All posts filed under: Working Mother Guilt

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The New Routine

I was so caught up in how big a deal returning to work was for me, that I underestimated how big a deal it was for the rest of my family. For 2-days a week, I will not be around for after school pick-up. Mornings will be more hurried, with an hour less to play / shower / find the book bag / dress / accessorise / drink tea / straighten my fringe etc. And, afternoons will be more condensed with homework / bath / meltdown all to squeeze into the hour before bedtime. I have always been available to my son and now for 2-days a week, I will not be. I am messing with ‘The Routine’. As soon as you become a parent, you become aware of the importance of the routine. Everyone who has ever had a child before you will tell you how much you need to be in one. As boring and predictable as it can sometimes feel, the routine does make life a bit easier. Gradually, and through much trial and error, I found …

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Back to Work

Over the summer, I made the decision to return to work. I quit my previous job two years ago to spend more time at home with my family and help my son settle in at school. Many people said I’d be bored within six months, but I was soon offered a part-time job with a local magazine that I could do from home and that stopped me from going completely stir crazy. But, the hours I worked really only added up to one school-day a week so I spent a lot of time watching box-sets of The Good Wife and loading, unloading and reloading the dishwasher. It was during one of those wash cycles that I realised I would load and unload the dishwasher again the next day and again the day after that; and then I stopped to ask myself – is this really my life now? Is this what I am going to do for all my days? Well, probably yes, unless someone invents plates that clean themselves, but I wanted more. I …

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How to Work from Home During Half-Term

Set your alarm for 5am to get a head start on your inbox before everyone wakes up. Be careful not to turn on the TV or radio in case your 5-year old hears and thinks it is Scooby Doo time. If you must use the loo, DO NOT FLUSH. Also make sure you do not switch on any lights that may alert the sleeping people that you are awake. Sit in the dark, in silence and let the light of your iPhone guide you. You have 1 hour. GO! Once you have made a cup of tea and deleted newsletters you can’t ever seem to unsubscribe from, it is time to crack on with client work. Ignore the Facebook and Twitter notifications that you missed the night before because you went to bed at 9pm. Four will be from people you don’t know commenting on a photo you liked, of someone you vaguely remember; and one will be a new follower on twitter, probably from a spam account. Try to squeeze 4-hours work into 30-minutes. Sorry, make that 10. You …

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The Guilt Trap

Guilt. It’s a funny thing. It gets under your skin and makes you do all kinds of crazy shit. As a parent, guilt keeps many of us awake at night with its persistent nagging over how much TV you let your kids watch, if you read to them enough, play with them enough, or mollycoddle them too much. As a full-time working mum, I hid behind a cloak of guilt that grew heavier with every ball I dropped. It would niggle away at me saying DO MORE, BE BETTER, GO HOME AND MAKE SOCK PUPPETS WITH YOUR CHILD. It is what kept me up until midnight finishing the housework, and what set my alarm for 6am to get a quick shower in before the rest of the house awoke. It made me strive to be more organised and helped me to feel more in control. Guilt pushed me to live up to my own expectations of myself, and I was addicted to it. I got my fix every time I had to work late at the …

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The Reality of Working from Home during the Summer Holidays

I’ll just work from home in the mornings and do fun stuff in the afternoons, I thought to myself when I decided not to take August off. My job is so flexible, it won’t be stressful at all!  I added. I can hear you seasoned summer school holiday-ers laughing all the way from here. It started so well.  I would set my alarm early and get straight to the business of writing, editing and scheduling posts and tweets for various clients.  By 10.30am I was free to go about my day and keep an eye on things remotely.  At the end of the day, I’d respond to emails and messages while making dinner, or when the Greek God(zilla) took our son up for a bath. Then two things happened: We went to Devon The Greek God(zilla) started working a later shift There is no internet at my parents holiday cottage in Devon, which is where we were staying.  But, as the house is positioned in a wi-fi hotspot, I purchased a week’s worth of access.  However, the hotspot only lived up to …