I went and got my hair done today. Usually, my lovely hairdresser, Sharon, comes to mine, but occasionally I go to hers. I like Sharon’s house; it’s so stylish and, even though it’s not a salon, it feels like a treat to go and have my hair done somewhere other than my grotty kitchen.
It took a couple of hours. Mainly because I, in a crazy fit of madness, decided I wanted to go grey. Not old lady grey – I already have quite a bit of that, but the cool, trendy grey that is oh-so-fashionable at the moment. Trouble is, although my hair is (unnatural) blonde, the grey didn’t take all over, so I was left with a ‘dirty blondey grey’ or DBG as we’ve named it. A second go at it with a different grey helped slightly, but I still look like I have dark blonde hair with grey highlights! Poor Sharon looked crestfallen that she hadn’t managed the brief, but she’s in no way responsible (other than that she probably should have talked me out of it in the first place!) Now I have to see what happens with it over the next week or so and decide whether to keep it, go a darker grey, or even back to red if I don’t like it.
Anyway, it always feels a bit wrong when I have time away from home and the kids, especially if I’m spending money and, *gasp*, spending it on myself. I guess it’s ‘mum guilt‘, particularly now I’m a stay-at-home mum. I’m not earning any money of my own and I feel that I’m taking time off from my ‘day job’. Usually, any time away from the house and the children involves shopping. Not exciting shopping, just bog-standard Asda, and even then I feel a bit guilty if I take some time to mooch around the George department rather than just whizzing round grabbing bread and milk.
I go out occasionally with friends, but I don’t have a wild social life; I’m pushing 40, I have kids – one with special needs – I don’t sleep so I’m always knackered, and I suffer from social anxiety, so half the time, even when I’ve made plans to go out I change my mind at the last minute as I just can’t do it. I should have been spending today at a conference until it dawned on me that I was on my own, I was going to have to get the train in rush hour, during the leaf-fall timetable (think stinky, sweaty sardines) and spend the day attempting to talk to people I don’t know. Gah! I totally bottled it. And went for crazy hair instead.
But even when I do go out, it’s with a pang of guilt, as though I shouldn’t be so selfish, I shouldn’t even be thinking of enjoying myself when I could be at home with the kids. Even if it’s the evening and they’d be in bed anyway. The Hubby thinks nothing of going to the football most weekends, or out for the day on the trains (it’s his ‘thing’) and he even went away with a mate this weekend, staying overnight in Cornwall to see a band. I’ve had one night away from the kids since Small was born, and that was to go to my graduation. I spent the night with my mum in a Premier Inn. Glam. I don’t think men get ‘dad guilt’ in the same way we mums do, or, if they do, they don’t let on.
So, while it was lovely to go and get new hair (even if it wasn’t quite what I’d envisaged), I still felt that I needed to rush home afterwards. I even abandoned popping to Sainsbury’s as planned as I felt I’d been out of the house for long enough.
Do we ever get over ‘mum guilt’? Or is it something that lives within us forever?
Read my Christmas list of the gifts us mums would really like!