15 dead giveaways that you're a working mum.

“You really enjoy going to the toilet. On your own.”

For the last five years I have been a working mum. It’s definitely a balancing act, but something that I wouldn’t want to change. Over the years I have made the following observations about myself and others. These are the dead set signs that you are working mum:

1. Despite checking yourself from every angle before you walked out of the front door, you go to the bathroom at lunchtime only to discover that you have someone else’s toothpaste smeared all over the side of your skirt. Yep. That would be from the cling on child that you had to peel off this morning. And it’s been there for 5 hours.

2. On a particularly cheerful morning you find yourself at your desk loudly humming the tune to Dora the Explorer without even realising it.

3. When you open your laptop or iPad up pops a YouTube clip of some lady with marvelously manicured finger nails opening Kinder Eggs and playing with the plastic toys from inside. 16 million views…..seriously!

4. You can always easily identify your lunchbox in the office fridge. In there amongst all the sensible clear Tupperware sits your blue and green Ben 10 box.

Ben 10 lunch box? Dead. Giveaway.

5. You really enjoy going to the toilet. On your own.

6. You drink every last drop of your coffee while it is still hot. And then you celebrate because that never happens.

7. You have to wear a long sleeved dress to an important meeting, because it is just impossible to remove the Peppa Pig temporary tattoos from your arms.

8. You breathe a sigh of relief when you arrive at your desk as you've already done the equivalent of a marathon before getting there.

9. You become the office dealer of tissues, wipes and band aids. Everyone knows you have an endless supply in your handbag at all times.


10. You are able to type and talk about a different topic at the same time. That is nothing compared to cooking dinner, reading a book to the toddler, rocking the baby and helping the oldest with their homework simultaneously.

"The very hardest part of the day has yet to come."

11. Leaving the office at the end of the day is not the joyous experience that it is for some of your colleagues. As they boast of cocktails, going out for dinner and various outdoor pursuits you know you are going home straight into the witching hour. The hardest part of the day has yet to come.

12. Although you often look like you might have one, you very rarely turn up to work with a hangover and hilarious tales of the night before. Seven trips to answer children’s calls and 5 hours of broken sleep are your reason for looking a little dusty.

13. You reach into your handbag to get out your mobile phone and have to fight your way through a series of small items to find anything. Out comes a plastic cow, a swimming costume, a half-eaten cereal bar and a spoon.

14. You are sometimes decorated in an unusual fashion when you arrive at work. A nice multi-coloured beaded bracelet, a necklace made from plastic lids or covered in brightly coloured stickers. These items are quickly removed and then carefully replaced before returning home again.

15. You always make the most of your time at work so that you can go home and make the most of your time there too. You apply the multi-tasking, people management and organisation skills learnt at home to the workplace so that you can log off and spend the evenings with your family.

I did once work with a woman who had two children and I never would have guessed. None of the above applied to her. But there are always exceptions.

What is one dead giveaway that you're a working mum?

Like this? Try these:
Confessions of a working mum.
A note to other working mums.