Why I refuse to feel back-to-work guilt.

Sat 6 May 17 | Lifestylish | 11 comments

“Don’t go to work, Mummy!”

I hadn’t thought about how my four year old would react when I went back to work. In my mind, it had been all about the baby I was leaving to go back to my TV career. The baby who’d had me wrapped around her little finger for a year. The baby who was going to cling to me and wail on nursery drop off.

But of course, I spent the year with him too. Apart from his 15 hours free childcare, we were together all week. Playing, park-ing, tea-ing, surviving, laughing, hanging, basically finding ways to have fun on the cheap with mates if poss. A little team, he, me and she.

So, although we’ve always had funny chats, I hadn’t planned for the answers to his very grown up questions and pretty emotional reaction about me suddenly leaving him again.

Girl standing next to work or home graffittiSuchota / Shutterstock

” But why do you have to go to work Mummy? Staaaaaaay! Please stay!” Lots of arm grabbing and sad faces.

Now this is where I could easily launch into ‘woe is me’ Mum guilt for leaving my babies and selfishly going back to work…

But I’m not. Our conversation went something like this:

“Well, now that Little P is a bit bigger and can go to nursery, it’s time for me to go back to work, like I used to before she was born.”

“But why?” We’re at the ‘why’ stage good and proper now.

“Umm ok. There are a few reasons. One, is that people work to earn money. And we need money to pay for everything, like the house, our food, clothes…”

“Like my Aston Martin for when I can drive?” (We have been teaching him about saving his money in his piggy bank, and he decided that’s what’s he’s saving for…!)

“Kind of, yes.”

“But why do you have to go NOW?” More arm grabbing, and pulling me in and MASSIVE big eyed guilt-tripping.

Deep breath.

“Well, you know I love you and LIttle P very much? I do also love my job. I like going into London, I like my friends at work, and I’m good at what I do.” (It also gives me a break from you two and your incredibly full-onness , I wanted to add. Oh and I get to snooze on the commute and drink hot drinks, hooray!)

Pause. Waiting for the bit about missing me and don’t go again…

“But what do you even do for your work?”

And then I had to somehow explain my job in TV to a just four year old who lost interest as soon as he’d asked the question and realised Go Jetters had just come on CBeebies.

You see, I don’t feel guilty for going back to work. I do miss the children a lot, and there are good and bad days with the whole work/life juggle thing, but overall I feel proud to be a Mummy who thrives at work, is ambitious in her career and helps pay the bills too. I like that my little boy sees me go out to work as well as his Daddy – I think it sets a good example for him and his future views on equality the workplace (if that doesn’t sound too silly.)

If I’m honest, it also pushes me to make the one and a half weekdays that I don’t work really count too – so we do extra fun stuff and I’m far less ratty with them (weeelllll….).

Anyway, I just feel really lucky to have found my balance. It’s different for everyone, of course, and I don’t judge any decision a Mum makes – stay at home, work from home, full-time, part-time – it’s all bloody hard work.

Isn’t it?

Featured image: Raw Pixel / Shutterstock


  1. saffi yusef

    Thanks for this! I’m back to work full – time on Monday. It’s not easy if you’re made to feel guilty…www.saffronandcyrus.com

    • Kimberly

      Ah thanks so much for reading, It’s not easy but if you liked your job before, you’ll like it again now! The adjustment period needs time but I’m sure you’ll be fine. Good luck on Monday!

  2. Confessions of a Working Mum

    Awesome! I love your honesty – you’re a Mum, you like your job and you want to work. You can totally mum boss it in the office and at home. I hope other people read this and are inspired xx

    • Kimberly

      Thank you! Mutual respect! Of course there are tough days but the good definitely outweighs the bad ?

  3. Plutonium Sox Blog (@PlutoniumSox)

    Ahh good for you. I totally agree, it’s really important to do what’s right for you, not just what’s right for the children. I hated it when I went back to work, my daughter was only 3 months old and it wasn’t right for any of us. I’ve never not worked though, I just made the decision to work from home. I know being a stay at home mum who doesn’t work is right for some people but it wouldn’t be right for me.

  4. Sarah aris

    As a general working Mummy comment I wish we would drop the phrase ‘part-time’ in the workplace and only ever talk about ‘flexible working’ too – nothing we Mummys do is part-time!

    • Kimberly

      That is a seriously good point! I’m not going to say part-time again!

    • Mum In London

      I totally agree! I’ve had a real issue with associating the word “part-time” to myself (I work 4 days) because of the negative connotations (“part-timer”)
      Until this negativity is removed I’d rather use different language!

  5. Naptime Natter Wendy

    Great post! I don’t work but can totally see why mums want to go back to work. It’s totally fine to love your kids and want to work too xx #BlogCrush

  6. JakiJellz

    It most certainly is and we all have to do what is right for us. It sounds like you explained it very well. Good for you. I hope you’re enjoying your time back at work – and you’re so right, it does make the time with the kiddiwinks even more precious. Thanks for linking up to #TriumphantTales, really hope to see you back on Tuesday 🙂

  7. Mrs Mummy Harris

    aww bless! It must be hard for the older children when a parent has maternity leave with a younger sibling. Like you said, you’re so focused on worrying about how baby will react, that the older sibling almost gets forgotten! That why phase though. I remember that well with my nieces and nephews and dreading it with Ben!
    Thanks for sharing this with us at #TriumphantTales. I hope to see you back on Tuesday



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Who is Media Mummy?

I’m Kimberly, a London/Surrey based juggler of many balls including a TV career, motherhood & this blog malarky. Quite a lot of people follow me apparently, although about 65 million others in the UK don’t. But hey – sometimes the cool crowd is small…


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