I AM MORE THAN MUM

I'm writing this post on the eve of my return to work, with the intention that it wont actually go live until well into next month. The situation is met with mixed emotions, I am both excited and nervous for my return to work, but I am definitely more anxious about parting with my son. We've enjoyed our nine months with no work between us, and it will be sad to see that end. But god am I excited to be someone other than Mum. And guess what, I feel bad for that. Society has us believing that returning to work is a time to dread, fear and avoid at all costs, but what if that isn't always the case? What if I am actually looking forward to my return, I want to be someone other than Mummy, does that make me a bad person?

Staying at home with your children can be all consuming, you are relied upon every second, of every minute, of every day. There is no relief and there is quite little in the way of support. I do have family round so I am one of the lucky ones, but some ladies don't and I can't imagine what that must be like. The amount of respect I have for mothers or fathers who stay home with their children is limitless. A lot of mothers choose to stay at home after maternity leave, deciding not to return to work and for some unbeknown reason to me that choice seems to be portrayed as the 'easy option'. Not in my book. What is easy about being at home, alone with children most days? What's easy about having little to no income of your own? Nothing. There is such a common misconception that being on maternity leave or a stay at home parent is day after day of play dates, coffee room catch-ups and long boundless strolls in the park. When in reality, most ladies I know go out for walks as they are sick to death of staring at the same four walls day in, day out. They have a coffee with other Mums perhaps once a month, and that's there only other adult interaction for the rest of the week bar their husbands. Life at home is hard. For these women, their days start and end with being Mum. As does mine, but I'm getting to escape that during the day, I'm being someone else. I am not saying that I wont think of my children in the day whilst I'm working, of course I will, more so in those first few weeks. But in a few months I am certain there will be mornings when I will be so glad to drop them off with their childcare and breathe a sigh of relief as I drive away. I know when I return to pick them up that evening, the stresses will have been forgotten and I shall be so glad to see them again, it's a perfect situation. At home, you don't get that. If you're in a grump it's so hard to see past it when you have no escape, nothing to take your mind off the situation, so you sit and you stew. I work in childcare, so when I am at work I am 'Miss Emily', you might be someones boss, doctor or someones cleaner, but you are someone who isn't Mum. Nobody is going to call you mum and put rely so heavily on you to cater for their every need - if you are in a situation at work like that then I suggest backing away now. So, for all of these reasons and a thousand more, I am so, so excited to be someone other than just Mum. I'll get to return home and have a level playing field on why the dishes aren't done, because we're both out all day. I'll be able to kiss my sons goodnight knowing I avoided three toddler tantrums and a relentless baby all day, and I'll also get to natter away to my other half each evening about something that isn't children.

I have so much admiration for the ladies that can stay home and do it all, they clean the house, attend three baby groups a week and manage to do crafts or baking every day. That isn't me and I've come to accept that actually, I'm more than okay with that. In reality we could definitely afford for me to stay home, taking the boys out of nursery would free up a chunk of money and we could reign in those weekly takeouts that seem to be happening more weeks than not. But in truth, that isn't what I want. Maternity pay is soul destroying, it probably seems quite selfish and greedy to admit I do miss a full wage each month, but I have to be honest. For our family it just works so much better for us all when I am working. We're all on the same time clock, leaving the house at the same time and returning together, we get time to miss one another and guess what - I am coming home to the house in the same state I left it. I am happier at work, and guess what? I don't feel bad for admitting that anymore.

7 comments :

  1. I never wanted to go back to work before I had my little one but I've decided to go back 3 days a week in October. I think it will do my little one good to mix with others at nursery and I get a bit of adult conversation at work. What I've learnt so far with parenting is that you've just got to do what works for you and your family. How are you finding it being back at work?

    ReplyDelete
  2. I was the exact same. I didn't particularly enjoy maternity leave the first time because I lost too much of myself. I was excited to go back to work. This time I am enjoying myself but will still go back to work so I can keep some of my independence.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Well done you! I wish I could go back to work but we wouldn't be able to afford the childcare. I can't wait until the kids get their free pre school hours and I can get a job. Enjoy your time to yourself, like you say, it makes you appreciate the kiddies all the more!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I think it is important to accept who we are rather than try to be someone we are not. Everyone is different and what works for one family might be all wrong for another. Regardless of whether parents stay at home or return to work, it is a tough job to juggle everything - neither is easy!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I'm getting to the point where I'm ready to go back to work. I find it really hard being at home and I end up going stir crazy with the kids day in day out with the school run my main activity x

    ReplyDelete
  6. Staying at home is not the easy option and going to work is!!! I love my days at work being free and do what I like. Maternity leave is far from a holiday...its anything but a holiday and bloody hardworking.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Good luck with going back to work. I found the balance really hard to deal with.
    I want to go back full time soon

    ReplyDelete