The design district - Dubai
First off, you'll have to excuse me and what might come as a result of this blog post because I have just sat down to write after a long day. I am one glass of wine and a plate of fish and chips down but I have this urge to write about something that has been on my mind a lot recently.
It's something that I have been putting off talking about for a long time because with writing, I feel like I have to get it perfect every time but tonight i'm just going to spill!
Being an online working mum. I think i've said it before but I feel like this is still such a new role for women. It is only our generation (bar maybe one) that have been tackling this new way of working life and we are all just learning as we go along. We're trying to make the best choices that we can for ourselves and our families day by day.
BEING A WORKING WOMAN
Women are powerhouses. Our 'role' in life used to be so limited and in this day in age we can do and be pretty much whatever we want (there are obviously still struggles but at least we have a foot much further in the door). We can choose to work an office job and prosper at that, we can choose to be an engineer, we can be bougie housewife if thats what we fancy or we can start our own online business and girl-boss our way to the top of whatever platform we choose. (Algorithm providing. *rolls eyes*)
I am someone who enjoying working immensely. When I used to work in shitty retail jobs I honestly thought I was just not a very motivated person and I would feel I was a bit useless because all I wanted to do was to stop thinking about SKU's and go home. I even felt that way to an extent at University (before realising I just didn't choose the right course) but as soon as I started this blog, discovered Youtube and found a rhythm, you literally could not tear me away from my computer.
As you probably know, being a content creator means that I actually take on what would usually be about 5 different people's job roles (within more traditional media) with what I create online. I don't have anyone to help with any of them because I am a bit of a control freak but also because I bloody LOVE doing all of them.
My work and the pride of my work is now very deep-rooted within me as a person and as a woman. I love the feeling making my own money (only a few decades ago this would have been unheard of) and from a young age I knew I never wanted to rely on a man financially. I love being able to provide and being able to treat myself when I want to.
I would easily choose work over socialising or even watching TV. Which is actually a bit of a personal issue and is something I should work on a bit more (no pun intended), but the point is that my whole heart is in it.
But because woman are able to reproduce, does that mean we should put all of that on hold once we do?
I feel like a lot of people still don't agree with this but...I say hell no.
Lets look at the side of the argument for this which says 'you need to give your all to your child', 'don't be selfish', 'You child needs you'.
YOUR CHILD NEEDS YOU
I can understand where these people are coming from. When I was pregnant, I was adamant that I would get lots of help with her from the beginning so that I could work just as much as usual, so that I wouldn't drop off of the radar and so I could still be respected.
As soon as that little cherub popped out of me, all I knew was that I wanted to comfort her, love her, keep her safe and bond with her as much as I could (especially after the upset that I couldn't bond through breastfeeding).
I had prerecorded my videos so that I could relax a little about work during the first few weeks and those weeks were TOUGH.
After having Indie, For the first time I saw what people were talking about with the importance of bonding and finally I understood why working women typically have a year off for maternity leave. It is a huge life adjustment. Your baby does need you but also, you need your baby. At least I did...I found it hard to trust anyone else with all of the nappy changes and the burping and feeding. After you have a baby, you automatically give a huge part of yourself away, but in the best possible way.
I started to return to work again after a piddly three weeks. In hindsight that was WAY too early and I could have given myself more time. I was paranoid that I would loose touch a little with the blogosphere or that people would be expecting videos and content. So I started shooting looks again.
Even though I started back too early (and this was sneaking work in while Indie was sleeping) the feeling of working again during those first few months perked me up a lot.
On one hand you have this magical ball of angelic bubbly happiness (who maybe also makes you cry with fatigue) but on the other hand...you start to feel like you are losing yourself a little bit. Your sense of self becomes a bit of a shadow and that is extremely scary. Especially when your job revolves around your very prominent and projected (In the way of putting it out into the public) sense of self.
So, yes you need to be there for your child. Especially during those first few weeks and months.
However, when you are a woman who loves their work, it is very hard to leave that part of you behind. Especially in an online world where work moves very quickly. Part of this work is keeping up with current affairs, trends and movements - so being out of it even for a few weeks feels like a lifetime.
I'm not saying what I do is the most prestigious thing by the way (although it's definitley an amazing career to have), it's just the thoughts I can express after working in this particular business/industry because thats what I know. It is unique in the way that you don't really get the usual kind of maternity leave, so time for your baby and time for working can become this grey area and it's something I found difficult to navigate.
WORK FOR YOU
I find it interesting that men don't get any slack for working after having a baby. Yes the mother is usually seen as the more maternal and bonded parent but you can be maternal and bond with your child in the way that works for you. As long as you both give your child your all, you make sure they are safe, loved, protected and looked after, why can't the woman or the man work after having a child, without any shame or judgement being passed on them?
I've gone into a bit of a general topic here but because I am open to opinion on my life, I have received plenty of judgement for working when I have a baby, even with my work being online and with most of it being done at home where I can be with Indie.
I love Indie with all of my heart and I will do anything to make her life the best it can be. I also love working, it makes me feel happy, accomplished and 'BOSS' for lack of a better word.
As a woman, I have the right and the choice to look after my child AND work my ass off. Better yet, the reason i'm doing it all is all for Indie and for us as a family.
Sometimes I will have a job come up which involves travel or meetings which mean i'm not going to be with Indie for the night or for a few days. Firstly I have good old 'mum guilt' and then I also have that little voice that says 'What are people going to think/say when they see i'm not with Indie for this?' This is toxic.
It is my own fault to care anyway but when you already have mum guilt from not seeing your child for short while, the last thing you need is anonymous people online feeding into that. To come back though to what I was saying at the beginning, we are such a new generation of mums. Mums have always had to do things away from their children now & then but they haven't had an audience watching. Imagine how often businesswomen & celebs must have to leave their kids but you wouldn't know about it because their lives aren't as public.
YOU CAN HAVE BOTH
So as Online mums we have to 'do us'. I work hard for Indie but I also play hard with Indie. I am balancing the shit out of life.
If working makes you happy and makes you feel like 'you', then pick it back up, enjoy your work and enjoy your child too. Men get to, so why shouldn't we! If you see a mum working (online or other) think 'good on you' instead of judging how she manages her time and her family.
Women are the best at doing what they gotta do and take it from me, whatever we are doing, it's all in the interest of our children!
What are your thoughts on this topic and have you had to deal with critique of something similar? Lets Discuss
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