As a new mother, you face endless challenges you didn’t see coming. In todays society there are a lot of pressures on young mothers. From post-partum appearance to the scrutiny of life style choices and rearing decisions, but none more so than the woman’s decision on return to work.
I’m amazed that in 2016 my decision to return to work full-time has been met with such cold feelings and surprise. To quote one woman (another young mother) “but it’s your children’s life!”. Well yes I am very aware of that thank you! I am not leaving them to be on their own! It’s for their lives which is the reason why I HAVE to return to work but, there are many reasons why I WANT to as well. Having said that, it is the single most difficult decision I have had to make of my children’s life so far! Undoubtedly!
There are many reasons why Mums return to work. Finances, intellectual stimulation, adult time, mental space, a break away from the endless hysteria that comes with children and the desire to continue on their own pathway while being a mother and not losing their sense of importance, identity and belonging. I’m sure if you ask most Mums our there, the ideal role would be a part-time one that allows flexibility and to maintain time with your children, however for many work places that is simply not an option.
For me, it’s not an option. I have to go back to work. Firstly for financial reasons which I find a little alarming that people are surprised about. Kids are bloody expensive! Twins is ridiculous and when you haven’t been planning or saving it’s a tough ride! My finances are not anyones business. So when people say to me “why??? Why would you return to work?” Well….money doesn’t grow on trees and to be quite frank I want the best I can for my children so if me working makes a difference then I’ll do my best. Secondly I’m not ready to give up the career I worked so hard to establish just yet! I am still young and have a lot to give in my career.
Having said that, it’s the most emotionally tough moment I have faced so far of my twins lives, and I’ve faced some tough ones. I don’t need to be reminded of the “little things I’ll miss”, I simply can’t think that way! Last night was spent crying, knowing that when my boys wake up I wont be the first face they see, when they eat their breakfast I wont be there and that when they go to nap it wont be me with them. But I have to remember that I will still be the one playing with them in the afternoon, cuddling them to sleep at night and that time will mean more to me (and hopefully them) in the end.
It’s so bitter sweet as after 10 and half months of challenging colic, reflux and unsettled twins, just as they come to life I have to go to work, but in a moment on honesty I’m not sure I’m made to stay at home with them all day. will I miss them, gosh yes every moment of the day but do I find the screaming tedious and hard when I’m at home….hell yes!
So in only a few days I will be walking up the far too well known steps of my office and heading back to the daily grind! While I know that within an hour of being there it will feel like I haven’t been away, and the last year of maternal “freedom” will become even more of a blur than it is, I know that every time I get in the car to go home, my day will be complete getting to come home and do nothing but give my all to my little fellas.
Parenting is hard enough. Being a mother these days is an enormous challenge, so can we just back off and accept other peoples decisions. It’s “not a shame” that I’m returning to work full-time, I’m excited that I get to go back to what I love, and I’m excited that I get to contribute to the future of my children…..and that’s my decision. Just as if you are lucky enough or in a position to work it out where you can go back part-time or not at all then that’s fabulous for you!
Rather than question, can we support. No matter how much you have to, need to or want to, for any mother leaving your babies which you have worked so hard to bond with is the most anxious, heart breaking and difficult time of parenting. Let’s not criticise, judge or comment, let’s just support the mums returning to work and all the hard working parents out there who are out!