I went to a meeting the other day in a building owned by the Mother’s Union. It got me thinking about my own Mother’s Union or rather the working Mother’s Union, all those women who help me and every other working mother to get to work and remain sane (almost).
The mum who lets you interrupt her at work whilst you sob down the phone because your nanny has handed in her notice and you partner just can’t understand the absolute catastrophe of the situation.
My boss who on overhearing me tell a colleague that it was my son’s fifth birthday that day told me to pack up and go home. She told me she had missed too much of her children growing up and it wasn’t worth it. She then came back ten minutes later to berate me for not having left yet.
The client who suggested that we finish our weekly status on the phone in the evening so we could go home and put our children to bed. And then kept sending me exasperated texts at gone eight saying that her daughter was refusing to go sleep.
The women who cheer on my daughter at sports day, hug her at the end of the race and tell her she’s the best when she finished her race as I can’t be there.
The mother who texts me to say my son, who’s in reception, looked a bit sad going to after school club and why doesn’t she have him for a play date sometime instead.
The mother at work who put her hand on my shoulder, just for a second, when I said how tired I was because she could tell I was trying not to cry.
The multiple amazing women who get an urgent WhatsApp message from me at six in the morning saying my nanny has called in sick and between them construct a plan which includes one taking the baby and another picking up my daughter from school and someone else giving them tea. And then give me a plan for the next day. Just in case.
The woman at work who always remembers not to put meetings in your diary before nine and doesn’t sigh when you say you don’t work Fridays.
The woman who takes my daughter to after school gymnastics every Wednesday, knowing that I will never be able to repay the favour.
These are our working Mother’s Union. The women who help, who listen, who step in at the last minute. The women without whom none of it would be possible. We love you and salute you.