Who am I? And when did my days get so guilt-filled?

OCTOBER 2016 | YOUR WORDS

Anyone out there wondering who the heck they are these days?  Wife. Mum. Daughter. Friend. Employed grown-up person. The list goes on…

In the blink of an eye you went from a happy-go-lucky university student who skipped through life enjoying crazy nights out at the Student Union for less than a tenner and somehow picking up a degree in the midst…to the present day where you have to wear so many hats that you need a larger wardrobe just to store them!  And to top it off, these are hats that often don’t like to be shared!

I am blessed to work at a firm who accepted that I wanted to return to work part-time after having my son….blessed – ha!? Initially I skipped through the office doors naively thinking “hooray!” – best of both worlds – time at home during the week with my gorgeous munchkin, balanced out with some ‘grown-up’ working time so that my brain isn’t wholly frazzled by Peppa Pig and repeated rounds of “5 Little Ducks”.  Oh how wrong I was.

My days are filled with guilt.

Guilt when at work that I have abandoned my mini-me, who has perfected the gut-wrenching wobbly bottom lip and tear-filled eyes as I drive out of the nursery car park. Making me feel wretched for the day while he quickly gets over it and skips off to play happily with his pals.  Then there’s the guilt as the boss subtly drops into the conversation for the umpteenth time that she keeps ‘forgetting I don’t work that day’ and ‘so-and-so really is having to pick up the slack’ whilst I am ‘off’.  Off?!!  As if it’s a day’s holiday that they pay me for. It isn’t. Funny how they don’t remember that my salary took a nose-dive when I dropped to part-time! And then we come to the guilt when I’m happily ensconced at home with my little poppet but I know I’m not in the office to meet that urgent deadline…which yet again happens to fall on a day I don’t work. Meaning I have to pass it to a colleague who looks at me with daggers as I run out at 5pm to do the nursery pick up.

And somewhere on the guilt rollercoaster, I have to find time to order the Ocado man to come round and re-stock the hungry fridge; to catch up with that pal who I said I’d ring back a few days ago…oh actually…gosh was it really that long ago. Time to touch base with that bloke I occasionally cross paths with who supposedly goes by the name of ‘husband’; time to buy some more new shoes for the little man whose feet seem to be growing as quickly as my bank account is shrinking…the list goes on and on.

My point….well I’m not sure I have one other than a statement of fact.  Life is fast.  Life can be a challenge.  Life wants to pull you in all directions.  But try to take time to remind yourself that life is full of beautiful moments.  That first nursery play that you raced out of work to catch and arrived in time to see your monkey waving to you excitedly from the stage.  That rare ‘thank you’ you get from your boss when they finally realise how pleased they are to have you, even if it isn’t 5 days a week.  That night out you have where your girlfriends toast the ‘wonder-woman’ that you all are.

So I have an idea…how about instead we try not to feel guilty. Not even about that cheeky extra slice of chocolate cake you enjoy over coffee with the girls, or that extra hour you keep the little one up because you’re having so much fun together on a summer’s evening, or that treat online purchase that makes you feel special. And definitely no guilt for the five minutes you took out of your day to read this whimsical rambling.

Post written by Women Aloud member [Laura F].

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