Nine-year-old thanks her mum's work for "making Mum happy"

Juggling work and a family isn't easy, but for many mums the pay off is worth it.
Juggling work and a family isn't easy, but for many mums the pay off is worth it. Photo: Getty Images

Some do it because they need to, some because they want to, and others for a combination of several reasons.

But no matter what your reasons are, being a working mum certainly isn't an easy path to tread. It involves a lot of time management, rushing around, stress and perhaps the worst feeling of all: mother guilt.

While mums often feel judged for working part-time or full-time, there's been much recent research focusing on the benefits of it. It's been found that working can be good for mums' physical and mental health, and it appears it encourages their children to consider gender equality when it comes to future roles and wages.

All of these long-term benefits can be difficult to apply to our own lives, however.

What does make an impact is a small piece of encouragement from our kids themselves. These are the people we feel guilty for leaving during the day, and these are the small beings who can greatly affirm our choices.

One nine-year-old did just this; when taken to work with her mum, she decided to write a message on the office whiteboard:

xxxxx
Photo: Supplied

"Dear Mum's work," she wrote, "This message is a thank you message for making Mum happy about working. From Lexie, AKA Lucy's daughter, age 9."

The mum of this lovely message writer, Lucy, says she's glad her daughter has noticed that work contributes to her overall happiness, because it hasn't always been this way. "When I first went to full-time work, I was quite miserable. I had to ask them to be patient with me if I was a bit short-tempered, and they put up with a time of me being quite frustrated and cranky about work," Lucy explains.

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The kids have noticed the difference in their mum's demeanour in more recent times. "When I got my most recent job, it was the job of my dreams, and the kids know that," she says.

Lucy is also very conscious about communicating the pros and cons of work with her three children. "We talk about our day and I talk about work, and I share the bad things and the good things," says Lucy, adding that she feels it's important for her daughters to see their mum gaining personal satisfaction from the workforce.

As for the guilt, "I do feel guilty – but not much," Lucy laughs. "The only time I feel really guilty is when the kids are sick and I can't cuddle them on the couch all day."

In the bigger picture, it's all worth it, and a little boost from the kids helps Lucy to remember she's doing the right thing. "When I see a note like that from Lexie, and her understanding what I do, that's even better than getting paid," says Lucy.

So, to those experiencing mother guilt about working or not working or whatever choices you've made for yourself and your family, remember that your kids are watching – and they get it.

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