To get through life intact, the thing working mums really need is a good sense of humour. Here’s a guide to the highs and lows of juggling work and kids.
You know you’re a working mum when you start the day scraping snot off your shoulder, peeling stickers off your iPhone and rapidly applying make-up in the toilets at work. And the best coping mechanism of all is to laugh. So here we look at the tell-tell signs you’re officially a high-functioning working mum...
At a glance
- There are a lot of good points about being a working mum
- There are some downsides too but not quite as many
- Your organisational skills will be the key to thriving as a working mum
The good signs
- You stagger into work looking forward to a 'sit down'
- You remember that long forgotten essential – your brain!
- You get your career back on track
- Conversations aren’t stopped dead by a leaky nappy, spilt drink or just waaaaaahhh!
- You suddenly have lots and lots of different things to talk about
- You savour your coffee while it's still hot
- Your iPod fills with new music, not just those relentless nursery rhymes
- Lunch is sushi – not leftovers
- Your commute is precious ‘me time’ – to read a book, text friends or gaze out the window
- People ask about you, not just your kids...
- You get a lunch hour – to get fit, go shopping, see friends...
- You say things once – not seventeen times!
- Black is back – your clothes are safe from food and snot
- Jewellery makes an appearance –even those lovely dangly earrings
- You’re bringing in money again
- Chances are you’re reclaiming your sense of identity
- You get recognition and praise for what you do!
- You race home because you’re bursting with excitement about seeing your kids
- You cherish time off with them and make it seriously fun
- You don’t have to watch in the night garden every day.
The not-so-good signs
- Getting to work on time takes military precision, begging and bribes
- You spend hours trying to understand how childcare tax vouchers work
- You lay out every last item the night before - clothes, bags and breakfast
- You walk into work scratching dried food off your shoulders
- Your iPhone is covered in Dora stickers and your handbag’s rammed with raisins
- Impromptu drinks after work are a thing of a past
- You’re surgically connected to your mobile phone in case the nursery calls
- You’re a champion juggler, queen of multi-tasking and your mind is always fit to burst with things to remember
- Nothing scares you more than a late pick up at nursery
- When you get to work you feel like you're half way through the day.
The key to survival
Whether you’re working full-time or part-time, practising law or teaching in a school, the key to survival is finding childcare you’re happy with, and striking a good work-life balance so you stay sane, keep your job and enjoy your kids all at the same time!