Someone I know has two children and a full time important job. She has a nanny, each morning I see the nanny appear and take over. She can afford this, she doesn’t have to worry about packing appropriate bags for the childminder, getting them up, dressing them etc etc. I always think how glamorous she looks. This is the thing, when you see a glam mum at playgroup or mother and baby group you can guarantee they have help and their trip is a special unique moment for them, rather than a way to fill time outside of the house.
Working part-time, I have to admit that being at work is by far the much easier option than staying at home doing essentially crowd control with two under four year olds. Their favourite game at the moment involves taking apart the sofa and building things upon which to bounce, it’s aggravating. At work you can have a cup of tea, a lunch break, I can eat my sandwiches without having to get up to see to someone every five minutes. Apart from the general stress of work, it could be a real break. Why is it that I actually feel guilty saying this?
I think the issue for me and I suspect many parents is that unless you have an exceptionally well paid job its impossible to work and pay for childcare full-time. Therefore, you are left in a sort of permanent limbo whereby you are working part-time and thus not seen as fully committed important member of staff, or you stay at home. I think the stay at home mum has the psychological advantage, for one they have not seen the other side of daily life. But also, they can fully commit and plan stuff with their children. There is consistency of care for the child, but also there is time to fit in the housework, build a spaceship, paint a flower and be a good wife. It’s mentally easier.
At the moment, I am finding working part-time and being a housewife and mum part-time is hard, I feel permanently exhausted, I feel guilty about not doing my job properly and guilty about not being there for my children. No, I can’t justify the cost of a cleaner, that would effectively wipe out the little money I do make, yes, I do try to plan exciting days out and craft activities. But, do you know what? I think I actually try to hard, there is no time to just sit and think. No time for the children to be bored and no time for me.
I’d love to hear your experiences and thoughts.