Me: Well I was a teacher but now… Now I’m a Mum?
It felt weird saying it. And then I followed up trying to justify it: twins, baby with physio needs, childcare costs. But why did I struggle admitting I had a ‘Mum career’?
Maybe it’s today’s society that expects women to do it all because we CAN now? But I chose to leave my job to care for my children? I wanted to be a stay at home mother at least for the time being. So why was it I was slightly ashamed to admit it?
The other day my sister asked what I was going to do in terms of money and work. I replied that I wasn’t going to work but stay at home with the kids and she struggled to comprehend that. She said she didn’t like the idea of the lack of security money wise and relying just on her husband which I do understand. That dependency has been the most daunting thought for me. Everything has to be accounted for. Everything shared, a lot of trust and savings to be made. But it’s not a new concept, in fact it’s very much been the way for a lot of family for a very long time yet there’s still a struggle within myself that I should provide as well.
Another downside to the stay at home role is you have no rest bite. In this ‘career’ there’s isn’t any detachment. Not really. For example I said to the husband today when do I get a break? We had got his mother to take the girls for a walk and during that time I was cooking the dinner, washing the girls clothes and cleaning the kitchen. No time to myself, especially when he isn’t here to help. Yes I could have sat on my arse not doing anything but I’d only have to do those jobs later. I probably get about two hours every night which some of you read this and think what the hell is she moaning about. Yes compared to some I’m lucky, but some of that time is cooking, eating, tidying for the next day and then I’m interrupted by an upset child and then a little me time and off to bed.
Every nap time there is something to do if I go out that day I have a shower in the first nap and pack the bag, if not I take the opportunity to have some sleep. Other nap times I’m either driving, cooking or cleaning. You may think why not leave the washing? I could but the amount of clothes, bibs and gloves they get through means that if I don’t keep on top of it I’ll run out of stuff or the pile will be so huge it takes over the house.
Don’t get me wrong this is by far the best job I’ve ever had, I did/do love teaching but being a mother is so rewarding when it’s going well. With twins it’s relentless and neverending. It’s also hard.
So why the shame? I don’t know? Maybe it’s guilt because financially I’m letting my family down? Perhaps there’s my own stigma because women fought for our rights to work I should be doing that? Or maybe in this modern age it’s expected that both partners should be working? I don’t know, perhaps it’s the papers that usually demoralise stay at home parents by saying their lazy or just seeking benefits? But I need to let that go because I know plenty of stay at home Mum’s and regardless of what you think/read about in trashy newspapers, being a stay at home parent is not easy at all.
So the next time I get asked, I won’t ease up. I’ll say ‘I’m a stay at mother’, and I’m proud of that.
Love B x