When Free Time Makes You Feel Guilty

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Women lose a lot when they become mothers: income, social status, control over their pelvic floor. One thing I wasn’t expecting to lose was the ability to enjoy leisure time without guilt.

Before I was a mother there was a striped neon yellow and black line marking the boundary between work and play. As soon as I clocked off I’d spend my time and money doing things that I enjoyed — for no other reason than it was fun and I wanted to.

My leisure activities ranged from cocktails with my friends to staying in bed all weekend with Mr Darcy and a tin of Quality Streets. Because I worked hard, I didn’t once feel guilty, lazy or self-indulgent.

But then I become a mother and my sense of entitlement to leisure time disappeared faster than you can say ‘Burnt Chop Mother’.

I was working harder than ever before. Motherhood, as we all know, is an industrial relations nightmare. Backbreaking labour, tortuous overtime, no statutory tea breaks or RDOs, and Fair Work Australia won’t return your calls.

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