So what is the hardest part about being a working mum?
I was explaining to my business coach this evening about the product I am developing around getting mums who have taken a career break back into the workplace. I mentioned that I work with many new parents in my role as an NCT breastfeeding counsellor, so I really understand how vulnerable new mums might feel and how hard it can be sometimes. In the focus group that I ran a few weeks ago, what came out really loud and clear, is that when mums start to think about returning to their career, they’re not just worried that their skills might be a little rusty, what really keeps them awake at night, is all the emotions, the feelings, and especially the guilt.
So yes, your CV might need refreshing, your interview skills might need a little polish, you might need to be pushed (gently or perhaps a little more forcefully) into networking and reaching out to people, but it’s the emotions and the guilt which are harder to deal with.
Why do we working mums feel guilty once we’re back at work? What is your worst nightmare? That your child will stop loving you? That your child will stop calling you mummy and reserve this for the nanny or childminder? That you’ll miss the first steps, the first words, the first day at pre-school? That your work colleagues will be looking at their watches every time you leave on the dot, because otherwise the nursery will fine you for a late pick-up?
So tell me, if you’re a working mum, what do you feel guilty about?