Mummy guilt about returning to work can be an absolute nightmare and clouds our view of the entire process.
I am by no means immune to the working mum guilts, however I plan to approach my return to full-time employment with positivity.
I wrote a guest post for my lovely friend Talya at Motherhood The Real Deal all about the subject of returning to work guilt, so do check that out.
Please don’t think that any of this post is intended to make stay-at-home mums feel bad. I’m all about everyone doing whatever works for them and their family. I simply hope to make mums feel good about whatever decision they have taken for their future.
To follow that post up, here are five positive thoughts for mums returning to work. Remind yourself of these whenever you start to worry about getting back to your career.
1. You deserve to have a career too
You had children but you didn’t stop having ambitions or drive. Why should it be that a man automatically returns to work while the woman stays at home to make sure dinner is on the table on time? Times have changed, and thank goodness for that.
You may have a job you love already or you might have your sights set on something amazing that you would love to do one day. Whatever your motivation for wanting a career, you need to remind yourself that it’s not just ok to want that, but it’s normal to want that.
There’s still a bit of a throwback attitude to the dark ages when women were told they should be at home knitting. Stop thinking that career is not something that mummies do.
Look at the amazing women who have done both. Karren Brady from The Apprentice, Sarah Willingham from Dragons’ Den and former First Lady Michelle Obama. These are women who raised children while working full-time jobs. They did it and so can you.
2. You’re being a brilliant role model
A mama who goes out there and reaches for the stars, who strives to get what she wants, is going to be a positive influence in their children’s lives.
Yes stay-at-home mums are also good role models, of course they are. But a working mama also teaches children great lessons about self-worth, responsibility, hard work and having ambition.
3. You’re providing for your family
The house big enough for everyone to have their own bedroom, the holidays and the food on the table doesn’t pay for itself. These days very few families can live on one salary alone.
By returning to work you’re making a contribution to the household. For some mums, they are the main contributor to the household income.
4. Weekends will be so much fun
You’re not spending every single day together but you’ll find it gives you extra motivation to make the very best of weekends. You will appreciate that family time so much more.
Make a bucket list of things to do with your children on your days off and put it on the fridge. This gives you things to look forward to every week.
5. It’s great to talk about something other than children
Yes your kids are amazing, you love them and they do hilarious things all the time. But it’s nice to talk about and do grown-up stuff as well.
Young children tend to dominate everything when they’re around, and that’s ok. We knew what we were signing up for when we decided to become parents.
But being at work every day opens up lots of different and interesting avenues of conversation, even if it’s just about what was on TV last night. You’re discussing how to move on particular projects, what the key points to come out of a meeting are and goals for the next 12 months.
It’s extremely refreshing to switch off from Mummy mode for a few hours every day and gives you a real boost of mental energy.
I hope this list has helped to give you a more positive outlook on being a working mama. How have you found returning to work? What helped you feel better about getting back to work?