On June 15th I became officially unemployed a stay at home mum. A term which sends shivers of fear down my spine. This quite important development passed me by until there was a knock at the door and a delivery man gave me some flowers, I was excitedly ripping open the box wondering if NEXT had somehow decided to send random bloggers some flowers when the realisation hit me, they were from my now ex work colleagues.
My IT career has come to a standstill and realistically is probably over. That sounds a lot more dramatic than it is, I have been on maternity leave for three of the last four years, my career probably came to a screeching halt years ago.
The decision not to return to work was pretty much taken out of my hands, the cost of childcare is crazy expensive where I live. Two in nursery and then before and after school club for another came to £140 a day. We briefly discussed the idea of a nanny, but I was a bit scared the kids would like the nanny more than me. So I am officially a stay at home mum, which sounds much scarier than being maternity leave. Although the decision itself was easy to make the reality of the role is not.
- Five minutes sat on the sofa watching some rubbish TV seems like heaven, the rest of the day is spent wiping bums and tripping over lego bricks.
My lovely husband gets to sit down all day at his nice clean clutter free desk.
- A hot cup of tea is now a very distant memory.
My lovely husband can drink as much coffee as he likes all day long, quite often from a nice shiny Starbucks cup.
- I cannot complete a conversation without being interrupted by a small but very persistent child,
My lovely husband can of course chat to his hearts content all day long.
- I cannot speak on the phone without first wrestling from little S who calls everyone ‘Grandma’ and then I can’t hear for all the screams in the background.
Lovely husband can again chat all day long if that’s what he wants to do.
- I sometimes do not get chance to eat until 2pm… then when I eventually get some food, there are three children reaching out for it with open mouths rather like little birds waiting to be fed.
I’m pretty sure no one in my husband’s office opens their mouth and waves their hands around manically when he opens his pret sandwich.
Sometime I feel quite trapped in the house, on the two day’s where I have all three it is such a mission to go anywhere that often I don’t bother.
Somewhere in the midst of the chaos I try to find the time to study, its impossible, but I try. First time round being a student I had a similar problem, but this time children not hangovers are the reason why I am struggling.
So stay at home mum or career woman? What works is obviously very different for everyone, and I really appreciate that I am very lucky to be able to stay at home with my children, but it is not all lego and giggles. There are many wet pants (little S currently goes through 4 changes of clothes daily), arguments, much shrill screaming, some very icky nappies, endless amount of washing and don’t even get me started on the my kitchen floor.
I think I am trying very inarticulately to say is I am a stay at home mum, but I am also a writer and a student and doing all those things with three children in tow is hard and stressful. It is definitely not the easy option and not a role that can be summarised in 4 words.
Every time I have a bad hour or day or week, I start to plan out a blog post about how I am struggling. There have been times where I have been in tears, because 3 such small children seems like too much to handle without any supportive family nearby, but each time I start to write it ends up a positive happy post. I think this tells me that it is hard, but the good bits outweigh the bad, and actually I love it! I am very lucky and deep down I know it.
The downside is of course the lack of income, so if anyone hears of a job that I can from home, whenever I like please let me know. I believe I am extremely proficient at monitoring twitter steams!