Sunday, 10 January 2016

You Just Don't Understand


I have spent a week questioning whether or not I should publish this. In the end I've decided that it reflects how I feel, even a week on. So I'm going to take the inevitable 'flack' and post.


Here goes...


Last Sunday night - on Instagram - I saw a mum post this comment: 


''I go to work for the adult conversation and nothing more''. 


Quite frankly lady - it ends in 'off' and starts with 'f...'. 

On the evening before so many of us mums and dads were returning to work - if we hadn't already - (some full, some part time) to post something that sounds so arrogant and insensitive got my back up. I exploded into a tirade of bubbling anger as I explained to Luke what I'd seen. It ruffled my feathers, poked at my sore spot and poured alcohol on the flames of feelings about returning to work. 

I hate to say this bold statement. But I am going to say it. 

You well-off stay at home parents just DON'T understand. 

There. I said it. 

I open myself up to the flood of hate and ranting people who dominate the parenting world of blogging and Twitter to slate me, unfollow me, moan about me etc. But you know what - you just DON'T get it. 

I know this doesn't apply to everyone. I am not doing a 'Katie Hopkins blanket blame' statement. Many, many parents out there who now stay at home DO understand and empathise with those of us forced to continue to work full/part time (for whatever the reason). Many of those parents are decent, supportive and sensitive human beings who have the maturity to understand; after all, we all have our problems and challenges to deal with - whatever they may be. 

But, there are a good many parents who simply don't understand what it is like to HAVE to work. To have to give your child to family or childcare so that you can pay the bills. So that you can manage. So that your little one doesn't go without. You simply don't know the guilt that hollows into your stomach and reaches up to wrap around your heart every morning as you have to leave and want nothing more to be with your child all day. To be the one that picks them up when they cry for you because they fell over, or whatever they need. 

Luke and I are very lucky that Jake spends time with his Nanny as part of his childcare. We're also very lucky that he seems to really enjoy the three mornings a week he is at nursery and plays with other children. The guilt has gotten easier as time has gone on and we see how settled Jake is in to his routine.

I know there are many other parents out there who are worse off than us in lots of ways, and my heart goes out to them as I empathise with their struggles.


Perhaps all of us could try to be a little more thoughtful, 'eh?


Bex

10 comments:

  1. Ahh it's a hard one. I went back to work after my first when he was 9 months & I found it very hard. I cried in the toilets in my lunch break. I am very lucky in that our financial situation changed and by the time I was pregnant with our second I was able to give up work. Something I am very grateful for. I get both sides. Xx

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  2. Thank you for your comment, Laura. You are exactly what I mean about being able to see both sides and empathise. But - many other women think we're all just 'career headed' etc. Or don't think about how lucky they are to not have to work. It's people like you who keep us all feeling supported. Xx

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  3. People often generalise working parents and stay at home parents, but I think the reality is very diverse. There are working mums who work because they have no choice, but there are also mums who choose to work because they want to, just as there are SAHMs who do it through choice, and others whose choices are limited for one reason or another. It's very easy for me to think the grass is always greener when I leave for work at 7am and my son is crying, but I'm sure there are advantages and disadvantages to both. It's just hard to remember them sometimes! X

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    1. Absolutely and that's what I am saying. Some compassion and 'thought for others' is what would make a difference. If we all tried to see different sides.

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  4. Now I feel guilty because I could stay at home (I'm not very well off but the money I earn from part time work basically goes to childcare) but I choose to work because I did find it hard to be at home full time and I think I'm happier having a diverse week. I feel VERY VERY lucky to be able to make this choice but I sometimes feel a bit bad that being at home full time doesn't make me feel as happy when so many other parents would love to have the choice. So basically you can't escape the guilt - it will hunt you, it will find you and it will eat you alive :)

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    1. My intention is not to make others to feel guilty, but to help *some* parents see that they are lucky and that a little compassion goes a long way. It is obvious from your comment that you already have that compassion. Thanks for commenting. X

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  5. I completely understand what your saying. I currently juggle staying at home being a mommy Monday-Friday whilst the other half works, then I work nigthshifts on a Friday and Saturday. It's about doing what you need to do xx

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    1. Thanks for your comment, Claire. That sounds like a really organised (though tough) arrangement you have. I know someone who does something similar but the roles are reversed! xx

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  6. It's a real toughie. I was in a weird grey area when I was at uni because I had working parents telling me "You don't know how hard it is" and stay at home parents saying "You don't know how hard it is" but in reality, they're both right - none of us can ever truly understand something until we've spent time on the other side. The grass is always greener, right?

    I totally get your feelings though, I've been there x

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  7. Absolutely. It is tough whatever route you take! But what I want to see is parents being more understanding about others who aren't as fortunate to be able to 'choose' to work :)

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