Ever feel like you transform into a different person every few hours? I do! And I think I’ve figured out why. It’s because I’m a working mum. We talk about having it all, doing it all. But in trying to do so (and generally failing, which is okay as it is impossible for us normal folk) we transform into a different version of ourselves in a single day.
Here are the five mums I transform into in a normal working day:
1. The “I’m fine” mum
This mum appears just as fearless as she was pre-kids, she is on top of all her work, oozes confidence and is performing professionally to a high level. Or so it seems! Under the facade, she’s just about keeping it all together. She’s agreeing to new pieces of work constantly but secretly wondering how the hell she will be able to fit it into her working day let alone have the right skills. She’s basically blagging her way through her working day and waiting impatiently for home time!
2. The “So guilty” mum
When the trains don’t run and she’s late to pick up the little ones. Mum has also forgotten to put kids in fancy dress for World Book Day. The house is a mess. Dinner isn’t planned or cooked and there’s never enough time. This mum wants to throw in the towel as she just doesn’t think she can do it. The feeling of guilt washes over her at least three times a week and presents itself in angry tears and taking it out on anyone who is nearby. Tomorrow will always be better, but is it?
3. The “Multi-tasking” mum
This mum has eight arms like an octopus. She is replying to work emails whilst giving the kids dinner, tidying the house and drinking wine – all at the same time. She’s octopus-like in short bursts but once the kids are asleep she collapses on the sofa! This mum has it down… but not for long!
4. The “Drop it all” mum
Even though this mum has a career she adores, she’s still the first parent nursery call if there’s a problem. The kids come first, ahead of everything, including work. Once the poorly little one is picked up and safely home, she is back to being octopus mum! Making sure that no work deadlines are missed.
5. The “Just me” mum
Once all the other mums have done everything, the woman who is mum 85% of the time reappears. She is still there underneath all the layers of “mum”! And she can enjoy those precious moments on her commute or once the kids have gone to bed to do whatever she wants; sit in the bath, watch trash TV, drink wine, read, paint her nails, eat Haribo – whatever makes her feel like “just me” once again. Until it all starts over again…
I realised I was all of these different versions of myself, during a particularly stressful week at work where nothing seemed to be going my way; the trains were messed up, the little one was poorly, work was becoming increasingly stressful, a restful night’s sleep was impossible and I felt like I was failing at everything, it was all falling out of my control. And that’s the point, a lot of it isn’t in our control.
We can only give it our best shot – and isn’t that the best example for our kids?