“It never gets easy, especially the guilt, I have missed many ‘Firsts’ in my child’s life”
I represent the KwaZulu – Natal region as a Human Resource Business Partner under the leadership of the Human Resource Manager, for a large South African beverage manufacturing organization.

I enforce Human Resource policies and procedures designed to fit the needs, goals and aims of the organization as well as work directly with senior management to develop plans that closely supports organizational goals and assist employees. I am office based in Durban, KwaZulu – Natal and travel occasionally to Johannesburg, head office for goal – setting meetings and training.

Monday to Friday I work normal office hours 07:30am until 16:30pm.
As a working Mom I am guilty of leaving my twenty-week old baby in the care of a stranger, his Play School Mom, who he went to with a smile on his face and open arms.

I spent four months of maternity leave, unpaid with my little boy at home, it was simply amazing to transform into a motherly role as my child grew, everyday I learned something new about him and became more brave to be on my own as a Mom while Nick worked.

I began to enjoy my Mommy Wife House life that I asked Nick if I could stay at home for a year with Keston as it became harder for me to accept as my maternity leave came to an end that I will no longer be able to attend to my baby every cry and need.

Oh the working Mom guilt never ends, as the months passed, I got used of the School run with my little boy each morning at 06:30am, the painful days of having to let go of my screaming child who simply wants “Mommy” have cut me up and left me heartbroken as another person comforts him, I have had to hide my red tearful eyes with a pair of sunglasses, greet my colleagues like nothing bothered me and continue with my tasks.

After work I look forward to my happy baby who gets excited to see “Mommy”, it honestly is the best part of my day, to fetch him from Play School and give him tons of kisses and cuddles to make up for the lost time apart. Best advice to Moms returning to work after maternity leave, select an awesome Play School with small classes so attention is given to each child. Keston has an amazing Principal who sent me a few happy captured moments as well as some video footage of his ‘First’ steps. Knowing that he was cared for by amazing group of people made my heart a little less guilty and happier. Security is also essential; Keston Play School is monitored by CCTV.

Yes, I am passionate about my work, but my family comes first, I ensure that Keston’s Grandparents or Dad is available to attend to him if I am away from home.

Last year I flew out of Durban, for a goal – setting meeting while my little boy was admitted into hospital, I felt stressed while away from him even though he was with amazing Dad and later Grandma took over, to give Nick a break.

While away others asked me, how could I have left Keston at the hospital and my answer was, my support system is great! They are all understanding of my career and responsibility as a working Mom, I contribute towards the needs of my family by working, so if duty calls and it is essential I attend then we come together to support the well – being of Keston.

I still remember disembarking the plane, exhausted at Durban, King Shaka International Airport to drive straight to the hospital to care for my child, who was still awake and refused to sleep that night as Mommy was back. Best advice to Moms who travel and return home close to bed time, it is better for baby to be asleep and see you the next day.

Please do not be fooled by the beautiful imagery in this blog post, I am an ordinary Mom who loves photography and heels, I certainly do not wear my beautiful shoes everyday neither will you see me dressed up, I am mostly in gym clothes, a pair of trainers or slipper boots and no makeup. As many of you lovelies know I am a lifestyle and parenting blogger, it was important for me to plan my social networking each day once Keston and Nick were asleep, as it became a bit too much at one stage and the guilt of not playing enough with my child and chats with Mr Hubster ate me alive.

After work, I switch off from the office, I take no calls unless they are emergencies.

It’s just my time with the family, Keston enjoys a home cooked meal prepared by ‘Mommy” and plays with his toys until the splashy bubble bath fun with Dad. Once he is settled and ready for bed we cuddle and fall asleep together with white noise playing in the background. I wake up to move him to his room and try get some sleep before the early rise and shine. Best advice Moms, take it one day at a time, you know what is best for your child and family.

Until next time, Love & Blessings
Lana Tillack
Photo Credit: CJ Photography, Durban