Working Mum Guilt

There are many types of mums. I love all of them except one kind.

It’s become quite common for mums to be categorised. Stay-at home mum, working mum, breastfeeding mum, bottle-feeding mum, natural birthing mum, hypnobirthing, C-section mum, young mum, mature aged mum, mum of one, mum of multiples, step-mum, single mum, the list goes on.

I think we need to stop labelling mums, because in my humble opinion, it has gone WAY too far. Recently, this labelling actually happened to me in real life. Let me tell you a true story, of how I found myself getting ‘mummy labelled’ by a complete stranger.

Backstory: If I was to label myself I guess I would have to select the tag of being a full-time working mum of two and a step mum to a third. I often (all the time) get asked while at work ‘Where are your kids?’ which in my sarcastic mind wants to respond with ‘Chilling with Harry Potter at Hogwarts’. But the real answer is ‘At kindy’. It’s not unusual to get asked that question and I’m cool with it, because my kids are cute and most humans would rather give them a snuggle than have a meeting with me anyway.

Cut to Thursday last week where I met a lady who was quite interested in chatting about my ‘mum status’. She actually called me a label that I didn’t even know existed.

There was a few of us around a table and a chat started about family bits and pieces and that’s when it happened. I have to do a replay because I still cannot even believe this.

Labeller: ‘Such and such said you have 2 kids under 2. Wow, that’s a big job’.

Me: ‘I guess, but I love the craziness of having two babies in nappies, they are fun’.

Labeller ‘So where are your kids now?’

Me: ‘At Kindy.

Labeller: ‘But they’re not old enough for Kindy’.

Me: Well I guess it’s called Childcare. They are at the Early Learning Centre’.

**brace yourself for this one**

Labeller: Oooooh so you’re a part-time mummy?

Me: (WHAT??) Well I work full-time so they go to Kindy 5 days a week.

Labeller: Oh, so a weekend mummy then?

Me: (the words inside my head –  Is she actually asking me if I am a weekend mummy? Is that even a thing? A weekend mummy? Really? Can I ask her if she is a full time cow or just a weekend one?)

Silence fell in the room. Then I gracefully answered with:

Me: ‘I’m lucky to have a career and business that I adore, and beautiful kids and husband that I love. I’m really happy with my life decisions’.

Topic was swiftly changed. End Scene.

I wanted to unpack this a little though because driving home I fell into guilty mum mode. The words ‘weekend’ mummy ran through my mind on the after work pick up. We all get that guilty thought no matter what type of mum we are. I do often feel guilty that I am not a stay at home mum, that I may be missing important milestones, but I also know I’m not that great at it. I need a balance of work and family and all of the above to be the best ‘me’ for them. One of my best parts of being a mum is embracing and learning from other mums – all types. We are all in this crazy parenting game together and the best way to ruin it for each other is to get petty, competitive, judgemental and cold.

The one type of mum I cannot stand is the mum who judges. All other mums I adore but there is really no place in this world for ‘Weekend mum’ comments and I vote to stop labelling each other and start learning and loving each other.

I hope this label doesn’t cast itself on anyone else, but if it does I’d like to hold out a hand and let you know that I am sitting over here in the office writing this article while my kids are learning sign language and painting things because they are at kindy (yes i out-source some of the parenting) on weekdays.

By Karina

GN Resident, Weekend-Mummy Blogger