10 things I miss about being a working Mum

It’s been almost 18 months since I waved goodbye to my work colleagues of 14 years to go on my second maternity leave. In a unexpected twist of fate, I never did make it back to my desk 12 months later as planned – due to the redundancy of my position and major changes to the business.

That’s all old news now of course. Life as a stay at home Mum is better than I imagined it to be. Sure there have been tough days but on the whole I’m adopting the attitude that ‘The days are long but the years are short’. (My new favourite phase courtesy of Robyn, The years are short blog).

There are however a few things I do miss about my old lifestyle as a ‘Part time working mother’…

N.B. Battle Mums lay down your swords…I could have just as easily written a post titled ’10 things (or more) I definitely do not miss about being a working Mum. A dig or a campaign, this is not. #justsaying.

  1. A monthly salary. Possibly the most obvious…things aren’t too bad BUT there is definitely no denying the difference in our expendable income. Although we have saved a fortune in childcare, that doesn’t ease the guilt of picking up myself a little something, now it’s coming out of a much smaller ‘family’ pot.
  2. Sitting down. According to my new Apple watch, I’m averaging about 3 miles a day within the four walls of the house. It’s a wonder there is any carpet left? I do kind of miss the days of thinking ‘Oooh I probably should get up and have a stretch’, they feel a very distant memory. The days of sinking behind the screen browsing the internet, playing  www.boomtownbingo.com and reading the Daily Fail were definitely the golden summers of my past…
  3. Subway / Friday McD’s / Pub lunches. When I returned to work after my first baby, lunchtimes had a new found nirvana status. Lunch out, with no small people to cater for, what a luxury. Nowadays it’s a treat if I make myself a proper plate of food and don’t make do with the left over mountain of cucumber, ham, crusts, cheese and cut up fruit. Groundhog day eat your heart out.
  4. Decent IT equipment. MMT is brought to you not from a stylishly instagrammed white desk with motivational framed prints and personalised stationary (one day). It is created through a variety of mediums…my iPhone 6 / iPad (perfect for reading  on the move but not the best place to generate your finest blog creations – typing on it makes me want to scream and likely to be stolen by screaming toddler wanting Peppa Pig app), a proper PC on a proper desk in our bedroom (great for solitary confinement when needed but otherwise quite an antisocial form of blogging i.e. I can’t sit in front of the TV next to the hubby at least pretending to be sociable), and finally the laptop. The dying laptop, with no office programmes installed, which causes me repeated IT headaches and no amount of turning off and on is going to fix. It pains me that all the forms of above are not as super fast as my trusty old work laptop, including 24/7 Support, and they don’t have all the lovely programmes I could request to be installed at the (super fast) click of a request package which I so took for granted.
  5. Free Tea and Coffee. Note, not hot tea and coffee. That’s a myth…the tea and coffee at home is actually just as hot. But, it’s not free. And believe me, the amount I consume to get my tired self through the day, that is a sad thing.
  6. Dressing smart. Sure, we can play all dressed up with nowhere to go alongside our mini Rapunzels / Batman kids. I’ve done it, and ultimately felt a bit…silly? After all, tailored jackets and skinny jeans make a great instagram picture, but when you are wrestling with a self feeder and a pot of petit filous, you might just wish you’d stuck to your trusty sweater. It’s sad seeing all those beautiful smart clothes and shoes (that cost a small fortune) just cluttering up the closet.
  7. Cheeky half days. When you have small children in paid childcare, and you are entitled to 25 days annual leave a year, it is perfectly acceptable to take the odd bit of time off and leave the kids, blissfully unaware in their normal environment. While Mummy (or Daddy) spends the day doing whatever she damn well likes. Not so easy when you have multiple children, at home with you 24/7 and you struggle enough for friends and family to cover the odd appointment, nursery pick up, evening out. Asking someone to have your children so you can flounce around just ain’t gonna happen.
  8. Missing the kids. Closely linked to number 7. I miss, missing them. Feeling so eager to get home to them, rather than always feeling I need a break.
  9. Intellectual conversation. I love conversations with my girls, and with the Supermums, and my pals and family. I’m not short of adult conversation, but I do miss being part of a technical discussion, and feeling my input has a consequence. I’m a little worried my career experience may just fall out of my brain and be permanently replaced by a whole new set of files titled ‘parenting’.
  10. Reward & recognition. If there were a senior board member, or a presidential award, or even a peer recognition programme within the sector of SAHM, I’m pretty sure I would have nailed a £25 M&S voucher for ‘Outstanding contribution to Nursery Run punctuality’, maybe I’d have received a block of glass inscribed ‘The childhood project; Key team member 2016’, or maybe in my end of year appraisal be awarded an ‘Exceeded expectations in the area of keeping two children warm, clean, fed and clothed’ and a tasty little bonus to boot. But no, I’ll just pour myself a glass of wine on a Friday, and congratulate my own small achievements.



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58 thoughts on “10 things I miss about being a working Mum

  1. Jennifer Reply

    Such a great list! I was very similar to you when my children were little, I was made redundant soon after returning from maternity leave with my second so I became a stay at home Mum to pre-schoolers, it was perfect for me but I did miss lots of things about work. But now a couple of years later and they are both now at school I love being at home and I’m dreading the thought that I’m going to have to go out and get a job before too long!

  2. Robyn Reply

    I much prefer staying at home but I do lament the fact that over a half of my wardrobe has not been off the hanger in 15 months and I also wish someone else would pay for my tea and coffee. It’s a sad state of affairs when one box of 20 teabags has to last me a week due to budget constraints, haha! Don’t tell anyone but I’ve started reusing them (things I never thought would happen to me #74!). Thanks for the mention, I borrowed the phrase from Gretchen Rubin 🙂

  3. Busy Working Mummy Reply

    I am a full time working mum and always wondered how I would get on as a SAHM. it is nice to see that you enjoy it though, even with the things that you miss about working #bestandworst

  4. The Mum Project Reply

    Hmm taking note as I will be returning to work in a couple months! Made me feel a little better about leaving Bear with a nanny. : ) #bestandworst

  5. Sarah Howe (@RunJumpScrap) Reply

    I can see this as I relish a lot of what you have said! Definitely the missing them, adult time and cheeky annual leave when they are in nursery. Plus I do like not having to ask hubby for money. On the flip side I do wonder if I miss out. My Mum hates me daughter being in nursery even though she understands me going back to work. SAHMs do a fab job. Thanks for sharing with #bestandworst x

  6. Laura @ Life with Baby Kicks Reply

    Loving this list, it’s not quite the same the 3 year old telling me “good job Mummy” for a successful wee in the toilet……I miss using the toilet alone. The camaraderie. And making the effort! Still my monsters get me around all day which is a good thing 🙂

  7. islandliving365 Reply

    Yep to all of these and also being able to take a wee break without an audience and being able to drink your coffee whilst it’s still hot. 🙂 #coolmumclub

  8. Emma Jones Reply

    Great post & exactly mirrored my own thoughts. I had 12 months off with each child but was happy to go back to work. Wierdly now they are both at school I crave time at home. I think I’ve become middle aged early & long to sit at home in peace. Reminds me I might book a secret day off. #coolmumclub lifeinthemumslane

  9. wendy Reply

    Great list. I have pretty much been a sahm for the 2 and half years. I did work evenings on a bar for a year and I loved having conversations about everything other than nappies and sleep deprivation. It was nice that a few nights a week I could have a break from doing the mum thing 24/7 xx #coolmumclub

  10. 2teens1preteen Reply

    Oh i could sympathise with all of this – i gave up my job in London 5 years ago to look after the children but i too miss the dressing smartly and wearing beautiful clothes, popping out for an impromptu glass of wine, catch up with the girls and apart from all the glossy side of working i do miss the using my brain (a little!). A great great post – us bloggers should meet for a glass of wine in London and say to the hubbies it’s work! #coolmumclub x

  11. beautybabyandme Reply

    I love this. I am still thinking about what I’ll do about going back to work….I don’t know if I will but these are the sorts of things I would miss. Its given me something to think about – thanks for posting hun xx #coolmumclub

  12. mummyinatutu Reply

    These are things I think I’d miss but I think the rewards of staying home will be greater. And FYI on number ten… the comments, views, stats and friendships you have from blogging are your reward and recognition of work you do! xx

    1. mummyinatutu Reply


  13. Claire at Tin Box Traveller Reply

    I’ve just gone back to work but from home so I miss the free tea and dressing smart too 🙂 #coolmumclub

  14. gdevaney87 Reply

    Heading back to work after my second child this has been a joy to read. I’ve found it particularly hard going back, but reading this all the things you miss, i reckon i would to. Maybe, just maybe, its a nice thing being back at work for the rest! #coolmumclub

  15. motherhoodtherealdeal Reply

    So there with you on this, although I kind of have if half half now, I am there with you on number 2 and 10 in a major way my #coolmumclub co-host lovely! x

  16. Squirmy Popple Reply

    I can definitely relate to these! I’ve been on maternity leave for nearly 9 months now and have mixed feelings about going back to work in a few months. I’ll miss my daughter like crazy, but I definitely could use a little more adult conversation – and a lunch break would be nice too! I’ve been into the office for two Keeping In Touch days so far, and I was so excited to put on real clothes and do my hair for once. #coolmumclub

  17. rightroyalmother Reply

    Oh wow. The cheeky half day thing. YES! On maternity leave for another 5 months and this is something I NEVER THOUGHT OF. Also the IT equipment … really, really miss that. Thank you for letting me daydream about wearing earrings for the first time in a year too. #coolmumclub

  18. rebecca | AAUBlog Reply

    i miss dressing smart too – silly little things that we miss isn’t it?!

    1. MMT Reply

      Oh yes, all the small things…none of the big things xx

  19. tammymum Reply

    Yes I miss all of these too. The most obvious being the monthly wage although you definitely hit the nail on the head with numbers 8 and 3! #coolmumclub

  20. Morgan Prince Reply

    This is great, I never was a working mum so it’s lovely to read about that side of things. I always dreamed of having a break occasionally, or going out in smart clothes. Turns out that I get that time now the boys are at school every day, although the smart clothes still don’t work – it’s just more comfy to put on a pair of jeans and a jumper! 😉

  21. Kat @ Eat.Love.Live Reply

    It’s been almost the same amount of time for me and I wouldn’t trade staying at home for the world but there are some things that I also miss, many of which are on your list. I would also add lunch breaks in general. Even having a 10 minute breather to enjoy a da which is barely a possibility these days x #coolmumclub

  22. Ellen Reply

    This is a great list! I am missing just popping for a drink after work! Not sure if I will be going back to work once mat leave is over so I am trying to stock up on books and treats for myself now as I know I won’t be able to justify that later on! #coolmumclub

  23. A Darling Mother Reply

    I miss that half hour to an hour of silence before anyone else would arrive at work. I would have a huge coffee that I was able to drink while it was still hot because there weren’t andy children next me demanding waffles. Check my email. Great post, reading things like this make me feel far less lonely/guilty about sometimes wishing I had an office job 🙂

  24. rhymingwithwine Reply

    Very good points, very well made! I’m really lucky as I get to work two days a week. Just enough to get a sniff of the good stuff that you’ve listed above, but not so much that the scales tip the other way. Sending you a nice glass block lovely and possibly a big shiny medal, ooh and some cake. Well deserved.

    Dawn x

  25. occupation:(m)other Reply

    This is a great post, really thoughtful. I completely get so many of these…I’m terrifically happy not being in paid employment blah blah blah but…a monthly wage, smart clothes, a feeling of tangible input, getting someone to babysit to ‘flounce’ (would all be lovely)…yes a very interesting list. #coolmumclub

  26. nightwisprav3n Reply

    I miss the salary and the adult time that I got from working but I’m like you in that I am taking advantage of my kids now. I already have a teenager and my youngest will be 10 at the end of the year. I am recognizing how fast they really are growing up and I want to share as many great memories of them as I can:)

  27. WhingeWhingeWine Reply

    A little bit of adult conversation that isn’t about the kids or apologising to someone about the actions of your todder is vastly underrated! I found last time that it was easy to get back into work. The jury is still out on whether I can return part time after this lot of mat leave and I really hope I can. I’m not sure I’m cut out to be a full time SAHM!

  28. Louise (Little Hearts, Big Love) Reply

    Great list – I also miss intellectual conversations and reward and recognition (although the spontaneous hugs and “I love you Mummy”s come close to that one. I quite like the idea of the odd cheeky half-day for myself too! I work part-time, but completely from home so one advantage to that is that my laptop is supplied by work and hubby is my tech support anyway!

  29. Kate Tunstall, Refined Prose Reply

    Brilliant, just brilliant. The adult conversation thing is why I blog really. Even if it’s just a monologue as I type, at least it’s (vaguely) intellectual. More so than ‘please don’t touch the toilet seat, it’s dirty’ anyway… Xx

  30. reimerandruby Reply

    Lovely list! I think you’re lucky you get to stay at home and look after your own kids and I’m jealous. But yes, being at work is also a nice routine having a break away from home, isn’t it? Great post! #coolmumclub

  31. KidGearUK Reply

    Oh yes, I definitely miss most of these. The extra money, talking to adults, the rewards especially.

  32. anxiousmummyblog Reply

    I am due back at the beginning of April after 7 months off. I will work in the mornings and then my hubby will go to work in the afternoons / evenings. I know it will be so hard as we will hardly ever see each other but I am quite looking forward to some of the things you mention here, especially missing my daughter.
    I have never been away from her while she has been awake, we left her once with my mum whilst she was sleeping but that has been it. I don’t know what it is like to miss her and I hadn’t even thought about it until reading your post, so thank you! #coolmumclub

  33. Someone's Mum Reply

    These are very true – and I needed to read them after today. Had the MOST stressful day at school. Littlest (1) has chicken pox, I need another day off, letting everyone down. Year 11 have mocks coming and can’t get them ready in time. Nightmare. Need to focus on those things above as right now I feel like I can’t take much more! #coolmumclub

  34. Silly Mummy Reply

    I didn’t know about cheeky half days! I didn’t know I was missing cheeky half days! 😀 Yes, my wardrobe and style have taken a hit too. I like being a SAHM though. (But do wish I had my own money!) #coolmumclub

  35. thebrightnessofthesedays Reply

    Great list, funny but thoughtful. I’m heading back to work next month after just over a year off and really I think they are both super hard – working mum/SAHM – just in different ways #coolmumclub

  36. min1980 Reply

    I feel as though somewhere, in a parallel universe, there is another Min who got married, and became a SAHM, and that Min feels exactly like you. Before I had Piglet, I regarded my work clothes as the lowest of the low in my wardrobe. They were just so boring, all those pencil skirts and reasonably comfortable mid-height heels. I lived for the weekends and holidays, and my beautiful vintage dresses and ludicrous platforms. Then I went back to work after maternity leave, having spent nine months wearing leggings and milk stained T-shirts with easy access for breastfeeding, and suddenly wearing my work clothes felt like playing dress up in the Vogue Closet. There are definitely some perks to being a working mum. xx #coolmumclub

  37. Lisa Reply

    A great list. I’m only 2 months into maternity leave but missing a few of these things and also just some adult conversation. When hubby asks how my day has been its not like I’ve got as much to share when I’m not at work. #coolmumclub

  38. This Mum's Life Reply

    Really good list! I was already five months pregnant when I back to work from my first maternity leave, so I was only there for 3 months, and spent most of that not there, because I had an insane amount of holiday to use, which they allowed me to use all in that time! That was mainly because my job was such flipping hard work to do when pregnant, and DT decided to take mum guilt to the max by refusing to eat or drink, or sleep, on the days I went to work, nearly resulting in a hospitalisation at one point… But now I’m home all the time, I would love some kind of recognition! I feel entitled to a cabinet full of medals for what we have to put up with! And a lunch out in peace would be my idea of heaven too…!!

  39. Mess and Merlot Reply

    I feel exactly the same, ooh how nice would it be to receive a nice big paycheck at the end of the month again?! Still, I’ve never regretted my decision to give up my job to be a SAHM. I worked full time after I had my first child, he went to a nursery near by, it felt right and it worked. After my second child, I felt totally different and gave up work to be a SAHM because that felt right and it worked. All options have their pros and cons, we all just have to do what we think is best for our own situation.

  40. Collette @ Family life and me Reply

    Ah this is such a great list! I’m currently on Mat leave and have to go back to work part time in September again. I really wish I could be a stay at home mum (one day I might be) but reading your list has made me realise that I would REALLY miss those things too. I guess you can’t have it all either way! #coolmumclub xx

  41. daislikethese Reply

    From a fellow fairly new SAHM, this is spot on!!

  42. Anna Brophy Reply

    I second everything you just said!!! I too am at home and miss all this ‘stuff’, but totally love that phrase about long days and short years. #coolmumclub

  43. Yvonne - Double the Monkey Business Reply

    I agree with this so much. I took three years off work when the kids were born and this all rings true! #coolmumclub

  44. butterflymum83 Reply

    This is such a fantastic list! I work part time and these are basically all the reasons I do lol! I know what you mean about missing missing them. I like that my two days at work give me a break and freshen me up for being with my son on the other days 🙂 Thanks for sharing 🙂 #coolmumclub

  45. crummymummy1 Reply

    Yes to all of these! I’ve worked for myself from home for 3 years now, but I have to say I could write a list of 10 positive about it too! #justanotherlinky

    1. MMT Reply

      Absolutely… Maybe that’s the sequel 😉 x

  46. newmummyblogcom Reply

    hahahaha brilliant! I’m super impressed you walk 3 miles around your house!! I keep thinking I need to wear a pedometer or something and see how much I do. I’m definitely inspired to now 🙂

    I’m also incredibly pleased to hear work tea/coffee is no hotter than at home #coolmumclub

  47. everythingsrosieandgeorge Reply

    Oh my goodness, a toddler free lunch? That’s the dream!! I with you on the brain full of parenting files too. I’m not sure there’s anything else in there that hasn’t been frazzled by lack of sleep! Xx #coolmumclub

  48. Mum in Brum Reply

    Fab post, as usual! I haven’t returned to the office but can only imagine how self-indulgent it must feel to take the day off and leave the kids at nursery – I’m tempted to go back just to experience this! I definitely miss intellectual conversation, or even just a bit of office gossip would do. And I’ve pretty much forgotten how it feels to dress smart, investing in a new pair of joggers is definitely as far as I’ll go in ‘treating myself’ out of the ‘family’ pot xx #coolmumclub

  49. absolutely prabulous Reply

    Totally had the same thought about my work clothes when I re-sorted the wardrobe last summer and came close to throwing them out. Loved the bit about missing missing your kids instead craving a break from them. And the line about your experience falling out of your brain made me a laugh. A bit like Talya’s fave line about her brain falling out of her ear! However, the employee recognition award thing…can’t relate…if there was an actual appraisal programme for mothers on their efforts, I’d lost my job on the spot and have ‘must try harder’ recommendations everywhere and as you know, your punctuality is not something I’ll ever suffer from lol. Fab post as usual love. 🙂

  50. absolutely prabulous Reply

    oops #coolmumclub

  51. Something Crunchy Mummy Reply

    After not working for nearly 3 years I can totally relate to these. Great list and I so miss the cheeky Friday McDonald’s! #coolmumclub xx

  52. Something Crunchy Mummy Reply

    Popping back from #justanotherlinky. Thanks for linking up xx

  53. Emma - meandbmaketea Reply

    was just browsing after commenting on your archived 4 weeks in blog post 🙂 I can relate to this post because the whole list is why I LOVE working lol! I really like the balance I have. but sometimes things change that you have no control over – like redundancy and you just have to go with it and make it work. I must admit recently I’ve been thinking “ah it would be lovely to have maternity leave again” – I don’t think I made the most of it or appreciated the time off really. I spent a lot of time moping and wishing I were back at work :/ x

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