THE BLOG

To the Working Mother This Summer

17/07/2015 14:05 BST | Updated 16/07/2016 10:59 BST

To the woman on the train, who kept checking for signal. I heard you call as soon as you could, to ask how his end of term party was, to apologise for not being there.

To the woman on the train, who kept checking her messages for photos of them eating their dinner or doing bath time. I saw you bite your bottom lip when the message came through.

To the woman at work today, who called the teacher during lunch time for a verbal end of year report. I saw you taking notes.

To the woman who had to go to work and miss the school play and the end of term entertainer - it is done now.

The missed nursery runs are finished for the summer. The school pick-ups by neighbours need not be asked for until six weeks have passed. For now it is time for a holiday.

To the working mother, I know you felt complete sadness when you booked them in for summer camp. They need a rest, you thought, yet there wasn't any other choice.

To the working mother, I know you will get on the train tomorrow while the children sleep in, not needing to get up for school.

You won't make their porridge or packed lunch. You won't draw their curtains or dress them or asked them what they dreamt of.

Instead you will look at your phone for pictures of them at the park, of them having a picnic with their dolls, of them splashing in the paddling pool.

To the working mother, I know you.

I know this summer you want more than anything to be there. To be there when they wake up late. To be there when they are brave enough to go down the slide themselves for the first time. To be there when they eat their lunch on the lawn. To be there when they ride their bikes to the park and go even higher on the swings than they have dared to before.

This summer, I will feel the ache of not being there. I will live through the photos, I will cry at night, I will miss them with such longing I will feel your anger that we aren't there.

I wish I could tell you it will be easier by the end of the summer, by the next school holiday, by next year, by the time they are older.

But I won't. Because even though you have to work and even though you want to, it will still feel like the hardest summer you've ever had.

Your children will still laugh and play and learn and grow. They will wait for you at the end of the day and feel your cheek against theirs when you kiss them goodnight.

To the working mother, they will know, one day, you did it for them.

Cry tonight though, for the summer you won't have. I will cry with you.

Kiran Chug is a working mother of two who lives in London and blogs at Mummy Says.

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