The myth of the WAHM


She wakes from a rested sleep, the birds are chirping and the sun is peeking through a tiny crack in the curtains.  She swings her manicured toes out of bed (she had some spare time yesterday, so she gave herself a mani/pedi) and slowly makes her way to the kitchen which is spotless as her children cleaned up the night before.

Her family is chatting happily around the table and breakfast awaits her.  Steaming coffee is placed in front of her, coupled with a kiss on the forehead from her adoring husband.

The morning goes smoothly and she drops her older children at school with a peck on the cheek and a balanced lunchbox covering all five food groups.

Upon returning home, the cleaners have arrived so she plays happily with her younger children and eventually checks her emails at lunchtime.  There are a couple of quick enquiries to answer, so she sends of some emails while the children sing nursery rhymes and play educational games in their playroom.

The phone rings and her cherubs automatically know to be silent and she takes the call in peace while drinking her steaming coffee.

After lunch she sits down to do some work, and the children quietly read their books and clean up their educational games from earlier.  Her work is stress-free and quickly completed so she settles in for coffee and a magazine on the couch before picking up her older children from school.

Dinner is prepared without fuss, the older children bathe the younger ones and everyone sits down to recount their sunshiny sparkly day over a meal of homegrown vegetables and food that has been carefully planned to cover all essential nutrients required for growing bodies.

At bedtime the children all kiss her on the cheek (Von Trapp style) and skip to their bedrooms where they settle for a full 12 hours sleep.  She snuggles with her husband on the couch and thinks what a charmed life she leads.


She tries to open her eyes but they’re glued together.  Her youngest is sick and has been up half the night, but she knows that if she doesn’t get up early, she won’t get any work done.  She makes a coffee and settles in front of her computer as the clock ticks over to 5:30am.  There’s peace in her house and it’s the best time to get anything done.  She looks down at her pedi that is actually growing out and wishes she could fit in a trip to the beauty salon.  Not going to happen.

Before she knows it, the family have started to wake and she needs to shut down her computer.  She’s managed to answer her emails and get about an hour of work done.

Breakfast is gleefully chaotic.  The kids are in all different states of being dressed for school and the noise level has reached fever pitch.  Her husband looks at her with bags under his eyes as their sick child ended up in their bed last night.  Neither of them got any sleep.

There’s constant barking of orders to try to get everyone ready in time for school, and she realises she forgot to take the bread out of the freezer last night after working until midnight.  She makes their sandwiches with frozen bread and hopes it thaws by lunchtime.  As an afterthought she adds an apple and some rice crackers to each lunchbox knowing none of it will be eaten, yet they’ll all be ravenous upon returning from school.

After the school run, she races around putting on loads of washing, making beds and cleaning up whilst checking on the delivery of an order she placed over a month ago.  She has clients waiting but Australia Post are non-committal about the delivery time…nothing new.

Her younger children are ratty and tired after little sleep and sit in front of ABC Kids for an hour so she can get some work done.  ‘It’s educational’ she tells herself and tries to fit in as much as she can.

The phone rings so she takes it into the study and shuts the door hoping to shut out the noise from the playroom.  She just manages to finish the call before the kids come storming in pretending to be ghosts with the clean sheets she has just folded dragging on the dirty floorboards. Sigh.

All of a sudden it’s time for school pick-up and she bundles two over-tired littlies into the car, realising too late she’s still wearing her slippers.

Dinner is an afterthought and she quickly cuts the ‘bad bits’ off some veggies at the bottom of the fridge and puts together something healthy for her family.  The noise is at fever pitch. Again.

Bath time means there’s water all over the bathroom and she can’t wait for the kids to all be tucked up in their beds so she can get back to the work she was trying to finish earlier. She discovers a cold cup of coffee but doesn’t even know if it’s from today.  She drinks it anyway.

Two stories and several re-settles later and it’s somewhat quiet.  She cleans up, does another load of washing, remembers to get the bread out for tomorrow and pats herself on the back for that small feat.

Settling down in front of her computer she fits in a few hours work before she can no longer keep her eyes open.  Just as she’s falling asleep, she hears a child cry out…it’s going to be a long night!



The Organised Housewife

Image credit: Image 1, Image 2

  1. Margaret Mila
    January 19, 2012 | 3:48 pm

    Hilarious! I’m sure there’s a Saint Kelvinator that listens to the Mothers’ Prayer for the Thawing Sandwich at least a million times every morning.

    • workingwomenaustralia
      January 21, 2012 | 12:01 pm

      St Kelvinator – love it! Now if he could just help me to remember to take the frozen bread out…

  2. Kelly Exeter
    January 19, 2012 | 8:05 pm

    It’s all true! I work from home now, but the only reason it works is because Mr 2 is at daycare and I have the whole house to myself!

    • workingwomenaustralia
      January 21, 2012 | 12:02 pm

      I need to increase my son’s daycare this year. It was easier to work around sleeps etc when he was younger, but it’s getting harder and harder to fit in work while he’s here.

  3. Kat - the organised housewife
    January 21, 2012 | 7:31 am

    This is a classic, so very very true, life can be so hectic. Thank you for linking up to the organised housewife today.

    • workingwomenaustralia
      January 21, 2012 | 12:02 pm

      Thanks Kat! I am so excited about the new linkup – it’s a fabulous way to find new blogs. Thanks for hosting x

  4. amultifariousme
    January 21, 2012 | 7:42 am

    Such an awesome post. I know a lot of WAHMs, and I honestly think that many outsiders believe the first scenario to be true lol

    • workingwomenaustralia
      January 21, 2012 | 12:03 pm

      Wouldn’t it be nice if the first one was true! My nails would be glam and my house a display home. Haha, back to reality!

  5. Bec Clarke
    January 21, 2012 | 10:03 am

    That is just wonderful, funny yet not so funny when you are in that position, beautifully written.

  6. Lisa
    January 21, 2012 | 12:15 pm

    Love it :)

  7. Neen
    January 21, 2012 | 7:14 pm

    hehehe love it

    • workingwomenaustralia
      January 24, 2012 | 1:03 pm

      It’s so true of my day today Neen. Up at 5 to get some work done and now fighting the neverending battle of Mt Washmore before playing tag team and heading out to a client when my husband gets home from work at 3:30! Groundhog day lol

  8. [...] Working Women Australia - The myth of the WAHM [...]

  9. Julie
    January 28, 2012 | 10:56 am

    The first “In my unbroken dreams”!!! The second: I have searched the house for the hidden cameras, this is my world!!!

    • workingwomenaustralia
      January 29, 2012 | 12:19 pm

      Haha, sometimes it’s nice to know that others are going through the exact same thing! No hidden cameras, I promise

  10. Donna
    January 28, 2012 | 5:28 pm

    Oh my – this is just too true – why do we do it? I am so glad I came across this blog – it is so nice to know there are other Mums out there feeling the same. Great to work from home but the ‘dance’ is mighty hard ! Thanks for making me laugh out loud !

  11. Madonna
    January 29, 2012 | 7:38 am

    And, of course, I’m reading this blog post whilst I return work e-mails at 7:30 on a Sunday morning! My children go at school and daycare, so I don’t struggle (generally) with them being at home while I work. It is more that I try to knock some work jobs over at random times, to allow time to attend school activities and get other jobs done around the house!

    It really is never ending!!!

    • workingwomenaustralia
      January 29, 2012 | 12:17 pm

      Random times are a necessity aren’t they? Early morning, late at night and a stolen moment in the middle of the day!

  12. Trish
    January 30, 2012 | 10:05 am

    Scene two is much more my reality. Though of course I aim to change it when my twins start school *sob* I will have spare time on my hands.

    • workingwomenaustralia
      January 30, 2012 | 10:31 am

      That spare time was quickly eaten up with reading in class, extra work committments and helping out at the school etc when my first miss went to school. I think I saw your two are heading off to school this year, right? Don’t forget the waterproof mascara ;)

  13. [...] recently wrote a piece about the realities of being a WAHM that seemed to resonate with a lot of people.  The humour in [...]

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