Firstly the disclaimer: this is not a blog post about if you should stay at home, work outside the home or not work outside the home or any combination of the above. This is a blog post about me. So the person who felt the need to write me a long email last time I wrote about work about how they "are living on the poverty line" and so she "can stay at home with her kids" and I am "selfish" and am "only working so I can buy expensive pairs of shoes" and that I am "making a huge mistake giving my children to someone else to raise" please don't bother writing in.
This post was prompted by a tweet from Chrissie Swan that said "being a working mother sucks ar*e sometimes" It really does.
So it's 140pm on Friday I should be at work. I have no sick leave left. I have no FACS leave left ( leave you can take if your child is sick or if there is a family crisis etc) I have a chid with a suspected case of whooping cough ( currently asleep on the lounge) I have clients who need to see more as I am going away for three weeks next week and they want an appointment before I go. I have thankfully an incredibly understanding manager who never makes me feel bad about taking time off. So I am home feeling guilty about cancelled appointments and letting people down.
I feel as if I spend my life racing between home and work ( I work 3 days a week outside the home) and constantly thinking about the other one. We all race around in the morning Busy eat your breakfast, brush your teeth, brush your hair, wipe your face, get dressed, put your shoes on, get your bag, hat ( where is it??) drink bottle (where is it??) please get in the car, drive to daycare, stay to draw a picture but feel incredibly stressed as each moment is ticking away meaning I will be late, please mummy please stay for a bit, please don't go yet, just 5 more minutes, try not to speed to work, find a car space and fly into work exhausted. Client client client client, nod, nod, nod, then back in the car to drive home. Get home feel torn between needing to do etsy stuff and hanging out with Busy. Hang out with her, play a game, feed her and get ready for bed, read a story have a chat, laugh at her delaying tactics, have dinner with Chef then do etsy stuff or chat on twitter while I watch TV and hang with Chef.
Obviously I don't do this alone and Chef is awesome he cooks dinner and picks Busy up and does more than his fair share around here. But any working parent knows when you are at work and you check your phone and see that your childs' day care has phoned there is a horrible sinking feeling that comes over you. Because they only ring you if it's bad news. And you ring them back heart in mouth knowing that your child is either sick or have hurt themselves but at the same time thinking - I can't come - I can't leave work again to get her. I can't let people down but also I have to be with her if she is sick as I want to cuddle and kiss her and make it all better. We have no family here. We can't ring anyone to get her for us. We can't drop her at Grandma's for the day for a play. If we need a babysitter we have to pay for one.
But the problem is I like my job. I did a degree so I could do it and I really enjoy it. I like using that part of my brain, I like being challenged and I like being in a professional environment. I like going to work. Of course I do think about her all the time and wonder what she is doing, who she is playing with. I am lucky I have great childcare. I absolutely love the centre she is in and the staff are so great. I like the people I work with too. I like what I do.
I also like staying at home with Busy. I like taking her to friends places to play. I like making things with her. I like getting a big pile of books and hopping into bed and reading them to her. I like hearing her sing to herself. I like being here with her. I like her ideas.
So what do I do?? Constantly feel like I should be somewhere else?
I don't know the answer all I know is that sometimes it is really hard and I know I am not the only one that thinks so.