I am a full time working mum.
Since my daughter was 18 months old, I have been working full time hours in a career that I thoroughly enjoy whilst my husband stays at home and looks after the kiddiwinks (yes I call them that!). Although it has meant that I have missed out on certain milestones – particularly since having my baby boy – it is what is best for our family financially and we are all happy with the choice we made.
However, a certain milestone has been coming up that has hit home recently.
My daughter is about to start at nursery school.
She is about to go in to the big wide world of school and start learning and making new friends and generally becoming a little girl, rather than a toddler. She is going to (eventually) have homework to do and learn about the world whilst, undoubtedly, causing all sorts of chaos at the same time.
I don’t know about you but, when I imagine myself as a mum (please excuse any stereotyping or general sweeping statements in the next few sentences), I imagine myself walking my children to school, dropping them off at the gates and waving them off for the day. I imagine meeting other parents and making small talk with them, making new friends with some and avoiding others like a rash. I imagine going along to plays and parents evenings, maybe even the PTA and generally being a part of their school life.
Now that I am working full time, I don’t see how that could happen.
I will not be there to drop them off when school begins or finishes. I will not be around for any school plays, unless they are later than 6pm, and I will not have chance to meet other parents and play school yard drama with them. I will definitely not have the time to dedicate to the PTA and the kids will probably have done any homework by the time I get home.
Now I am fully aware that, although this is what I think of when I think of being a parent, it is most likely a romantic notion. In fact, there are lots of other parents out there that don’t get to go to these things due to their commitments, and you don’t see them moaning about it on the internet. But this is my blog and I will moan about it if I want to, dammit!
I think this is just one of those things that I will have to come to terms with over time as part of being a parent, and make sure that I spend some quality time with my kids during the times that I can. After all, even if I had been around to walk them to school or be more involved, eventually I would just be embarrassing old mum who they wouldn’t be seen dead walking to school with – especially after she gave them a rather rude awakening that morning (can anyone say payback?).
If there are any parents out there who worked full time whilst their children were very young or just starting school – how did you find it? Did you miss out on much, or did it work well for you? Please let me know in the comments below – I would love to get some other points of view and experiences.