My Inspiration

My Inspiration

Monday, 27 February 2012

A Stay At Home Life...

Know what happens when you're a stay at home mum and you kid turns 1? I'll tell ya...

Most of your mummy friends go back to work. Which really makes you feel like you're not being a productive member of society. And it get's really hard hearing, "I'm so glad to be getting a paycheck" and "It'll be nice to talk to adults again" and "I'm looking forward to *insert whatever really awesome part of their job I'm slightly jealous of*"

Your kid starts getting to old for baby groups, and it's awkward to go, so you end up just not going.

You start staying home. A lot. Which makes you sad. So you stay home more. And it's just a vicious cycle.

It gets even harder to do things around the house, because your kid is so much more on the move.

I don't want to complain about being a stay at home mum. I really don't. I love being here to watch all the milestones, and a work day outfit consists of either my sweat pants, or jeans. If I feel like leaving the house office.

But I've come to realize you don't really become a stay at home mum until your kid is 1. Because before that, it just looks like you're on mat leave with everybody else. So nobody really says anything to you about it, because it doesn't look weird. And it's really easy, because you have this huge support group of people who are in the same, really hard stage of life with you. You get to go to the mummy groups and you all talk about the crying that never ends, the naps that never come, the breasts that always hurt, the husbands who never come home (they do, it just feels like their 8 hour work day is now a 100 hour work day).

Now my kid is 1. And that huge group I was talking about? It's dwindled itself down to 3 people. My friend J with her son C. My other friend K with her daughter and son L and A. They're the only stay at home mummies I know now.

Which, isn't really true, because I have a lot of really great friends who are on mat leave right now. 

BUT, it's not the same thing. Because their kids are really little. And yes, it's awesome because we still talk about the sleepless nights and the breasts that hurt, and crying that never ends and yada yada yada. But they can't really understand this NEW loneliness. The realization that this is my life now. The fact that, until Aislynn goes to school, my circle of mummy friends is going to change every few months. They don't get those looks of disdain when someone asks you, "So when are you going back to work?" and my response is, "I'm already at work. I'm staying home." 

Then the ever hurtful quip that hits me right in the jugular, "Oh, so you're not going back to work, you're staying at home." That is served with a side of judgement.

All this being said though, I don't want my mummy friends who are back at work, or thinking about going back to work at some point, to feel alienated, or hurt or anything by this post. I am so proud of you ladies who work out of the home! I'm so glad you are doing something you love (I hope), and that you have found the choice that works best for you family (I hope even more). I do know that for some mum's, staying at home would just be a gong show and not healthy or not feasible for your situation. I'm so glad that we women even have the choice!

I just want you to know that whatever choice you make is the right one. 

But it's still the wrong choice to someone. 

And you'll feel guilt no matter what you do.

On the upside to my choice though.

I have met some pretty fantastic people. Really, I have. I have made some friends for life. I can't explain the bond of mummy friends, there is none like it. I know that if I need a friend, at any time of the day, then I can call about 5 different people. RIGHT NOW. Who would drop everything to take Aislynn for an hour or two. Or to go for a coffee. Or a walk. Or just to hang out.

That makes me feel so good.

I have watched my amazing daughter transform from itty, bitty infant, to bouncing baby, to precocious, wobbly toddler. It's been an awesome ride.

I have learned so much about myself, and I've seen myself grow (Not just outward, although....). I feel like I'm doing a pretty good job being a mum. Aislynn's still growing and breathing and walking and doing things, so I must be doing something right. Right?

My relationship with my man has changed and blossomed into something new. Which is so scary and exciting. We're not just a couple of kids in love. We're parents in love. And it's just so cool.

I'm thankful for my family and I'm thankful for the opportunity to stay home with Aislynn.


Krysta said...

I can imagine how you feel. I don't have a kid, and I've been grounded from my job since January... so I'm just stay at home, minus the mom part. The reaction you get when you say you are "looking for a job" or "waiting on news from current job" are horrible. As if you are the first person who has went through a period of unemployment in their lives. I'm trying super hard to get out of this situation, but I still feel so judged for being here in the first place!

kpeereboom said...

I really like this post and this was something I am struggling with all over again now I'm home with the two kids. I had worked part time with Leah but now I'm totally home with both kids. The comment that always gets me is when people say oh you are just staying home? Just staying home?!?! It is so much more than just staying home like you say in your post! You are doing a fabulous job as a mother and I've learned its something that you learn as you go there is never a right or wrong way of doing things!

Anonymous said...

From an "old" mommy friend :) I hear ya! It is an incredible gift to be home 24 hrs with our kiddos, but comes with it's own set of challenges and emotions! You would have had a chuckle with me when I went to renew passports. I insisted on making the notation that I was a "self-employed homemaker". After the second person tried to clarify what that meant, and I started to get nervous they might not give us our passports and relented and allowed them to cross out the "self-employed". But I really liked the sound of that whole term!! Noticed the guy who first checked our stuff over was smart enough to leave it alone after his first tentative question! The lady just grinned and said "you're right" but its confusing as to whether you're self-employed as well as a homemaker . . . wasn't that the whole point?!?!?

Keep going! and if you ever need another listening ear just call :)

Wendy Hayhoe

pippasmum said...

I don't know why we women criticize each other so much. We seem to always sit in judgement when we should just be supporting each other. I'm in the opposite situation to you - I'm back at work and I would give anything to stay at home. I feel judged on all sides - I work with a number of women who have children the same age as mine and I don't understand how they manage to work all day and then stay at work for staff sports or go out for coffee with friends - all I want to do is be home with my family. I value my career and I enjoy my students but, if we won the lottery tomorrow, I would stay home in a heartbeat. I feel like a traitor - there's something wrong with me because I am not more ambitious and don't want to "achieve". On the other hand, I get this vibe from several stay-at-home mothers that "if I really wanted to, I could manage to stay at home". Given my husband's student loans that we spent YEARS crushed under the weight of, we didn't get to start off financially on the same basis as our friends and we have been behind ever since. I need to work for the foreseeable future. I just feel lucky that in my job, I have a reasonably light schedule - I can leave at 8 and be home a bit after 4.
You are doing the right thing FOR YOU and that's all that matters. I just wish I was around to hang out!

Just Another Mummy Blog said...

I find that we're our own toughest critic as well, I beat myself up for not being out there and doing something productive, like working, yet you beat yourself up for not doing something productive like being at home. No matter what we do, that guilt is always along for the ride.

For what it's worth, I think you seem to have found a great balance between working and being a mum. You obviously put your kids first, and I always see you and your hubs doing things WITH your kids when you are at home. Way to go Sarah!

Kelly said...

What a wonderful post!!! I can TOTALLY relate!! It is SO nice to meet other mamas who I can relate to!!!! WHAT A BLESSING!!!!!! So glad to start reading your blog!!

Just Another Mummy Blog said...

Thanks for stopping by Kelly! So good to connect with you :)