No matter where you are online, be it Facebook, a blog you follow or a forum for mothers and fathers the world over, you will always see debates happening. Boob or bottle. Disposable nappy or cloth. Pushchairs or babywearing. You could be the best possible parent, and someone, somewhere, will find a way to pick at your decision that you have made for your child. The one big debate that goes on everywhere is this one:
Should you go back to work or stay at home?
It’s a big question and any mother having to answer it does so begrudgingly. Those who go out to work after a maternity leave do so for one of two reasons:
- They have to, because money.
- They choose to, because money.
Let’s make one thing very clear: going back to work does not make you a neglectful or bad mother. And the guilt that you are feeling right now? Put it to one side. Going to work by choice means that you are remembering that you were a person before you had a baby, and one day that child will grow up and will have watched you achieve and grow before their very eyes. Even if you don’t want to go back to work, look at you, looking for ideas to start a business so that you can be excellent. Go you! And you stay at home mothers? You’re making an incredibly difficult and rewarding decision, because motherhood is the ultimate unpaid gig where you’re on call 24/7 to a boss who spits on you. And that there takes a huge love.
Whether you are working in a business capacity or you are choosing to stay at home until your children are grown, there are rules. Rules for a happy and balanced life. And here they are:
- Accept that you are awesome. So what if people have something to say? You’re achieving something incredible, and your children will benefit from this achievement.
- Don’t feel jealous of mothers at home. It’s very likely that a lot of those ladies feel very jealous of you, the extra cash and the potential for actual adult conversation.
- Make a plan with your partner. You may both be working and achieving, which means the kids and the housework also needs to be shared. Sharing all round is going to be good for both your marriage and your home life.
- Be realistic. Some days, you’re not going to want to go to work – which is why so many mothers choose to work from home. Some days, the kids are sick and you actually cannot work. Don’t beat yourself up – the house may be messy but your children will be happy.
- Dispense with the guilt. There is no need to feel ‘bad’ because your attention isn’t 24/7 focused on the children. They are growing up into independent little people who will want to mimic you and how awesome you are. Let it happen and don’t feel guilty for it.
It’s not an easy thing to do, motherhood, but it is full of judgement and epic emotions.
Roll with it and see the magic happen.