Wednesday 17 January 2018

Family | Why I Could Never Be a Stay At Home Mum

When George was eight months old my maternity leave had finally come to an end and the time had come for me to return to work. I remember vividly the night before, I was emotional and cuddled him to sleep. I didn't want to leave him every day, I was racked with guilt even though I knew I was leaving him in good hands. My request for flexible hours was denied and I was miserable. Fast forward a year, I left that company, unknowingly fell pregnant with Henry and started a new job of which I thought there were part time hours available. Alas, I was informed the job would be full time but I ended up enjoying it there and didn't mind too much.

I found out I was pregnant with Henry a month after I had started my new job and panicked. I had gotten so used to being a working mum, my first thought was childcare. I know, pretty selfish right? See, we were incredibly lucky in the fact both my sets of grandparents and my dad provided childcare for George but with my grandparents getting older it would have been so unfair to expect them to look after two babies.

Eventually, albeit reluctantly, I came to terms with the fact I might have to find a part time job to work around the kids. Ideally, I wanted something early morning that would fit in with Pete's working hours and I could spend my afternoons with my boys. I was adamant this was what I wanted. The perfect balance between work and family.

That was until Henry arrived of course. Balancing a newborn and a toddler was far more difficult than I expected. I longed for a break, time on my own. If you thought getting out the house with one kid in tow, try it with two! I was soon back on antidepressants because my mood quickly deteriorated.

I was upset, angry and resentful. I had practically given up a job I was finally happy in after two years of misery and many more of temporary positions. I yearned for the routine of getting up, dressed, going to work with nothing but a handbag.

See the thing is, I am just far too selfish to be a stay at home mum and I appreciate my boys far more when I have had that little bit of time away from them. I also like earning my own money, drinking a cup of tea while it's still hot and having actual grown up conversations. I like the fact I am not constantly relied on and can actually sit on my arse without getting up every ten minutes.

I admire those parents who do stay at home with their children and those who want to. I actually got to return to work in September for two full days a week as Pete went self employed and I find that to be the perfect balance for us. The boys get to spend time with both their parents and also Pete and I get to be someone other than mum or dad.

How about you? Could you be a stay at home parent?

Rachael xo

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