MICHELLEK. SHORT/ STX ENTERTAINMENT
My friends have two kids. The perfect family equation of a girl and a boy. And they’re great kids. They’re the kind of kids I can only hope for one day. Smart, funny, cute, just a little bit cheeky (in an adorable way of course). My friends work to support them. Plus they find time to do grown-up stuff like go clubbing, have Friday night dinner at theirs and go on small holidays without the kids.
A good support network helps, but I think it’s all about allowing yourself to be childless for a few hours (or days) just to regain some sanity. Bad Moms is out now, and it looks hilarious. Some of the interactions in this film remind me of my friends and the struggles of being a working mom. Of course, I don’t actually know what that’s like. I experienced it for a week with my eight-year-old sister, but that’s different. I wanted to know what it was really like, so I gathered up every working mother I knew. From the professionals who are older than me to friends and Facebook acquaintances. Here’s what they had to say.
1. It’s not easy to leave the house in the morning.
“I’m not saying it’s hard to leave my kid at daycare because that’s not what makes morning’s hard. It’s the hassle. Leave extra time if you’re leaving home with the kids. Kids can be little shits. But the best kind of little shits. Finding matching socks, taking them to the toilet, making them eat their favorite cereal that they’ve suddenly decided they hate. Actually, dropping them off and making them someone else’s problem for a little bit is refreshing. I love my daughter, but you know, I love my sanity too.”
2. Little reminders of your kids come to work with you too.
“Snotty tissues stuffed in trouser pockets, plasters stuck to the hem of your sleeve. Being a working mom doesn’t mean you can’t be polished as hell or on fleek, but it means you carry your kids with you. Even if you’re the only one that knows the stain on your thigh is snot. It’s quite nice in a way. It reminds you that you have a separate life waiting for you at home, where you can take off your work hat and be silly.”
3. It can make work harder
“Unlike our childless colleagues, we have other stuff to deal with. Calls from daycare, texts from childminders, the worry, planning dinner, navigating bath time. I worry about my kids too much. My oldest is nearly 12, and I worry all the time. I sit at my desk, professional as ever, but silently panicking. Nothing can prepare you for the first call from your kid’s daycare. You will probably run out of the office thinking the worst, only to hear that your kid has a bruise and is crying to come home.”
4. You can have it all…sort of
“Want to do some last minute emails? It takes a little bit of bargaining. Don’t lock yourself in the bedroom yet, just put on kid’s TV and make up a bowl of snacks. Popcorn, chocolate, whatever. It’s fine. It’s called negotiation, and you become so good at it, you could probably get a job as a crisis negotiator somewhere. I mean bargaining with a child to put their trousers back on is probably the most difficult thing I’ll ever do.”
5. You won’t feel guilty about going to work
“I feel guilty when I feed my son cold Pop-Tarts for breakfast. I feel guilty if I plop my son in front of the TV for three hours of Barney on Netflix. I feel guilty on those weekends we don’t leave the house. As a mom, I feel guilty about a lot of things, but going to work isn’t one of them.” (Aileen McReady – Scary Mommy blog)
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