Wednesday, 10 August 2011


I'm a working mum, and quite frankly the work/life balance is the most difficult thing in the world to juggle! I have decided to write about this today, as the summer holidays evoke a feeling of longing for me, a guilty feeling that I should be at home, spending the long hazy days of summer just hanging out with my boys, who are growing up so quickly in front of my eyes.

To be a working mother isn't a choice I made, I had to go back to work in order to afford to pay the bills. It's hard when I read opinions that criticise working mum's, it's even harder when I read about stay at home mum's, which I long to be. I work part time, 28 hours a week during school hours so I can pick up the children from the school gates, which is important to me. But I do feel guilty that during the school holidays they are shipped off daily to grandma (thank goodness for grandma!)

I love my job and my employer is amazing by accommodating my desire to work flexibly, but it's all about give-and-take, and I often have to catch up late at night when the children are in bed! A few weeks ago when I was on my mobile phone talking to a national newspaper journalist after work, my five year old came into the kitchen and passed his earwax to me with a loud "mum, here is my earwax, look!" I carried on talking, quickly swapping his earwax for a bourbon biscuit to keep him quiet.

Some days I feel like Worzel Gummidge, wearing two different heads for my two different roles. I don't always get it right, sometimes when trying to finish something for work at home, I will be quite irritable or snip at the boys, which is the worst feeling in the world. And don't mention the housework, that always gets pushed down the priority list. It's a difficult balance that I strive to find and sometimes is impossible to achieve!


  1. I work from home and I have done so since Dharma was 1 year old. It is often hard to sit down to work after she's gone to bed and work or pack as much work as possible into the three nursery hours a day during term time. I work a lot on the weekend too and my day hardly ever ends before 9pm. It's a juggling act and sometimes I just want to go to bed and sleep forever. I think only one thing is true as a mother: guilt comes with the package.

  2. I am in the extremely lucky position of having my holidays because I am a teacher. However I totally recognise your dilemma. In term time I leave my house at 8am & I pick up at 5ish. I miss the school gate and squash down the guilt every time there is a request for help on a school trip, reading etc. However, perhaps because of this I (and I think you) put a lot of time into my children and try to give then a childhood full of safety, adventure & happy memories

  3. Thank you Emma.. this tells it exactly like it is... relentless and occasionally some kind of wonderful. As long as those bourbon biscuits re always at hand...

  4. You do great Emma, I didn't help today by keeping you late, so I am so sorry for that. Your boys are lucky to have such a motivated and smiley Mum who juggles everything so well to make sure they don't miss out. S x

  5. I understand what you mean! Today I had a similar blog entry. Being a single mom that works full time it crushes me sometimes. The amazing mothers out there that are full time at home creates an envy that is so heavy. We are so blessed. Thank you for your blog and inspiration always!

  6. Thanks so much for this honest post. I work full-time and summer seems especially hard, because I'd much rather take my kids to the beach and buy them ice creams than drop them at daycare...of course the school year is hard, too, because there's so much more that needs to get done (homework! sports! sack lunches!). And when work doesn't go well (which is often) I come home tired and grumpy and not in the mood to be a good mom.

  7. I think you speak for lots of working Mums in this post. I work from home running my own business after being unable to find a way of managing career and motherhood in my former job. I love that I have more flexibility and can work after their bedtime but there is a constant conflict between work and child both in a practical and guilt-sense for me. This summer I'm taking 2 weeks holiday for the first time in 3 years and so looking forward to it - one week at Cornish Tipis - yay!

  8. Emma, this is a great post. I totally understand where you are coming from. Like one of the other posts I am lucky that I am a teacher so I do get the school holidays but Mimi is about to start Pre school and I am going to miss her first day as I will be back at work. I find this really upsetting. I too find it difficult to juggle everything and wish that I could be at home more. However on the flip side my husband is self employed and works from home so I enjoy the fact that I get out of the house.
    I really enjoy reading your blog. In fact finding your blog is what inspired me to start one too.
    Thank You.


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