Read Time: 5 mins
Are you stuffing kidding me? You have carried this rat for 9 months, suffering through all the heartburn, morning sickness, kankles, stretch marks, burping and farting and now it’s finally in the world and you have to deal with “mother’s guilt” – WTF!
OBB 2 insightfully described Mothers Guilt (MG) as the modern day mother having to be a “Leatherman Mom” and just blady do it all; work full time, mother full time, socialise, get your body back, be cheerful and make motherhood look like a #pieceofcake #blessed #youcompleteme.
Honestly, we, here at Big Girl Panties Headquarters, are of the opinion that as mothers we are our own worst enemies. We all seem to be experts in situations we know nothing about and the lack of empathy amongst us towards each other can be quite cruel sometimes. To name a few; colic when your child hasn’t suffered from it, bribing your lighties with sweets because your patience is paper thin, caving in to every nagging whimper when you haven’t slept for days because it is easier than a fight or using a strong combo of dummy, Panado and suppositories to stop the whining.
We need to start supporting each other more and culling the judgement so that we feel like we are all rock stars no matter what stance you take on things like boobing your child until it has teeth, or whacking it on formula from the get go because you couldn’t think of anything more parasitical. Our main focus should be on not breeding assholes and making sure our kids grow up to do things great with their lives, be loyal mates, incredible parents and life partners and if there is time … be really smart because that will help a great deal with the education bursaries.
So, to scratch the surface, we thought we would kick off with the contentious issue of working and mothering.
The societal eye, rolled up in the pressures of MG looming over our heads, the Leatherman Mom needs to thrive: –
1. YOU NEED TO WORK, BUT NOT TOO MUCH THAT IT BORDERS ON NEGLECT.
The Working-From-Home Mom:
I, OBB 1, as a working mom from home, feel that sometimes work is a little bit of freedom and a great way to use your brain on something other than Incy Wincy Spider and the boys. Oh, and of course, to have your own “ice-cream money” – winner!
MG then rolls in and kicks you in the teeth when you can hear your small rat having a jol in the garden and the seed of guilt starts to grow.
Am I missing out on serious opportunities to shape my baby’s mind and personality, teach her about nature (even though I can’t garden for shit and feel that small feather-winged creatures are pigeons and anything oversized is a Hadeda). Taking the time to teach her to respect animals, appreciate great music, socialize and share with her maatjies.
Mom’s Middle Ground:
The major perks of working from home is that you can take a tea break with your rat and spend some beaut time catching up with the morning’s events like the siff grubby stone collection that has been started up or marvel over their finger painting that has taken on the distint identity of someone having chundered up their breakfast onto paper.
It is also impossible to be productive with a rat running around so make the decision to bin the guilt, be a little more hardcore and actively be “away” from your home environment when you are in your home office. So, if you can have the best of both worlds – make the most of it … guilt-free.
2. YOU NEED TO BRING IN THE DOSH, BUT ALSO BE A SUPER INVOLVED MUMZIE
The 9 – 5 Mom:
Working your backside off for extra loot to set your lightie up for good schools, amazing opportunities and also to contribute financially to your households, some moms just don’t have any other option. The moms that choose to go back to work full time also might just be better moms because they don’t loose themselves in the, sometimes boring and repetitive activity of raising human life. The sacrifice of a hard-earned career can be a huge beating on the sense of self and I think one of the biggest challenges of motherhood is seeing your independence and identity slip into the depths of chatter about the colour of your child’s poo this week and whether or not they are teething or just being complete assholes.
MG then rolls in and punani-punches (fanny slaps) you because there are other mothers out there doing such kiff and educational shizzle with their babies, taking them to little classes and glueing stuff to crafty boxes. You start to wonder whether or not your kid is going to be the doffy in the class because you haven’t awarded them the opportunity to stick macaroni noodles to a piece of paper or paint the window with shaving cream.
Am I giving up my rat’s childhood for the sake of having a fatter wallet or am I being super selfish in the case where I don’t actually need to work but I choose it because it frees me from loosing my mind or making mates with other moms who just seem to have it waxed and can throw their body and soul into mothering.
Mom’s Middle Ground:
Some moms love working, I know I do! It is just apart of their genetic make-up and they get excited about it. It keeps their mind right and gives them the vooma to face parenting because they know that when they are spending quality time with their rats, they give it a full go. If you are a working mom because you have no other choice … well then you are wasting the energy on guilt because the decision has been made for you so head down and know that we support you.
3. GREAT THAT OUR CHILD CAN COUNT TO 10 BUT COULD YOU STOP SPENDING MONEY ON COFFEES YOU AREN’T “WORKING” FOR
The Stay At Home Mom (in this case chooses to work part-time for some sanity):
I, OBB2, am a Stay At Home Mom and I work two mornings a week. I don’t for one second think that it isn’t a privilege. I have been raising my two little people on a farm and have the time to teach them that there are definitely other birds out there other than Pigeons and Hadedas. It is a major treat shaping their day activities and watching their minds soak everything up. To avoid going over to the dark side of boredom, I have chosen to cruise into town twice a week to work, stimulate my mind and and make a little bit of “ice-cream” money.
MG then rolls in and bitch slaps you with a bill that you may sometimes feel you aren’t contributing financially to. If you are working just a little, like I do, your job doesn’t bring in nearly as much loot and you feel you probably should be spending it on the household or your family.
There are times when you just want to be kid-free, go and have coffee with mates and dust your rats with any respectable looking human willing, able or keen. The guilt sets in that you are spending bucks on yourself and your mind wonders to your partner slogging away at graft. It is also super sucky thinking that they may throw it back in your face in the next heated argument.
Mom’s Middle Ground:
You would have to be blady superhuman (or mad!) to think you don’t need a break or to do something adult and care-free. Hats off to you for the sacrifices you have made to dedicate your days to your kids – it is hard and not for the faint-hearted, something partners who aren’t with kids all day will never understand (but that is a moan for another blog). So don’t think your position / job in the household doesn’t give you a right to go and treat yourself- it is a job in itself. Especially if that is the deal you have made with your partner! You both wanted them and I’m 100% sure there are days where you would swop places in a heartbeat.
Look, let’s be honest you are never going to rid your life of MG (welcome to momhood) but most of the time it is a f*%king waste of an emotion. There is already so much to worry about in a day, like keeping your child alive, and if you throw that bastard (MG not your child) under the bus, when you get up in the mornings you will find that decision-making and getting things done without it are like a breathe of fresh air. You will also learn to live in the moment and actually enjoy life, and parenting, a lot more- there is no stronger mood killer then feeling guilty.
Your best bet is to surround yourselves with like-minded moms and cling to those suckers with all your might because those are the friends you want to be able to vent to without them fuelling the MG fire. Focus on the good shizzle, like raising them rats right.
So without further adieu … let’s try our very best to keep the MG to a minimum. We are all carrying our fair share of it around but let’s lighten the load and support each other through the things in parenting, like working or not working, that make it such a turmoil time for us. You are doing the best blady job you can do for you and your family and at the end of the day, your best should allow you to cut yourself some slack.