I had heard of 'Mummy Guilt' but until I had my own bubba I never really understood the full extent of it. Mummy Guilt in my opinion is the worse kind of guilt that a woman can feel. It's the kind of guilt that can sit with you for days, weeks, months. It's not something that can be shook off or easily rectified. For me, I seem to have spent most of the past two years feeling it.
It all started when Gracie was 4 months old and it was time for me to return back to uni, it was my final year so me and my hubs figured it was best to just power through and get it done, after all it was a means to an end. Only I wasn't just at uni, I was on a 4 month work placement, so in Septermber 2011 I embarked on my final year placement and I relied on childcare to look after Gracie as at the time my husband worked away, my days were so long and I was 'surviving' on about 4 hours sleep, I would get Gracie up at 6.00am ish give her breakfast before dropping her off at childcare and heading to work for 8.30am, I would finish work at 5.00pm (if I was lucky) collect Gracie on the way home and do the bed time routine and then put my laptop on and start working on my assignments, I would finally get to bed in the early hours of the morning before getting up to do it all again. I kept reassuring myself that it was all temporary, that Gracie didn't understand and that she didn't mind that I wasn't there but it never made it easier.
|Sleepy Gracie, after her first day at Nursery|
After months of assignment writing I finally finished uni, I was so happy / proud and then the hunt for a job started, I wanted a part time job however they seemed impossible to find, after months of searching I was invited to an interview on my birthday of all days but it was full time, by this point we thought this was better than nothing and I was thrilled to learn that I had got the job, the plan was to get my foot in the door, enjoy the two full time wages for a short while and then request to reduce my hours.
|Me and Gracie on my birthday last year after my job interview.|
A month into me having a job, my husband found out he was facing redundancy and then before we knew it we were back down to one wage, we were grateful for my full time status but the household dynamics changed, suddenly my husband was a stay at a home dad and I was bringing home the bacon (so to speak!) My husband has since got a job however it's part time in the evenings and on weekends, therefore I am still working full time. I have just had it agreed at work that I can compress my hours over four days which is great as I get an extra day off with Gracie but Monday - Thursday are so long, by the time I get home I am already counting down to bedtime which is awful as I haven't seen Gracie all day. How can I feel that way? I wonder how long I can keep this up for, but then what other option do I have? I know I need to be grateful for my job and I know that there are lots of other people in similar positions to me but it still doesn't feel any easier. I read lots of wonderful blogs and see all the fun activities and days out that parents do with their kiddies and I feel guilty, guilty that I can't do the same for my baby. Don't get me wrong, her daddy is brilliant and takes her to playgroup, to the park, for walks etc but I want to do it, it might sound sexist / stereotypical and I don't mean it to be but I can't help the way I feel.
|Maternity Leave <3|
Thanks for reading xxx