As a mum to a seven-and two-year-old, life is pretty busy. The morning routine is a day’s work in itself. By the time bedtime comes, it takes all my energy to eat chocolate by the block full — somehow, I always battle on.
I have two days a week when I take care of my toddler and those days can be long. Being at an age where he wants to help with EVERY SINGLE THING is enough to test the patience of a saint.
So, it’s not surprising that when the daycare days roll around, I embrace them like an old friend.
I look forward to sitting at my desk and working myself to the bone — only in a very different way. Being at work provides me with a mental outlet and helps me remember I’m ‘me’. But, there are a number of other reasons that make is so pleasurable.
Drinking a hot cup of tea
With Mr Two around, it’s very rare that I get to drink either a full or hot cup of tea. Most days I boil the kettle that many times I lose count. For every 50 boils, I probably drink two cups.
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I make a cup, get distracted and leave it on the side. Inevitably, it gets cold and I hate even lukewarm tea.
On daycare days, I drink numerous cups of tea. I relish that it’s hot, and that I can leave it on my desk without fear of it being knocked over – I’ve had a few burns in my time!
It’s a simple thing I know, but one of the many daily pleasures I can enjoy while working in peace and quiet … which brings me onto my next point.
The peace and quiet
Mr Two is extremely noisy. When I say noisy, I don’t mean in a now and again he bangs the pots and pans kind of way. His noisy is more of a playing the drums all day, while having the TV blaring, his Fisher Price snail singing and the dog barking in tune.
Since learning to talk, he practices ALL DAY. Everything he does is accompanied by a running commentary and, you sure know about it if he’s not happy. The meltdowns are epic and the neighbours often call in to check he’s alright – okay, I added that last bit, but you get my drift.
When he’s in daycare, the serenity and silence is bliss. The only sound is the typing of my keys and I only have to talk to the dog who, obviously, can’t answer me back.
When hanging out with a toddler, there comes a point when you just crave adult company. There’s a limit to how many times I want to sit at the park, watch cartoons or engage in imaginary play. It’s mentally draining and not in a good way.
Having interaction with adults on my work days (albeit virtual because I work for myself), is so refreshing. Talking about things other than if they need to go potty (because, that would be weird anyhow!) keeps my brain active.
I feel like I’ve maintained a toe in the corporate waters and without that I’d overheat. I need to use my brain so that I can be a better mum.
Less tidying up
Mr Two is like a whirlwind in everything he does. He causes mess in the blink of an eye, and has a particular passion for emptying every toy box and spreading the contents around the room.
By the end of the day, the house looks like we’ve been burgled and it’s an obstacle course just to get to the fridge. And, that’s the other thing. Days with Mr Two qualify me to run a café.
One snack leads straight to another. The day is an ongoing buffet. Food remnants are strewn all over the floor and no sooner have I tidied that up, then we’re onto the next meal.
My days at work I sit in an organised, tidy and mess free house. I walk to the kitchen without impinging myself on a toy plane, and my worktop, floor and sofa remain crumb and sticky hands free.
For me, working has provided a much-needed outlet that provides me with balance and, more importantly, sanity!
It doesn’t make me a bad mum or mean I care about my son any less. If anything, being apart from him on those days makes me love him more. Seeing his face at the end of the day lights up my heart and my soul, and I know that by working I can give him the best me in his life.