How on Earth do Working Mothers Cope?


It’s my daughter’s birthday next month and it is 3 years since I last worked. Yes that’s three long years as a stay at home mum, sitting with my feet up doing bugger all.

Whilst it has been a wonderfully relaxing experience having daily massages and icing homemade cupcakes as the children sit and studiously thread numbered beads in the correct order I am ready to go back to proper, paid work.

I think.

Am I?

When you are pregnant the big question is: What is giving birth really like?

You can research as much as you want but it only ever makes sense once you’ve done it.

Now the burning question is: How on earth would I work and be a mum?

There are not enough hours in the day as it is.

What happens to all the washing? When do we pick the raisins out of the coir matting? Who is going to search for Mr Eeh Bah’s glasses/ keys/ shoes for 20 minutes every bloody morning?

Shit – he’s going to have to start wearing a bum bag 24hrs a day. We’re fucked.

To make matters worse I have somehow managed to announce my return to work with a press release.  So no pressure there then.

Before I had a baby I thought I worked hard, then I had children and realised that everything before was easy.

Now I am about to return to work and we are still keeping the children. I suspect a whole new level of hard work is about to reveal itself to me.

If anyone knows the secret to working and  maintaining a raisin free floor please let me know.

26 thoughts on “How on Earth do Working Mothers Cope?

  1. I work from home, with my 2 and a half year old at nursery 5 mornings a week – which is a great combination, but also means I work my arse off all morning, stuff anything I can find in the fridge into my mouth about 12, leg it out to collect her and then spend the entire afternoon being an elephant (C’s current film obsession = Dumbo). And my carpets are a right state! So yes, bugger the raisins, bring on the wine 😉

  2. There is no secret I’m afraid.
    Pick up kids from after school club, feed them, put the washing on, bath the kids, put some dry washing away while they’re in there, listen to them read whilst trying not to fall asleep, get them all to bed answering all their questions as you go, come downstairs, hang the washing up, get dinner started, empty the dishwasher, refill the dishwasher with everything that was waiting to go in, sort through the school bags, realise one child needs to dress up as a book character tomorrow and another needs to take in an egg box for model making, refill water bottles and replace snacks (if you’ve had time to do the grocery shopping) eat dinner, put the next lot of washing on, sit down in front of the TV at 9.30pm if you’re lucky and wonder how on earth you’re going to cobble together that fancy dress outfit.
    Repeat 5 times, then at the weekend clean the house and grocery shop because you didn’t have time during the week. And pray there are no kids’ parties on that weekend.

    • Brilliant Erika! No doubt harsh but very, very fair! I’m going back to work three days at the end of July and you’ve just scared the bejesus out of me! What do people wear to work these days anyway? My wardrobe is all jeans and Birkenstocks these days!

  3. Hi. Just wanted to say good luck with your next challenge.
    I only have 1 child, a little boy who was 3 in June, and that is haaaard work!!! i work pt (every day except wednesday). He goes to nursery and to my dads while I am at work.
    Its just like everything to do with having children, it just works itself out and before you know it you will be in a routine. It does take some extra organisation but to get out of the house and use your brain at work and chat with other adults is great. AND you get to pee in the bathroom on your own!!! woohoo, result!!
    Tell your husband he needs to get his glasses, keys, shoes etc all in one place for the morning so that will be one less thing for you to worry about.
    If you have time it may be a good idea to pick out yours (and the kids) outfits for the next day the night before.
    Good luck hun, you’re a mam, so you can do this!!!

  4. After 4 years of being a full-time working Mum when I couldn’t even see the floor let alone pick raisins off it, I’ve finally worked out that the only way to cope is to get a cleaner to pick up the raisins for you. My life has been transformed by this revelation! Now after frantically feeding children, bathing, reading stories, de-monstering bedrooms, emptying and re-stacking the dishwasher, feeding husband and picking up toys I sometimes even get to sit in front of the TV with a glass of wine for a whole hour before falling asleep – bliss! 🙂 Good luck!

  5. Basically you take all of the money your employer gives you and give it to other people to do the things you used to do. This is on the proviso that you will get daily lunch breaks when no-one throws all the cafe’s straws on the floor, spills more strawberry milkshake than could have possibly fit in the glass, and pees on the floor approximately 14 centimetres from the toilet.*

    *These things may still occur at the works Christmas party.

  6. Get a dog. It will eat anything off the floor. And good luck! You clearly have humour so everything will be ok (she says while manically cackling).

  7. Have been a working Mum for 6 years now – It’s certainly easier before they go to school, which ruins everything with its namby-pamby short days, but to answer your questions in order:

    1. Washing – it gets done at weird times and hung out at midnight or sometimes rots in the washer.
    2. Raisins – will seems irrelevent once you’re doing a con call whilst trying to supervise potty training or some other loony Working Mum juggle. In fact the children will probably pick them out themselves and eat them in desperation whilst you’re doing email
    3. Mr Eh Bah’s stuff – he’ll have to find it all for himself. As I say to my husband when he’s looking forlorn b/c he has to iron his own shirts : There’s no room for passengers!

  8. I’ve been a stay at home Mum for 6 years now and I’ve no idea where I would fit in a ‘paid job’! I managed it with one child but when 2 and 3 came along at the same time, work wasn’t an option. Good luck!

  9. Hahaah i have been reading some of your post and there are so many situation that i m exactly in the same position, i love your blog! Definitively following you

  10. Have been busy trying to survive the summer holidays but wanted to say thanks for all the lovely comments and great advice ladies. Nice to know the secret is not to care… I’m getting quite good at that!

  11. The trick is having a husband who pulls his weight!!!! Luckily hubbie works from home so he can get our 4 .5 yr old and 2.5 old up for nursery/school while I get the god awful 6.34 train in the morning to Doncaster 3 days a week. ( why am I writing this this late on a Sunday night, I should be in bed!)
    PS new to Ilkley too, after living in London for 16 years!

  12. Get a cleaner.
    Feeling guilty is the ultimate time waster.
    Get good, reliable childcare (the bonus of the kids being out of the house all day is there is less to get messy.)
    Get everything ready the night before.
    Put a load of washing in before you leave and sort it when you get back.
    Meal plan. Unless you love online shopping just nip to the supermarket on a Sunday afternoon.
    Tidy up on a Friday night so it’s not what you face when you wake up at the weekend.
    And, it does get easier. When they hit school you face different challenges, but as they get older they are less labour intensive.
    And work energises you – you may find that when you get home you have more enthusiasm to do the routine jobs because they are not the only thing you do.

    Been doing this for nine years now – wouldn’t have it any other way 🙂

  13. So glad to read this. None of this, blank stare, what are you talking about , “hard” craziness that some other people give me. It’s incredible to know that the raisins are in the floor and it is hard and that is life. I’m going back to work and only part time, but the thought of the load brings me to tears, I’m terrified. Wine. Def. Wine. 🙂

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