Working Mum
Her Story

Working Mum: The Modern Day Wonder Woman Dilemma

5.59KViews

Working Mum: The Modern Day Wonder Woman Dilemma

As a busy working mum who splits my time between the UK, US and the UAE, it has been priority number one for me to find a way to keep developing as ‘Kate’ but also give my best to my three beautiful children.

There are always dilemmas, sacrifices and challenges with the life decisions we make, but there has to be a strong ‘why’ in making this journey balancing the two lives sustainable.

It wouldn’t be possible for me to imagine life without growth and new goals and it would not be aligned with who I truly am. I want my children to see their mum as the person I really am, not the woman society might expect me to be.

That doesn’t mean I can’t be a loving mother who is dedicated to giving my best to my children either. For each of us, how our paths look will be different and the worst thing we can do is to compare our journey or benchmark it by the paths of others. No two paths are the same.

I know many women who thrive on doing nothing other than raising their children. It is their soul calling, their purpose in life. For others I know, they consciously chose not to have children and this too, is them following their own calling and purpose in life. They too, are thriving. Then for some of us, who fall in between, we also have another path to take and for me, this is where I too, have thrived.

Mum guilt

Whether you are a mum who works from home or like me, you’re flying to the other side of the world, there is no escaping mum guilt and there is no easy way to manage it. There will be times your heart will ache, you’ll miss great bits, but you’ll also really make the most of the precious time you have when you’re there. It’s like a long distance relationship. It means you never take a second for granted, and you fully embrace the time you do have together in a way that if you’re around the children 24/7 sometimes can become routine.

Be present

When you are with your children, give yourself permission to be truly present. Put your phone down, listen to them, talk more, find ‘quality time’ activities which bond you together like board games, interactive ways to be together without each one being in their phones or lives outside the family unit. We even use Monopoly as a way to bring up money talks. Remember that quality is the priority, not quantity. My mum was in the same home pretty much every night, but she worked two jobs and I never saw her. I am away many nights of the year, but I have time for my children which feels very different to how I saw my mum struggle to manage her time and her own energy levels. You will likely try and buy gifts, or holidays to make up for your absence and rarely has this ever worked for me. They don’t need a big holiday. They need you.

Communicate

You are not a robot and there are no rules of motherhood. In the vein of quality not quantity, be honest about being tired, or if you’re going through challenging times – of course making sure it’s age appropriate. What’s key for me is that I don’t want my children to ever feel like it’s their fault if I look cranky. In basic ways I explain scenarios that have impacted me and what I am trying to learn from the moment. I ask for their thoughts. I include them but don’t stress them and try to help them observe my coping mechanisms and problem solving style. I would hope at these moments, they too can learn some life tools for their future.

Acceptance

One of the hardest things for me when missing certain moments is that sometimes you might feel like a bit of an outsider. That’s ok, just like your life continues while they’re not with you, so does theirs. And just like you still love them, they still love you. As long as you have easy ways for the children to contact you, they know you’re there even when you’re not. We have even had talks on what an emergency means, how they can reach me, and even what does not count as an emergency to wake me up and panic me with. They know that for me, their homework is not one such emergency.

The main take-away here is that each of us does our best with what we have. We are human and no two mums are or should be the same. What works for one, may not work for another, just like no two siblings will be parented in the same way as each one has their own unique character. Be gentle on yourself. Remember to celebrate your small wins and remember that two hours of quality time is better than a week of being in a bad mood and exhausted.

Leave a Reply