I have always been a drifter. I tend to transcend passions and have dipped my fingers in numerous pies freely throughout my life. Some I love and am (conveniently) also (I think) quite good at with little effort…like writing. Some I love but have had to work my little titties off to get good at, like music. Am some I just can’t ever seem to get around to…like finishing my psychology degree so as to legally practice in this country. I blame these things on the multitude of ‘hats’ I have to wear. I use that excuse all. the.time.
However, it wasn’t until becoming a mother that I realised I actually now have to wear a buttload of hats…and hats don’t suit me.
Now I am sure you have heard this old hat analogy before…representative of the many roles we have in life. For some it is wife, mother, worker, entrepreneur, sister, daughter, friend, volunteer, fur-baby mama…and any foreseeable combination thereof. Its a lot. And sometimes, that juggle is a struggle!
Since being back at work, I have noticed a huge pull at my conscience. Being that, I feel guilty for not being with my baby girl all day, every day (on top of surrendering her to her father overnight at least once a week) but by the same token, I would feel guilty collecting a government paycheque each week when I have a job that I love, that is flexible and pays well and a mother who does daycare from home. Realistically, my situation is perfect for a smooth return to work.
But it doesn’t stop the mummy guilt.
I have also been quite an absent friend over the last few months, which I hate. My girlfriends are incredibly understanding for which I am eternally grateful, but I still feel guilt.
I also can’t remember the last time I just sat my ass down and played my instruments. That is such a huge part of my identity and truth be told, I just can’t find the time. That sucks. I just feel guilty for myself right about now.
I have also been a preeeeeeetttyyy slack dater. I just can’t find the time to commit to anyone else. Soz.
These hats are so hard to balance and even if you do manage a balance, it’s hard to a) keep it there and b) know if it’s even working anyway.
So fuck the hats off for a second. Let’s talk about the whole pie these facets of identity make up : you.
Are you happy with your balance? No? Then fix it.
All of this guilt is coming from myself, to myself. I know that, And it’s up to me to break the chain. No one is forcing me to do anything,
If I want to spend more time with my baby, I need to simply make it happen. Say no to overtime meetings, no to anything I don’t have to say yes to that falls in to my time alone with her.
If I want to keep being successful in my career, I need to keep my head down and keep working hard. The second I let guilt in about being at work, it’s going to affect my work.
I know I will never fully stop that, because let’s face it, being a mum will always come first to me, but I just need to remember the example I am setting for Maya and that is that what you work hard and work well (no matter what you do) that is something you should be incredibly proud of.
And when I finally get the keys to my own home in my hand, a home for me and her, I will finally reap the rewards of something I have worked so hard for….on my bloody own!
If I want to see my friends more, I need to pick up the damn phone. Too easy!
So Mammas I urge you to forget the hats. In my opinion, it is a stupid analogy. Because it implies you can only be one thing at a time. I beg to differ. You don’t stop being a mum when you go to work. And you don’t stop being a hard worker when you get home. You don’t stop being a friend just because you’ve been a little absent or haven’t seen each other in a while. You don’t NEED to pick one thing and be it. In fact, I think it is important people in all facets of your life know and understand the many things that make you who you are…especially when it comes to your workplace. We have come along way, but working motherhood is still not something readily understood. It is up to us to change that.
I for one and trying to embrace the gratitude for living in a world where I am afforded the opportunity to be all of these things whenever I like. Maybe you should too…it’s actually liberating.
You can have your whole pie, I’ll bet it’s delicious!