13 November 2010

Confessions of a working mum

I'm feeling the need to come clean (or not as the case may be). I have a few friends (in face-to-face life and blog life) who have said 'how do you do it? This working full-time and being a mum-of-two lark?'

But I equally think 'how do YOU do it? How do you cope looking after often multiple young kids at home and manage to entertain them, provide a fun, loving environment whilst running a household  and (if you're like some of my bloggy friends) still have time to spend in creative thought making some amazing creations?'

I think as a woman and a mother you just rise to whatever situation you find yourself in, no matter how many kids you have, and whether you're working/not working or some combination of the two.

And it would be fair to say that whatever our circumstance we each feel, at times, jealous of the other. Especially when we're having a bad day and are wishing we could either 'leave the desk even just for five minutes to go cuddle little Jonny' or the opposite 'Aghhhh - get me outta this house...I really don't think I wanna see little Jonny for the rest of the day!'

So I thought I'd just demystify a little on how a working mum tries to manage the juggling act, hopefully you aren't too horrified by certain standards of cleanliness when reading on (Sadie the cleaning lady I am definitely not!):


  • Vacuuming (or hoovering as it is known in our house) = once a week (main areas) and every 2nd week (the whole house). With two sets of stairs across 3 levels, it takes45 minutes to do the lot!! When we just had a cat and no kids in our older, smaller house, sometimes we would stretch it out to 3 weeks...disgusting aye! Although sometimes I wonder why we even bother at all when 2 seconds after finishing there's more clumps of cat hair on the ground. Fluffy cat = instant mess. Sigh.
  • Our lounge constantly looks like a Chinese laundry with 2 clothes horses full of clothes 7 days a week. Thank goodness for the dehumidifier wich helps dry things within about a day and a half. I know we could make life easier and just chuck it in the dryer every time but we're kinda staunch about not using it? Mad aye.
  • Therefore, the boys don't wear pristinely clean clothes to daycare. If it passes the once-over, i.e. no visible food, and not covered in paint/sand, generally we go another day (or three).
  • Toilets = once a week and full bathrooms = only every 2nd week
  • Dusting only generally gets done once you can write your name in the dust
  • I don't iron. Fullstop. And I try not to buy clothes that do need ironing. Hubby does his own shirts - usually two weeks worth at a time (10 in one go). I occasionally sneak the odd thing into that pile and he very graciously does them for me. And that is the extent of our ironing.
  • The sheets get washed about every three weeks, but more if you're the littlest dude. As you can imagine sleeping on one's tummy and constant snotty noses = a dirty sheet in no time.
  • The kitchen gets a proper spring clean about once every six weeks (remember my Beware the Leprechaun post?)
  • Dinners are made on the fly by the King of fast, delicious and nutritious meals - a.k.a. Markie. He usually gets a meal on the table within 20-30 minutes of us all walking in the door at 5pm.
  • Saturday morning = our grocery mission. Yes we have heard of online shopping, but we actually prefer to go ourselves. One of us takes both kiddlywinks usually about 8.30am to get there before the rush, while the other stays home racing around like a blue-ass fly getting through all that week's housework in the hour or so we have to ourselves. Today's post was kinda inspired by the fact it was my turn today. Cleaning both bathrooms, hoovering and changing/washing 2 lots of sheets all coincided on this one day. But with some great new music blaring on the iPod as I went (The Afters - Light up the Sky - love love love), I almost enjoyed myself?!
  • Teamwork is essential. EEEEE-ssential. We would never be able to do what we do and both remain relatively sane if we didn't both take on as much responsibility as the other. Hats off to Markie, I got a goodie there. Actually, I know I have his Mum & Dad to thank there - very well brung up he was!
I know we could probably make life a heck of a lot easier by a) getting a cleaner, b) using the clothesdryer a lot and c) doing our shopping online, but we're just not those people?!

Anyway, our funny little routine works well for us. I'm not sure how many other full-time working parents with 2 kiddies would be able to say they could do the majority of the week's chores including shopping and be done by 10am on a Saturday morning. And I like to think of it as spending the minimum time getting the maximum done so that we then get to enjoy the rest of our precious weekends with our children.

I only hope you haven't been too shocked and horrified at our standards to boycott a visit in the future!

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