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Mummy Guilt: Am I Making The Right Choice?


So this is something that has been on my mind for a while now and after much thought I have decided to go back to work full time. It wasn't a decision I took lightly, after all I love spending time with my kids but there's part of me that wants to be me again and I've always loved my job. I work in the hospitality industry and have done since I was 13, I've had managerial positions over the years but since having Amelia, I took a step down and worked in a new local restaurant which I am extremely passionate about. I love the company and what we do, I also do some of their social media on the side which is also something I love doing but some day would like to progress again or work in social media full time.  

I wondered if I was being selfish at first, wanting to go back to work full time but the reason I am doing it is for my kids. I am currently saving for a deposit as I want to be able to own my own home in a few years which will give us that security of having a roof over our heads and not having to worry about landlords selling up and the only way I can do that is by bringing in more income, especially as a single parent. 

When I first went on maternity leave with Amelia I didn't know what to do with myself as I was a custom to working 60+ hours a week before she came along. But over time I adjusted to being a stay at home mum, however I did eventually go back to work part time when she was 14 months old as I did miss working and having the social life I once had. Although I was a nervous wreck at first, I did eventually feel at ease with her being looked after by other people and really enjoyed working again.

Again once on maternity leave with Harry I couldn't wait to go back even if it was only 16 hours a week, it was 2 days where I would have some me time and sanity from being in the house all day. I ended up going back much earlier this time round, I think Harry was 10 months old. I didn't have the same guilt as I did the first time round and felt more at ease with other people looking after him. 

So, I'm hoping to go back to work this September and have started looking at after school clubs for Amelia and also childcare for Harry. I'm lucky that I already have family looking after the kids on the two days that I already work so I'll only need childcare for an additional two days which means I'm not forking out too much to make it worthwhile going back. I did always say I would go back to work when both of them were in school as I'd have nothing else to do anyway, and I knew I wouldn't be blogging in years to come but wasn't sure if I wanted to go back so soon. I do love blogging but I've been thinking about stopping earning from it for a while now or maybe I'll just do it on the side. 

I'm also debating whether or not to wait until the following September (2017) when Harry will be 2 and a half as he would then be able to attend the nursery at the school which Amelia went to last year as it is a lot cheaper and would also be easier dropping them off and picking them up. I also really like the nursery and we know all the staff really well so it would be nice for him to go there too, but I'm not sure whether I want to wait another year. 

I don't know if it will be the right decision, we'll have to wait and see but I am happy with my decision to go back full time for now. I think it will allow us to appreciate the time we do have together more, I'll still have the weekends and Thursdays off so I'll make sure we get out and do things together as a family. I'll also be grateful of being able to switch off after work and spending quality time with the kids, instead of working at every opportunity I have free blogging, on social media, checking emails and taking blog photos. It will also mean I am able to enjoy my evenings watching TV, blogging if I wish, catching up on others blog posts and also being able to keep on top of the housework instead of putting it off until the next day. 

I'd love to hear about your decisions to go back to work full time after having children? Did you go back when they were young or wait until they were in school? 

28 comments

  1. You have to do whatever is right for you all, only you will know what that is. For me working 4 hours a week to get time out is right. I blog and vlog but make nothing from it, I do it because I enjoy it. I would hate to go back to work full time, but I know plenty of others who would love it.

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    1. Yeah, I like having the 16 hours to have time out etc but as I'm not blogging as much as I used to and not earning as much from it anymore working part time I'm not able to save up. If i work full time I can save for a deposit quicker. I'm not sure if working full time will be too much and then I'd regret it x

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  2. Do what you feel right Kerry. You shouldn't feel guilty at all. Reading this it sounds as if you have already made up your mind, so go for it lovely. I would love to work full time but we just can not afford the childcare yet and now with the little one on the way but I am looking at the future and planning things.

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    1. Thanks Beth, I think you're right. I've kind of made the decision to go back, just not to sure when the right time is i.e this year or next year when Harry can start at the clych when he's 2 1/2. Childcare is so expensive these days, im lucky that i don't pay any yet as my mum and Andy look after the kids when I work atm. x

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  3. Never feel guilty for wanting to do something for you, especially when it will benefit you as a family in the long run. I returned back to work full time, though I have reduced my hours slightly. I work as a teacher (on a cover basis so I don't take the same workload home) and have the benefit of the school holidays which works so well. I don't feel it's negatively impacted my children, they spend time with their daddy (he works shifts so is often home when I'm working) or spend time with their grandparents and they spend one day in nursery which they both love.

    Yes I still blog, and make a little money on the side, but having a full time job gives us that security we need in order to pay the mortgage, holidays and their extra activities they take part in. We all have to do what we've got to do to support our loved ones and create a better future for our children.

    I found going back to work this time around so much easier this time round xxx

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    1. Oh thats handy have school bases hours. Yeah, I know they'll be fine when im working as they'll only need to be in childcare 2 days and then my mum and their dad will have them the other days.

      I agree, its so much easier going back the second time round even though I only do 16 hours atm but I think increasing to full time will be a huge shock and may take time to get used to xx

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  4. It's whatever makes you happy really.
    In Ireland you only get 6 months maternity leave. I went back to work when I had Matthew and I did same when chloe came along. I just feel I need to be occupied as well as minding the kids.

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    1. Wow only 6 months? We get 9 months here but I took longer with Amelia as I saved up enough to stay off till she was 14 months. I decided to go back after 10 months with Harry as like you said need to be occupied. x

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  5. I wouldn't feel guilty. I work in the evenings so I don't see Max when he finishes school. When he was 10 months old I went back to finish uni and hardly saw him at all. Now he's at school I do more than ever. I study social media management, blog, do tonnes of charity work and still work the same job. Max knows he doesn't get much time with me in the week so we make the most of the weekends. I don't feel any guilt as I know he loves me and I love him, it's just the way it has to be.

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  6. I worked in an office when Eva was born a bad wbrt back part time, then was offered a full time job in a school which I took when she was around a year old. Then when she was 2 I say ryes my PGCE, eve burley qualifying and teaching full time when she started school. By the end of that first year teaching I was pregnant with Luka so I worked one more half term, then I took a year off. I went back part time for one year, then did one more tent before going on maternity leave with bella. I handed my notice in at this point as I was refused part time hours on my return I was out of work for the first 6 months of my mat leave and HATED it. When bella was 7 months old is started doing social media work for a brand, for about 6 months then again was out of work for about 6 months once more. I found j hated not having my own money and just being at home with the kids. I decided to set up my own business and it WA the best thing I did. I joined forces with another freelancer recently and between us we have a team of 4 with one intern and I LOVE what I do. For me it was about having my own money and something else to keep my brain ticking over that was just for me. I do miss teaching at times but what I do now works for us at the moment: it's hard because you have the guilt but it you love your job it's important the kids see that- mummy works too and values herself etc. Good luck, I think you'll be fine xxxx

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  7. It can be so hard to know what to do, Kerry. But you need to do what's right by you and your family. I've been working full time for a year now. It took a bit of getting used too but now we're finally in a routine. Just don't put too much pressure on yourself. It would appear I have done just that and something had to give - unfortunately it was my sanity and I'm currently off work with depression, stress and anxiety! Although it's likely it's more to do with the work I'm doing/how the past year has been rather than the fact it's full time.
    If I could offer any advice, it would be to increase your hours gradually (if possible). That way it's not so much of a shock and you can adapt your life one bit at a time.
    Regardless of what you end up doing - just remember that being a Mum will always come with guilt, whatever you choose! It comes with the territory and doesn't necessarily mean you're not doing the right thing.

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  8. Do what you feel is right, and don't ever feel guilty for it! Only you can know what is right for you and your family. I think we all get mummy guilt, no matter what choices we make, and it's only natural to question yourself and wonder if you are doing the right thing. Moving from part time to full time might be a bit of a shock at first but I think you'll soon get used to it, and the kids will hardly notice the change!

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  9. I think the same as others . Do what feels right for you. I'm just about to go back to work full time next Monday and although I'm looking forward to the new role in slightly anxious about it. Mine is only temp for a year so there is light at the end of the tunnel if I do find it too much. Good luck x

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  10. In the long run, you'll be a better mom to your kids when you are content with your own work life.

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  11. It's sounds like you're doing the right thing for your family. Having a permanent roof over your heads is important. Plus your needs and passions matter. If working full-time is something you feel drawn to do right now, then do it. I wish you all the best of luck during this next phase.

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  12. When I had my children ( a long time ago) I only had 14 weeks maternity leave and only 8 paid, I went back part time but I did already own my own house before I had my first baby at 21, ( much easier to do back then) I went back to full time when my eldest was at school but even that was expensive having one in nursery and after school for the other, bear in mind you have 13 weeks of holidays a year to cover, I was lucky that grandparents covered most of them. I would say your doing a great job thinking about buying a house, i personally worked really hard to do the same while they were younger to afford me the time to be at home when they got older when I felt they needed me more than when they were babies, I'm a single mum too and my ex husband isn't around so don't have his support , keep doing what your doing you sound like you give everything a lot of thought and are putting your kids first, you will always feel guilt no matter what you decide.

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  13. When I had my daughter 3 years ago I decided not to go back to work and go self employed. I try and juggle looking after her full time and trying to run my own business. My business has been a slow burner (which is good as I wanted it to get busier for when she started school), but I have always felt guilty that sometimes my days with her are filled with me answering emails etc whilst she's playing at the park etc. I cherish every single day that I get to spend with her, but I still get feelings of guilt that my mind sometimes wanders to work and what I need to be doing. I think as mother's we always feel guilty no matter what decision we make. We are made to feel as if we are only good mothers if our children are in our thoughts 100% of the time each and every day. What ever you decide to do will be the best decision for you and your family. Do not feel guilty. You are doing what is best for your family, and there is no guilt in that

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  14. Everyone is different so you should do what You want to do. I am very happy being at home, looking after the kids and working on my website. Mr 4 will be in play school 5 mornings a week from September and I must say that I am really looking forward to working more on my site. However 2 1/2 hours work per day, 5 days a week will probably do me for a while. In the meantime I realise how lucky I am to be a stay at home dad and spend time with my children. Good luck with your decision!!

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  15. You're doing it for the right reasons; you have to make your situation work for you. Wishing you well! x

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  16. You make decisions that are right for you. I went back to work full time when my twins were 3.5 and loved it! I was a single mum then too. :)

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  17. You need to do what you feel is right for you. I had children quite a few years ago and stayed at home with them but did take a one day job when the eldest was at school and so I only needed childcare for half a day. The break from home routine was refreshing and of course I enjoyed the extra money. Quite a few of my friends went straight back to work but I enjoyed those early years with my sons and was glad I made the decision to stay at home.

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  18. Sounds good to me. You can only make the decision as you see it at the time.

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  19. Ultimately I think you have to do what feels right for you and your little ones. Don't be too hard on yourself if your plans have to be re-jigged a little. I went back to work part-time after having #1 son but after I had my second (and third) son, I returned full-time and have worked full-time hours ever since. One of the many moments where my one of my children has brought a tear to my eye was when my very brave then four year old got up on the stage at school and said 'My mummy goes to work and she works really hard to get money!!' I was laughing and so proud at the same time. Take care of you and everything will fall into place.

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  20. Follow what your heart says, and leave it to fate.

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  21. Do what you think is right for your family if you want to own your own home working full time will mean it happens faster

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Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a comment. I love reading them all and will try my best to answer all of your questions. If you would like to contact me for a quicker response please feel free to tweet me at (@ohsoamelia_blog) or email me. Kerry