Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Working Mothers: How do you do it?

When my first child was born nearly seven years ago, I had assumed that I would return to work eventually and my child would be looked after by either a lovely crèche or a saintly child-minder. I had already travelled for a few months and then moved from the UK to Dublin. On departure from the UK I found myself unexpectedly in early stages of pregnancy and almost as soon as the blue line showed positive I began to experience frequent 'morning' noon and night sickness.

Mr S was lucky enough to find a job quickly so I settled down for nine months of profound nausea, extreme fatigue, facial eruptions and constant heartburn.(Which the Doc assured incredulous me was perfectly normal.) So when E was eight months old I had already been out of the job market for ages so off I went to find her that lovely crèche...

...six years, two kids, three house moves and one big dog later I am still 'just' a 'stay at home' parent. Now with both E and O at big school, I have sometimes been asked "so what do you do all day"?? and "How are you enjoying all your free time?" as if my life is one long round of conspicuous consumption, beauty appointments and having coffee with my yummy mummy friends. Right?

This is what I did yesterday:
  • kids wake up
  • fight way into bathroom
  • make tea
  • feed dog
  • feed kids a snack
  • reason with O that I do not have to watch him butter his rice cake
  • persuade them to get dressed
  • make breakfast
  • put shoes on correct feet
  • organise school bags
  • brush teeth
  • stop child from running into road
  • put kids on school bus
  • intervene in the great seat choice battle
  • close front door and breathe
  • eat banana
  • hoover
  • hang laundry
  • fill washing machine
  • clean garden of dog offerings
  • take dog for walk
  • dog finds great rotten bone and wont get back on the lead. Walk off and hide behind tree. Relived dog finds me and gets back on lead. Smile ruefully at man who has witnessed this.
  • coffee and toast
  • run to get in laundry in before rain
  • let builder in
  • commiserate with builder that my house does not conform to 'normal' building standards.
  • builder fixes hole that he made accidentally.
  • make soup
  • think about opening my college books
  • clean bathroom
  • tidy kids rooms
  • stand on lego and scream
  • find some lovely drawings by E and smile
  • put ironing away and do washing up.
  • shout at the radio
  • make builder tea
  • prepare a sourdough starter
  • pick O up from school
  • buy milk
  • E arrives home
  • make snack for kids
  • help with homework and music practise
  • start dinner
  • almost burn dinner reading The Great Gatsby
  • kids have dinner and I eat a sneaky biscuit in kitchen
  • feed dog
  • bath-time for kids
  • story-time and kids bedtime
  • start dinner for Mr S and me
  • Fall asleep watching The Great British Bake Off

I sometimes wonder if I do return to the world of work after finishing my OU degree, how on earth will I manage to do all this and work and sleep? How much does a housekeeper/chef/chauffeur earn these days?


  1. Hello, I've just found your lovely blog from clicking a link on a comment you left on "the sight of morning blog"!! I really want to read all your posts but have had to bookmark you as housework is calling as I'm a supply teacher and have had to work for the last few days, and we are having visitors on Friday....... No. I don't know how people manage to function happily with a family and working. The taxi driver part of life gets even worse with teenagers but you do get more sleep- until they get to the age of clubbing...!you mentioned moss stitch in an earlier post- i've always done it as knit one purl one and then on the next row it's purl one knit one. Every ow you do the opposite of the previous row! I look forward to reading more of your posts. Love Penny L in Dorsetx

  2. Hello Penelope! Thank you so much for taking the time out of your very busy day to read and comment on my blog. As it is quite a new one, I am delighted to welcome you to Oriel. Yes, I tried the stitch combination you mentioned but it all began to look more like a rib stitch?? I managed to complete one slipper, I must try and post a picture during the week.
    Lots of love.x

  3. Well exactly. Mine are aged between 13 and 18 and I still manage to fill my days with useful occupation.

  4. Yes, indeed you do Sue and you write so beautifully about it! I have to confess though, this morning was spent drinking coffee with my yummy friends. Shh, don't tell anyone.. Thank you for taking the time to call in. Love, x