Warning….this is a bit deep (for me anyway)….and this is also just my opinion (as opposed to being opinionated)…
I’ve had an epiphany!
We have done this mothering-working thing all bloody wrong. All arse about. And now there is nothing we can do about it because it is too late and we are trapped.
What do we all do as mothers?
We be there for our babies when they are little. We might work part time, but we make sure we do mothers group, kinder, mini maestros, and go on the primary school PTA when they first start school. We plan on being there for them when they are pre-schoolers, and then plan going back to work part-time and eventually full time when they are a little older.
What is wrong with this you ask?
WE HAVE DONE IT THE WRONG WAY AROUND!!!
We are spending all our time with our children as babies, and then go off to work when they are at school. I think we should be doing it the other way around.
It is when they are at school that they need us most.
I have always worked, so I can say that from a logistics point of view it was much easier to work when the kids were babies because they can go to crèche, or you can get someone in to care for them, and you don’t have 10 million activities to get them to. Of course they would prefer that they were with you, but they won’t be scarred by the fact that they are not.
Again logistically, when you work and your kids are at school it is so hard to manage the drop off and pickups from school, the after school activities and the school holidays. Oh my god – the school holidays are so hard!
From a relationship point of view, and ensuring that everyone is getting what they need from the mother-child relationship, it is more important that you are there for them when they are older and are at school (I believe anyway). And of course this is right at that age when Mums go back to work.
Working full time I am finding it so hard to be there for them at the time when they are developing their values, habits and relationships. I want to guide them, have meaningful conversations, help them with their homework, and with boys, really encourage communication. But when I get home from work I am exhausted and can barely manage to bark at them to get their crap out of the living area, clean up the breakfast bowls and do their homework. Hmmm. Meaningful conversation!
And how do we fall into this trap? As our kids get older they become more expensive and have more wants (which they consider to be needs)! We, as parents, make choices that also cost us more. Schools, sports, music lessons, interests, trying to provide a decent home that doesn’t embarrass them. And as part of this we sacrifice what we want out of our life and relationships with our children.
And now that we are in this trap, we can’t get out. Now that we are working and earning money for all these things and other financial commitments, we can’t just withdraw. It’s a TRAP I tell you!
If you have a solution, please let me know! I’m sure we could make money out of it and not have to go to work!!