Monthly Archives: August 2013

Florence for a day

As of today,  you can call me Flo (aka Florence Nightingale), because I dispensed love and soothing balms all day!

My little girl was home sick from school and I was in full blown Mummy mode.

I placed cool face washers on her hot head,measured out exact doses of Nurofen; stroked her hair while she lay on the couch, made a healthy lunch and offered various treats (Florence may not have approved of that part, actually) and tucked her in when she needed a nap.

And while she slept, I baked! Holy cow!

I baked strawberry jam drops and banana bread!

I did the washing, hung it out to dry and then – gasp – put it away! I even tidied up my little boy’s bookshelf and got some housework done!

Oh, and I even got to flick through some of my favourite magazines – without interruptions!

Yes, it all sounds very mundane and dull, but to me, as a full time working mum, it was bliss!

There were no emails to respond to; no deadlines to frantically meet; no phone calls to answer; or any reports to proofread!

No-one was inviting me to meetings, or asking me to design a brochure or poster; and not once did I need to check against my ever expanding to-do list!

See what I mean? Bliss!

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Today’s work tools – not a computer in sight!

The house is now organised, I’m not stressed out and I got to just chill out with my little girl.

She is feeling better and we are sending her off to school tomorrow – whether she is truly 100% or not – as my husband and I cannot take any more time off.

And that is why I really treasure these little moments of feeling like a stay-at-home Mum, as they are so few and far between.

Through the looking glass – a shared post

A post worth sharing

Hello my gorgeous followers!

While I am busy working on my next post, I thought you might like to take a break from me and read this post from one of my favourite bloggers – Kate from Kate Says Stuff.

It’s not as lighthearted as my usual musings, but it’s beautifully written.

Find Kate here: http://www.katesaysstuff.com

My life as a superhero

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Have a good day at school, darling. Now I’m off to work!

I’m a superhero. 

I have an alter ego called Employee

I become her when I put on my ‘work’ clothes and apply my full face of make up. 

Employee can do amazing things. She can fly from one meeting to the next; she can write articles for the staff newsletter faster than a speeding bullet; and she can jump over competing deadlines in a single bound.

She can get children dressed and ready in the morning, while at the same time putting on three loads of washing and packing school lunches.

But when she takes the costume off at the end off the day, she becomes Mum.

Mum can do amazing things too! 

She cooks dinner  – sometimes three different meals at a time depending on levels of fussiness; she gets two squirmy, tired children ready for bed; and then reads up to three different stories with expression and perfect enunciation.

Of course she has tremendous help from her trusty sidekick – Dad.

Between the two of them they fight the daily battles of being working parents with two young kids.

Sometimes I have to change between Employee and Mum in record time.

This normally happens when Employee receives a call from school or day care to say a child has hurt themselves or come down with a high temperature and must be picked up immediately.

Or when a child receives an award at a school assembly and Employee must become (gushingly proud) Mum for about 15 minutes before she races off – picture Clark Kent rushing off at light speed while changing into Superman – back to work.

OK. I know that sounds a bit silly and simplistic (I hope it made you smile, though!) but sometimes it really does feel as though I switch into a different person once the kids have been dropped off and I go to work. 

And then the same thing happens when I log off the computer at the end of the day and I click into ‘Mummy mode’ and start thinking about what to cook for dinner. 

Sometimes my two superhero worlds collide. 

I recall a day when I was working from home as a freelancer and was on the phone to a client discussing an important strategy. 

I was holding the phone with one hand and gripping the door handle with another to stop my little boy from opening it.  He was howling on the other side of the door and yelling out for me while I was trying to keep the hysteria out of my voice. Madness!

Do you ever feel like you are two people in the one body? Do your two ‘worlds’ ever collide? 

And the verdict is: Guilty!

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Aaagh, some peace and quiet!

When I was pregnant, I read lots of ‘what to expect’ books (side note: thank you Kaz Cooke for writing ‘Up The Duff’ and making me laugh at the weirdness of my pregnant body).

During my pregnancy, I was totally across what was happening week by week.  Of course, like every Mum, once I gave birth to my first baby, I realised I had no idea what to expect at all!

But in all those books, not once did they mention that once you became a Mum you put on a cloak of guilt – and don’t take it off!

And I’m not talking about about retail guilt.  I don’t recall feeling guilty that I hadn’t bought a certain type of pram, bottle, etc, etc – although I was a subscriber to ‘Choice’ and trawled through their safety reports! Ha Ha.

The guilt I struggle with is totally self-inflicted, all in the name of trying to be a good Mum!

I feel guilty when:

I go to work

I feel guilty that we are always so rushed in the morning to get to school/daycare/ work, when all the kids want to do is play with me.

I feel guilty when I work late and miss out on time with my kids.

I also feel guilty when I can’t do more for my daughter at school.  I can’t go on school excursions, I can’t do any reading with her class, and I can’t be on any committees. She is always asking me to do more because most of her little friends have Mums who don’t work at all.

And then there are those mornings when I feel guilty about feeling happy and relieved that I get to go to work and leave the kids at school or daycare because they have been feral and annoying!

I’m too tired

Sometimes at the end of the day, when my little boy is regaling me with a monologue on the complexities of ‘Lego Chima’, my mind wanders and I totally tune out because I am bone-tired.

And then he catches me out and I feel bad because he’s been waiting all day to talk to me – but I can’t fake any interest!

I feel guilty when I am so tired that I am a grumpy Mummy and seem to spend the whole day/evening nagging and yelling at the kids.

I feel guilty when I am so tired on the weekends, that I encourage the kids to watch lots of TV so I can get some time out and read the papers in peace!

Guilt.  It’s always there.

I feel guilty for being a bad Mum; I feel guilty for being a slack Mum; I feel guilty for being an over indulgent Mum; I feel guilty for needing a break from being a Mum!

It’s exhausting!