Sunday, 3 February 2013

What it's like being a working mum

For me, anyway. Everyone is different, i'm sure some are far more organised and i'm sure there are some that don't handle it as well. I'm enjoying it overall, but honestly i think bub benefits the most.

Pluses:

  • I get a break from looking after an increasing mobile inquisitive fun baby! It takes a lot out of you to chase after them, keep them from danger but still let them explore, and to think of new ideas to keep them stimulated and learning. Add to that trying to meet up with other mums to socialise the babies. Working suddenly seems like a rest!
  • I don't have to change so many nappies. 
  • Bub gets to play with other babies his own age, and learn from those who are developmentally ahead of him. At his first daycare, he learned very quickly how to crawl, and hold his own bottle (breastfed bub so wasn't used to a bottle). At his second he's now learnt to stand, and i'm sure will soon be following the other babies into walking with the walker toys.
  • He has carers who play games with the children, sing nursery rhymes that i've forgotten and have to look up the lyrics to, get them doing all sorts of fun learning experiences that i just wouldn't have considered a baby his age could do (finger painting!), and he will probably even learn a few words of French from one of the carers there who chats to the babies in French and English.
  • This in turn gives me new ideas of things to do with him. I've started signing with him now, i've been doing milk for a while, but now i've added in dog, all done/gone, and soon i'll add in eat, more, sleep and whatever else i can find the signs for online. He's not signing back to me yet but hopefully in a month or two. I'd also like to teach him French, but it's a little difficult as i am in no way fluent. I can however read and have a fairly good accent. I may have a chat with his French carer to see if she has any suggestions. Perhaps also playing a French cd in the car on the way to and from daycare.
  • I can see i'm going to have to learn to be more organised - that can't be bad!

Minuses:

  • I'm increasingly pressed for time. When i get home with bub, i feed him solids, let him have a short play on the lawn, bath if it's bath night, change, boob, story and bed. By this time it's nearly 8pm and i've then got to either cook dinner, or hubby starts cooking, or if it's a night hubby has an activity on then he's already cooked and we eat at the same time as bub, and so i do the washing up at that point. Finish dinner around 9 on the other nights, washing up, get bub's nappies in the wash, watch a bit of tv while doing whatever job i had written on my list when i remembered it during the day, and suddenly it's half 10 and i've got to get to bed.
  • Mornings are a lot easier as hubby gets bub ready and packs his bottles while i get my lunch packed, make sure i've got my pump and empty bottles for the day, hair & makeup done and get dressed. If he's dirtied a nappy then it takes both of us to change him as one has to hold his hands out of it - yuck! But generally we leave on time.
  • I think the only solution for my rushed evenings is to cook big meals on the weekend and portion them ready for the rest of the week. The cooking and washing up is just taking too long. This does mean weekends are no longer the break they used to be - i have a certain amount of things that must be done to make the coming week easier before we can go do fun stuff.
  • I'm tired. This could be because he's still waking three times a night, but could also just be the time issue with me trying to fit too much into our week. I'm also getting forgetful because i've got so much on - although my workmate is trying to convince me i still have preggers brain! For example, i've successfully attacked the first item on my to-do list for this weekend - to dye my hair. However, sitting here typing with the dye on my head, i didn't realise i'd forgotten to wipe the excess dye off my skin until i went to the bathroom to put the rest of the dye on my ends. Oops. Lucky it's only a semi and came off my skin easily.
  • He picked up his first ever illnesses at daycare. However, i've been told by other mums if they don't go through all the colds and other bugs at daycare, they'll go through them when they start school.
So my main complaint is lack of time. The main plus is all the extra experiences with learning and socialising he's gaining at daycare. In a perfect world, i'd work maybe 3-4 days a week so i had a few extra days with him, but i would still send him to daycare even if i didn't have to work, as i think it's just so beneficial.