Life as a Working Mum

I’ve been thinking lately that there are many ups and downs to life as a (full time) Working Mum. Some of them I’ve blogged about already here. But there are a few things any Mum who is thinking of taking the plunge into full-time work should know…

The day will come when you are hiding from your own child in a wardrobe

It’s happened to me a few times, generally because my boss/the Managing Director/ senior politician has called my phone and the only way I can drown out the cries of, “Mummy!!!!” is by suffocating myself in a heap of winter coats.

You will multitask in the toilet

It’s amazing how many emails you can read when you lock yourself in there for five minutes.

There will come a time when something very important gets forgotten

It could be a lunch order. A schoolbook. A jumper or hat. Occasionally, it’s a child. Hopefully that doesn’t happen too often.

You will feel unreasonable disbelief towards your young, single colleagues who complain of being tired

Look, I do recall that before children came along, I got tired. Actually I don’t recall it at all, however I am willing to accept that it must have happened. But I have to say, whenever some bright young kid-free colleague yawns and says, “Wow, I’m just SO tired today, I don’t know why. I mustn’t have slept very well,” I have to stop myself replying, “Really? Well I’m tired and it’s because I was up three times last night with one child who had nightmares and then another one woke up with a temperature and came into my bed so I slept with an elbow in my eye for the last three hours of the night and then I got up, made three children breakfast and got them dressed and did a school run which took twice as long because one of them forgot their library books and we had to double back and then I took  the sick one to the doctor’s before rushing them to my Mums so I could get here for a meeting.” Instead, I smile and say, “Really? Yeah, I’m a bit tired today too.”

You become convinced of the restorative powers of panadol and a good night’s sleep

Whenever one of her kids says they feel sick at night, one of my colleagues (and dear friends) who is a Working Mum always says, “A sleep’ll fix that”. If it’s in the morning, I always say, “let’s try some panadol”. Both are practically miracle cures.

“Breakfast dinners” are not just an occasional happenstance, but actually planned two nights a week

A bowl of porridge is much more healthy than takeaway, right?

You will be in a very important meeting and your Mum life will intrude in unexpected ways

It could be a text from your husband saying he forgot he was picking up the kids and can you leave RIGHT NOW to get them. Or a phone call because your child has hit their head at school or eaten a rubber. Or you might reach into your bag for a pen and out falls a half-eaten rusk stick or a dummy. Or you suddenly remember your daughter plastered a large butterfly sticker on your back as you were walking out the door and you can’t subtly reach around now and remove it. It will happen.So – be warned! It certainly is an interesting ride, and it’s not for everyone. But when you’ve done a good job and you get rewarded – you get a payrise, a promotion, a pat on the back, or when your kids talk with pride about the job you do – that’s when you feel like it’s worth it.:)

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