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Work: Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop
Parenting Parenting
Work: Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop
August 24, 2017
(1)
Parenting Parenting
Work: Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop
August 24, 2017
(1)

When perusing Pinterest I often fall into a vortex of parenting MEMEs.

I don’t look for them, but like any guilt-prone mother seeking reassurance, they find me. I keep scrolling, thinking one of them might give me the pat on the back I need, but more often than not they make me feel like I’m not doing a very Pinterest-worthy job here with my daughter.

The absolute worst are those that make me feel like a selfish, evil cretin for working. Case in point: “When in doubt, choose the kids. There will be plenty of time later to choose work.” What this quote is trying to say, I think, is: don’t worry, your career will still be there when your kids are all grown up. But what it makes me feel is that you should always choose your kids over work. That you shouldn’t value work in the same way anymore. That even when you’re doing the bare minimum at work, it’s time you should be spending with your child. That you’re putting your child/children in second place.

But what if you HAVE to work for financial reasons? Or, what if you LOVE working? What if work is the one thing that brings you back to yourself in the often identity-crushing processes of parenthood?

I absolutely love my job, AND I need to earn money. But it took me a couple of years to reconcile this need to work with being a good parent. How can I actually relish this time away from my child?

Every woman needs something that’s just for them, and for me work is something that helps me maintain an inner life that isn’t ALL mum..
The way I deal with it is with my own little parenting MEME: “you can’t pour from an empty cup”. I’d bank on the fact that every woman needs something that’s just for them, and for me work is something that helps me maintain an inner life that isn’t ALL mum.

I want my daughter to know how much I love her and how much I enjoy being at home with her and having that freedom to do as we please, BUT I am also happy that she’ll learn the importance of finding a job she loves, of taking risks and grafting. And I want to lead by example. Simply put, you don’t have to give up work to be a good mum. You can do both and still be just as good as one as the other – now there’s a MEME I can get behind.

Grace Timothy
@mumfacegrace
Freelance writer, author and contributor to Vogue, Glamour, Sunday Times Style, Red and more.
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1 comments
Mae
says
25th Aug 2017

Love this

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