I have always wanted to be a mum. I used to pretend my little sister was my daughter. With 11 years between us, she was a perfect real life doll. I may or may not have attempted to breastfeed her, but that is for another time.
I am now a real mum to two little rad, rat bag boys. They are so cute; at times I feel like I could pop some tomato sauce on them and eat them whole. However, since kid number two came along I am finding it really hard to see that ‘having it all’ is ever going to be my reality. I need more than my kids in my day-to-day life to feel fulfilled, happy and not bored!
I love to work and I need to work for both my sanity and so I can indulge in my superficial lifestyle. Being home and negotiating with a nearly five year old to put on his shoes while wiping poo from my two-year-old’s bum often drives me insane,
Just writing that sentence makes me feel suffocated with mother’s guilt.
I wish I wanted to be home full time with my kids, but I would be lying if I said I did. Of course it goes without saying that I love them more than anything, but I just don’t love being with them all of the time. I need and want adult interactions, challenges and conversations that involve more than Bubble Guppies, Dora and chatting in a robot voice.
My children make up a huge part of who I am, they keep shit real and make me feel incredible things I didn’t even know were humanly possible to feel. But setting big career goals and chasing them is something I have always thrived on. I’m struggling to see how I can chase and parent at the same time right now. So in order to make this a possibility, I am selling one of my children. Jokes.
I do feel riddled with guilt though, wanting to crack on with my career while having two young boys; knowing that I always need to call on my village to help raise my children with me. But to get that fire in my belly, I need to have my mind busy and challenged with work at the same time as seeing my children grow. Having just one or the other doesn’t cut it for me, although I’m finding it hard to see how having both without guilt is possible.
Starting Show + Tell was all a part of my plan to ‘have it all’ – at once. To be able to work from home and bring up my family at the same time sounded like a dream. I just didn’t actually realise that banana squashed into my key board and rocking a baby to sleep while typing my deepest or sometimes dumbest thoughts, was a big part of that reality. I couldn’t love running Show + Tell any more than I do, it is a wild dream come true, but when I have my mug in my computer, I feel the neglecting guilt kick in, and then when I’m playing with my babes I get the ‘I should really be working’ guilt. Hey guilt, how about you piss right off? Seriously though, does the balance of work/family for women ever feel balanced and guilt free?
I find myself often looking at my partner and feeling envious, sometimes jealous that having our boys hasn’t altered his career at all. When I fell pregnant with Bax, I was doing breakfast radio in Sydney. A job I had worked hard for and sacrificed a lot to get. Along with the pregnancy came shocking morning sickness , and being the fickle industry that it is, that job slipped through my fingers. That is something that a man would never experience. I definitely don’t want a penis, as I love wearing heels and the fact my body can grow humans, but seriously, being a woman with kids and having a desire for a career can be hard yakka.
Not every day is like this for me, I don’t whinge and struggle non stop (believe it or not). Most of the time I feel like a pig in shit with my boys by my side and this very site growing before my eyes (which makes me burst with excitement). But then there are the days that it all just feels a little too hard.
Fill my vino glass up would you, I think I need to cry into it then maybe just harden the fuck up. I will ‘have it all’, just obviously not all at once – or at least just not today.
Do you struggle with the work/parenting balance? Does mothers guilt tug at you a lot too? Share with me. xx