I’d never given much thought to the juggling act that is being a working mother – until I became one myself, obviously – and ironically, now that I am both working and a mother, I have barely any time to think at all.
I’ve been back in work for four months this week, and life has changed quite a lot. My six month part-time contract went out the window when I accepted a promotion onto the newsdesk of our company’s daily paper, and for the first time ever I’m working shifts – some days starting at 6.30am and others working until 10.30pm, which has taken some getting used to.
I was pretty nervous about starting back after 11 months – and then taking a new job so soon after – but I worried more about the logistics of managing both home and work life than the work itself.
Anyway, as I adapt to life in the fast lane, I thought I’d share a bit of an insight into my new world.
So, for me, life as a working mother is:
Guilt that you’re missing out on being there 24/7 … But not missing Mr Tumble or Mike the Knight one bit.
Hating yourself for having to prise your little one out of your arms at the nursery door.
Getting up through the terrible teething nights – and getting up for work the next morning.
Hitting every speed limit on the way to work because you spent that extra five minutes reading pop-up books (or running around like a mad woman attempting to clean up after a morning at home). And racing home to catch bedtime.
Texting from your desk to say where you left Boofle / the toothbrush / nursery book.
Basing your work wardrobe on what disguises sticky handprints and food stains, and only buying things that won’t need ironing … Because if you didn’t have time before, you certainly don’t now!
Making the most of every minute with your baby when you’re not at work.
Feeling like you live a double life as just before you put your professional head on you were sitting on the floor playing with a wooden pizza. Sitting down at your desk feeling like you’ve already worked a shift … And needing all the caffeine.
Really, really hoping that while trying to convince your little one not to throw your lipstick down the toilet you remembered to put eyeliner on both eyes.
Feeling like you’re letting your colleagues down when you have to leave on time for the nursery pick-up and they’re working on.
Missing out on midweek play dates.
Having a phone that constantly beeps with arrangements for those play dates … or updates on what your little one is up to.
Enjoying the fact you can escape for a quiet coffee … With cake, obvs.
Finding raisins and biscotti crushed at the bottom of your handbag.
Wondering how on earth stay at home mothers do it when you’re shattered after one day off!