Is there a kid under your desk?
Sam Wilson plays with the idea of smuggling her sons into work.
(Tammy Gardner)
Let’s all do the maths together. How much time do our children have off school each year? Three months? Four months? And how many of us are working mothers? Around 80%?

I have four weeks leave a year.  Even if I never ever went on leave at the same time as my husband, there’s a significant amount of time we need to leave our kids home alone with someone else. Who has to leave her kid alone with someone else. Who has to...

All very cute, job creation-wise, but a significant source of mommy guilt year on year.

“How was your day yesterday?” I asked Benj when I got home.

“Kak,” he said, with a little boy frown. “How many days until you can be at home with us again?”

Honestly, if I felt any worse I’d turn into a bug.

Of course, I have the luxury of hiring in-house help. Other mothers are using tight, bright smiles as they haul their kids off to “holiday camp” (their school classroom with all the work stuff packed away) or crèche or granny’s house, while repeating our sad little mantra: “It’ll be FUN, love!”

Still others find themselves literally holding the baby. Each year, one notices a few children around the office, tucked drawing under desks, or playing with some toys or playing on a computer freed up by a working colleague or sitting awkwardly on a lap.

And while younger sprog-free colleagues sneer, I am torn between feeling sorry for these mothers and feeling jealous.

Because, readers, I really miss my sons when they are on holiday and I am not.

Are you still at work, with your kids on holiday? How are you handling it?

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