Everyone reacts differently when I say that I’m a Stay at home mum; some people think it’s brilliant and others think I’m nuts. That’s fine, everyone is different and I honestly think every parent should be able to do whatever makes them happiest. While I think that for now staying at home and not working is the best thing for me I equally understand that it isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. I always wanted to stay at home when we started our family but I never thought I would have the opportunity. My mum stayed home with me and my brother as much as possible and I’ve always been grateful for that. After having Lucas I went back to work part time after six months which I found incredibly difficult. As it turned out everything changed and I was able to become the stay at home mum I always wanted to be.
My husband knew that 2012 was going to be his last year in the school he had been working in; he’d been there for six years and felt like it was time to move on. It opened up the discussion of us moving, where we would live, would I be able to continue with my job? I worked as a sales manager and I enjoyed my job; I wouldn’t say it was a calling or a vocation but I was happy. We decided to move back to our home town and closer to parents, brothers, sisters and cousins. Along with childcare costs and commuting my wage would have been gobbled up making the decision for me to stay at home an easy one. I was more than happy with that but there were still worries.
I must admit that the thought of returning to the workforce one day is a scary prospect. I worry that I won’t be easily employed because I have been ‘just a mum’ for so many years. I worry that Lucas doesn’t get enough contact with other people and other children. Some days I feel so isolated, even with many people close to me. It’s been hard for us to adjust to not having the second income and had we adjusted sooner it wouldn’t have been quite as difficult now. We can’t go out very often and we have to be careful what we buy. I’m not sure when we will ever afford a holiday but I know that it won’t be for ever, it’s just a compromise for now.
I am constantly surprised that I don’t get bored and I don’t regret my decision, not at all. It sometimes seem easier than I thought and then at other times so much harder than I could ever imagine. We have days were we are out exploring or doing activities at home but there are plenty of days when we stay in pyjamas for much longer than is really acceptable and Toy Story is on a loop. I have days when the peace of an office seems like it would be bliss but I really don’t get much time to reflect on the alternatives! I’m sure that by the time Lucas is going to school I’ll be itching to do something different. However, I am so appreciative that I’ve been able to do it now.
I enjoyed my job for 7 years but being at home is where I am happiest. I couldn’t imagine going back to work while Lucas is young. It seems natural to be with him everyday; I want to be the person who knows him best and to watch him grow and learn. I want to be the person he turns to when he is upset or worried. I want to be the one who takes him to nursery that first day and picks him up to hear all about it. I want him to look back and remember me being a part of his childhood.
For every day that isn’t so great we have many moments that are perfect where I can sit back and think how lucky I am to be able to spend all my time getting to know my little boy. There are some days that I will never forget and I am glad I have got to experience them. There are some days when I’m counting down the hours until bedtime! I am conscious that these early years are flying past and I’ll never be able to do them over again; hopefully in between all my silly mistakes we are making precious memories that we’ll always remember.