Going to Work is Easier, Sometimes

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.


7 Responses

  1. Elaine, Littlesheep Learning 12th August 2010 / 7:03 am

    My mum always said she went to work for a rest (I'm one of four) it is looking quite appealing this summer holiday!

  2. chloe 12th August 2010 / 8:41 am

    Thank you so much for this post. For me hands down staying at home with the LO is much harder work than being at work – and I feel so guilty whenever I say that. I am on the other side of the fence, where I do have a nanny 4 or 5 days a week (but I promise I rarely look fresh-faced and presentable)! With my businesses – even though I wear many hats – it's all very straight forward. I can, as

  3. JulieB 12th August 2010 / 10:59 am

    I think Chloe has summed up my feelings well on this one. I&#39;m similarly torn between the &quot;ideal&quot; of the SAHM and the reality. <br /><br />My mother was a SAHM for all of my childhood and as she and I have very different personalities I wonder whether I would ever be as good at it as she was! She is a much more outgoing person, who finds it easier to make friends, which I think is

  4. Joanna 12th August 2010 / 9:17 pm

    Staying at home is harder than going to work but harder in a different way. I loved the year I had at home but I do also love being back at work. And actually I find combining both, working 16 hrs per week, quite a good mix. It means I have something to challenge my brain and also some time in the week when I&#39;m more than just a Mummy. I don&#39;t feel guilty when I&#39;m at work cos I know

  5. PantsWithNames 13th August 2010 / 8:12 am

    Such a difficult balancing act, not helped by our ability to feel guilty whatever we are doing!<br /><br />Personally I find the SAHM job way too hard to do nothing else. So a part-time option has worked well for me. Glam clothes and clean houses definitely not on the cards here.<br /><br />Being in Bosnia I learnt that the kids need to have time without special activities. This is their time to

  6. moonmamma 13th August 2010 / 8:20 pm

    On the 1st day of my 4 week annual leave I was heard to say &#39;Its easier to spend a shift on delivery suite than with my 3 kids!&#39; I was exhausted (and 5 days later I am no better!)

  7. Mummywhisperer 13th August 2010 / 9:08 pm

    I was thinking a similar thing today about M needing to handle &#39;boredom&#39; more constructively &amp; that I need some strategies to help me not have a head that blows up very soon!<br />Being a WFH mummy, the boundaries are very tricky to manage &amp; I often miss the advantages of being a SAHM with the focus or the tea &amp; lunch breaks of a working mum. Problem is, like we were chatting

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