Recently I’ve found there are quite a few ‘normal’ tasks that have been drastically altered as I’ve transitioned from being a stay at home Mum to a working Mum. Things that should be simple and uncomplicated are, quite simply, not.
I know my experiences specifically are not unique so I thought I would share a few with you so we can all know we are not alone !
Stay at Home Mum – showering before going out = optional. Our shower is right next to V2s room. Keeping her asleep was always more important.
Working Mum – obviously this one has had to change. Showering is first order in the morning but it usually takes place with an audience of 3. V1, V2 and the puppy. And by first order I mean after both kids have breakfasted (cereal and toast, often with a dessert of eggs), after I’ve tidied up the monumental mess that V2 produces while eating (hey, at least she feeds herself!), and after both kids are dressed (my better half usually dresses V1 so this saves at least 4 mins of back and forth trades, ultimatum and downright yelling to get the job done). Various toys decorate the bathroom floor and as a result of the risks of having 2 fully clothed wet children, showers are capped at 2 minutes, max. Which brings me to my next point…
Stay at Home Mum – since showering was a luxury that usually happened once my better half was home and on duty, I always washed my hair to take full advantage of having a long, and very hot shower (since a lot of the time I have the kids in there with me, showers are not so enjoyably lukewarm).
Working Mum – somewhat surprisingly this has reversed. Hair washing when working requires a blow dry. Time I don’t have (and V2 is remarkably unenthused about the hoise and concept of heat blowing around the place – she actually cries in front of blow heaters bizarrely – and since I can’t venture into the bathroom alone, this is a challenge!) So we are experimenting with pushing the boundaries of hair washing, and creative styling (I’m saving money on styling products as the natural oils are doing the trick!) Before you all panic and recoil in disgust, I manage to wash it about every 3 days (when compared with daily washes pre kids, it’s a stark contrast, but all in all, not that bad!)
Stay at Home Mum – I did a marathon at the end of my year at home with V1. At the end of my year at home with V1 and V2 I was managing a twice weekly 5k run.
Working Mum – initially thus declined to be a once weekly 5k run. And by once weekly in this instance, I mean once a week, every 3rd week. Now I’ve managed to push it back up to twice weekly (for a whole 2 consecutive weeks!) and supplemented cardio with a few other exercises:
- Toddler kettle bell swings – V1 is almost 20kgs now so these are exhausting.
- Weighted squats and lunges (v2 serving the purpose of my weight). Since she’s an active little thing this make these exercises rather dynamic!
- Running on the spot. If it’s good enough for the wiggles, it’s good enough for me. This is usually accompanied by kids soundtracks (Moana, Shakira, Taylor Swift and Frozen) and includes intensive jumping (this is how V1 dances). This also includes mixing it up with the aeroplane chase (exactly as it sounds, we are aeroplanes chasing each other up and down the house).
- The V2 upright row into overhead press. She loves the slide but can’t climb the ladder. So from ground to overhead height she is lifted repeatedly.
- The weighted chore walk. All Mums do this one on a daily basis. The cook, clean, eat, shop, and hang washing out while holding their V2. My right bicep looks great. My left one needs some work – we all have a favoured side!
In light of all this exercise, that brings me to the next drastic area of change.
Stay at Home Mum – I managed to consume regular meals and supplement this with kids leftovers as snacks. Mac and cheese, peanut butter toast, home made veggies muffins and my favourite – chicken and veggie sausage rolls. Since we always cook dinners and plan for leftovers there was always a yummy reheatable meal in the fridge.
Working Mum – I seem to spend all my spare time cooking. I slow cook two dinners on my days off and cook different dinners so the slow cooked meals keep for work days. I have lunch leftovers each day but somehow the proportion of eating is not relative to cooking. My kids have huge appetites now, and we have a dog. Bye bye leftovers for Mummy. In fact, as Nanny and Poppy discovered on the weekend just gone, both children will literally eat the food off your plate before you’ve even had a look in. Since showering has moved up the roster, eating in the morning has moved down. Coffee is a staple. By the time I get to work, it’s usually lunch time before I’m reminded that I’ve yet to manage breakfast!
Toileting (no I don’t mean in the traditional English sense of getting ready for dinner).
Stay at Home Mum – the door is always open – not in the sense of please join me, the more the merrier but rather in the sense of, if I closed it everyone woild fall into the bathroom as soon as I opened it because of them leaning and banging on it while in there (as a result of the open door policy, sadly more often than not I have an audience).
Working Mum – no change (at home – (there you go – a constant !)) At work – peace (When I can afford the time away from my desk to actually go).
I wouldn’t change any of it and my kids are worth a little sacrifice (ok ok maybe I would like to enjoy an extra run, an extra meal, and an extra hairwash and blow-dry each week, and to go to the toilet at home with the door locked!).