I should be packing for a 48 hr whizz trip (sorry, I mean full on romantic break) to Berlin- a birthday pressie from hubster. The preparation I am putting off is enough for another blog post…Anyway I literally had to scribble this post out before doing any of the packing, sorting etc because something has really really upset me this week.
I saw a lovely article written by a lady who said a stranger changed her life for the better. This was an article published by the Mail, and also shared by Mumsnet. A working Muma whose children were 10 and 11 I think, said her life was changed for the better thanks to a ‘mystery lady with the curly hair’ who had 2 children and a dog. The working Muma watched her for years taking her children to and from school each day. It made her realise she needed to slow the pace and perhaps not work as much as she was. The working Muma explained how she regretted working so much when her children were small, she felt helpless now that they didn’t need her as much, and she couldn’t turn the clock back.
I thought this school of thought applies to all of us mumas, whether we work or not: we are all busy. I’m a stay at home mum (I’m scared to even utter that sentence now thanks to what comes next) and I feel very privileged to be able to do this. That’s my personal opinion- obviously.
However,of course there is plenty of ‘life’ that sometimes gets in the way of us taking note and watching our children grow. It IS important to stop and take stock once in a while and this is what this working mum had done. For her it was work that got in the way of her seeing her children grow up. Thanks to an the act of a stranger this working Muma (I don’t remember her name or I would use it and not refer to her as WORKING MUMA this is not a tag that define her as a person by any means!!) made a change in her life for which she seems to be so grateful for.
So that part of the story hasn’t upset me. It made me feel good about the world!
It’s what came next…
I shared the article on Facebook – innocent enough?
I was parked in lidl car park, having a browse on the daily mail app, and frankly eeking out the time allowance for lidl run before relieving hubster of Toddlermonster. I added a comment on the article, something along the lines of I love being able to stay at home, children are only small for such a short time, grubby paws bla bla- the usual sort of thing.
What I hadn’t banked on was the deluge of very opinionated pretty feisty working Mumas who would comment! Not one single stay at home mum braved it.
Now as a blogger I don’t have my own Facebook page- only my personal one. So the comments were from Mumas I have known over the years. Most not terribly well I must say. I was shell shocked that some of them actually said they hated articles ‘like this’ and how it made them angry that yet again working Mumas were bearing the brunt of another rant.
Had I totally missed something here?
The comments kept coming- these Mumas were outraged by the article and defended their choice to work to the hilt. Why wouldn’t you- it’s your life, your kids, your choice. I couldn’t care less if you choose to work or not- great it you want too, sorry if you didn’t want to but have no choice. Same applies with us SAHM. sorry if you didn’t want to stay at home but childcare maybe too expensive? Sorry if you have to stay at home because you couldn’t find the job you wanted to fit with family life. I know choices are sometimes thrust upon us. Perhaps this was the reason I felt such a raw nerve had been struck.
The thing is I didn’t find the article offensive to Mumas that worked. I am not in the business of pissing off my Facebook friends or ‘real’ friends for that matter, or rocking the boat as much as I clearly had!
Maybe I had missed something?! Or were these Mumas reading between the lines?
Maybe I am a bit too relaxed about my own opinions and so when others seem so strong minded I do find it quite unsettling- actually I won’t beat around the bush the high horsing really began to really piss me off, actually a healthy debate seemed more like working Mumas on trial defending themselves!! Not what I had imagined would happen.
I felt like I had been wrong for sharing the article- I even asked my husband if he thought I SHOULD be going back to work. I began doubting my own choices.
Obviously I won’t be posting this on my Facebook page- God I’d cause a riot.
I’m not entirely sure what the point of sharing this with you is exactly. Other than to ponder the question, do all working Mumas really feel judged and penalised? Do stay at home Mumas feel guilty around working Mumas because they are always with their kids and don’t miss the recitals or plays at school? I didn’t before- but I think I do a little bit now. It’s a sore subject, and it’s a very emotive one I know. Our children are everything to us Mumas. We only get one shot and the thought that we might have made a choice we regret is pretty frightening. I might add that it works the other way around too… I’d love to read about a stay at home Muma who regrets not having pursued a career and now her children have grown up she feels a bit lost perhaps?
I could go on and on but I need to pack- as I said: for the mini break…!! Whatever will hubster and I talk about without the girls to argue over?!