I’ve enjoyed lots of mums blogs since having my first baby. There’s so many to choose from, the funny ones, the informative ones, the sad ones, that I’m sure I haven’t even scratched the surface over the last three years. Recently it’s been bothering me how often I’ve heard one phase:
I love my children but…
I love my children but I miss having some time to myself. I love my children but I enjoy my job. I love my children but I’m really bored of Bob the Builder. How depressing that we are so worried people might doubt our commitment to our kids because we admit to having some other interests that we need to constantly prefix any reference to these things with a declaration of our love.
Do we shamefacedly admit ‘I love my job but I quite like doing some gardening at the weekend’? As students did we apologetically say ‘I love college but getting some work experience would help me get a job later’? Do we even have to explain ‘I love my husband but a night out with the girls would be fun’? Of course not, everyone balances different facets of their life and we’d be pretty boring and one-dimensional if we didn’t.
So who make us feel like this? It might be the media, celebrities or even health professionals constantly showing us images of what a perfect mother should be but I think if we’re honest we probably do it to ourselves. It’s that ever-present ‘mum guilt’ that always makes us feel that we should be doing more or better. Like all of us, my kids are my absolute priority and nothing will ever stop me from being there for them when they need me. However I’m not going to let myself feel guilty for saying that they are the most important thing but not the only important thing in my life.
We often talk about work life balance as managing kids and a job, but I want more than that. I want a relationship, my friends, hobbies, to still be an active member of my community and a bit of time with my feet up, all while my kids are blossoming into happy, secure and independent young people. Does that sound ridiculously ambitious? Probably but I think that’s what most of us want. I know we’re not always going to manage it but let’s not apologise for trying…Deal?