Why I’m proud to be a working mum

Not so long ago a blogger I have followed for a while posted on Instagram about the criticism she had received online for being a working mum. I was infuriated by this!  Fellow parents were questioning her commitment to her children and accusing her of not spending enough time with them. This is so not acceptable.

Why I'm Proud To Be A Working Mum

Your choice

Only you know what is right for your family. How work features in this is, I’m sure, not a decision reached without careful consideration for the vast majority of parents. For some there is no choice at all.  Finances may dictate that parents have to work to keep a roof over their heads.  Conversely, parents may have to give up work or reduce their hours because of the ridiculous cost of child care or because their employers refuse to offer flexible working. (Please head over to Mother Pukka’s website for more info about her flex appeal to change this sorry state of affairs).

Luckily the blogger under fire was able to brush off the criticism, although it did upset her initially. But what if it had left her feeling really rubbish about her choices?  Not cool.

Why I’m proud to be a working mum

In response to this I wanted to write about why I’m proud to be a full time working mum. This is in no way a criticism of stay at home mums because the ‘job’ is just as hard either way.  Full time, part time, job share, stay at home, hide in the loo for a bit of peace – whatever your choice, high five for making it work for your family!  This post is simply meant as a big up to the people who are working parents and to give support and a big virtual hug to anyone who is feeling judged for their choices.

  1. My career. I’ve worked hard and invested a lot of time developing my career. I genuinely love what I do (well 95% of the time. Some days are a bit crap but that’s just life isn’t it?)  After nine months maternity leave I was ready and excited to return. It also enabled Anthony to take a month’s paternity leave with Willow which was an amazing experience for them both.
  2. I like earning my own money. The reality for us is that we have a mortgage to pay and all the stupid costly extras that come with home ownership. Bills aside though, with what’s left of my wage we can make a nice little life for us. We don’t go on expensive holidays or wear designer gear (not that I would, except I do dream of owning a Chanel handbag one day. Just a teeny weeny one. To be fair I’d probably settle for the dust bag they come in). There is a bit of spare money for family days out, tea at the local pub every now and again and new shoes and clothes for Willow in what feels like every other week. I swear she grows out of things before we’ve even got them home from the shop!
  3. I would go bonkers! I need adult company where the conversation isn’t about babies or toddlers or children or the gross stuff that comes out of their bodies. That’s just who I am (don’t get me wrong I do find myself oversharing in the office about Willow’s digestive health on the odd occasion). I love every second that I’m with my little girl but there’s only so much Mr Tumble and reading the same book 50 times in a day I can cope with. I think I’m a better mum for having my own time. I’m more patient and always try to max our weekends together as a family.
  4. Nursery is great for kids. Willow loves nursery. She really loves it. She literally runs in in the mornings without a backwards glance at mummy. I suspect this may have something to do with the puddings at lunch time which the sugar police don’t allow at home. Nursery has given her the opportunity to interact with other children and adults and form relationships outside of her immediate family. She’s so confident and little miss independent. I could burst with pride watching her develop into a cheeky, curious little rascal. Also the activities and learning nursery cover in just one day is mind blowing. Reading her diary at night I would be exhausted if I did that much and of course it’s always a bonus when they get to do messy play on someone else’s lino!
  5. I feel like I’m setting a good example for when the time comes that Willow has to make choices for her family. It sucks that in the 21st century we still feel the need to educate our daughters about this. It should be a given. Hopefully it will be when the time comes for her. My daughter will know she can have a career and a family. She will know there is no pressure for her to return to work either. She will know she has choices and the right to not to be unfairly judged by others.

Work/life balance

Do I always get it right? No, not at all. Striving for the perfect work/life balance is a fruitless parental quest.  Sometimes I have to leave early in the morning and return when Willow’s already in bed.  Sometimes I have to do overnight work trips.  Housework is hit and miss as I don’t want to spend my weekends cleaning and I swear the washing basket breeds dirty laundry. Does this affect Willow?  No.  She gets extra daddy time and probably a big helping of pudding after tea.  What happens when mummy is away…  (Her clothes are always clean before you start wondering). I would never do anything that would be detrimental to Willow’s wellbeing.  She is and always will be my priority.

Why I'm Proud To Be A Working Mum
Have you faced criticism for being a working parent? Are you feeling judged or unsupported?  Do you have other reasons why you love being a working parent? Leave me a comment and tell me about it.

Speak soon,

Kat xx

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Mummuddlingthrough

21 thoughts on “Why I’m proud to be a working mum

    1. They certainly do. I’d gladly tell someone to do one if they judged me but for others it’s not so easy. I hate to think that parents could be left feeling crap because of someone else’s short sightedness xx

  1. Well said as always Kat. Everyone makes the choices that are right for them (to work or not work; to breast feed or formula feed; nanny or nursery school; cry it out or hug it out) and it’s no-one else’s place to call those choices into question.

    My wife and I work at the same company and there were definitely times in the past (with a thankfully former boss) when I was discriminated against for having a working wife. He would say things like “Why can’t your wife pick up the kids / go to the doctor’s appointment?” despite knowing full well that she worked for the same firm and that we would try to divide and conquer. One of us would get in early and the other would stay late, and we would both log on from home in the evenings as needed. However, this wasn’t good enough for him because in his mind she should have been doing everything. Thankfully he was the exception rather than the rule at my firm, and my wife’s boss as well as my new boss are much more understanding, but he made life very difficult for us for a while.

    1. What an awful boss. It sounds like you and your wife were able to cope with him (even though you shouldn’t have to) but can you imagine if it was someone who wasn’t so strong? They could be left feeling really awful and vulnerable. I really just want to reach out to people in that situation to let them know that they aren’t alone and their choices are good!

  2. It annoys me that mums are criticising each other when life is hard enough! We should be supporting each other. I’m a mum who works from home and I think whatever our choices we always get some element of guilt. We have to do what is right of us and our families. #CoolMumClub

  3. Great post Kat – my husband and I both need to work to pay the bills, but I also know I’d go a bit bonkers if I didn’t do it, and that Miss O loves nursery, so we’re very happy with our set up! #CoolMumClub

  4. Blimming heck…if you’re a working mum people don’t like it, if you’re a SAHM mum people don’t like it…it’s like we can’t win! I think what you’re doing is great and takes a lot to hold it all together so don’t let anyone tell you otherwise!!!! Thanks for linking up to #coolmumclub xoxo

    1. Oh I know – you have to develop a thick skin the minute you become a parent as ALL decisions you make are under such scrutiny. As if it wasn’t a hard enough job already! xx

  5. Im super proud of being a working mum, before Ben i wanted to be a stay at home mum but then i realised on my maternity leave just how stir crazy I was becoming. Now im working full time, blogging whilst posting 4 posts a week plus hosting a linky, all in the aid to try to reduce my working hours so although i’ll still blog i’ll be working at home so when he’s at school ill be there for the school runs and not coming home when he goes to bed.
    I also want him to know women are more than the old stereotype; women AND men can do what they want, when they want it.
    Props to all the working mums out there =] #coolmumclub

  6. Yes! I trained for 3 years to be a nurse and it isn’t something I would give up lightly! I work two long days a week which is a great balance for me. #triumphanttales

    1. I’m glad you’ve found your balance! You guys do such an amazing job. Can you imagine if mums didn’t return to nursing after they had a baby – the NHS would fall over! Thanks for reading xx

    1. Thanks! I keep the plates spinning – just about! But I don’t beat myself up if I let one fall. I’m sure you have your own balancing act in the go… Thanks for reading xx

  7. It irritates me beyond belief that people think they are entitled to have an opinion about someone else’s circumstances. It’s nobody else’s business and everyone has a reason for choosing to do what they do. Working Mum, Stay At Home Mum, Part Time Working Mums, we are all Mums and all work hard at what we do. We should support each other, not tear each other down. Thanks for linking up to #TriumphantTales, really hope to see you back on Tuesday 🙂

  8. Amen to this! I felt exactly the same way when I went to uni after having to my little girl, people gave me some right stick about leaving her and putting myself first. But they struggled to see that not only was I trying to better myself I was also trying to create a good life for us both in the future.
    Don’t get me wrong I would have loved to just go back to work part time, have the adult company a few days a week and see my little girl grow up the rest of the time but thats life isn’t it?
    In my eyes not matter what position a mama is in she’s a hard working one at that!
    Much Love
    Soph
    xx

    1. I’ve had a great response to this post. I’m really glad there are so many like minded working parents out there. I just hope we can reach the ones that are being judged and need our help xx

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