Woooo wee would you look at that, it's been 2 months since I've written a blog post!
2015 has been a crazy roller-coaster so far. I took a freelance role at the beginning of January thinking it was a quick 3 day job, six weeks later I've just finished it! And because of this poor burp! has been ever so quiet as I just haven't been able to find the extra time to fit my lovely shop and blog in, but now I'm back with a vengeance and very happy to be back here. During the 6 week working period I also encountered my daughter being very ill, her 5th birthday party, a visit from my brother in law from NYC, my dad suffering TIAs (mini, pre-emptive strokes) and Lukas suffering with his teeth = no sleep and my condition (Hashimotos) raising it's head. Yes, things have been slightly mad but I've made it through and have realised that, damn, I can do a lot!
This gave me the idea to run a monthly guest blog post by inspiring Mama's who juggle kids, work and life's challenges to help inspire you guys too. Motherhood has it's up's and down's but if we can support one another, hold hands, drink wine and laugh then the tough times don't seem so bad.
First up this month is my wonderful friend, Emma Scott-Robison who is a freelance copywriter. She lives in Gosport with her husband (my best friend) and two boys, Max (5 - who's my godson) and Alfred (4). These guys are a constant source of inspiration, help and support for me and I feel very grateful I have such incredible friends.
Pancakes, storms and how to (sort of) feel ok about being a working mum
“Mummy, please stay.” “Mummy, what’s for breakfast, is it pancakes?” (I’d just like to point out we never have pancakes for breakfast), “Mummy, are you doing breakfast this morning?” As a working mum, these simple little cries from my sleepy-headed boys have the power to almost – almost – make me turn around, drop all my bags and pour lavish amounts of love and cereal into their breakfast bowls.
“I’m going to work, boys,” I say firmly, “and you are going to work too, only you do yours at school and I have to do mine all the way up in London.” “Shall I come with you, Mummy?” says Max, one eye cocked on the front door and thoughts of train journeys and iPads and, no doubt a snack or two. “Not today, poppet.”
Our nanny (more on her later and the perils, pitfalls and pleasures of this relationship) steps in with some clever distraction – namely, a new cereal – and it doesn’t take much for the heart-tugging moment to slacken a little and for me to step out of the door to sounds of ‘see you later, alligator’ and ‘can I have ALL the cereals’. Mummy forgotten, tummies rumbling.
Life as a working mum is never simple. Only last night, there was a thunderstorm that woke me with a start. Moments later I could hear little feet padding down the stairs and the youngest one’s scared face appeared next to me. The storm rumbled on as I held him close and soon he drifted back into sleep. Meanwhile, I was squashed and wide awake, already aware of dawn creeping in and my imminent 6am start, a 2 hour commute and Monday morning meetings all on the horizon.
But I wouldn’t have it any other way. Work keeps me sane, it gives me routine, financial independence and grown up social interactions. Yes, there is financial necessity and sometimes I think it would be lovely to give it all up and just go to coffee mornings, yoga classes and make pre-prepared meals to stock the freezer. But the thought doesn’t last for long. My work gives me a sense of self and fulfilment.
However motherhood continually presents a conflict between nurturer and professional. I have certainly compromised in my career. I work freelance, not full time in order to have a little flexibility around my working life. And therefore I am sure I have missed out on certain opportunities or career progression.
I have handed over much of the responsibility of early years childhood to nurseries (they have, without exception, been brilliant) and nannies (also, utterly amazing). I have missed harvest festivals, class room visits and bedtime stories.
But finally (and I’m still working on this) I have to come to accept that I can’t have-it-all or do-it-all at the same time. I have accepted that something has to give.
My boys are being raised by people who absolutely, genuinely love and adore them. And that includes me. For my part, I like the fact they see Mummy go to work. I never think of myself as a strident feminist but it’s fiercely important to me that my boys see me not only as Mummy but as a professional, working woman.
After all, it never stops them asking what’s for breakfast.
Thank you so much Emma for writing this truly lovely piece for my blog. I also have fleeting thoughts that I should be happy to be just the housewife and doting mother but it never lasts long as I know I need extra mental stimulation. But then are we pushing ourselves too much......?