Before I had children I used to work twelve hour shifts 36 hours a week as a care worker for the elderly. I then fell pregnant with Oscar and my life changed.
I had to start maternity leave early as my work was too demanding and I just couldn’t cope. I had gone from working 36 hours to nothing. I was bored every day with raging heartburn and hormones flying. Finally Oscar arrived and I finally had something to do! Be a mother. Somehow bring up this tiny human that I was fully responsible for.
The months went on and I was planning on going back to work when Oscar was 8 months old. I couldn’t. I couldn’t leave him. He was mine and it was my job now to raise him and care for him. So I made the decision to hand my notice in and be “just a mum.” My partner would now become the bread winner and I would get to stay at home everyday, perfect right? Wrong.
You may all think I am lucky that I get to stay at home with my children everyday, but there are some days I wish I could go out to work to get a break and just to talk to an adult instead of an argumentative toddler and baby talk to a three month old. It’s not easy staying at home, and it gets pretty boring. Alternatively the child care costs are through the roof to put them in full time and then I’d still need to find a job with flexible hours that work around school time, which every mother wants!
I used to dread people asking me “what do you for a living?”I would wait for the judges, the snide comments and the “when are you going back to work?” comment. I used to just walk away and think of excuses as to why I wasn’t going back to work. The “I’m looking for a job” or “I’m waiting to hear back from a job” I wasn’t but for some reason I felt too ashamed to admit I was a stay at home mum. All of that is behind me and now I’ve taken a more positive approach to it. “I’m a stay at home mum.” Nothing gives me more pride than seeing my two children growing up and transforming into beautiful humans and knowing that I’ve been partly responsible.
Plus, I’m not “just a mum,” being a mother has a huge amount of job roles. I mean think about it ladies and stay at home dads, you’re a chauffeur, a chef, a doctor, a cleaner, a counsellor, a teacher, entertainer, the list just continues. Its just like any other job, the good days, the stressful days, the slightly more productive days etc. Except with this job we don’t get a wage, we get no sick days and we have to be on call 24 hours a day 7 days a week.
I do admire you mums out there that can go out to work and juggle being a parent too, you must be exhausted, but its not for everyone, myself included. When both the kids are at school full time I’m hoping to go back to my care work, I miss it terribly, but now is not the right time for me, I mean Luna is only three months old. We got this stay at home thing mamas! Don’t feel judged for not going to work, or in fact don’t feel judged for going to work. Just do what you feel is right for you. We are all learning at this parenting thing but I guess we all get judged regardless.