The Gauntlet

There doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day at the moment to squeeze everything in. I feel like a fat hamster running around its wheel with a constant mantra of “if I keep going forwards, things will get easier”. I am tempted to sit down and let it carry on spinning around me at times, problem being you then feel like you have to go even faster when you do eventually muster the strength to stand back up and keep running.

Sybbie is 11-months-old today which simultaneously blows my mind and confuses me as in many ways it feels like she has been here forever. She is my first danger baby, nothing scares her and she is the first to climb up things, get stuck places and generally head to the nearest and most dangerous item in the room. Fierce and fearless are wonderful qualities with age but at 11 months, it is petrifying! The wry smile and giggle as she knows full well what she is doing is wrong. Too irresitible to not smile back at and grab for every head sniff she lets me.

With her first birthday looming, I have been working out how to get back to employment that suits us all. Concluding it is actually fairly impossible but pondering quite hard on how women can have it all? If we work full-time, we can feel judged and vilified for leaving our babies and struggle to keep every plate spinning not to mention the serious mum guilt we inflict on ourselves. If we work part-time, it can feel impossible to judge the demands of work against the demands of motherhood and the pay can make it all seem a little pointless.

If we stay at home, we get asked what we will do when the children are all at school, like it has to be a given we wave them off on their first day and instantly put our foot back on the career ladder. The reality is though, most of us will have had nearly a decade out of employment. A decade employers view as wasted time. A decade where all of our incredible skills as a mother, nurse, PA, hostage negotiator, teacher, child’s entertainer, cleaner, cook, house-keeper and multi-tasker extraordinaire are ignored and looked over.

If we do get that foot back on the ladder, we have the gauntlet of school holidays, sick children and school events to run at breakneck speed, so it can all feel overwhelming. So what do we do if we want to contribute financially, use our brain in a different way but also be a mother without judgement? No seriously, tell me!

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