I'm reading a book called Love You Mum (Stop trying to be the mum you think you should be) by Gill Campbell. I don't usually like these kind of 'mummy manuals' or self help books, but this one is most definitely food for thought.
I think we all have some kind of parenting model in our minds we think we should be aspiring to, don't we? The book examines the cost of trying to be the best and the effect it has on our children.
Gill Campbell argues that we forget that one of the greatest influences on our kids is what they SEE in their mum.
This made me think about how my child sees me, and if I'm honest, it's probably not in the most positive of lights; permanently stressed, wound up, shouty, often in tears, working 24/7, then, on rare moments of respite from the above, majorly over-compensating with presents and treats.
But it was the blurb on the back cover that drew me in: Campbell asks: Do you think the natural mothering gene missed you? Whilst some mums sail through every day, do you seem maxed out, grumpy and always tired?
Er, yes, but isn't this the case generally with working mums? I can't think of a single mum I know who works full time who does not feel this way.
It has left me wondering, though, what do I do it all for? I am seeing a solicitor this week to finalise my separation and make arrangements for maintenance, access and what will happen to our property. I had (note: HAD) a list of bullet points of all the stuff I needed to tell my legal team, it mainly consisted of impressing upon them how much I work, how much I earn and how many hours a week childcare I will need my son's dad to provide or pay for.
And I looked at this list again today after reading some more of the book and I thought WHY? Why do I do all this? What am I trying to prove? And to whom?
I don't actually know the answer. But I know something's got to give. (And the list is now in the bin.)
What are your experiences?
Did your work commitments have an adverse effect on your relationship with your child?
Or do you manage to 'have it all' and if so, what's the secret?