One thing is abundantly clear when you become a mother – no matter what you do, or what choices you make, there will be people out there who tell you you’re wrong and people out there who tell you you’re right. Confusing hey?
The choice of returning to work after you have a baby isn’t always an easy one and rarely is it black and white. But, as always, there are a lot of people who are quick to give their opinions, even if it is in a passive way. Trust me, as a working mother I’ve heard it all, but these are just some of the things every working mother is tired of hearing.
1 – It Must Be So Hard Leaving Your Kids With Someone Else
No, not at all. I drop my child off and skip to work in a happy daze. Are you kidding me? Of course it’s difficult. Finding a spot at a daycare centre is hard enough, let alone finding one you like and trust. When I went to enrol my son in daycare I was told there was an 18 month wait. Think about that for a second. That means you have to put your child down for daycare before you’re even pregnant!!
Thankfully I was able to find an amazing family daycare that he loves and it makes the whole process just a bit easier. But far out. It is tough.
I missed things, firsts, exciting moments, I missed so many days. It’s never an easy thing to do.
2 – I Could Never Do That
That’s totally fine. I’m not asking you to. But instead of making me feel bad about it, how about you be a gem and ask me how I’m going, or if there’s anything you can do to help. You know, like a friend. Urgh.
This is one of the worst things people say – ‘Oh I could never do that’. Maybe I don’t have a choice, maybe for me, the decision comes down to whether or not I get to feed my child this week or stay at home with them. I’ll take feeding them thanks.
3 – Aren’t You Able To Work From Home?
Ummm… no. Not all jobs are office jobs and can be done remotely. I’m a Paramedic, somehow I don’t think my patients are going to just come to me at home so I can treat them.
If you are able to work from home that’s amazing – but even so, it’s still bloody tough! I run a business from home as well and what would take me 10 minutes to do sans kids takes over an hour with a toddler around.
4 – It Must Be So Nice To Get a Break From Your Kids
When did going to work become a break? A break for me would be going to a coffee shop on my own, eating cake and reading a magazine. Yes, please! Going to work… not so much. Half the time you’re either dealing with children at home or childish behaviour in the office (you know it’s true).
Plus this ‘break from my kids’ means I’m completely torn between feeling guilty for not being with them and feeling like I’m doing something for myself by having a job and feeling like I’m putting our family ahead by earning an income and feeling like I’m actually enjoying having adult conversations which all just leads me back to feeling guilty for not being with my kids.
5 – We Give Up On Some Expenses So I Can Stay Home, Can’t You Do That?
What you do in order to stay home is entirely your choice. I don’t pretend to know what your budget is like so please don’t act like you know mine. There are a lot of reasons why women go back to work, and financial situation is just one of them.
I love my job, I worked freaking hard to get where I was, studied for years and I can’t imagine not being a Paramedic. Why do I need to give it all up just because I wanted to have a family?
Plus, working my job means we get to go on holidays, it means we get to do amazing things together as a family. There are different appeals to different people – but I love that we are able to do this. Just as you love that you are able to stay at home.
At the end of the day, you have to do what is right for you and your family. And just because it is right for you, it doesn’t mean it will be right for someone else.
So give a mama a break, tell her she is doing an amazing job, and stop criticising. We are so much better than that.