A survey today published by Netmums and ITV’s Daybreak shows that 76% of over 6000 mothers surveyed felt guilty that they didn’t spend enough time with their children.
This figure may seem high to some, but as a working mother who spends the majority of her day talking to other working mothers, I feel that this is a very good representation of the way that many mothers currently feel in the UK.
Somehow we have ended up living in a society where it is anticipated that women will return promptly back to work after having a baby, handing over their baby to a childminder, or nursery, to look after for most of their waking hours, and then to collect and take home in time to bath and put to bed. In fact, all over the UK there are children currently having their tea at nurseries. Many others have their breakfasts there.
When my hubby and I decided to start our family it involved not only the statutory house move, and car change, but also a career change for me. I worked full time as a Chartered Accountant and I didn’t want to work full time with a young child. So this was the point where I took the plunge into self employment.
And for the past 10 years (I can’t believe it’s been 10 years!) its been a three ringed circus act in our household, growing children and businesses simultaneously. Both of them seeming to demand attention at the same time. But I decided that if I was going to have Children then I wanted to bring them up myself, and I’m proud that through the chaos we seem to be doing a not bad job.
The one thing that I say to other mums is that this is one debate where there is no right answer. There is no perfect remedy, or secret sauce. As mothers we have so many different priorities to balance and juggle that Stay at home, work from home, part time, full time, are all the best alternative for different women and different families. It’s just a simple case of finding something that works for you.
For me, I found that balance in self employment. But I have to confess, I was still one of Netmums’ 76%.