Since I only started working a few months ago I have to keep working over the summer. It means that we can't go away and Rowan is looking after the kids on his own in his annual leave.
I don't think anyone in my family is all that worried by it, but I feel so guilty. I keep telling myself that I should be OK about it, but I can't get past it.
I'm starting to reflect on why this is. Where does all this guilt come from? It's not very rational when I consider the fact that I'm only working a couple of days a week and Rowan is looking after the kids when I'm not here (and frankly, making it a lot more fun for them than when I have them on my own!).
On reflection, I've spent over a decade telling myself why it is important for me to be at home full-time. In a world that values paid employment above all else, I had to work hard to feel OK about being at home for so many years. I've read books that convinced me that not working was the right decision. I've told myself so many times that I wouldn't cope with juggling working, my kids wouldn't cope with it, my husband would have more pressure put on him. So just as I finally came to a point in my life where I actually felt fine about not working I went, 'hey, guess what? I'm going to give this working/parenting thing a go'.
So now I have to change my patterns of thinking and have to go through a whole new series of self-talk. 'They'll be OK', 'Lots of mums work part-time and their kids are fine', 'Working isn't bad, it's healthy for me to be doing something I enjoy'.
But despite my efforts at self-talk, the negatives of working (those mantras that helped me feel OK about being a full time stay-at-home mum for all those years) still keep cycling through my head.
I wonder how long it will take me to feel OK about working - another decade?!!