'My job is a paid vacation compared to being a stay-at-home Mum.'

I know I should feel guilty, but I just don’t.  Two weeks in to my new job, a friend texted me to ask how it was going. My response: “Paid vacation” (plus palm tree and martini emoticons).   

Okay, so it might not be cocktails on the beach, but compared to being at home all day with a toddler, that’s exactly what it feels like. My job isn’t remarkable or glamorous, I work in an office, doing officey-type things, but each morning as I sit nursing a mug of HOT Earl Grey and checking my emails, I think “I can’t believe I am getting paid to be here!” 

And the joys don’t stop at freshly brewed tea.

I get to wear nice clothes. And makeup!  I know, as a stay at home mum, technically I could have set aside the time each day to pretty myself up, but when the majority of the day’s tasks include cooking fish fingers, cleaning wee off the floor and being ridden around like a pony with a tiny jockey yelling “faster mummy, faster!”  a nice pinstripe skirt and a white blouse does seem a little bit formal.    

Our team share their first thoughts after meeting their newborns. (Post continues after video.)

I’ve actually found myself doing a double take a couple of times, seeing my refection in the bathroom mirror before work – smooth hair, clean shirt, some lipstick  -“Ah there you are, old friend!”   

And I look capable. I look like I know what I’m doing. At home all day, my uniform was usually unwashed jeans, hair in a bun and a grey hoody.  I certainly didn’t look capable of much (except maybe robbing a Seven Eleven).   

Now I look like a functioning adult, and it’s amazing how much just looking more together has improved my self esteem. Or maybe it’s that people at work actually listen to me when I speak instead of yelling “NOO!” in my face, before I can even finish a sentence.

The last significant work perk is toilet breaks. Whenever I want. Uninterrupted. Small children have supersonic hearing, tuned to the precise frequency of the “click” of a bathroom door closing. Within seconds they are either clambering to sit on your lap or screaming like they are being kidnapped. 

"The last significant work perk is toilet breaks. Whenever I want." Image via iStock.

The amount of times I have run from the bathroom, pants around my ankles yelling “What, what, what? Are you okay?!” doesn’t bare thinking about. Really. So now I can take a few minutes to myself, and honestly, the novelty hasn’t worn off yet.

But in spite of all of all this, if work is such an amazing holiday, why do I find myself in the bathroom crying on a Monday afternoon? Trying not to mess up my fancy work makeup and go in to a messy, noisy sob?

I miss her. I miss that sticky little moon face. I wonder what she is doing at childcare or if she is hungry right now. I wonder if she is missing me, or if she is happy, sad or cold. I should have put a warmer jumper on her. 

"I miss her. I miss that sticky little moon face." Image via iStock.

I miss the noise, I miss the early afternoon cuddles on the couch,I miss the little playdough cakes she makes me for our picnics and the way she giggles like crazy when I pretend to eat them.

I send my friend a text: brief case and sad face emoticons.  Being at work today feels shitty, because even though I love my new job, I love that little Moonface Munchkin and miss her so much more than I could have imagined.

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