We were having a conversation about the working mum guilt. I’m not talking about the feeling I have walking away from my son as he settles in day care. I’m talking about the kinda of guilt I feel at work.
The flexibility that I receive at work is amazing. If Asher is sick, I can shift things around- sometimes working evenings and even on days that I’m not supposed to be on. Mostly, it is a system of trust. As long as I get my work done, and I’m contactable, the organisation is happy. There is also a certain accountability where I let people know what I’m doing and where I am. I think that is fair.
The other side of the coin is that with a flexible work place, it means the expectation is that we have to respond to the organisation’s flexibility. Changing work days, times and training days to suit. While we can always say no, I often find myself saying yes because I think it is only fair that the organisation and myself work together collaboratively.
There are times though, that I remind myself to say no. It’s very easy to let time and tasks get away and suddenly, it gets stressful trying to coordinate everyone’s timetable. That is when the sneaky guilt sets in. Being part time makes me more aware of each hour I have is precious- more in a being productive way. It does, however, feel “less productive” as naturally, things are sometimes completed slower with less days in the week. The momentum can get lost by the time I returned to the topic that was on hand 2 days back.
On the others side of the coin, this allows me to take a breather from the topic at hand. It allowed me to slow down to sit on the issue for a little and not react.
My dear husband reminded me the other day, that part of the reason why I choose to do part time work is to be present with Asher. To enjoy our little family and channel my energy in attuning to us. He said he noted that as proud of him with the way I handle work and home, he observed that while physically I’m not working, my brain is there. I was “slowing down and thinking”.
There is a common perception that part time mummies have it easy. The perfect work life balance so it seems. I think on many levels, that is true. I like it that my brain is used for something other than mummy and family duties- and that I’m impacting on other families. I love the flexibility and the evidenced based focus. I believe though, that we work hard for it. I may not be at work, but my mind drifts to work at times because it makes my work day more efficient. I have already thought about it and am ready to action.
At the back of my head, there is that voice. The voice that tells me that I’m not doing my best at work or at home. I feel torn. The exhaustion is part of trying to juggle both. Is there such thing as work life balance? Perhaps. One thing for sure, it means I have to take the good with the bad. I have great weeks and not so great weeks, and that is ok. After all, I’m role modelling to my little boy on how to say no, switch off, and have strong work ethics.
Speaking of my little boy, I discovered this chickpea cookies recipes a few months back. A good and close friend shared it with me. Now, we are not big wheat or legumes eaters. Mostly we avoid it. I know that legumes can be inflammatory hence less is more. From time to time, we have it and it seems to sits ok with us. This is one of those occasion. Plus I was curious!
The result was a moist, fudgy cookie! The texture was crumby just like a cookie should be! I used mayvers nut butter and tahini and it worked a treat. I think if I added in a full 1/2 cup tahini, it would have been too bitter.