Today was not a good day. It should have been great, Miss Roo was going to holiday club. Something she’d been looking to since we booked it. The same holiday club she goes to after school. So in theory this should mean an environment she feels comfortable in. However, as it turned out by 10:05 am that was not the case.
All morning Miss Roo was excited and ready to go. What happened though when we pulled up was quite frankly pretty heart wrenching and not an experience I want to go through again any time soon. I should have known that it was going to go badly as Miss Roo was gripping onto my arm like one of those 1980’s clippy koala toys.
As we walked through the door despite two boys from reception coming up to her she buried her head in my waist. Her little hands literally clinging to my jeans. The lady who runs the holiday club looked from me to Miss Roo and tried to engage her by asking two children her age to come and say hello and look after her. At this point I attempted to walk towards the lunchbox storage area. Not happening.
My child at this point had turned into a limpet and had rooted her and me to the spot. Time for distraction technique number 2, calling over a staff member she’d recognise. Still no joy, despite me coming down to her level, speaking softly and reassuring her that she’d have fun and be ok she wasn’t budging.
We talked about doing nail painting and playing outside and the grip started to relent a little, just a fraction. Enough for the staff to be able to turn Miss Roo towards them. This was my queue. My signal to leave. To walk towards the door whilst her eyes looked at me imploring me not to go. I heard her little voice ‘please mummy I don’t want to stay, I want to go with you.’
I had to keep going, I had appointments to get to and work and deadlines to meet.
I sat in the car and cried for a good 10 minutes. I’d not seen Miss Roo do this for a long time. I felt pretty awful.
As a working mum I had to make the choice this summer that I couldn’t afford 6 weeks off or to take a sabbatical, I chose to use day care facilities to mean that I continue my career and hopefully my child has enjoyment. I know in my heart this is the best choice for her. It is wrong of me to expect my parents to continually provide free childcare, they are veering on retirement and do enough already. Daddy E holds a busy job and neither can he drop what he’s doing. I work from home as head of social media for a headphones company. I am lucky that I work from home, that doesn’t however make it any easier to be a working mum. In fact it’s probably harder as I very rarely switch off – you’ll still find me tweeting or Skyping past 10pm most nights.
I ultimately love what I do, it is my dream job. Some days though it’s very hard to convince your inner conscience that as a working mum you’ve made the right choice for you and your family. So tonight I am reminding myself that my decision, to be one of the many working mums, is the right one for our family unit because of the reasons below….