25 Jul I went back to work when my child was 4 months old
I think most mums can agree that we all feel guilty at times. And it doesn’t just have to be when you leave for the office in the morning, it can even be when leaving your precious child with someone while you pop out to finally have your hair tended to or go to a Pilates class.
For the first few months after my son Zac was born I still needed to do about two or three hours of work a day because I was running my own company and I couldn’t exactly switch off all together. But the funny thing is I also didn’t want to. I love what I do and my business is very purpose driven. Building my business and working with our customers is so fulfilling that I feel guilty taking too much time away from work. So yes, either way, there was so much guilt to be felt.
I went back to work in the office for four days a week when Zac was four months old. This coincided with the launch of our Tech Ready Program, meaning I was typically working a 12-14 hour day. As such, I only got to spend good quality time with Zac for an hour in the morning and two hours at night before he goes to bed. Now, Zac is nine months old and not much has changed on the work front – I’m still super busy and some days I miss him so much and feel so guilty that I’m not there with him during the day.
I asked my husband if he felt the same guilt as I did. He said no. So it got me thinking, why do we feel guilty when generally men don’t?
There have been studies done that show that men lack “interpersonal sensitivity”, while women suffer from destructive guilt largely imposed by society. But while it’s good to acknowledge we feel the guilt, we really want to know: how can we overcome it? Here are some thoughts:
Look at your values
Everyone has a unique set of values. Knowing what your values are and how they help guide the decisions you make is really important if you’re going to feel fulfilled and not feel guilty about what you choose to do. For me my top five values are business, family, health, learning and beauty.
Don’t compare your situation to anyone else’s
You are you and no one else. Comparing your situation with others is setting unrealistic expectations for yourself. I know it’s tough when you listen to the other mum’s at mothers group talk about how much time they are spending with their little ones for the guilt to creep in. But just remember that it’s not sunshines and rainbows for them either. Everyone has their shit they don’t share with people. Rest assured that you are doing the best you can with what you have.
Put your oxygen mask on before theirs
This is advice we have heard time and time again. As a mother it is easy to always think about your little ones before yourself. They get fed before you, dressed before you, and are always taken care of before you. But what about you? Remember to take time for yourself. Whether that is just being about to do your regular Pilates class or reading a book or going back to work if that is what you want to do. If you’re happy, then the energy you put off will shine through and no matter how much time you spend with them it wont matter because every minute with them you’ll be 100% present and enjoying your time together.
Image via @RoxyJacenko who must be one of the hardest working mothers out there!