“I’m a working Mum and I’m dropping balls. I need some support” By Sarah Tucker

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“I’m a working Mum and I’m dropping balls. I need some support”

She bravely said. With tears in her eyes.

As the queue behind her watched on.

“With respect we deal with 550 students. It’s all in the letters” replied the woman in the school office.

The queue watched on.

No one said anything. No one told her “me too”.

But in her gut she knew she wasn’t alone with this.

Letters were emailed daily.

And she’d missed another fine detail within one of many.

Asking for a £5 note here, cash for the Father’s Day gift sale there, a red T-shirt for sports day, costumes for a show, assembly lines to practice alongside reading and spelling tests and all the other things she had been asked to remember.

She made lists of lists. But somehow things still got missed.

And she felt like she was drowning in it.

And that was before she thought about her home admin.

That was before she thought about her work.

Her career.

And somewhere further down, her own self care.

“What was it she needed from them?” She asked herself.

As the woman looked on expectantly.

“Well firstly why don’t you send all this to their Dad too? Why is it all expected from me when we both work?” She asked her.

“Secondly I think you need to offer some human compassion here…

…I dont want to feel like I’m failing a test. Or like I’m being judged for working….

….Our children’s mental health is underpinned by the wellbeing of their parents. So you need to listen to us too”

The woman was stumped.

But she didn’t say sorry.

She didn’t offer compassion.

She didn’t explain why the Dad wasn’t considered part of the default.

Instead she reiterated that she needed 4 x £5 notes in a white envelope.

Today.

And I know not every exchange is like this within a school.

But that woman walked out feeling more broken than when she went in.

After she bravely asked for help.

And all because it was of inconvenience.

They let her stay there. Vulnerable, open, alone.

But she’s not alone.

Because millions of Mum’s feel the strain.

We are all trying to keep up.

With the letters and the expectations and the guilt.

And this underpins the equality debate for women and working Mums.

We live with this tiny but huge assumption that we are in control of it all.

And between the WhatsApp chats and the emails we will break ourselves trying to be.

But the system needs to change.

It’s not that you’re not organised.

It’s simply that there is too much to do.

And please remember, your children are lucky to have you.

And don’t let anyone make you feel otherwise.

And to the businesses that work with our amazing school Mum’s…

Please check on her leading up to the summer break (and the Christmas one!).

Because the letters are piling in.

And it’s a lot for her right now.

Even if she says nothing at all “I’m a working Mum and I’m dropping balls. I need some support” By Sarah Tucker“I’m a working Mum and I’m dropping balls. I need some support” By Sarah Tucker