Often people ask me how I do it. As a working mum and the owner of Apple Trees Child Care, I am always on call, throwing 2 children into the mix and a house to keep and its often a juggling act. However I do sometimes feel like a bit of a fraud as our family life is far from a well oiled machine…….it’s more like organised chaos! So, with that in mind here is a day in the life of this working mum!
The alarm goes off at 6.00am every morning. I would love to say I bounce out of bed full of vitality but it’s more a case of dragging myself out after hitting the snooze button far too many times…….sound familiar?
With the best intentions of making myself look beautiful for the day ahead I plan to head to the bathroom, shower, wash and condition hair, apply sumptuous body lotion I received for Christmas, style hair, apply makeup and add finishing touches of my favourite perfume. In reality beautiful is replaced by presentable. I jump in the shower, quickly shampoo the hair, no time for conditioner, blitz with the hairdryer, bit of anti–wrinkle cream (that’s not working by the way) and get dressed. The sumptuous body lotion still hasn’t been opened and will probably end up in some tombolo at the school Christmas fair! Makeup, no chance.
If I remembered to put the dishwasher on last night I always find time to empty it, put on some washing and put the washing from last night into the dryer. If I forget……and this has been known to happen on numerous occasions……..then don’t worry, there is always Fabreeze! Then it’s time to get the boys up and ready. Que the first important question of the day; ‘Is it too early for wine?’
My little cherubs, Harry 10 and Albie 5, like their bed. In fact that is an understatement. As babies I would have done ANYTHING to have a few hours sleep a night. Those boys were nocturnal, Harry never slept through the night until he was almost 4 years old. So I should be happy, right? Well that was then and this is now and I need to be out that door by 8.30am so I need them up. A 15 minute tug of war that consists of me pulling the covers down and them pulling them back over their head ensues. Eventually with grumpy faces, mumbling, we wrestle into their school uniforms and head down for breakfast.
The Café is open. What would you like for breakfast I ask them. They NEVER choose the same thing and if we are running late they never want rice crispies….oh no…..its an egg and beans or melted cheese on toast!!! I do this while answering emails on the breakfast bar.
Once fed it’s time for teeth cleaning…….another battle as by this point they have found one of the many balls I have hidden while they sleep and started what can only be described as a football match in the living room that could rival the FA cup final in terms of importance! Whilst getting a sponge ball bounced off my head I manage to get them upstairs to clean their teeth to a chorus of ‘Muuuuummmm, Harry has touched my toothbrush!’ Is it time for work yet…..please!
With teeth cleaned, shoes and coats on, bags packed, washing machine going and dishwasher loaded we head out the door. Five minutes later we are back in the door as Harry has forgotten his book and Albie can only find one glove! Is it only me that has this to contend with in the morning?
We get into the playground and Albie drops and smashes the 7th water bottle since September, I kid you not. Que tears, lots of them. But Amazon Prime will save the day, that and Mrs Holdsworth giving him a cuddle and saying he can be in charge of the water jug!
At 9.00am, feeling like it must be nearly bed time I arrive at work……..for a rest. Work is always full on. We have a nursery full of children that are just as spirited as my two. But I’m lucky. I work in the office and let me exceptional team of childcare practitioners do what they do best. I get my list out. 25 things on it turn into 35 in the first 10 minutes. I usually leave with 25 still on it. But its ok, I have some time later when the kids are in bed.
On the school run my little angels come out to tell me that they are not hungry……they are starving! We wander down the road to our house and they tell me about their day. I ask ‘How was school today, what did you do?’ They answer ‘It was fine and can’t remember.’ That’s the end of that conversation then.
Once inside we have a huge debate……what do you want for tea? They NEVER agree! Hey, they had a hot cooked meal at school…….chicken nuggets it is then!
Bath time…..what fun! Between Harry moaning that Albie is on his side and Albie saying he wants the sponge that Harry has, we have a delightful time. I just LOVE getting soaked and can’t mop the water off the floor as fast as they can add to it. Then it’s time to get out. ‘Harry first’, ‘No Albie first’, ‘No Harry first’, Arrrrggggghhhhhhh!!
All done, the sedate part of the evening. Harry heads off to his PS4…..and no I don’t care if he is on it longer that 30 minutes as he is quiet. I sit and read with Albie and we have a chat. My Albs is such a sensitive soul and he really is quite cute. At 7.30pm I put him to bed and in his little voice he says ‘Goodnight Mummy, I love you a million times’. In that very moment all the stress of the day is gone. Being a working mum is not so bad after all.
At 8.30pm Harry goes to bed where he reads for a bit…..I’m sure he is on his tablet as soon as I shut the door……..but he is quiet and we won’t hear from him again until morning.
Once downstairs I reflect on the day………I still have 25 things on my list……..the ironing is taking over the house and I really could do with hoovering. But hey there is a chilled bottle of white wine in the fridge and I’m celebrating…….we survived the day and I need to get ready to combat tomorrow as not only do we have to do this all again but we have to fit in swimming lessons for Albs and football training for Harry!!
My top tips for being a working mum………
- Always have some febreeze.
- Devices are good!
- Family calendars rock!
- Wine is essential.
- You need an AMAZON Prime account, it’s a must!
- Never put carpet in the bathroom.
- In the grand scheme of things house work does not matter!
- Set your clock 10 minutes fast as you may actually get somewhere on time.
- Breathe, Stay positive and remember no matter how organised everyone looks at the school/nursery gate, they are all struggling just as much as you to get through the day!
So, in answer to the question ‘How do you do it?’, the answer, I have no idea. I’m winging it like everybody else but what I do know is that I wouldn’t have it any other way!! So there you have it, a day in the life of a working mum!
Until next time,
PS I am very lucky to have such a supportive partner in Nick. He takes his turn in matters of the kids and helps around the house. I take my hat off to single, working parents as I don’t know how I would do that!!!