Working girl

Not THAT kind of working girl… just the normal kind.

So I survived my first week at work. Just. Almost didn’t make it this morning and then trying to organise a babysitter for Tuesday next week because of a creche teachers-only day almost made me reconsider this working business. But then I think I would be driven absolutely batty if I had to stay home with Hannah, and I managed to convince Jute and Gaz to be my Tuesday carers.

I plan to ramble about being a working mum in this post if you hadn’t already figured that out.

It’s a really weird feeling knowing that Hannah’s childcare has a more active role in “raising” her than I do. They spend 48 hours per week dealing with the little toad, while I get from 7.00am-7.45am and then 5.30-7.30 with her each day.

When I finished uni and knew that I had to find a job, I was really sad that my period of being a (part-time) stay at home mum was over. And really, 3 years is a good effort… well… I think so. Then spending the Christmas period with Hannah, all day… every day… nearly drove me nuts. I was intolerant and snappy and generally very unhappy. I do have massive guilt issues about that and tend to punish myself due to the unplanned nature of the arrival of Hanny-pants (“I made my bed” sort of business – though I have been taking liberties, like last weekend – thanks mum!) but since going into work full time I have been able to reeeeally enjoy spending time with her.

I don’t even mind when she has a massive screaming fit in the supermarket due to my refusal to buy her a Bananas in Pyjamas DVD… instead I laugh. I don’t mind when she decides that we need a whole pile of grapes and a pawpaw in our trolley… instead I just hand over the eftpos card. I don’t mind if she wants to wear her pyjamas to creche… I just take along clothes. So basically I’d decided that I was a better mum for working as I wasn’t screaming and threatening to remove toys/privileges/limbs every minute of the day.

BUT here presents another dilemma. The result of me being more lenient when I am with Hannah is that I worry about what she is learning from the things I let her get away with! You can’t win! I’m trying to enjoy the time I do have with her, but in doing so I am creating a spoiled brat.

I think there’s a balance to be found… if anyone would kindly let me in on the secrets of parenting I would be forever grateful.

On the upside, Hannah told me that I was her “best best mum for ever and ever” – I wonder what she was really after?

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9 thoughts on “Working girl

  1. I have plenty of rambly thoughts on this subject from, as you know, having chosen a wildly different path to you, under different circumstances too;-) But I suspect that’s a conversation for over a coffee one day;-) But I think us Mums should be a little kinder on ourselves!!

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  2. The best parents are happy, whole parents. So do what you need to do and don’t feel guilty. Life’s far too short for guilt πŸ™‚I hardly think your red headed devil is suffering, she knows who’s really boss πŸ˜‰

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  3. kids are all different, and while I could have happily spent years fingerpainting and discovering rockpools all day with my 1st and 3rd – the 2nd was a real shock to the system, luckily all three enjoyed creche, so we survived being a sole parent family, and have emerged out the other side (youngest turns 17 tomorrow) still loving one another. Do what works for you, and sometimes you have to ignore comments or even tell people to shut up, because no one else lives your life, managing Miss H will be easier if you are getting your needs met – by earning money, spending time with grownups in the workplace etc. All the best!

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  4. Thanks ladies πŸ™‚ I appreciate the comments – and yep Sharon, definitely taking you up on that one day. I very much admire your parenting.And Hay – oh yes she does! She’s the boss! No denying it πŸ˜‰ (Although I try to maintain the outward appearance of authority)

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  5. do you remember that at probably nearly the same age you went from being a stay at home farm child to sharing parental attention with Jute and suddenly became a full time day care kid? Maybe Hannah will turn out like your “day care siblings” and need constant people around her and be a party animal but with your other special bits??

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  6. babe, please may i join in your rambly coffee with sharon??not sure if i’ve told ya that i became pregs with D18 while i was still at teachers’ college, and a teenager myself.rather a large drama.i ended up teaching full time when he was six months old until he was nearly three when we both came home.i think being apart really influenced our decision to home school, when we first started. now he’s off to university himself, after a stint at Real School during his teens.children and mummies are very resilient, and whatever our choice, i believe the most important thing that survives parent/childhood is OUR RELATIONSHIP, which will be happy and healthy if we are.and i think that we all question ourselves and our situations on a regulare basis. kind of an ongoing evaluation of our life, and that can be good. it’s important to be gentle on ourself too , i think.yes, a rambly coffee would be perfect.loads of love to you, gorgeous mummy X

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  7. oh I think you face the dilemma of a lot of modern parents trying to balance work and kids, feeling guilty, trying to make the time you *do* have together pleasant. I guess just try not to parent from a place a guilt. That is one thing I noticed when I was a kindy teacher, some parents let their guilt rule their parenting. i don’t think you have anything to feel guilty about!anyway, the nonparent will shut up now.xoxox,kimberlee

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  8. Oooo I’d looove a rambly coffee with both Sharon AND Kate! Would be awesome! One day…. one day.Thanks for your comments Kate and Kimberlee (and you are totally ok to comment! if you start telling me stories about how people should stop their kids having tantrums in supermarkets, then I might not take it so well! hehe)And xoxoxox to Dad.

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  9. Hiya Nikki. Hope work is going well for you. Stimulating those brain cells. . . Julien’s been asking about Hannah, or rather talking about her. “My friend Hannah’s not at creche.” “My friend Hannah’s not there today.” I feel like a tape recorder, “Remember we sang ‘Happy Last Day’ to Lucky & Hannah. . . .” Seems he misses her. I take my hat off to you for being ready to leave the house at 7.45am, 5 days a week. Julien’s usually an afternoon creche boy (or late morning). Over the last few weeks Julien’s been booked in 9-2, 4 days a week. Which means leaving the house at 8.15am. I thought with summer, and not having lectures, that it would be nice having time in the afternoon to do things with him, instead of our usual getting home at 6pm – dinner, bath, bed. However I’m shattered after having to be organised to leave so early. It’s one thing waking up at 7am, quite another being ready to leave the house at 8.15. And despite all my attempts to do things with him in the afternoons. His favorite activities are either jumping on & climbing over me or wanting to watch a dvd. It’s amazing how long he can sit quietly and watch a dvd for. Whereas reading stories, drawing, playing games, playing ball, taking him for bike rides, etc etc etc all seem to be short-attention span. So the extra quality time I wanted to have with him, hasn’t happened. Those 5 hours at creche have sure exhausted him. Gotta love those ‘loud public assertions of independence mixed with tiredness & frustration.’ Though many have told me the 3 year fits are nothing compared to the teen fits. Helllo grey hairs. Be great to catch up sometime, though with working full-time, the 4 birthdays will be here b4 we known it.AJ (& Julien, who sends hugs to Hannah)

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