Real Mums Series - Amber

My name is Amber, and I am a mama of 2 boys, wife to a shiftworking blue collar slave, & longterm admirer of our 2 fur babes that are now "holidaying" permanently at my in-laws home (damn you allergies!). By day I am a Conveyancer & baby whisperer (OK, that “whisperer” bit is a wish, I haven’t quite got that bit down pat), & by night I'm studying, tending to wounds, mouths, little minds, home duties & attempting a discussion with my husband.
As a working/studying parent, my head is continually ravaged by guilt. I feel like there’s not enough of me to go around.
I am a solid “working mum”, & I think this goes back to seeing how hard my own mum worked to be able to provide for us when I was little.
Being classed as a working mum comes with more than just the self-imposed guilt, & it’s the part that I struggle with the most – the judgement from other people.
"If you're on leave, why are you still involved with your job?" "You're crazy!" "Enjoy this time with your baby. They're only small for such a short period of time!!"
I'm hearing your cries. I've heard them all plenty of times over, & I've been strongly judged. Hell, I even judge myself. We are our own biggest critics after all.....
Do we really need to voice our dissatisfaction with other people’s choices so freely? What gives us the right to judge or dictate what is happening in other people’s lives?
Keeping the anxieties contained can be hard, & I struggle with them daily. Sleep (what does that even mean anymore?!) deprivation plays a big part in that too, I’m sure. ;)
There are always 2 sides to why we do things – 1 is to keep up appearances, 1 is to do what is right by us. For me, I enjoy the interaction & overall reward that come with working, so for me, the latter is much more appealing.
Naturally, there must be some type of balance between personal & professional lives. With the type of work my husband now does, the adjustments have been difficult on our family, but we are slowly learning to make it work.

One of the biggest things that has been impacted was our eldest child’s behaviour. There is almost 6 ½ years between the boys, & Max had even become used to being the man-of-the-house while dad was away for 8 months training for his new job.
Max had started to become incredibly rude, his manners were non-existent, he was back chatting, having tantrums, sulking, & just being the complete opposite to who he was the same time last year.
With the arrival of Harley, & my husband being back home & in his new position, Max had even started acting up at school. I had put a plea out on Instagram for any advice, & the one piece of ‘advice’ I despise is “just go with the flow”. Seriously? If I was to go with the flow, I’d be rocking in a corner in a fitted white jacket with lots of fun belts all over it.
It was a random talk to his teacher that really told me what was going on with some honest & helpful suggestions.
The best piece of advice I received was from a staff member in Typo who asked if I had considered a Gratitude Journal. This simple idea pulled my 6 ½ year old out of his dark hole in 2 days. Yes, just 2 days.
On any day that Max is feeling really low, he knows to talk & write about the good things he remembers in his day, no matter how small. It has made a dramatic difference for him.

Oh, & a round of hot chocolates never fails

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