Recently a friend of mine has returned to work after maternity leave and I am positively jealous. Not only did she get a new hair do and wardrobe but she looked…I don’t know, more vibrant and less ‘mumsy’.
When I became pregnant with Aoife I worked in customer services, it was just a job. My wage would have literally just covered the cost of childcare so we made the decision that rather than I work to pay for childcare with nothing left over, I would stay at home with baby and nothing left over.
So I became a SAHM (or as I often mistype a SHAM, I’ve been called worse). I loathe the term ‘full time mummy’, it’s patronising to working mums, I would never call Rory a ‘part time daddy’ because he goes out to work. Anyway, I’ve digressed.
As much as I love being a SAHM, I do feel like I have to justify my existence to people much more. If someone asks what I do, I mutter something like “Oh nothing, I’m just a mum”. It’s like I won’t offer an opinion as no one will listen because I’m ‘Just a Mum’, I don’t really need to go to the hairdressers because I’m ‘Just a Mum’. I don’t really need new ‘nice’ shoes as I’ll only wear them on the school run because I’m ‘Just a Mum’.
Now don’t get me wrong, I love being ‘Just a Mum’ and I know that being ‘Just a Mum’ means being a cook, a cleaner, a nurse, a teacher, a destroyer of nightmares and a nurturer of dreams. It means being a talker, a listener, a hugger, a playmate and at times an assassin of fun. It means being good cop and bad cop. It means having a whole host of jobs, all most of which I love, but sometimes I think it must be lovely to go out to work.
I could have an opinion that meant something to someone else. I could have a hot cup of coffee. I could impress someone over the age of 6. I could have a conversation with another adult about something non-poop related. I could have someone to say “What do you think Anna?” and have a response that would change the world (or make sense). I could have a work wardrobe of smart clothes (clothes without snot and food on). I could have a handbag without wet wipes, a spare nappy, snacks, pine cones, stones and a car in it. I could drop the kids off at 7.30, go to work, hope traffic isn’t bad, rush home, pick up the kids, put them to bed before doing some housework and going to bed. I could bring home stuff that I didn’t have time to do at the office and maybe do it at the weekend. I could sit listening to Geoff in accounts yap on instead of listening to Seth acting out Toy Story 2. I could spend the day clock watching, waiting for 5pm. I could write Post it note reminders instead of colouring in Paw Patrol pictures. I could maybe miss the school Nativity because Joan booked that afternoon off before I did…
Hmmm with hindsight maybe I don’t have work envy at all. I quite like things as they are.
Obviously this is just a speculation of how MY life as a working mum would be for me, Joan ALWAYS gets in her holidays first!?! All the working mums I know are super fantastic at it and I do envy/admire how great they are at leading two lives and making them both work! High Five working mums ^5.
This post was originally published over at meetothermums.com