Can’t be a good mum and work!

Yesterday I had a very strange experience and it has been playing on my mind ever since. As a blogger thought this would be a great way to get it all out of my system!

I was in a waiting area yesterday (no, I am not saying where I was), sat alone listening to the music and writing my blog about my Spring Fair visit (to be published Monday), and generally minding my own business. A lady came and sat in the area with her son, I said hello, pointed the toy box out to both of them and carried on working. The lady struck up conversation with me chatting about the weather and how fast children grow up; she has an older daughter, a 4-year-old son, and one on the way; she asked nothing about me or my situation which was fine until from absolutely nowhere she said this “I think that women who have kids and then continue working are so selfish, I had my kids young and live my life with them. You just can’t be a good mum and work it’s just wrong” (with notepad and pen fortunately in hand I wrote it down).

Now, those that know me know that I am not easy to floor in the conversation department; I refrained from vocalising what I was thinking (which was along the lines of who the f%^* are you!!!). I also refrained from jumping to my feet to whack her in the face with my shoes, and actually it was what I did that shocked me the most. I found myself replying in an apologetic way for being a working mum! Justifying why I went to work – “oh it pays the bills”, “I didn’t have my child young and you get used to 2 incomes”.

My favourite line within my group of friends is “I’m no Mary Poppins” and I’m not; I don’t bake we cook dinner, we share great experiences , have skidding competitions in the hallway, go to the library, skip to school and laugh together a lot!! I take him to school every day and collect him every day and we both get the best of both worlds. I consider myself very fortunate in that respect. I do wish I was a little more like Mary Poppins at times, cracking accessories and she could do magical things – who wouldn’t want to be her!

If I didn’t work I would be bored rigid; A life of ironing, cooking and cleaning. Jeremy Kyle, Loose Women and endless coffee mornings when the only thing you have to talk about is your children. OK, OK, now I am making sweeping statements!

My son is my moon and my stars, and I love him more than I thought it possible to love someone. My opinion; for what it is worth is that a child with a working mum is an independent adult in the making; my name is mummy not slave, we do things together, he understands that mummy has to work so that we can do the cool things in life like; go to restaurants, the cinema, on holiday, the zoo etc and he helps me with work (next week’s blog). I think he is the cleverest, brightest nearly 6-year-old that there is, I also know and appreciate my son truly is my miracle and I cherish him everyday – although he drives me mad obviously!!

I am giving my son a worth ethic and I spend quality time with him…. Yes the woman in the waiting room (whom I do not know and will probably never see again) made me feel the guilt for a minute but actually she made me feel a little sad that I didn’t say what I should have… Life is full of choices, what might be right for you may not be right for some (it takes different strokes).

I am proud of the choices I have made and I know Adam is too!! X


24 thoughts on “Can’t be a good mum and work!

  1. The only guilt you should ever feel is not sticking up for your descisions and life choices. Our choices are right for us, and I myself am blinkin proud of my acheivements, and that of my children. It is sad that some people are so small minded and old fashioned, however, let them feel the guilt themselves….I sure as hell aint gonna feel it for ’em. 😉 xxxx

  2. like the woman who had a rant on my FB photo of my new son with a bottle….cue breastfeed rant from a raw veg eating, sandal wearing bloody do-gooder. oops…little rant came out then 🙂

  3. Well bugger me! I can honestly say I feel fortunate for being able to have stayed at home with my kids and I am dreading going back to work next year. I can honestly say I think it all depends on who you are and what job you do. Mand you are very lucky, as a teacher I will not be able to walk them to school or pick them up, attend sports days, leavers assembly or generally take part in any of their school life at all. Yes I will have school holidays with them…but unable to afford to go on holiday! Sadly although bringing up your children should be a right it has become a privilige adn I do believe that what ever we feel as right or wrong we should never judge. People do what they think is best…thats called being a parent!

  4. I have no kids – so this is from a purely theoretical standpoint. But I have a couple of thoughts on this : Firstly, what a scary thing for someone to say in casual conversation. It’s a big one! It’s a bit like walking in to a waiting room and slagging off religion, or party politics, you just don’t know who you’re talking to. Odd. Very odd.

    Secondly, some people work and have children, some people don’t. There’s obviously no right or wrong to this – although there’s also the interplay of class and money inherent in that. Would she think a single mother who worked was selfish too? Or would she berate someone for living off benefits? Or possibly she could do both – hell, why stick to just hating one group of people just based on prejudice?

    Thirdly – Presumably she doesn’t think fathers who work are selfish – thus suggesting that it’s entirely the woman’s role to raise children. Blah blah bloody blah.

    From what I’ve heard from around me raising children is the most difficult thing you can do, you’re working a full time job doing that whether or not you work on top of that. Anything else is up to you. It’s the judgements that probably don’t help every day. I don’t blame you for a second for mumbling your response, I’d have done the same thing, it’s that or an intense debate in a waiting room, I’d rather read a 10 year old copy of Cosmo thanks very much!

  5. Completely agree with you! Working mothers help to shape the minds of their children into believing that the world isn’t handed to you on a plate and that you have to put in the effort to get the results. I was raised by a working (single) mother and am now one myself. My daughter doesn’t miss out on one ounce of love and happiness and appreciates that I have to work in order to support our family and treat us to the things we enjoy. She has known the value of money from a young age, as I’m positive your son does too. The only way to teach children independence is to give it to them.

  6. I completely agree with you. My older children were brought up with me working and have really good work ethics and are not worse of for it.
    I am now a SAHM with the baby and the toddler but that’s because we cannot afford childcare. I’m setting up as a childminder and plan on completing my NVQ3 whilst doing that so I can become a teaching assistant in 3 years time when the baby goes to school.
    I’m going to miss the adult contact, but have found blogging to be my saviour and the course should keep my brain working!
    Good for you – do what makes you happy and you’ll have no regrets!

    • Thank you Chelseamamma, take a look at my friend on twitter @Start_Again_Mum recently registered child minder as a mum of 3 she is loving it and may have some tips.
      Thanks for your comments and I look forward to reading your blog too!
      A x

      • Thanks Amanda. Really enjoyed the article.. wanted to type more, but was on my phone in the early hours of the morning and ‘you go girl’ was all I could muster haha 🙂 I’m not a mom yet myself, but my mum did work and raise me mostly on her own, so I bristled a bit regarding that comment from that woman. But then realised.. everyone is entitled to their opinion (however misguided it may be! LOL 😉
        Looking forward to reading your blog. Thanks for following mine.

  7. Just goes to show how far we are from ‘gender equality!’ Ive never heard a man called selfish for going to work to support his family! I had a childminder once who said it was a ‘terrible shame’ she got to spend more time with my toddler daughter than I did. (she was sacked immediately!) I am a single mum of 2 girls now age 14 and 7 and worked full time from when they were 6 months old, up until last year when I jacked it in to go to Uni full time. I still work part time for the NHS, even though I pay a good chunk of my earnings out in childcare. I love being a mum, but also love my job and my course and think a happy mum equals happy kids! Although sometimes there doesnt seem to be enough hours in the day we all have a great relationship and I think my working/studying has helped my kids become sociable, responsible, independant and adaptable young individuals. Sometimes its about quality of time together , not quantity and I ALWAYS make the most of our free time, something I may not do if I was at home full time. (tbh I think we’d get a bit sick of the sight of each other!) It works for me but if others want to stay at home with their kids, and their circumstances allow that-fine! And if they want/have to earn their own money to ensure a certain standard of living for their family, thats fine too! Really, who am I to judge!

  8. Hello there! This is my 1st comment here so
    I just wanted to give a quick shout out and tell you I genuinely enjoy reading through
    your blog posts. Can you suggest any other
    blogs/websites/forums that go over the same subjects? Thanks a lot!

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