Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Hi Ho, Hi Ho – it’s off to work I go…

Well after 13 months of maternity leave and being a housewife, I am now a working mother of 2. I feel very fortunate to have a job in this economic climate, and not only that I work for an employer who allows flexible working and who has allowed me to return to my job part time.

So, I’m working three full days a week. Now, I am not super-woman by any means… and I have to admit I am struggling a bit with the sudden change in my lifestyle. I haven’t even managed to blog for a while!

Firstly there is “Mother’s Guilt”, yes – that old chestnut. I think that motherhood and guilt go hand in hand and that we all need to stop beating ourselves up so much! I’ve already had my say on that, so I won’t go into it again, but if you are interested – check out my guest blog here. I wish I could follow my own advice sometimes….

 This time around though, returning to work was even more of a wrench than before – and not just because I was leaving two children behind. This time I was leaving one who was all too aware of what “Mummy is going to work” means…. Miss Bags was horrified to start with. She cried when I left in the morning, and cried when I got home again “I just missed you, Mummy” she wailed. Her behaviour also took a hit, and she tried every trick in the book to not eat dinner, and stay up later; in short anything to get any sort of attention from me. The Wilburbeast, however showed no such distress at my sudden departure – and gleefully waved me off (showing off his waving prowess) and welcomed me home with a big grin and laughter! I am pleased to report that, three weeks in to my new Working Mummy lifestyle things have settled down a bit. Miss Bags is much happier, and The Wilburbeast…well he is just the same! I console myself with the knowledge that I have left them safe with their Nonna, allowing them to build a closeness with her. I find myself relishing the adult conversation that being at work brings, and the novelties of drinking a whole cup of coffee while it is still hot and going to the toilet with the door shut have not worn off yet! I feel more like ME again, and less like “Miss Bags and Wilburbeast’s Mummy”; and the BEST bit???

The welcome I get when I get home…… 

Jack of All Trades – Master of Lists? 

The flip-side of my new Working Mummy persona is that I feel a bit like a Jack of All Trades, Master of None. At work I am constantly thinking about what I should/could be doing at home, and at home I’m thinking about what might or might not happen at work while I am not there. I also feel very time poor - I’m living my life at 100 miles an hour at the moment and there are not enough hours in the day! When I am not at work I flit form task to task – leaving things half finished and (usually) a trail of destruction to rival any four-year-old’s in my wake…..

I think everyone (including me!) had gotten used to the fact that Mummy was at home, and therefore had more time to do, well – just about everything! Washing, cooking, food shopping, cleaning, tidying, playing etc.

After many arguments along the lines of “I am NOT the only one capable of putting things away!” and “I do not have eight arms!” (“Like octopus, Mummy"!) I have come to the conclusion that the only way we will all keep our sanity is through organisation, list-making and everyone pulling their weight! Now I am not suggesting that my household is run to a strict military style routine and The Wilburbeast and Miss Bags clean the bathroom floor with their toothbrushes – far from it! I keep a notebook in my handbag, with a to-do list in it, I also have an excellent kitchen calendar with columns for everyone and even a spare column for dinner planning and a shopping list pad on the fridge! (You can get similar items from www.organised-mum.com.uk ). I’m currently teaching Miss Bags how to make her bed each morning, and encouraging her to tidy up her toys each night (into her labelled drawers!), in the vain hope that as she grows up it will become second nature and The Wilburbeast will follow suit! This might all sound like more trouble than its worth – but believe me it works for us! I’m a great believer in “A stitch in time, saves nine!!"

As I mentioned earlier, I’m feeling time-poor, and the one thing I really resent doing when I should be playing with my children and spending time with with Crummy Hubby is housework! We all make the house dirty and untidy, and yet I seem to do the lion’s share of cleaning up! Don’t get me wrong, Crummy Hubby is very good at changing pooey nappies, getting up in the night (and early mornings), mowing the lawn, emptying the bins and washing up after dinner – but NOT so good at dusting, hoovering and cleaning the loo! So, now we have a second wage coming in I’m on the look out for a good cleaner!

Now where did I leave that notebook…..