Since becoming a Mum I’ve found working life hard. Really hard. Don’t get me wrong, I expected disruption and compromise but what I didn’t expect was the overwhelming feeling of guilt. Guilt I impose upon myself, I’m sure, but it’s constant. I'm pretty sure that the guilt that comes along with being a working mum is suffered by all working parents and I’ve recently wondered why the many working dads don’t get more acknowledgment of this.
Leaving my baby at home and heading into work made me feel like I’d abandoned her, it didn’t matter that she was staying home with my husband. And I had 8 weeks with her, most men only have two weeks paternity! It got even worse when my husband returned to work after 7 months, more guilt ensued, leading me to drop to a 4 day week.
I’ve always been driven and my number one priority was to progress my career. Having to say no to certain things, leaving on time and running home to get my daughter from nursery when she’s ill has caused even more guilt. Guilt that I’m not doing my job and guilt that I’m not giving my company 100%. Coeo has been amazing with flexible working hours, remote working and understanding at every turn. But this doesn’t take away from the fact that I joined this company because it was the kind of place individuals go to succeed and it’s full of highly technical, driven people that I want to say yes to!
Looking around the office there is about 40 staff and roughly 25% are female, something I’ve come to expect from the IT industry, but less than a handful are working mums. Coeo is providing every opportunity for working mums but is the pressure we place on ourselves taking over?
I feel like I’m constantly in a juggling act doing neither of my roles as mum or employee to my full potential and I wonder how men manage to cope with this normality. I’ll probably be labelled as sexist but perhaps there is a fundamental difference between men and women’s train of thought. Though I’ve always considered that I think more like a man, this blog post either says otherwise or maybe it voices what men also think but just don’t tend to say… they struggle with the guilt too.