Being a working mum. Or, “Attempts at staying afloat”.

For the past couple of months I have been asked one question time and time again,  in various different forms.

It goes something like this, “I just don’t know how you do it”. Or, “I couldn’t do it, I don’t know how you do”. Or, “You should really take care – I mean, I just don’t know how you manage it”.

In each situation, the person is talking about my work.

I say “work” rather than “job”, because I actually have several jobs. I juggle these around the regular duties of motherhood, just like hundreds of thousands of other women up and down the country.

The thing is, this juggling and racing around at a hundred miles an hour has become the norm for me now. I get up at 3.45am, drive 45 minutes to work, present a breakfast radio show, do post and pre-show prep, then drive 45 minutes to the childminder and collect my child. I spend the afternoon avoiding tantrums and attempting to make my motherhood tiara sparkle like a disco ball, before putting my daughter to bed and starting the next run of work.

The other work involves sitting at my computer and writing. It may be writing copy for clients, writing features for magazines or websites, writing blog posts or just writing a million and one response emails. Either way, writing is very much a part of what I do and how I put money in the bank.

This isn’t particularly exciting, but I want to keep a record of my life as it is right now, because I know it won’t be this way forever.

At some point I will either have another baby, burn out or win the lottery.

Or – and this is the thing that really keeps me going – the work will dry out. Because when you’re self-employed, there’s nothing like the fear of having no work to keep you battling on.

So, to those that ask me “How do you do it?” my response is this: I do it because I can, because I love what I do, because I have to, because I don’t know how long I’ll be doing it for and because I want to purchase my own home eventually.

But, above all else, I do it for this:

Frog, aka Miss Motivator

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25 Comments

Filed under Being a mum, Work

25 responses to “Being a working mum. Or, “Attempts at staying afloat”.

  1. I relate to this post, I really do. After Sausage as born, I worked from home doing social media management, blogging and copy writing for various brands, which I still do but the competition is so stiff. When my old job as an Accounts Assistant opened up again, I took that on too for 15 hours a week, which fits in well will Sausage’s nursery.

    It’s not completely ideal and I sometimes find myself working when I should be spending time with my Daughter or still at my PC until gone 9 at night but right now, what I’m doing works for us.

    I’m hoping to start Uni in September to get formal Accounting qualifications, which will mean that I can choose my own working hours and have better earning potential in just ONE job. It’ll take a while to qualify, but I think it’ll be worth it for my family in the end.

  2. Is there any other way? Personally I have no idea how i’d cope if I had a spare hour in the day 😉

  3. I spent 5 years being a single Mum working full time…and had the same words said to me. In my mind I had no choice …I had a mortgage to pay and refused to be a stereotypical single mum. I also refused to let the depression of a broken marriage catch up with me so I went to work. It’s hard work yes..but we are Mummy’s ..it’s a hard job full stop.

  4. I know how you feel. I am starting to think that a blog, a business, an OU degree and 3 kids might be too much 🙂

  5. That looks like good enough motivation to me!

  6. Good post and you are clearly strong woman. When I was at work I wondered how SAHM did it now I’m at work I wonder now working mom’s do it. Being a mom is challenging whether you’re home or not, having support along the way is a big help. Keep doing what feels right for you and your family :0)

  7. Amen to all of the above. I am a freelance writer/director and film critic and juggle that with caring for O-it’s possible and admittedly I have help from my family but I do it because I love it and in order to be the best mother I can, I need to do it.

  8. I’ve also done it for years, being self employed in my own business, I used to travel a bit too & always tried to only be away 1 night or none & travel back no matter how long it took me. I could still travel but since having my second child (only told clients when I’d had her – surprise!!) I turn it all down now, maybe when she starts school if the business is still afloat! I do envy your writing assignments though.
    What beaker is your LO using, am trying with get mine off all her bottles but she’s resisting!

  9. Oh my, your post and the comments have made me feel like a right slacker! It is amazing what some people are capable of, with a bit of luck I’ll become one of them once the baby arrives!

  10. Ghislaine Forbes

    You say nothing about also being a lovely, lovely daughter who is attentive to her own ma too, not just little madam. When I’m watching the birds feeding from that beautiful feeder I might have a passing thought on how I managed full time work and children; you just get on with it because you have to. Funny how after the most demanding time of motherhood has passed, you miss it. Love ma x

  11. Pingback: Denial | Mother's Always Right

  12. Currently a WAHM and it really is a tough job trying to juggle home responsibilities and a job. I am lucky I do not have to commute though.

    Coming home to an adorable child like yours is surely worth all the effort. Takes away the stress!

    If you think about it, it’s an uplifting question really. Women are the best!

    Best of luck,
    Les

  13. I forgot to add you’re also very young, I used to able to get up 3.45am or go to bed at 4am 🙂

  14. Pingback: I think I have a problem | Mother's Always Right

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