I am sorry I wasn’t there #mumguilt

Mum guiltWhen you run a business, often things get left out of your life. You don’t see your friends as much, your social life goes out the window and you second guess every decision you make. You have guilt over how you spend your time and if you are making the right decisions. And as a working mother, I suffer from #mumguilt ALL the time.

Yesterday was no exception. In fact, it was the worst type of mum guilt one could face.

My diary was full for the day – meeting new clients and running payroll for a large Not For Profit. Happy days – all one wants when they run their own business is a full diary and being booked out at least 2 weeks in advance.

“But, there is a side effect to being a busy working parent. Juggling your daily routine becomes a natural part of life.”

At times, I can’t do all the things other parents do. One of those things is I often don’t walk my son into school. Instead, I park in the street next to school (where many parents drop their kids off), I watch him from the car, we wave, we yell out goodbye through the car window, we smile and laugh, and I don’t leave until I see he has gone inside the school gates.

Yesterday was like any other Tuesday. I was excited to see my clients, my son excited because Tuesday meant science day at school, we had done the kinder drop off for his brother, and I excitedly watched his happy little face as he waved to me from the school gate.

“Life is pretty good. Well it was until no less than 5 minutes later I got the call working parents dread. Please come and pick up your child – he needs to see a doctor.”

When you hear those words, you crumble. You question why you didn’t walk him in. You question why you were in such a rush. You question why you didn’t get to school ten minutes earlier so you could watch over him. The mum guilt starts…..and it doesn’t stop.

The mum guilt starts to consume every minute of your day. As you sit there at the GP as they clean his wounds from his fall and you are on your phone madly scrambling to rearrange all appointments for the day.

The mum guilt sets in big time when the GP marches you off to the Royal Children’s Hospital for observation and more tests as your child has concussion and amnesia and can’t remember where he fell, how he fell, why he fell – or anything for the past 24 hours.

Why wasn’t I there? Why wasn’t I with him? Will my son be ok? Will there be permanent damage? What the heck actually happened?

“The questions don’t stop – especially as you look around the hospital ward and your son asks you “Why am I here mummy?” – a question to which you simply have no answers. And might not ever have any answers.”

I know I am a good mum. God, I would do anything for my kids. Include potentially losing clients by cancelling appointments 30 minutes beforehand so I could sit by my sons side for 7 hours to try and ease his pain and discomfort. Including crying in the shower so my son doesn’t see how upset I am at the situation.

But the mum guilt gets me every time. I am not sure I will ever not feel guilty at some point for trying to juggle everything. All I know is that the reason I juggle everything is to provide the best life for my kids I possibly can. So I can show my kids that mummy, the most non accountant ever known to walk the earth, is doing some pretty amazing things in her business. So that I can show my kids that hard work pays off. So I can show my kids that you don’t have to be the smartest or the prettiest, you just have to give it a go and believe that what you are doing is right.

But the biggest reason I juggle everything, is so that if required, I can drop everything and be with my family.

Family will always come first for me, just like I expect family to come first for my employees. That is the reason I run my business. The mum guilt will always exist, but I have the freedom to choose how I react and how I respond. Which is worth more than any corporate job could ever pay.


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