This is an article I’ve had half drafted for a while, but I could never quite finish it off. I was worried it would come across as a woe is me post, my life is so hard post, I’m so exhausted post. But after a particularly shitty fortnight and just generally feeling like a crappy Mum, I read this piece The Working Mother by Learning To Be Mrs C and it just made me feel a lot better. I completely related to it and just felt relieved that I wasn’t the only one struggling with the work/life balance. This is exactly why I love blogging, you start to realise that you are not alone. You are not the only one.
As Mothers of this generation, the game is varied, the choices are different and the guilt is greater.
But the ultimate truth is we’re all dealing with the same shit, our struggle is the same – its just the context that varies.
So here’s my ten reasons why being a working mother sucks balls. I’m not saying being a working mum is harder than being a stay at home mum – who knows, who quite frankly cares? I don’t, I’m far too fucking exhausted to worry about what everyone else is doing. This shit is hard and regardless of our ‘parenting context’ we all deserve a fucking medal.
If your a stay at home Mummy – please can you write ‘Ten Reasons Why Being a SAHM Sucks Balls?’ Then lets get together, compare notes and consume vast quantities of wine.
First bottle is on me!
1. My Kid Has Friends That I Don’t Know
A few months ago he came home from Nursery with an invitation to Harry’s 2nd Birthday Party. “Who the fuck is Harry?” I asked my husband, he didn’t know either. The last thing I want to do is go to party where we don’t know the child, parents or anyone else, but go we did because Finley knew that child, he knew Harry because Harry is one his friends.
2. I Miss Him
I miss him, I’m missing out on him which is just crap. I deliberately don’t have a photo of my son on my desk. Most people do don’t they? I think it helps them get through the day but I don’t need a constant reminder that I’m not with him. My mind diverts back to him enough of its own accord, without having his beautiful face smiling up at me.
3. I Am Too Tired to Play
Sometimes I am so flipping exhausted after work that I just can’t summon the strength to play. I fob him off with watching Peppa Pig or Fireman Sam and having a cuddle on the sofa. Which he doesn’t mind but I know that truthfully he’d rather I got up and danced around with him like a lunatic. Or built his train track and smashed my train into his, but some days I just can’t I don’t have the energy left for it.
4. My Kid Makes Me Feel Guilty
There have been several occasions where he has stood at the front door shouting ‘Mummy, Mummy’ as I drive away from him to work. It happens once in a blue moon but when it does I feel horrendous, I feel like a shitty mother and a shitty person and that feeling stays with me all day long.
I know he loves the places and people he spends his time with during the week but he also loves me and I’m leaving him when he doesn’t want me to.
5. I Get Two Hours of Quality Time
On a week day, if I’m lucky and there’s no sodding traffic, I get about two hours of quality time with him. The fact that these two hours coincide with the Pre-Bedtime Witching Hour often means I get two hours of manic running about, frustrated tantrums and being repeatedly told ‘not sleep yet!!’.
6. I Bring Work Stress Home
This doesn’t happen often,my current work place is pretty chilled compared to some negative environments I’ve worked in the past but sometimes when I’ve had a rough day, I bring my bad mood home with me and that’s just not fair. I’m not mean or horrible or anything but I’m just harassed you know? So I have less patience, I am less willing to be understanding and try to reason with him. So on these days he gets told off quicker, put on the naughty step sooner or he loses his favourite Choo-Choo after only one warning. He doesn’t understand that Mummy’s been at work for eight hours, dealing with constant requests and deadlines, he just thinks Mummy’s the bitch who took his Choo Choo away.
7. My Kid Tells Other Kids That His Mummy is at Work
This ones a killer, its a hard pill to swallow. I have been informed (with the kindest intentions) that when he goes to the park and sees other children playing with their Mummy’s or Daddy’s he informs them that his Mummy/Daddy are at work. He tells them ‘My Mummy Work‘, as if to let them know he does actually have one, she’s just not around.
8. I Worry What He Thinks Work Is
He knows that work is a place we go to, without him but what does he think we are doing? When my husband works a weekend I often take Finley to visit for his lunch break. His office is on a farm, which has tractors, apple trees and chickens – its basically a two year olds dream day out. We take a little picnic, he gets to sit on the tractors and feed the chickens and its all jolly good fun. So does he think Daddy goes to work and has fun? He has no concept of money and necessity, he just knows when Daddy goes to work he goes to this awesome fun farm for the day. Does he think we’re going through choice, to have fun without him?
9. I Over Compensate
Ugh, I hate admitting this but I am definitely guilty of over-compensating to make him happy. There is a difference between over-compensating and outright spoiling. I don’t spoil him. He doesn’t get whatever he wants, I’m not an idiot who gives him sweets for breakfast. But I will do things just so that I can be the reason he is smiling. I will let him have just one more story before bed or a biscuit with his milk. I will keep kissing him over and over again because I don’t get to all day.
10. I Don’t Get Any Time to Myself
I don’t, not during the week anyway. If I’m not working, I’m with Finley and if I’m not with Finley I’m carrying out the next task in the chain. I’m cooking dinner, putting the washing on or making lunches for the next day. Now don’t get me wrong I don’t do it all, my husband and I work as a team – he has his jobs and I have mine. But even when you split the chore list 50/50 its still takes up a fair chunk of your four-hour evening window. So by the time we’re all home, kiddos in bed, dinners cooked and eaten, washing is hung up and the cats are fed, its fucking 9 o clock and that’s pretty much game over. I’m just too tired by then to read my book or watch one of my programmes, I can’t be bothered I just need to sleep.