Mum guilt, it’s a real thing!!
I am lucky enough to be a mum to 4 amazing and now grown up children and mum guilt is something that hit me quite late in my motherhood career. I went to work full time when my eldest daughter was 6 months old and did a job that I loved for 2 and a half years until my son came along and then I stopped working. I had gone to work after having baby number one because, if I’m honest I hadn’t enjoyed being at home full-time and I needed adult company in my life and to feel that I was stretching myself mentally.
I then didn’t work until after number 3 had come along, although I enjoyed that time being a stay at home mum, doing the school run and looking after them. There were times I felt very isolated and lonely, I had moved from my home town when I had my eldest to be near my family and although I had them for support I didn’t really have a network of friends to start with so was so grateful when my first born reached school age and I gained those school gate friends who are still in my life now.
So baby number 3 was here and having suffered from a touch of PND after number two I decided I wanted to go out to work and really enjoyed doing this and being a mum. Not long after number 3 came number 4 and when she was 6 months old I found a job I loved and was passionate about and my career took off. For the next 17 and a half years things ticked along nicely. I had a job that I loved a husband a home and 4 amazing children, plus a variety of pets over the years!! Juggling it all was hard work but I loved being busy and doing all the things that needed doing.
Then came January 2018 a couple of weeks before my youngest reached 18 and suddenly I was struck with ‘mum guilt’. My baby had got to 18 and I had missed so much of her growing up, she asks me all the time about what she did or was like when she was little and if I am honest sometimes I have to think really hard. You see I was so busy loving my career and the person I was at work that I forgot to take it in and this has caused me a lot of heartache and guilt.
Over the last year and a half I have learnt to accept it and live with it. If I am honest I probably over compensate for the time I wasn’t there when they were little by running round after them now. Making sure I cook there dinner or buy them takeaway if I am not going to be in – they are all able to cook for themselves!! And generally running around and picking up after them. However I also like to think that by working full time while they were growing up I have become a better person and I have shown them that hard work and determination pays off and brings it’s rewards. So for now I have learnt to put the mum guilt to one side and enjoy the time I now have to get to know them better as adults – baby number 4 is off to university in a few months and I know that this will bring me another bunch of feelings to work through, until then I’m just going to enjoy being mum.