A day in the life of a working mum…without childcare
Let me show you a typical working day with a toddler at home.
8.00 am – 9.30 am – I actually work
9.30 am – the toddler wakes up
Washing him and changing diapers, breastfeeding, carrying him, sitting and rocking , playing, emptying the dishwasher, starting the washing machine, feed him, playing, answering the phone, breastfeed again, dressing him, reading mails in between, answering IMs from colleagues…
…and all of a sudden it’s 11.45 am.
So off to the bed, breastfeeding until he drifts off into sleep.
12.01 pm conference call
12.25 pm – the toddler (who found out recently how to leave the family bed on his own) taps into the room (seriously, only half an hour where I hoped for at least triple that time to get work done).
Breastfeeding number 4 – he still doesn’t want to eat, I tried.
I shift clothes from the washing machine into the dryer, make soap bubbles to entertain my son and try to answer some emails in between.
12.45 pm – I feel like a cow as he’s sitting on my lap latched again – number 5 for today and no end in sight. I truly love it but when you work you wish that he just eats his bread, yogurt, fruit, instead of occupying me every minute of the day (although he has the right for sure).
1.00 pm – my husband is home so that I can finally work properly at least for a while.
1.30 pm – I cooked pasta for my son with the end result that he ate exactly two while I ate the salad from yesterday evening.
It’s now 2.00 pm – I have a conference call soon that needs preparation (at 3.30 pm) and my lovely toddler sits on the floor beside me, makes noises with a paper box and yawns.
At least I can answer emails again – the sound would have disturbed me a year ago but hey, you’re getting used to focus even when it’s completely noisy around you.
2:30 pm – he ate a few bites of bread and the last was spit well chewed on the floor, and not on the wooden part, no, on the carpet so that I need to clean it with more efforts than on the wooden floor. Still no sign of being ready to sleep, I know after 14 months when it makes sense to lay down with him and when not. In his current mood we would spend an hour in the bed and he wouldn’t sleep so I let him play with the hope that he is soon really tired.
3.00 pm – less than 30 min left until my conference call and my toddler isn’t tired at all – the only option will be that he stays with his dad.
3:29 pm and he’s ‘talking’ loudly with his dad in the bedroom – I have a toddler resistant to sleep on some days. He will sleep, exactly then when we would like to go outside and do some grocery shopping.
Just happy that it’s Friday and this work week is almost over.
4.00 pm – he seems to sleep as I don’t hear anything but I can’t check as I need to jump from one conference call into the next, fortunately the last for today.
For this call I only need to listen so I can start to think about what to cook for dinner today and what we need to buy before shops are closing.
5.30 pm – I’m stuck in that call longer than expected and meanwhile all are awake again so I’m sitting on my desk with a muted headset, my son is running around and wondering what mommy is doing, breastfeeding number 6 for today (I’m not sure if I missed some already as it’s so normal these days) and I’m annoyed because I would give everything to just throw the laptop and enjoy the time with my family. But this job is paying lots what we love in our life and quitting is not an option, besides it is a great job at many times but just now I wish I would be a millionaire not caring for such things as conference calls.
Am I the only one or are other working moms also feel guilty not to be there 100% for their children. I’m apologizing so often to him although he won’t understand a word I’m saying that I still need to do this or that before we can play.
It’ll be past 6.00 pm when I finally am off work and then the private stress will start – what do we really need today, is there something that can’t wait until tomorrow? Cooking dinner is hanging like the Damocles sword above me because I long to have a bit time for NOTHING. No thinking, no you need to, you have to, have you already or when will you – just a quiet hour to recharge but that won’t happen until my son sleeps which recently is rarely before midnight.
I send this post now, unfinished, as the rest of the day until I will fall into my bed (or better until I try to go to my side of the bed without waking him up) I won’t find the time anymore. If I don’t send it now it may sit in my drafts for the next weeks.
That’s motherhood, a day of a working mom without childcare, a crazy day with a toddler, that’s my life and even if it is often beyond exhausting I would NEVER EVER change it back.
Stay strong – we are strong!
And stay away of the thought to be perfect, nobody needs to be perfect! My messy hair will be in a bun in 5 minutes to leave the house and if you look around then you will see many imperfections, so no worries. Most important now is a happy toddler and that’s why I’m off into the weekend now. Bye
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