At one time; not so long ago, all I ever wanted was to be a stay at home mum. I wanted to spend the day housekeeping and caring for my kids. I wanted to research meals and make healthy dinners ready for when the husband came home. I wanted to be there for the kids when they’re sick instead of sat on the underground on the way to a meeting. I thought managing the house would satisfy me. But it just doesn’t.
If I have to pick up one more barely worn nightdress from Florence’s bedroom floor or scrub pasta sauce out of the grout in the floor under Elsie’s high chair one more time I think I’ll scream.
I love being at home, I’ve always been a bit of a homebody and like my home comforts. I like having control of my day and I like not having to answer to anyone. I love that I can do all the things with Elsie that I never had the chance to do with my other kids because I went back to work. I love that I don’t have to pretend to like the people at work or make ten coffees every time I want a hot drink because the polite thing is to make one for everyone. I like being home to accept parcel deliveries and having the freedom to pop to the post office during the day.
Despite all the things I love about being at home I’d never want to be a stay at home mum EVER again. There are two particular reasons which have led me to this conclusion; not only do I feel like I’m getting dumber by the day but I just can’t leave Elsie – and that’s not because I don’t want to.
Even when Matts holding her she’s looking over to see where I am. If a family member comes into the house she clings to me like a limpet. I’ve never had such a clingy baby and as much as I really, really want to go out and do stuff with my husband I can’t leave Elsie with someone knowing she’s going to cry. I know that sometimes you have to be cruel to be kind and I don’t mind a bit of that but it’s the person looking after Elsie I feel sorry for.
Last week Matt and I had to go to hospital for our 12 week scan and we left Elsie with one of our good friends. We left her for about 1.5hrs and we came back and I could hear her crying before we even got in to the house. I felt awful for our friend and I felt awful for Elsie as she just looked so sad. Matt and I haven’t done anything together in months and I’ve not been away from Elsie for more than about two hours since she was born.
It’s hard being a stay at home parent who doesn’t earn too. I have to somehow pass the time without spending any money. I’m not used to earning nothing and it’s really hard. I’ve worn the same boots day in day out for years and they only cost about £12 to begin with but I just feel so awful buying anything for myself when it’s me who put us in this position. People say “oh go and grab a coffee, get out the house” but a coffee will cost me £3 and I’ll have to juggle a 7 month old baby who just wants to twist and turn and grab and pull at everything she can find. It’s easier just to stay home and make yet another instant coffee for myself. I’m longing for the warmer weather so we can go for walks a little more frequently. However, when you’re hurtling into the second trimester with baby number four, walking will soon be at the bottom of my to do list.
I feel as though the ten years of work I did get under my belt before leaving to be a stay at home mum are now null and void. Who’s going to care about what I did before I had all these babies? I’m not saying I want to go back to working in a corporate environment or try and build a massive career for myself but I do want to work and whether that’s at home or elsewhere I want to work without trying to juggle it around children. I want to put 100% into what I do. I want to feel improvement. I want to do something I enjoy.
I’m not ready for the scrap heap just yet.