We all know the official reasons we women go back to work after we have babies. It’s to keep our career on track and not let the men steal a march on us. It’s to pay the bills and keep a roof over our head. We work because we are good and we are clever and we deserve to be there.
But there are other reasons. Unofficial reasons…
I can go to the loo without someone hammering on the door and asking where their pants are.
I can go to the loo without someone sitting on my lap.
I can go to the loo without someone standing in front of me showing me a rubbish magic trick.
When I come into the office some people say good morning to me instead of head-butting me and trying to claim it was an accident.
When I turn on my computer I don’t have ten sticky fingers hitting the keyboard, and a high-pitched voice shouting “CBeebies” at me.
I can sit amongst people whose food I haven’t had to cook.
And when they eat it they don’t pick out every small piece of onion and put it on my plate.
And when they have finished their food I don’t have to get down on my hands and knees and sweep under their desks.
And once they have finished their lunch they don’t ask me what’s for tea.
Not that many people cry.
Not that many people make me cry.
If it rains it doesn’t completely ruin my afternoon.
Most of the people I work with can put their own shoes on.
Everyone can read.
I don’t feel guilty if my colleague has been on the computer for over an hour.
No one makes that whining noise.
I can go and get my lunch from the supermarket without someone shoplifting chocolate from the lower shelves.
My colleagues can sit next to each other without one shouting that the other has licked them.
I can have a cup of tea without someone climbing on my lap, and me having to wave the tea above my head shouting ‘hot tea, hot tea!”
And yet with the absurd paradox that afflicts all of us working mums, I often wish I was at home with the spilt milk and the peas, with them.
Work. It’s brilliant isn’t it?