Why Working Makes Me A Better Mum
This week, I’ve been in the office Monday till Thursday. I commute an hour to work (as many do); I live in a smaller city and it’s perfect for our family-life so the drive is worth it, for now. I love my job and workplace, plus the hour in the car is a perfect time to listen to the latest tunes on Spotify or a podcast.
Today it is Friday and I have spent the day with my bub while his dad works. We have finally got to a stage where the wake up time for the day doesn’t make me want to stab myself (or anyone who speaks to me).
Literally me every morning until we solved the sleep mystery - for now.
Our day today started with getting dressed bright and early, eating breakfast and then having a play before meeting our friends for a little coffee date and heading to the park. We haven’t had much of a chance to get out during the cold weather months. One of the pitfalls of a winter birthday means parties will never be held outdoors and the first year of life was spent rugged up to the point of madness or worrying about if it was too hot for the baby (more on ‘Things April worries about needlessly’ another day).
Today I saw my baby as I never have before - as a real toddler. He’s started properly walking this week, after a few stops and starts, and he eats sandwiches and biscuits and is able to climb up and down on things (SAVE ME). He is a little dude and totally knows that the world is for exploration. He loves dogs and saw the biggest most beautiful black poodle cross that was as friendly as can be. They shared a sandwich and many pats to the tune of “dugdugdugdugdug”.
The best part of today is how novel and special it felt. Part of that is the sunshine, which feels new every time winter starts to recede. One of the best feelings in the world! Part of it was how much he enjoys the outdoor play so his behaviour was awesome and I didn’t feel that “oh shit, my child is being horrendous” feeling you sometimes get. The biggest part of it was that I hadn’t seen him for more than dinner and a bath all week. I leave early before he goes to daycare and dad takes care of mornings around here because of that.
Watching him play from 7am onwards felt special after four days of only being able to imagine what he was up to or Snapchat videos when he was home with daddy. Seeing his little squishy hands grasp the bars as he walked up the play equipment ramp, cuddling him when he fell, sharing my toast with him... I had missed it. I had missed him.
I sometimes get the sense I’m not doing this mum-life the way others expect or how they’d do it. Working isn’t one of the things some prioritise over their kids. Many of my favourite mums didn’t or don’t want to work if they don’t have to because they want to be with their babies and never miss these moments. That is not a reality for us but even if I could stay home, I think I need to go to work to make sure I could really appreciate this time. Working pays for the things we do when I’m not there and for us to have everything from food to clothes to electricity.
I’m not ashamed to say I love my job - and my time away from my baby - because I know it makes me the mum I want to be. The one that provides for my family and really cherishes the time we get together.
- April xx
Written by Mumma April Helene-Horton, mother to 13-month old Miles from Canberra, Australia. She is a part of the baby luno Mum Diaries team and will be blogging regularly as she continues on her motherhood journey and we can't wait to follow.
April is still loving her Cadenshae maternity tights and breastfeeding hoodie at almost 13 months postpartum (both pictured). Check out all our maternity wear here.