Can mums have it all?

02 January 2016

People ask this question all the time and it causes such debate! 

Well, I’m a mum who had a ‘serious’ career before the nesting instinct kicked in, and I swore that I’d never give it up for children. Yet eventually (when they were three), I did.  Saying that, the wheels were in motion at the age of two, and I had a rather large panic attack when I was due to return to my career after my maternity leave too, even though it was part time.

Pre-kids I thought leaving your career behind was a matter of being forced to give up your dream.

Post-kids I see it as having new dreams. It was my choice and I’d do it again in a second.

The thing is, everyone tries to figure out what or who is right.

I’m now a stay at home working mum, so my kids are home with me full time, but I run my own business from home. I didn’t go to bed last night (working) and I’ve just had half a glass of wine, and haven’t showered in two days (judge me, I dare you!)

Should mums stay at home or go to work?

So, if it’s one or the other, which one is right?

Let’s not be shy, let’s lay it on the table for how it is - how we feel we’re being judged.

Working Mums

Judgement: You can’t be a good mum! You’re not home with your kids, you’re not a ‘real’ mum! Who’s raising your kids by the way?

Stay at Home Mums

Judgement: Ooohhh, you’re ‘just a Mum’.  Basically, you’re less of a person because you have nothing in your life except your kids! Oh, and you’re probably a little lazy and boring to talk to. 

Answer

I’ve been both … and I actually now know the answer.

The better mum is the one who does what she thinks is best for herself and her situation.

If I’m working and I don’t want to be working then I feel guilt. Guilt isn’t good for anyone. Personally, when I feel guilt I do ridiculous things – buy toys for the kids, or give them chocolate. It doesn’t change anything, I’m just treating my children differently to how I really believe they should be treated due to my own guilt. 

Take the last week - they were at home and I was SO busy working. I felt like I should be jumping on the trampoline with them.

On the flip side, if I’m playing with the kids and I have work on my mind, I’m stressed and not in a great mood with them anyway i.e. it’s not REALLY quality time when you’re snappy.  .

So, the right decision is this – a mum doing what she feels is right. Her children will be treated properly if she’s living in the moment she should be living in. If she feels she should be working, she’ll be less stressed and enjoy her children more when she’s with them. If when she’s with them she is actually with them 100 per cent, she’ll be treating them as they deserve to be treated - he’s in the right headspace to get it right.

Surely mums can have it all?

Can you have the chicken, the beef and the seafood main meal at a restaurant?  Yep, you can order all of them. 

You can have anything you want, but unfortunately the universe imposes certain limits consistently across all people.

You can have all of those main meals if you like – it doesn’t mean that you’ll be able to enjoy each of them to the extent that you want. There are limits, you can have a lot of just one, or a little of each.

When you become a mum, the world doesn’t grant you any more hours in the day – you still only have 24.  The same amount you had pre-kids, so choices do need to be made and a balance struck.

Life as a mum includes:

  • Your work
  • Your housework
  • Your financial situation
  • Your kids
  • Your relationships
  • Your me-time

It's give and take. You can have ‘some of it all’ or you can have ‘all of some’. You have a choice - what do you want more of/less of? Find what works for you.

How do you balance work with family life?

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Kids on the Coast/Kids in the City
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