I’m in a bit of a career limbo at the moment… I have made the decision to close my therapy business, and will shortly return to teaching a couple of Pilates classes a week. I don’t want to get into the ins and outs of SAHM Vs. working mum here (I may cover that in a separate post – not that I’m polarised either way). Suffice to say that going from being a full-time small business owner, to what currently lies ahead, DOES feel to me a bit like I’ll be a SAHM even though there will be a bit of work in there.
I’ll be hugely relieved when the therapy business is totally finished, and there are no emails to answer, invoices to chase, or people / problems to manage. It already feels like a weight off my shoulders. The question is, how now, do I spend my time. Or rather, how do I feel about how I spend my time? I know I am busy most of the day, but even now, as I sit typing this (and the Chicken starts to stir from her nap…) I feel guilty that I am not cleaning, cooking, doing laundry etc. I feel guilty for doing something for myself. Yesterday, the OH took the Chicken out for a walk for an hour. I immediately put the kettle on and made myself a lovely Yorkshire brew. As it sat there steaming on the counter, the chatterbox started off… “how can you justify the break from the Chicken if not to get some jobs done?” “They’ll think you are exaggerating about how busy you are if you aren’t, well… busy!” etc. So I took the load out of the washer and hung it to dry, hung the pictures on the kitchen wall that have been waiting for eons to go up, got the Chicken’s tea ready. And then, as I sat down to drink my cold cup of tea (Hello motherhood!), the door opened and in they walked. Great, I thought, now it looks like I’ve just been sat here the whole time.
But why does my brain work like that?! SO WHAT if I had been sat there the whole time – Are mothers not allowed? Must we martyr ourselves to the nth degree? Even after a hellish week of teething, colds (me and Chicken), and sleepless nights (and days), had I not earned it? Must I have a week of hell to have earned it? What is this earning thing I keep going on about? Is what I do everyday not justification enough to take a break or accept help? I must emphasise, it isn’t anybody else that is actively telling me this. I’m not sure where it’s coming from – maybe something inside myself, something that is at odds with how I thought it would be. Perhaps I have a sense of judgement from society or other Mum’s or from working people who are at the office doing “real work” (I’d strongly refute this view of things in reality – Matt Walsh recently explained why, more succinctly than I can here). Maybe it’s to do with how I saw my own parents roles as a child (don’t worry I will go no further with the armchair psychology!)
In any case, it’s something I need to work on. I am working on it. Will probably be working on it for years to come, because whatever your situation, your ideals, your values are, one thing is sure – happy mama = happy baba x