So, I must first of all share with you that as a family we have reduced the number of cars that we have down to one, which means that I regularly catch public transport to and from my day job. And this is where the story starts.
I was like many people on Monday afternoon, waiting for our train to arrive to take us home. Our train pulls into the station, and we all crumped together to find our seat. I noticed there is a lady with her toddler sitting in the corner, and went and sat next to her. If I were not a Mum, like most people I would have avoided the seat.
I was happy to talk to this lady. I started asking her questions about her Baby boy. He was the same age and my youngest, and he was walking. Sorry, I can not recall his name.
During our conversation, I mentioned that I did have a daughter, who was the same age. The lady then asked is she at home? I said no she is at day care. You could tell from what I was wearing that I was coming home from work.
How could you have her at daycare? (sigh!) Don’t you miss her? and right there I paused, I had to think about it. I replied of course I did, but at that moment I felt that I was being judged for working while my daughters both of them were at daycare. I then felt I had to justify myself, by saying that they are ONLY at daycare 4 days a week, and my husband looks after them on Tuesdays.
We continued on our journey home, and we chatted about children, toddlers, how she found it difficult getting around the city with a pram. I felt like saying I have no trouble at all, you just need to know where all the elevators are, as well as the baby change rooms. But I told my EGO to settle down, and I just agreed with her. Her son was interested in my bangle which I gave him to play with. I knew it would occupy him for a little longer while we traveled. My ego also thought of saying “your Daddy would not like you playing with that, would he” but I also refrained from saying something. My ego can be nasty, hey.
Anyway, I offered to help her off the train, because I know how difficult it can be. She was ok, as she had a friend with her.
It really got me thinking. You know you read all these magazines, blogs, articles about how women are, I don’t really like to use this word “bitchie” but it is the only word I could think of. Maybe it is a bit harsh, and I should use “judgemental” instead. This was the first time in 4 years that I felt that I was being judged for my choice to work while my girls were in care? Was I being a “good” Mum? I really felt what it was like to be one of those women, you know like its a competition – Stay at home Mum VS Working Mum.
I do not understand why women do it? It baffles Me. Why do we need to make ourselves feel better about the choices we make. Whether it be that you work full-time, study part-time, work as a pole dancer, climb the corporate ladder, decide to be a artist, earn lots of money, or just enough to get you by. What ever you do, why is there that competition, especially between Mums.
I can only admire Mums who stay at home with their child or children. It is the most challenging job in the world – so they say. I keep up with young children, keeping them feed, entertained mostly, is a great challenge especially with the limited attention span. I give bigger admiration for single parents who look after their children, I would not know what I would do without the support of my husband.
I can tell you from experience being a working Mum is a challenge as well. Not only do you have to get ready for work, you have to get your children ready for care, make sure they are fed, stay clean, and bags ready every morning. I am really lucky that my workplace has fantastic flexibility, and my direct manager is a Mum herself, so there is also a level of understanding. Then to get home after a day’s work, dealing with some interesting people, now I say that nicely. Pick up my girls, feed them bath them, get one to bed, colour in for another hour, read to my daughter, and then thats right, feed the dogs. It is now 9:30, I would love to do some other things, but I am pooped, so hop into bed, only to start all over again tomorrow.
I love being a working Mum. I love being with my girls. In no circumstance, do I feel that I have missed any part of their life. I have had so many joyful moments with them since thy were born. Just like on the weekend, watching them have a ball at our local pool – priceless. We do rely on the support of our local day care centre, as we would not be able to do what we do without their loving care for our daughters. They do a wonderful job of looking after our girls during the day. I know that both me and my husband are grateful for their work. thanks girls..
I think that as humans, Mum’s we are doing the best we can with what we got. There is no “Perfect” way look after your child, as long as they feel that they are loved and care for, and they feel important to you. That is all that matters full-stop. There is not need for women to be so judgmental of each other.
So, I am not sure why this nice lady said what she said, in her manner. She could be wishing that she could be working, or she had a hard day with her Son in the city, or was dreading her night head or whatever, I am not sure, but I am sorry that she said what she said the way she did.
On a final note, “WOMEN, please just accept yourself for who you are, and more so accept others for who they are”. I think women would be more appreciative of each other if they came from a place of acceptance..
Good Night.. & Be Good