Working at being a working mother

Last night I had a nightmare. We had gone shopping at B&Q very late at night, it was dark and Izzy was asleep so we decided to leave her in her car seat in the boot of the car… Very strange. We exit B&Q laden with shopping and our car is surrounded by Police who start to question us about our terrible parenting. Within hours our faces are all over the news as those awful parents who left their baby in the boot of a car. I woke in a cold sweat. A true nightmare.

Obviously I wouldn’t dream of leaving Izzy anywhere let alone in the car at night on her own IN THE BOOT!! A therapist would have a field day with this dream I’m sure. I am pretty sure that this occurred due to my MAJOR guilt over being at work full time and away from my gorgeous girl.

How do we do it? Working parents I mean? How do you work full time, parent full time and be a good partner/friend/daughter and don’t get me started on keeping up with the ironing.

If you don’t like to hear a woman moan you may want to stop reading now. This post is one big moan.

I’m probably more stressed than I have ever been, almost as tired as when Izzy was a newborn and definitely feeling more guilt than I’ve ever experienced. There are so many cons to being back in work full time and not enough pros.

Pro

A better more secure life for us – working full time means I earn more money, we live a better life, we eat well and can take holidays.
Benefits – I have a great pension, the best maternity leave blah blah blah
Quality time – the little time I get to spend with Izzy each day is special. I don’t tune out, I listen to her and we play, chat, dance ..babble. On the weekends and when I book annual leave we have FUN. Last Saturday we went to Bristol Zoo.

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Cons

Stress – I find it harder and harder to balance everything. I feel stressed a lot of the time. It affects my sleep and I can be a grump although I try ridiculously hard to make sure it doesn’t affect my time with my family. I know this is not good for me and a lot of the time I overanalyse it all which is in effect making it worse.

Tiredness – I am tired every minute of the day, I can’t remember the last time I felt well rested. I have an absolute amazing partner who wakes up with Izzy at night if she is restless although lately she’s gotten pretty good but even so I wake constantly. The last few days she has been unwell and this has resulted in well ..rather large bags under my eyes.

Missing milestones – so far I have been around for all of the amazing things that my daughter has learned. I was there for her first smile, word, step..kiss and dance. I dread to think of what I may miss when I am not here 75% of her waking hours.

Losing the bond – maybe this isn’t possible. I really hope not. We are so close and I really don’t want to lose it. I work hard to ensure we get good fun and special time when I get home no matter how tired or stressed I feel.

Just not being there – if something bad or upsetting happens I want to cuddle my girl. This week Izzy was admitted to hospital when I was in work and I didn’t get to meet up with them until she had been there for 3 hours and received some treatment. It was frightening although she is thankfully ok and I need to be there for these things!

No me time – if I thought I had little me time before I went back to work now I have zero. It’s not the end of the world but a guilt free afternoon to myself would be nice on occasion. However now that I miss my girl so much I’d swap all my free time for a few extra hours in the soft play. Madness.

Less time to look after my home – cooking,cleaning and all of the little domestic things I need to do get harder to fit in every day. It means that my downtime in the evening can start later each day.

Work – being a full time member of staff in a customer orientated business is hard. Just today I had two extremely abusive members of the public hurling insults at me and it does make me wonder who thinks they have the right to speak to a stranger that way. Every one has the right to be angry when they don’t get what they want but to be so abusive is just not right. Especially when the person you speak to usually has no involvement in the problem you are screaming about.

Relationship with OH – when I was on maternity leave we had lots of time together arranged around his shifts and I am truly thankful for that wonderful time we were lucky to share as a little family. I miss it now though and although we get our evenings now that Izzy sleeps well I see less of him than I’d like 😦

Relationships with family – in the last year I’ve become closer than ever to my mum, dad, brothers and sisters, we often had lunch together during the week when we were free and I saw my parents at least 3 times a week. Now it’s more like once a week and I miss them too.

Relationships with friends – we rarely get time to hang out with friends and often when we do we feel we are kind of rushing to get home. I don’t concentrate on these friendships enough and it’s an area I can’t work on at the moment.

Exercise – I have to fit this in. I haven’t lately and I feel worse for it. I need to be a fit, healthy woman to help all of the above areas so although I don’t have time I will make it.

SORRY – I did say it was a long moan.

The one major benefit I can see from this is that when I am in work Izzy gets one on one special quality time with either her Dad or her grandparents. This is probably really good fun for her. In fact most of the negatives above are purely selfish and just affect me. Izzy loves her family and when I get home she is incredibly excited to see me. We are very lucky in that so far we have not had to rely on outside childcare and I am grateful for this. Grateful for a whole year off with my wonderful family.

Today when I got home we learned how to use crayons ( or eat them ) and Izzy assisted me in the kitchen while I cooked dinner.

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I know that I am lucky in a million ways and please forgive my moaning but as Shrek would put it “Better out than in I always say”

I would love to hear how you manage to juggle both work and family life, any tips happily received.

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10 thoughts on “Working at being a working mother

  1. I have tears in my eyes reading this as I actually could have written it myself. In November Grace had a febrile seizure and I was away in Bristol running a conference. I work with Doctors and not one of them could get me to stay despite all sorts of reassurances (hearing that 1 in 3 children will have one is not reassuring when you are hundreds of miles away from your 2 year old daughter ), luckily a good friend paid for my taxi all the way back to London and Grace was fine. Hearing ‘Mummy come home’ on the phone on the way back just cemented the fact that I did need to go back.

  2. It doesn’t get easier. My kids are 11 and 9, and this morning I had to blow dry my daughter’s hair, help her find her homework, shout at my son to stop him playing with Lego before breakfast etc. I’m strung out before I get to work, I have a stressful job, and once I’m home I have to take son to Cubs, take daughter to Guides event, retrieve son, cook tea and then start to make a birthday cake! Obviously I don’t have nights like this every night, but it goes to show that the demands don’t lessen as they get older – they just change shape.

  3. Loving your honesty. Especially about things like Me time. I go back to work soon, I’ve been lucky enough to have 2 years out while both my girls were babies but the feelings of guilt & fear at not being there for them makes me queasy. You are right though, it’s all about quality time & giving the family the best life we can. x

  4. I really struggle. When became a single mum I quit my job as couldn’t balance it! Now kids at school and I’ve moved near my parents I’ve got a part time job. I tried working longer but it didn’t work out as I was always stressed out… Not sure it gets easier…

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