Sometimes Being A Working Mum Is Crap!

When I was pregnant with O I always pictured myself going back to work. I honestly thought after 10 months at home I’d be ready to go back. What I didn’t account for was quite how much I’d love the whole mummy thing. I loved the baby classes and meeting up with friends and being the main carer for my little boy.

I returned to work a week before the summer holidays and it was actually quite fun. It was our schools activity week and as I’d not been there most of the year, no one had thought to really give me a role so I got to float around for a week, catching up with friends, having a brew in peace and as it was the last week I was home each day for just after half 3.

The reality of being back full time in September soon hit hard and by Christmas I felt like I was cracking up. I honestly felt like a crap mum, wife and teacher and something had to give. After several conversations with hubby we decided I would go down to 4 days a week from the following September. This carrot helped me get through the remainder of the school year.

I know I’m lucky to get the holidays I do and if I really have to I can leave work at 3:15, but as any working mum knows the juggling act is hard to keep up. The rush in the morning to get everyone out and dropped off in the right place is hard work enough, so you’re exhausted before the day had properly begun.

Today was one of those days when I hated the fact I’m a working mum. Hubby was away with work last night and Little O wasn’t very well when I picked him up from nursery yesterday. As I got him home he was very hot, very clingy and crying. O is not a crier, never has been, so if he’s crying something is wrong!

After lots of cuddles on the couch he fell asleep and I took him to bed, not before stripping him down to his pants to help cool him down. It was a long night with O waking every couple of hours crying wanting to sleep on my chest so he could be close. Exactly how he used to sleep as a newborn.

We managed a couple of hours sleep and as morning came I had to get ready for work. A new policy brought in last year from my workplace means having time off because of children is no longer allowed so phoning in work wasn’t an option. On a Wednesday he goes to my mum so I knew he would be very well looked after but I did have to leave him in bed to get myself ready.

As I brushed my teeth I could hear him constantly asking for “my mummy”. I brought him with me whilst I got dressed and he clung to my leg, wanting my full attention. As I took him to get dressed he repeatedly asked “mummy sit down, mummy sit down too” and it broke my heart. I wanted to scoop him up and take him back to bed for big cuddles but I had to leave for work in about 5 minutes to avoid being late. When there’s a class of kids sat in a room without a teacher it’s fairly obvious you’re not there! Tears welled up as we packed his bag to take to my mums.

Today was horrible as all I could think about was my little man but I was out the door at 2:55 and back with him for 3:20 for lots of cuddles and kisses. He’s better but still not 100% and at least tomorrow if he tells me to “sit down too” I’ve got no reason to have to say no, it’s our mummy and son day of the week. Work will not be interfering with that!


  1. January 15, 2014 / 9:24 pm

    Aw crap, that’s really heartbreaking ๐Ÿ™ Teachers are still allowed time off if their children are sick where I work, thank goodness.

    Being a working mum is tough tough tough.

    Have a good day tomorrow. Relax and enjoy.

    • notafrumpymum
      January 16, 2014 / 7:47 am

      They only brought it in last June, and it was because too many people were taking advantage and making sure they strategically used in full their 5 days allowance. It’s really frustrating for the majority of us as if a child is genuinely ill as a mum you want to be there for them.

  2. January 15, 2014 / 10:58 pm

    That’s so tough lovely. I have friends who are teachers so i know how high the work load is.
    Terrible feeling like you are leaving little ones behind when you need them, i hope you have a lovely day together tomorrow and if he’s still poorly, you at least gets lots of nice cuddle time xxx

    • notafrumpymum
      January 16, 2014 / 7:50 am

      It was awful. The couple of times he’s been ill before have been weekends so I’ve been able to be with him. It was so horrible knowing he just wanted mummy cuddles and to stay in bed and I had to leave him to go to work.
      On the plus side, he seems a lot better today after a good nights sleep so chilling in bed than off to play group xx

  3. January 16, 2014 / 9:45 am

    I worked full time for a year and half (starting when my daughter was 2.) it was awful, I hated leaving her all day 5 days a week, and I hated the constant game f catch up. Going back 2.5 days in march, I’m hoping that will work better. But like you, am sure there will be times when it’s just crap, and when I need to be with my girls but can’t be. Thinking of you, at least that day is over now. Xx

  4. Grace Powell
    January 16, 2014 / 6:09 pm

    It’s really tough being a working mum. The constant juggle between family and work can be frustrating at times. However, it’s all worth it when you see your child at the end of a tiring work day.

  5. March 8, 2014 / 11:06 am

    That’s really tough. My wife works three days a week – although in reality she works a lot of evenings and on her days off as well just to keep up. In reality she finds it’s the best balance for her, but even I recognise it’s far from easy for her. It never is when you’re a mum, whether you work five days a week, none or anywhere in between.

  6. August 27, 2014 / 12:30 pm

    Totally get this post. It is so hard. On one hand you feel lucky that you have a job, and decent time off with the kids, but on the other you feel like you’re missing out and worse still they are missing out. It’s hard work and a lot of emotion at times. It’s never easy xxx
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  7. Caroline
    August 27, 2014 / 9:43 pm

    I’ve been through all this and you’re right, it is crap. And it is sometimes not much better when they get bigger, you still sometimes have to leave a sick and miserable child with someone they consider second-best to their Mum! Thank goodness for Grannies if you are lucky, but mine was 150 miles away.
    Then there’s the dilemma of sending a not-quite-well child to school because you can’t take time of…. Unfair to everyone. No good answers.
    Sincere sympathy.

  8. October 1, 2014 / 5:56 am

    Oh I really feel for you. I taught full time when my eldest was little and all through my second pregnancy. I returned 3 days as he had health issues but that was still hard. I never went back after Bella was born and now I work from home, which has its challenges too. Its so hard to get the balance, and here I am working right up to just days before my baby is to be born. Not sure its what I planned when I started out! You have my sympathy, its hard work x x x x
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  9. October 1, 2014 / 7:18 am

    This is so sad lovely. It’s so heartbreaking already when kids are feeling poorly but to the have to leave as well must just be the worst ๐Ÿ™
    Being a wife of a teacher I know that unfortunately leaving work doesn’t mean that work is finished there’s always still so much to do even at home it’s such a demanding career it really is.
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  10. October 1, 2014 / 8:41 am

    I can really (really!) relate to your post. I had the same scenario. Thought I’d want to be back working at the end of my first mat leave, but when I went back full time as a middle-manager when Crevette was 6 months old, it was one of the toughest times of my life. I have been part-time since going back after having Beanie, and cannot even start thinking about going back at the end of this mat leave, with four kiddies to get dressed and ready by 7 a.m. It is so tough when they are unwell and you cannot stay with them. I had no idea workplaces could forbid people for having a day off when their children were sick. When mine are really ill, I have to be off. We have no family around and if they are contagious, our childminder cannot have them. That sounds like a dreadful policy to me. I hope your little one is getting better. #ShareWithMe
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  11. October 1, 2014 / 9:46 am

    That sounds like a rough day, I can imagine it is hard juggling work and motherhood at the best of times but when your child is poorly and just wants you it must be even harder! I can’t believe the policy not to allow you time off when your child is sick, that seems crazy! xx #sharewithme
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  12. lifeatthelittlewood
    October 1, 2014 / 10:32 am

    Oh chick, I remember this feeling so well! It’s so hard to go into a classroom and be all-singing, all-dancing when your heart is at home. I was totally the same about work after I had the kids – I loved being at home, and really hadn’t expected to. I’m glad you’ve struck a balance now with your four days – holidays or not, teaching is a hard job! Xx

  13. Notmyyearoff
    October 1, 2014 / 11:23 am

    Its so so tough going into work when they’re ill, I think its one of the worst things about being a working mum. They’re always ok when they get cuddles from grandma and I guess they don’t remember afterwards but its still a big guilt trip isn’t it?
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  14. Jenny
    October 1, 2014 / 9:21 pm

    Ahh bless we have all been sick here too and it’s so hard when your little one is sick and you just want to be with them to cuddle and comfort them. Missy Moo has never been sick until this weekend so it was heart breaking when I was so sick I couldn’t go to her. Not the same thing but I can imagine the feelings the same not being right next to them to make it all better. Glad you have mommy/son day enjoy it! Thanks for linking up to Share With Me. I hope to see you again soon. #sharewithme
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  15. October 2, 2014 / 9:15 pm

    Hello there, I can totally understand how you feel, it is hard trying to juggle everything sometimes and even harder when your child is poorly. My little boy was poorly on and off for quite a while when I went back to work with various bugs and it was awful having to leave him! So glad you have a day to share together and look forward to. x #sharewithme
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  16. January 15, 2016 / 12:43 pm

    Aww that was really heartbreaking to read. I used to be a teacher before I had our second one and then I made the difficult decision to leave. I still miss teaching a lot but reading this post reminded me how lucky I am not having to deal with the rush out of the door in the morning etc. It can be really hard so I feel for you!

    You sound like you are doing a fab job and I’m glad you have more of a balance now with being able to go down to 4 days ๐Ÿ™‚ I bet it all makes the difference.
    Have a lovely weekend.

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