Working part time really allows me to see both sides of the stay at home vs working mum debate. If anything it gives me a greater understanding that we all have it hard and feel pressure. I thought I would share an average work day and solo day at home. The routine, what goes on in my mind, my thoughts and feelings.
Work day –
Alarm goes off 5.15am, lay in bed working out how many times I was up with the kids last night. Check phone, say morning to husband, shuffle off to kitchen to prepare world’s largest coffee, lunches, childcare bags and Scarlett’s bottle. Farewell husband and get ready for work while explaining to Hudson what mascara is, which dinosaur is which and that the blue Ninja Turtle is called Leonardo. Chase both kids around, get them dressed, negotiate with Hudson so he actually wears a jumper and shoes. Ask everyone nicely to go out the door (maybe 3 times)….add some ‘tone’ to my asking and finally get to the car. On bad mornings I have been known to bribe with a jelly bean just so I can get out of the house and to work on time without massive tantrums (don’t judge, I just do what works).
Drop off at childcare 7am. Feel guilty leaving as someone normally cries or says they will miss me. Also, feel guilty in the car on the way to work. Worry about being late and what I have to get done that day. Think about dinner, shopping, who’s birthday’s have I missed etc etc. Arrive at work and get my job done, enjoy adult time but sometimes struggle with conversation that isn’t about kids stuff. Am I that annoying office mum now?? The one that always talks about her children. Probably, but then my mind goes back to work, I am always conscious that I get everything done so my colleagues don’t see me as the part time mum that let’s everyone down.
My mind then wanders to my kids and family throughout the day and I often find it hard to concentrate (probably a lack of sleep)….more coffee, lunch, work. I constantly check my phone to make sure there are no calls from childcare telling me to collect my kids. Leave right on time so I’m not charged $1 per minute for being late for childcare pick up. Drive home, collect Hudson and Scarlett. They’re happy and full of energy…..I’m happy but have no energy. Make dinner, help with baths, dishes, playtime, stories and then bedtime. Shower and then work out if I have the energy to watch TV and have some me time or go to bed. TV normally wins and then off to bed to do it all again the next day.
Home day –
Husband’s alarm goes off 5.15am….Scarlett wakes up for bottle so I get up anyway. Make world’s largest coffee. Farewell husband for the day and Hudson gets up full of beans and demanding toast. Make breakfasts, put on washing. Tell everyone to sit down to eat breakfast (repeat about 5 times). Get dressed, get kids dressed. Organise to go to park to burn some energy…see rain outside. Change plans go to play centre. Arrive at playcentre, freak out about the snotty, coughing child that is playing right near my children who is clearly spreading some sort of virus. Change Scarlett’s nappy and realise I’ve forgotten spare nappies. Spend the rest of the time praying she doesn’t poop.
Leave play centre, stop at supermarket. Avoid tantrums by feeding my children the whole way around the supermarket (while onlookers quietly judge) and pay for the empty packets at the checkout. Take tired, upset children to the car. Negotiate lunch and nap times. Scurry about like a mad woman. Hang out the washing I did earlier, make dinner, do some of my husbands bookwork, clean the house (all while trying to be quiet so everyone sleeps). Finally sit to have a coffee….just as Hudson or Scarlett wake up. Make afternoon tea, realise I haven’t eaten so scoff down some fruit and cheese slices. Spend the afternoon playing and maybe some TV. Baths, dinner, dishes bedtime etc etc……shower and bed. Repeat.
These days are just a typical snapshot. My husband helps but he runs his own business so his hours are long.
It really just shows, unless you’re a high flying millionaire like Kim K who gets paid just for living. Both stay at home and working mum’s have it hard (especially with little kids). Yes it’s different, but there are pros and cons to both. Do what suits your family. Don’t disagree, support each other.