Am I a bad mum?
This has been a thought that’s on my mind a lot recently, and it doesn’t seem to be going anywhere an time soon.
I recently went on a walk with Evie, to a beautiful little spot along the North Cliffs, near to where we live in Cornwall (the pictures of which are attached to this post).
It was peaceful, remote and the view was so beyond stunning. The sun was beating down on us and there were so many butterflies silently fluttering around. The only sound we could hear was the occasional bird song as they flew over head.
This is the first time in a long time that I’ve had a moment this peaceful. It’s also the first time in a long time that I’ve spent quiet time like this with Evie, not rushing, just exploring.
In a moment that I should have been really enjoying, the more steps that I took, the more I felt like such a bad mum for not doing this more often.
Lately I’ve been finding it more and more difficult to maintain a healthy work/life balance.
I’m a full time mother. I’m a daughter. I’m a friend.
But, I’m also trying to start a career freelance writing and social media managing, which has actually turned full time recently. At the same time, I have my blog, which I love and is a stream of income, and I work a part time job in the evening a few nights a week, to bring in some guaranteed money for my family. This is just while I build the foundations of my business and so I can save up for the times that work might run dry.
In total, I work 60+ hours a week across all three jobs (freelancing, blog, evening job). This is on top of my toddler, my friends, my family, my house.
My time is constantly stretched and I feel like every moment is allocated to a different task, like I’m a walking calendar of events.
I constantly rush around like I’m the busiest person in the world. I rush every task, whether it’s cooking, cleaning, playing.
Just a simple, and much needed walk, really got me thinking about the way I’m going about things at the moment, and it made me start to feel really guilty. Am I bad mum?
I find sometimes, that I struggle to give my daughter quality time, as I’m putting all of my efforts into starting my business. This business is taking time to build, but it’s my passion and is something that will be our main source of income by the end of the year.
One thing I do always make sure is that we are out of the house by 10am every morning. I try and make sure that I am technology free (but this can’t always happen), and we often stay out till the middle of the afternoon either running errands or going for a quick beach run. But, the rest of the morning and evenings I am working.
One week I feel like ‘Hey I’ve got this!’ and I feel like I’m just about breaking through. The posts are flowing, the work is easier, I feel like I’m on top of things and I feel like I have some more spare time that I can shower Evie with.
Then next week I struggle to make one deadline, I have to stay up later, get up earlier and work into that precious time that I do have Evie.
With my part time evening job on top of that, there are lots of nights where I’m not even home to put Evie to bed. Knowing someone else is getting those bed time cuddles and kisses, is bathing her and is tucking her in to bed, is such a strange and horrible feeling. I feel so guilty that I’m not there. But those times when I am lucky enough to be there, I appreciate it even more.
I constantly feel like I’m not giving my daughter enough time. I’m worried that I’m missing out on watching her grow and develop. I’m worried that I’m focused on work too much and that I’m prioritising the wrong things.
Am I a bad mum? Or just a mum whose trying to support us?
Sometimes I get home from my part time job and it’s midnight or 1am. Then I have to be up really early with Evie, and sometimes I need to pull out my laptop while she plays, to catch up on the work I should have done while I was at my other job.
I am so exhausted, I’m so drained and I feel like such a bad mother, friend, daughter.
There is only so much you can balance. I am always juggling, and there is only so much you can do without burning out.
One thing is for sure, is that the guilt is always there. The guilt you feel towards your child, the guilt you feel towards your friends, your family, yourself.
When you throw friends, family, your spouse, your child, your work, your chores into the blend, building and maintaining those relationships when you’re working so hard, can be really difficult.
When it comes to friends and other family members, some understand that I can’t make time for them at the moment. Others don’t understand why I can’t give them my full undivided attention. Some, understandably so, get upset that I haven’t made an effort, that I haven’t had time to reply to their messages or attend their events.
But, the rare spare time I do have, has to go straight to my daughter and not to anyone else. In that spare time I try to give her the attention and love she needs. I try to teach her things, I try to nurture her, I try to show her that she’s so loved. But it still feels like it’s not enough.
There are still moments that I have to let her play by herself, there are times when I have to say no to her because I have a deadline. But each deadline means more money going into our pot and that’s what we need.
I try and include her in my freelance work, because the more that its about her, the more time I get with her. But it’s still not enough. It’s still not good enough.
My dream is that by the end of this year, I’ll be so financially stable from my freelance work that I can travel with Evie, that we can explore the world. Then I can show her things and be there with her fully.
I won’t have to go to my evening job, I won’t have to work so much, I won’t have to leave her with someone else. It’ll just be me and her and the world.
But in the meantime, before she gets me to herself, before we get to go away like that. Am I being a bad mum?
Do you ever feel like you’re working too much and not spending enough time with your child? Do you ever feel like a bad mum? Let us know in he comments below.