I know lots of mamas just like me. These are mamas that work but don’t go to work. These are mamas that work with a baby on the boob. They write emails while making banana porridge and use the temporary silence that Octonauts brings to bash out a day’s worth of work. They build empires via their smart phone in the spaces between naps and nappies. These are the stay-at-home-working-mamas (SAHWM). This blog is for you.
These SAHWMs are the ones you see at the park on the mobile phone. They’re the ones pushing a buggy with one hand and writing emails with the other. They are the ones whose kids tell them to put their phone down. They’re the ones whose kids play ‘work’ by picking up a mobile phone. They’re the ones whose kids look at the in shock if their phone isn’t in their hand and for this they are drowning under a sea of guilt.
We look at the mobile phone as a big barrier between us and valuable time with our kids and there’s no doubt that when we’re on the phone, we’re not engaging fully with our kids. That sucks but you know what, it’s necessary. We don’t run ourselves ragged between bundles of joy and businesses because we just love the stress and headaches. In general, we do it because we need to earn some money so that our kids can have shoes and we can have Chardonnay.
And that brings me to my first mantra:
YOU ARE SETTING AN AMAZING EXAMPLE FOR YOUR KIDS.
Yes, there’s a phone in the way a lot of the time and you spend too much time saying, “Just let me finish this email sweetheart,” or “Mama’s just got to do a little bit of work,” but what ACTUALLY are they seeing? They’re seeing a strong, intelligent woman making shit happen. They may not understand that right now, but they will and when they’re are grown and fabulous and people ask them about their mama they’ll say, “You know what, she worked her ass off. She was an amazing mama who ran her own business and still managed to look after us all.” What an amazing example to set, no? So, remember this: you are inspiring your Smalls everyday.
And so to my second mantra:
YOU ARE THERE WITH THEM
Yes, you may have to work and yes you may be writing emails and taking work calls but you are there for the bumps and bruises and the cuddles and the meal times and the nightmares. You may be distracted at times, but you are physically in their world and taking them to playgroup and playdates. Ok, they may have to sit through the odd meeting with an iPad because you couldn’t find a granny or a neighbour to watch them at the last moment but hey, you are there and that’s pretty damn special.
That’s not an indictment of working mamas who go to the office. You too are awesome and deserve to feel no guilt and there’s a blog about that heading your way but for now, this is a blog for the SAHWMs.
So, iPhone Mama, we salute you (and your kids will too).