Moaning Mondays: The Working Mother.

I have never had a problem with being a working mother.

Returning to work three days a week after my first maternity leave I did not feel guilty.  Selfishly I missed them, selfishly I wanted to be the one to cuddle them when they woke up from their naps.  But I didn’t worry for them.  I didn’t feel that they were missing out in any way.  They were impeccably cared for either by family or, when they were a little bit older, by an excellent nursery.  Working with children and young people for over a decade, I’ve never been a ‘career woman’.  Climbing the career ladder has never been my motivation to be away from my little bears.  I think that’s absolutely fine if it is though.  Happy mummy = happy children and all that. Like so many others I’ve always had to work to supplement the family income.  And I’ve been ok with that.  I’ve embraced each job role I’ve had.  It made me feel like I was contributing more to the world than just polluting the earth with dirty disposable nappies.  And the time away from my babies absolutely made me cherish my days off with them.

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When we moved over to the Yorkshire Dales and I began working five days a week, again, I did not feel guilty about being a working mummy.  I was confident the timings would not affect my now school aged children.  They go to a couple of afterschool clubs, granny and granddad give them tea on a Wednesday and I get to stand at the school gate twice a week.  I don’t take that for granted.

In theory it works.  In theory I think it’s great to be a mummy and be working.

But in practice? In practice I’m knackered. I’m forever berating myself for this.  I’m forever telling myself to just pull my head in.  I’m forever telling myself I should eat more spinach so I can be more like popeye.  He wouldn’t be on his knees by 4pm.  And this, my friends, is what I do feel guilty about.

Being a tired working mummy.

Because the consequence is that my little girls get the dregs of me.  They don’t get the energetic Mrs C that jumps around with the children in the morning for the class warm up songs.  They don’t get the multitasking whizz that simultaneously soothes a grazed knee, helps a 6 year old with a piece of writing and wipes the nose (gag) of that child that seems to have a ‘forever cold’.  They don’t get the serene woman that remains calm when 7 children are screeching talking to her at the same time.

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What they get is a really tired mummy, Monday through to Friday.  And Maybe Saturday morning too.  After tea, when they ask what we can do I try and make the option of lying down together on the sofa sound as exciting and appealing as possible.  When they want to do crafts, I can’t help but inwardly groan about the extra tidying involved and ask them if they’re sure they wouldn’t rather sit and contemplate life.  And please don’t stone me for saying this, but by 6pm I’m looking forward to their bedtime just so I can sit down.

Then when they’re sleeping I miss them so go and creepily sit by their bed and watch them snore.

Mr C misses out on the patient professional that resorts to swearing in her head when she has to gently remind the children for the 167th time not to pick their nose and eat it.  He doesn’t get to see the colleague that wants to make sure everyone else is ok.  He comes home to a half human-half zombie spouse that looks slightly deranged in the eyes and complains that one day she will actually put her backside through one of those teeny tiny plastic chairs designed for 5 year olds.

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I’m even boring myself with how often I say I’m tired each day after work.  I can’t bring myself to go to bed before 10pm because those two hours after biggest little bear lights out time is vital for Mr C and I to continue liking each other.  And I feel that liking each other is pretty high up there for a fair-to-good-marriage.  Even if it means just staring at a TV screen together. Holding hands if I havn’t already dozed off.

Life shouldn’t involve wishing away 5/7ths of it so you can remain awake after the watershed.  I mean, come on!

Maybe I should be popping multi vitamins.  Maybe I should be scoffing the spinach…Or was the avocado baby (remember that book?) onto something and I should ditch the green leafs for the green mush?  Maybe I should exercise more.  Don’t they say it gives you energy? I Can’t say I’ve ever not been feel-sick-tired after a work out but hey, it might be worth a bash.

Or…  Maybe I should save up, buy a field with a vegetable patch and chickens and a goat, and turn our family into self sufficient hippies.  Then when I’m not working I can just write and then write some more.  Now wouldn’t that be wonderful?

Yours sleepily,

Mrs C x

PS You can make this tired mama very happy if you popped over to the blog’s facebook page (it’s only a baby) and showed it some love.  When I’m too tired and grumpy to write a full blog post, I share snippets of this crazy life over there. Sweet.

Disclaimer: I thoroughly believe stay-at-home mums DO contribute way more than just polluting the world with disposable nappies.  If you are one yourself I think you’re fab.  It was that old chestnut, the mummy guilt that made me feel edgy when I was on maternity leave – like I was going to get caught out for being at home and enjoying my newborn-smelling bundle of loveliness when I should have been, I don’t know, working down in a coal mine or something.  Mummy guilt does funny things to you. 

This post is linked up with:

untitled (43)    twinkly_tuesday_badge_2015    bestandworstlinky   kcacols200x200

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25 thoughts on “Moaning Mondays: The Working Mother.

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  1. I have every sympathy, I did what you did until we bought Coombe Mill, now I work harder than I ever did in my full time job, this is full time plus but it is here at home with the kids, that said I’m still knackered half the time and the kids grumble I’;m always cooking (for them) or on the computer! It isn’t easy to have it all but balancing it all as best you can an d being grateful for it all is important.

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  2. Great post. This is a reason as to why I didn’t go back after having my twins. I was tired and fed up after work when it was just me to look after! and so I knew I would struggle with the twins. Luckily we could make the decision for me not to return. Was it amazing and fun every day? No. It was hard and I often wished for a day at work! But on the whole it was right for us, and me. I now crave working again – now it has been 3 years and now the twins are at preschool – and hence why I have gone freelance. Even stay-at-home-Mums get the guilts though. Hugely. Are they watching too much TV? Am I boring? Do I shout too much? Etc… Hope you get the balance right soon, although you’re doing a super job and sound like a superb Mummy to me xxxx

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    1. The mummy-guilt will kick in somehow won’t it!? I hate ‘living for the weekend’ because I’m all about embracing even the ordinary moments! I so respect women who have taken the leap to go freelance, self employed or established a small business. I salute you Mrs!x

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  3. Coming over from #bestandworst (linked after you) I loved this post, so honest and true. Although for me I get to work from home to the beat of my own drum I feel like I am so tired by the time they (age 11, 8 and 6) get home from school and I feel so guilty about it. We are always feeling guilty aren’t we. In fact I wrote a post the other day about how motherhood slapped me in the face, talking about how I am not the mother I thought I’d be, so I can relate to the groaning when art and crafts come out! I popped over to your Facebook page too, mine is reflectionsfromme on Facebook, but don’t feel you have to like it back, unless you do actually like it lol. Hope you get some rest xx

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    1. I’d love to just make peace with tiredness but I have a romantic view of life and that involves a bit of energy, ha! Thanks for popping over the FB page, I’ll be sure to make my over to yours when I put my feet up tonight x

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  4. Great post. I gt to work from home and choose which how’s I work. I’d love to have something that would be a family business bit just haven’t got the time instead fit in 3 part time jobs. All whilst being a sahd the rest of the time. Guilt is huge. Life shouldn’t be wishing it away but it does seem like that! I think the hippie farm would be ideal.

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  5. Oh I so know where you are coming, this is exactly how I felt going into full time work (and more) after my 1st, god I felt so guilty and was knackered, I’m going back on 30 hours in Jan 😦 😦 creeps up quickly, I’m hoping that in the future to reduce to do 3 days a week but I guess will have to see! If only we could be millionaire’s! Thanks for linking up to the #bestandworst hope you’ll link up again 🙂

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  6. I think all mums feel the same once they have to go back to work. or even when they leave their child for longer than 5 minutes. I’m sure you’ll get used to it eventually. Linked up with you from #KCACOLS

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    1. I’m a sucker for mummy guilt, it finds me in every possible way! I think for me its not about getting used to it, Ive been a working mum for nearly 9 years now – I just need to work a bit more play into my life – life goes by too fast to miss that work-play balance x

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  7. I know how you feel – it is a constant juggle being a working mum and that guilt never goes away. I think you just eventually learn to manage it better. I hope things settle down for you soon #KCACOLS

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    1. I reckon managing it has to be in finding the balance – ha, that’s my word for the week as I take a little break from blogging and try to ‘regroup’!!x

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  8. Oy. This is SO me. I love my job and don’t feel guilty at all that I have it. But, I hate just how exhausted I am all the time and how I never have the energy or patience to really enjoy my children. And I hate that they know it. Wish I knew the solution. When was the last time I didn’t say “I’m so tired” at the end of the day? Got me. (Here from Twinkly Tuesday!)

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    1. Indeed – I feel like I’m whining every evening! Ive taken a step back from my beloved blog for a week or so to a) regroup and just snuggle on the sofa in the evenings and b) work out where I can find some balance! A bit less work and more play is needed for us ladies I think!x

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    1. Sometimes I tell myself its because my girls are so tiny… They’re 7 and 9! I salute mommas who work all day and then scrub the house clean in the evenings – because once my littlies are in bed I’m beat! Taking a blogging sabbatical to gather my energy back over the half term break!x

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  9. What a lovely and very honest post! I don’t have a job atm as I’m a SAHM but I feel the exact way: so tired!! I’m trying to get my blog as my regular job and it is really difficult to get the time for that! I ended up some nights working on it until very late and sometimes I don’t know how to organise my time! I hope things get better for you soon! Thanks so much for joining me at #KCACOLS. I hope you can join me again on Sunday, 🙂 xx

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