I hate to break this news, but apparently as a woman you can't have it all. The career, the children, the happy husband, the beautiful home and the amazing social life. Or at least if you let other people have their way you can't.
This time last week I was basking in the beautiful glorious Arabian sunshine of Dubai. My BBF Rachael and I had gone away for a mere 72hours escaping our combined 5 children for a girly sunshine break. When I took a standard selfie in my bikini with an iced coffee in hand (not even a cocktail!) I had not a care in the world. As the mother of a 6 year old and 10 week old I feel no guilt or shame in leaving them in the loving care of their fathers. My 6 year old Dixie spends every other weekend at her dad's anyway so actually had no idea I wasn't even at home. And the 10 week old, let's be honest really doesn't care who's looking after her as long as she's fed, changed and burped.
One thing I've discovered about pregnancy and motherhood is that it opens the doors to a world of bitchiness, jealously and judgement. The 'NCT mums' as I call them are quite possibly the worst breed of female I have ever come across. It wasn't long before I was shamed for leaving my little ones, namely Indigo my 10 week old new born, why the new born was deemed more important than the 6 year old was slightly baffling, but never mind! The comments in my Instagram feed were like an online boxing match and when the Daily Mail lifted my picture and made a whole story out of it the comments were even worse.
The mum brigade were out in force.
Why was my girlie mini break seen as something so scandalous, and met with such judgement? I still can't understand it. As a human you need some 'me' time, just because I have children does not mean my life should be defined by Peppa Pig, fake uggs folding in at the sides and a velour tracksuit. NO THANK YOU! I am a person, a woman, a wife, a businesswoman, a friend and a mother.
When one lady who actually did look like a troll as well as act like one told me my baby would be missing my HEARTBEAT (I kid you not, you can't make this s**t up!) Rach and I were in hysterics laughing. I am nowhere close to an earth mother, I never breastfed, I self-settle, I encourage independence at every opportunity but this doesn't mean I love my children any less. A good friend once told me "You don't own your children, you simply borrow them and grow them into amazing people" Equally my children don't own me.
Another thing I can't get my head around is the thought process of fathers babysitting their children. It's never occurred to me before because 50% of that child was created by their dad. A parent does not babysit their child. Yet apparently many women are grateful when their significant other looks after their OWN offspring? I can barely make sense of this when I type it. Does that mean I'm babysitting when day in and day out I'm at home with the little ones? Why is it so amazing for a mum that their other half 'lets them have a getaway, a night off' etc? I have no problems, qualms or hang ups about leaving my little ones with Daddy. Why would I? I'm not lucky to have a husband like this. Why would I ever have made a child with a man who I cannot trust to take of it? It's completely mind blowing - ladies have a word with your hubbies or stop breeding with incapable men.
I asked my hubbie who works away a lot if when he's at a business dinner, or just generally in the office if anyone asks him where his children are. He looked at me slightly puzzled, "no" he said. In a world where women constantly try and prove they are equal to men (we aren't by the way, but that's for another day) why are we so judged when it comes to children? If I'm at work one day, or out without my children, even if I put a picture up of myself online on a night out. I can guarantee that I am ALWAYS asked "who has the kids?"
It is not a crime to want time out, it is not a crime to have friends, a very large glass of wine and momentarily forget all the responsibilities awaiting you at home. It's ok to leave your children with someone you love and trust. They won't die, in fact they probably won't even miss you.
I won't be made to feel guilty for the fact I left my baby with her other parent, the one who loves her just as much as I do, the one who created her just as I did. I happened to be the incubator for a hellish 9 months but just because I was the oven doesn't mean he was any less of a baker. Parents should stand together not shame each other because someone does it differently to you.
Now I'm off to book my next mini break - I might even risk 96 hours next time!