A day in the life of an incredibly inadequate working mumBy Alli Grant | May 24, 12 10:04 AM
Do you have those days when you feel like tearing your hair out and climbing into the laundry basket to hide? We understand ... being a working mother is bloody hard!
News just to hand – it’s bloody hard being a working mother, in case you didn’t get the memo. So, in the interest of making all working mummies out there feel a little less inadequate I have decided to share an average day in my life. Inadequate? Me?
I wake (or rather, am woken) at about 5:15am (to cries of “Mummy, det UUUUUP!”), throw Hudson in front of Peppa Pig (or Thomas or The Wiggles or any other DVD produced by the ABC I can get my hands on), and fling cereal in front of him, while I quickly edit/write a few stories/check emails.
Next, I spend 20 minutes trying to find Hudson’s sheets/hat/lunch box/water bottle/clothes for kindy. I quickly realise I have, in fact, forgotten to wash said sheets/hat/lunch box/water bottle/clothes for day-care, so a quick clean-it job ensues. I do all of this to the tune of Thomas the Tank Engine’s “We’re two, we’re four, we’re six, we’re eight”.
Hudson is changed (some days into one of my maxi dresses ‘cause that’s all I can find that’s clean), toileted, fed and coerced into teeth cleaning with a bribe (note to self: chocolate is not an appropriate bribe for teeth cleaning).
I throw on whatever crumpled dress I can find on the floor that isn’t covered in cat hair, snot or finger paint, draw my unwashed hair back into an oh-so-not-fashionable ponytail and rush out the door. I make it to the car and realise that I have forgotten my handbag, my iPhone or my son, so return to the house to collect neglected item/little person.
By about 8am, I drop Hudson at kindy, unpacking his bag with the snotty, little man attached to my leg like some kind of tearful barnacle. Next I spend five minutes removing said barnacle from said leg so I can exit.
Most days, I take a peek to ensure the tears quickly stop, which they do (who knows where he gets that drama queen gene from?). Doesn’t stop me from experiencing varying degrees of mummy guilt on the drive home.
In the door and straight to my home office (so it’s the kitchen table, but “office” sounds more glamorous). There I stay – working, writing, stressing, emailing, stressing, editing, writing, stressing – until about 3pm, at which time I realise I haven’t eaten, showered or peed.
Soon, 4:15pm rolls around and it occurs to me that the dishwasher hasn’t been emptied and the washing is still in the machine. I attempt to hurdle three piles of dirty clothes on the floor on my way to the clothes line (injuring myself), throw the dishes in the cupboard, swear at myself for not remembering to feed the cat/ dog/fish and dash to the car.
Hudson, Mummy is coming! I try to sneak into his kindy room to collect his bits and bobs before he sees me so to avoid a repeat of the morning’s “tearful barnacle” performance.
Big hugs before heading to the car to chat about his day. Home we head, and I try, how I try, to give Hudson some attention in between working/cooking dinner/cleaning/stressing. Then it’s time for dinner, bath, four books and two songs before he drifts off to sleep.
The next day I get up, put my big girl’s panties on under my crumpled maxi dress (the same one I wore yesterday) and do it all over again. As much as I feel inadequate I do know that I couldn’t love that little boy any more if my life depended on it. And he loves me – inadequacies and all.
This is an excerpt from Alli & Genine’s first book ISSUES? What Issues? – the real, raw and honest ramblings of a couple of 30-somethings.
To sign up for their blog or purchase the book head to www.alliandgenine.com (or pop down to your local book shop).