STRAIGHT TALK: I just don’t know how working mums do it

Kate Chapman and baby Nancy.
Kate Chapman and baby Nancy.
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Everywhere I turn at the moment I keep coming across promo interviews for Sarah Jessica Parker’s new film – ‘I Don’t Know How She Does It’ – which opened a couple of weeks ago. She really is everywhere I turn – on the television, on the radio and in newspapers gushing about how hard it is being a working ‘mom’.

To be honest it’s highly unlikely I’ll get to see the film. A) Because I can’t remember the last time I actually went to the cinema (suffice to say it was before Nancy); and B) because there are loads more films I’d rather see instead should the chance arise.

But all these interviews about the character – mum-of-two Kate Reddy, a finance executive who is her family’s breadwinner – got me thinking.

It’s alright for SJP, yes she’s got three kids including two-year-old twin girls, but thanks to her multi-million pound fortune she’s also got an army of Mary Poppins-like nannies to help keep her brood in line no doubt.

But I take my hat off to the ‘real’ working mums – who have to juggle their careers and motherhood; because in all honesty I don’t know how you do it.

I know I’m in an incredibly fortunate position. I have been able to take a career break to stay at home and look after Nancy. And, yes I also do a job which it is possible to do from home and should the opportunity arise I can freelance and still keep my hand in. So in some respects I’m the lucky one having my cake and eating it; many women don’t have this choice.

But if I had to work full-time as well I honestly think I might have had a mini meltdown by now. Take the other night for instance. Now Nancy’s always been a pretty good sleeper (obviously takes after Mr Chapman on that front!) but on this particular occasion we endured our first ‘rough night’ since she was tiny.

Whatever we did we simply couldn’t get her to sleep, and it took a good two hours before – finally exhausted – she nodded off.

After all her noisy antics it took me even longer to drop off; now had I had to go to work the next day I don’t think I’d have been in fit state to drive the car let alone function properly enough to work. Thankfully we didn’t have anything pressing on and had a lazy day instead.

So to all the working mums out there, I salute you – I don’t know how you do it.