There are many mums out there that have to work, and there are many mums out there that choose to work. Whatever the reason work+children=hard work with a side of stress. If you are thinking about going back to work maybe don’t read this rant, its great, it really is but its also so hard. These are only some of my observations in the my years of finding work life balance.
-You feel like you have done half a day of work before you even get to work. Even if you get up extremely early to pack bags, dress children, feed children, brush teeth, put on the dishwasher, (the list goes on) you still find yourself running out the door and always feeling like you are under the pump. Your cortisol levels increase exponentially for every child you produce also.
-Your kids don’t give a flying F that you have to get up at 5.45 in order to prepare for the work day as mentioned above. Its usually on a work day that you are up 6 times in the night with a teething baby. You then get to go to work with incredible eye bags and have to be professional. They do have coffee in workplaces generally so that is of help.
-It’s another opportunity for self neglect. In your rush to organise your children and husband with food and clothing and all the other things they could possibly need you find yourself looking in the staff mirror mouthing “what the F” and sitting down for an appealing lunch of a tin of tuna and an apple with a toddler sized bite out of it. There are literally only so many things one person can do in a day and unfortunately you are the weakest link mumma.
-Most days you don’t take a lunch or coffee breaks. You are either making up for lost time because you are unreliable, late to work or spend your breaks using a breast pump or going to breastfeed your baby.
-It’s so great to get back to work and use your brain, contribute to society and the household and be seen as more than a mum. Then you are bought back to reality when you are in the middle of something important and you get the dreaded phone call. “Your kid has counctivitis you need to come and pick them up” Well shut the front door, this is not convenient my friend!
-Leading on from that point is that when your child is sick you have the mum guilts because it is such an inconvenience and it is your child, you shouldn’t feel like that. The best way I can explain it is you can’t be 100% mum or 100% employee. It feels as if you can’t give either role your full potential and think again if you are going to put “punctual and reliable” on your CV, you ain’t got a shit show.
-People make comments like “Oh good for you, would give you a bit of time out”. Firstly, because you have housed a tiny human inside of you does not affect your ability of getting a job, i haven’t won the lottery and it is most definitely not a hobby. It’s 2017 people you better do that iOS update. Secondly, you must have some warped idea of what time out is. Yes it is a short reprieve from the daily tasks of motherhood but in no way are we reading a book in the sun or getting our nails done. But if you do know of a job like this going, hook a sister up.
-When you finish work your day is not done. You not only get to walk through the dark hours (witching hours) with tired children you have to complete tasks such as washing, cooking, bathing, sorting lunch boxes to name a few. All the tasks that you normally would complete being at home are then tagged on to the end of your work day.
-You don’t feel like it is worth it and the end of the pay week/fortnight. When you work so hard you kind of envision bringing home the bacon looking like a Hellers 1kg pack of streaky. In all honesty, once you pay for childcare, taxes, kiwisaver and student loan it looks more like a 250gram of ‘home brand’ middle rasher. It’s like a bad countdown substitute on your online shop. Basically, you would be really considering whether the stress is worth the remuneration.
I absolutely love my job and it brings me self confidence and motivation but in no way is it a walk in the park. So choose wisely before you take the working mum life route!