Friday, 27 January 2017

Why I'm NOT a working mum

I’ve been back at work for two weeks and already I can feel the old syndromes kicking in: destroying my posture by slouching forward onto my desk, resisting the need for caffeine, every hour, on the hour, feeling the urgency in every single task.

There’s a conflicting undercurrent in the office, a mixture of complete apathy and boredom offset by the sense that everything needs to be completed yesterday.

I’m tempted to refer to my return as a transition from ‘mum’ back to ‘working mum’ but I don’t think I will. I feel like that implies I’m returning from some sort of holiday, sun-kissed and full of energy, ready to once again face the trials and tribulations of schedule and responsibility. 

Like that’s a new thing for me. Pff.




A much more suitable phrasing, in my opinion, would be from ‘non-financially remunerated title-holder of the most important job on the planet’ to ‘potentially financially remunerated title-holder of a job other than the most important job on the planet’. This also makes it equally applicable to ‘working dads’ who seem to have been forgotten about in the whole ‘working parents’ scheme of things.

I do accept the fact, though, it’s not quite as catchy as the original.

And you may disagree with me on the ‘most important job on the planet’ front, but I ask you: what would happen if we dropped tools over pay and conditions and refused to do it? The human race would probably die out. And then there wouldn’t be anyone to fill the role of president or prime minister or whisky distiller.

And even presidents and prime ministers can be working parents too. Although, they probably don’t find themselves standing at the sink, washing up, at nine o’clock at night. Or hastily putting together a shepherds outfit, cursing themselves over safety pins and tea towels.

Or maybe they do? Thou shalt not assume…

I would prefer the term ‘working parent’ to recognise that we are not new to this. I appreciate that for some of us, it may be the first time we have gained paid unemployment (or unpaid, if in a voluntary post). But we are not teenagers fresh onto the paper round scene, quickly figuring out that there are consequences to missing deadlines and to not following procedures correctly. This is not the first time we’ve had to juggle priorities or manage the expectations of someone with needs more specific than a space rocket launch sequence.

We may not be altogether down with the jargon, I grant you, and our systems knowledge might be a bit rusty, but don’t think we can’t recognise bullshit when we smell it. We’re likely to have had more experience with the ‘brown stuff’ than you realise.

Returning to paid work is more akin to a diversification of responsibilities. It’s a re-wiring of objectives, except that now, if we connect the wrong lead, we risk a county-wide power cut rather than a temporary zap of static. Missing a deadline at work may mean having to stay late to compensate, which in turn may lead to a delayed pick up from nursery or a hurried call to a relative to step in. And, oh, how exciting for little  ‘Johnny’ that Daddy has come to pick him up instead, the reverberations KO-ing bedtime like a drop-kick to the temple.

But don’t worry, like a prize-winning champion we’ll be back in tomorrow, ready to do it all over again.



One Messy Mama

3 Little Buttons

Mummuddlingthrough

28 comments:

  1. Returning to work really is just a change of jobs, in fact it is more like adding a job as the home job is still there either end of the day. #bigpinklink

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    1. I know two jobs is harder than one but I just wanted to make the point that being a mum in itself is just as hard as going to the office. Thanks for reading x

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  2. As a SAHM, I take my hat off to those who have their job at home to complete as well as their job in the office. Neither is easy and both are tiring! Thanks so much for linking up to #Blogstravaganza, it'd be great to see you again next week xx

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    1. I know two jobs is harder than one but I just wanted to make the point that being a mum in itself is just as hard as going to the office. Thanks for reading x

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  3. What a great post! really enjoyed reading this x #DreamTeam

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  4. As a SAHM I have the upmost respect for those who juggle both. I do work from home around the children and that is hard enough! #GlobalBlogging

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    1. I know two jobs is harder than one but I just wanted to make the point that being a mum in itself is just as hard as going to the office. Thanks for reading x

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  5. I returned to work a few weeks back and Im amazed at how I could handle the work load. Being a mum is harder than anyother job and now my new job has a lot faster pace than the one I had before Ben came along. I also agree that Dads seem to get ignored about being a working parent or stay at home parent. I'm all for equality! #Blogstravaganza

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  6. Returning to paid work for me was like taking a holiday lol And even in my new job as a train driver its nothing compared to looking after the rugrats all day. great post! Thank you for linking up to #globalblogging

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  7. Returning to work is basically like holding down two jobs - you're job as mum, and then the other job. It's a lot to handle in my book because the mum work side of things is tough enough! Thanks for linking up to #coolmumclub lovely xoxo

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    1. Yes my point exactly! Thanks for reading x

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  8. We're all working mums :) Just with different jobs. Whatever you're doing, it's hard work. #coolmumsclub

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  9. Talking about Dads being forgotten, you know what gets me? His office when the kids are sick; "Can't their mum have them?" Yes, I could. But it's not my turn to take the day off, I took a day off last time they were sick. the kids have two parents, both with other jobs. Great post x #coolmumclub

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    1. Pff. That's so annoying! Some attitudes are just so antiquated. Thanks for reading x

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  10. I'm a SAHM and I think it must be so hard to try and juggle both. I can't imagine trying to arrive at a professional meeting after the stress of the morning school run! #CoolMumClub

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  11. I don't really think of myself as a working Mum, although I'm a Mum who works. I think maybe because I work from home. I like working parent too. Thanks for popping by the #bigpinklink

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    1. Thanks for reading - yes I'm totally not against mums working as I have a temp job at the mo, just against the prejudice against SAHMs, that it's the 'easy' option. When that's far from the case. x

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  12. I must admit, there are days that I miss being a working parent. I agree with some of the above comments. Its like holding down two jobs. Being a SAHM is a job in itself and being in the corporate world just means you are adding to those demands.. It's a busy world out there. :) Hope the transition has gone well! Thanks for sharing #globalblogging

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    1. Ah thanks for reading. Yeah I reckon being an adult is just all round hard! x

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