Thinking back to when I was pregnant, all anyone ever warned me about was the horrors of labour, the exhaustion and the loss of freedom. No-one ever mentioned the biggest challenge a parent faces... The Guilt.
I mean, sure the sleepless night are hard, labour is tough and I'm too tired for a night out so don't mind the lack of freedom so much, but the guilt, it's soul destroying.
For me the biggest guilt factor is working full time. I like work, it's a good office with nice people, we go for lunch every couple of weeks and I can have a cup of tea in peace. I especially like getting paid at the end of the month. It hit me around four months into maternity leave that I'd have to return to the office and leave my baby with someone else all day.
When the time came to leave John with a childminder he cried. I cried. My other half didn't cry but felt sorry for me all the same. I still don't know how I got through that first week. I thought it would get easier so I persisted but it hasn't, I've just gotten used to the guilt.
Now I have a two year old who isn't afraid to talk, our conversations in the morning go like this:
"Mama has to go to work"
"No, Mama stay here"
"Mama has to go to get money for sweets and toys"
"John come too"
"No, John stay here and Mama will be home later"
Some days he accepts it and other days he clings to my leg saying "I want you Mama" and I try not to cry as the childminder distracts him.
I would love to stay at home with him but if I quit work today and then can't afford to send him to college or buy him football / guitar / karate lessons then I'll just be swapping my current guilt for a differnt kind of guilt.
I wonder if every Working Mammy feels like this or if it's just me?