 2013

Let me preface this post with the much maligned expression that this is a first world problem. It is, I know it is, but it is my first world problem.

There are a lot of emotions that sum up motherhood, and they vary depending on the day you are having, or the day your kids are having.

Today for me it is guilt.

I dropped my two boys at daycare this morning. It is my bubba’s second day. He is only there for a few hours and it is breaking my heart. Monday he didn’t cry when I dropped him off, but when I picked him up he was sitting on the floor with his wrap that he loves, crying. I nearly started.

I scooped him up and he stopped straight away. They said he had been okay. They showed me photos of him happily playing outside, crawling over the equipment with a big smile. And then they told me that he hadn’t eaten, slept or had anything to drink. My heart sank.

Sleep, no big deal, he can go home and sleep and he is trying to drop that morning sleep anyway. Hopefully when he is there for a whole day,(next week!), he will get tired enough to sleep. Eating, well that’s a struggle during the day for me at home. He eats heaps of brekkie and heaps of dinner, but not much in between some days. Drinking, that’s a problem. Today it is meant to be stinking hot. He has to drink. I have taken his own bottle in and asked them persevere, often he rejects it from me five times before he has a drink.

So as I take the dog for a walk on my own, something I would normally love, I have to stop myself from crying. Inside there is an epic wrestling match going on. The blue team say he will be fine, so many children do this, there are many in there younger than him, there for much longer than him, some every day. One Dad who followed me out today, told me to just keep walking, its hard, but it gets better. He should know, his daughter cried for three months before she settled and now she loves it. Her baby sister who is also there, doesn’t even blink. But inside the red team are throwing some serious punches. Why am I doing this? I don’t absolutely have to go back to work yet. I can work for the rest of my life. He is only little. It’s selfish and cruel. The red team is winning. The tears well up.

As I wait in the coffee shop and look around, there are no other children, but lots of parents, not working, just hanging out with their mates, socialising. They don’t have guilty parent stamped on their forehead and their kids are obviously all somewhere else. I want to tell everyone that it’s my second day on my own, I want them to tell me its okay. I want them to share their experience and show me that down the track, their children aren’t traumatised by it. That their family is much happier for a bit of balance, a bit more money saved for the big trip, and a bit of independence from their mother didn’t hurt anyone. But their experience is not my experience, so whatever they say may not help anyway. And there are obviously lots of dedicated mothers not in the coffee shop, but at home making some kind of playschool craft with their children.

I have been down this road before. My wild child didn’t like daycare much either when he was littler and I was so lucky to find the perfect solution. He went off to a friend who did some daycare in her home. He loved it. In fact, I think he would have rathered have them as his family some days. But even then he cried when I left and then before I could get out to the highway a photo would land on my phone of my cheeky wild child happily playing with the other kids. He still talks about them all the time. And I honestly believe he is better for that experience.

Do I go back to that? I can’t afford both children to go there, so do I change daycare days, do two drop offs, pay a fortune and pack a bag with lunch and nappies and hope that my bubba is better there? Or do I persevere? Or do I quit? I don’t want my baby to cry all day, but I also don’t want a child who has to be around his mother constantly, that is not healthy for anyone. I have to work next week so he has to stay for two days. My husband can get him if he is not coping, but hopefully it wont get to this.

So instead of doing the work I am supposed to be doing, I am writing, trying to console myself. Inside the red and blue team are still in the ring, pounding it out and its only been an hour since I rang daycare to check on him. Tomorrow motherhood might be filled with joy, or frustration or pride or boredom, but today guilt takes top spot, at least until he is back in my arms, or throwing food across the room, and then the cycle starts again.

 

 

 

Working (as in getting paid by an employer rather than just do every job in the house) Mothers

Wednesday, August 1st, 2012

My boss has asked me what I plan to do next year about work. I can go back to work if I like, but he can only offer me three days, not two as I had hoped for. I am really torn. It’s a much more difficult decision that I thought it would be. I’ve been seeking advice from friends, my husband and other mums about what to do about deciding what my life will be like next year.

I went back last year to teach for three days a week. I also did tutoring and managed an online university subject and on one of the days off I looked after my friends little boy as she was kind enough to do the same for me. We were also renovating our house. Needless to say, I was pretty busy. And pregnant.

Some of the work stuff I loved, some not so much. My days at home, I loved. I really enjoyed the company of my wild child and all of his adventures in between. He still had day sleeps so days were filled up quickly with catch ups and play dates and activities. When he slept, I worked. It was hard but the money was desperately needed for the reno and the paid maternity leave from my work and the government was awesome!

But now I have two it is different. We have no family so all my day care costs money. And the kind of day care I love, with a dear friend who is just beautiful to my son, in her house with her kids, is just too expensive for two on a teaching wage. And the thought of packing bags, with lunches and nappies and getting me and kids dressed and out the door three mornings a week by 7.30 am hurts to think about. A nanny has crossed my mind, but again it’s lots of effort for a bit of pocket money at the end of the week.

So what is the alternative? Commit to staying at home for another year, or more. I love my children dearly, but would we all go a little mad staying at home together? Kinder next year is only 2 hours a week for my three year old, and the baby will be that busy, five minute activity age. Summer is fine, who can’t handle going to the beach every day? But winter, not so much fun.

And of course there is the money to consider. Do I go back for a year, with the intention of hopefully having another baby at some stage? Then I can access maternity pay, extend my leave for another three years and actually stay home for the busy kinder year and even my son’s first year at school? I have my whole life to work. I’ve managed to find lots of other ways to entertain myself and exercise my mind these last three years, I could do it again. I love teaching, but not all of it. Would I regret going back to something permanently when I could just pick up a few days of relief teaching here and there? And how hard is it to make a decision in August about what you will be doing in February?

It’s a touch choice, but I absolutely know just how lucky I am to even have to face this choice. Some mums have to go back to full time work. Others don’t have the luxury of considering part time as an option. My husband says its totally up to me. I think that’s what is making it just so hard to decide.



Create a Free Blog at Aussie Blogs. | Terms of Service | Privacy | Report Abuse | Privacy | Web Design by 4IT IT Support & Computer Repairs

Skip to toolbar