I have been wanting to write a post about this for quite some time, but never got around to it. This very morning I am sitting in bed, Miss Mouse has gone to nursery for her first ever FULL day. Guilt has kicked in and it seemed a pertinent time to discuss.
I don’t work as in I DO NOT have a paid job, yes, yes of course I have a 17 month old baby and I am busy growing another but I DO NOT contribute financially to our household income. Gary has an alright paid job and we live comfortably, which generally equates to me spending too much money and have a melt down just before payday each month. I refuse to refer to myself as a STAY AT HOME MUM or SAHM! Firstly, I hate how everything you do or practice has to have a title, but that is a whole other post! So I doggedly refuse to call myself the above title. Before I got pregnant again, there was always that awkward “when do you go back to work?” question from everyone. The truthful answer is I DO NOT and did not have a job to go back to.
In 2009 we moved to South Africa with Gary’s job, I knew that I wouldn’t be able to work over there as his company were going to supply me with a spousal visa. This had a certain level of appeal, being a lady of leisure and we knew we wanted to start a family, in fact we had been trying since the beginning of 2009 to conceive. Our plan seemed to be coming together nicely, I would be able to stay at home with the baby and he would be able to support us financially. Getting pregnant wasn’t that easy and after several months of being in a foreign country with no friends, stuck in a massive house all day and no car, I was pretty bloody lonely! I got very homesick and decided I had to DO something. I got involved in two volunteer projects with charities and LOVED it. An amazing opportunity that I would never have been able to experience in the UK. I thrived and I met people, I threw myself in to different activities to meet new people and accepted every invitation to begin with. From there I met an amazing friend and her little girl is a week younger than Miss Mouse. I miss her dearly and can not tell you how important she was to me while I was in South Africa. I also formed some very strong friendships with others who became like family to me. Anyway, I digress!
In 2011 things changed quite drastically for us and Gary’s contract was not renewed as has previously been discussed, I was around 30 weeks pregnant by this time with Miss Mouse and it was quite a stressful period for us. He looked for other jobs, but nothing matched the salary he was on, this would have meant moving and to be employed with a new company meant a lengthy visa application process again. We made the difficult decision to return to the UK. As soon as we returned Gary went house hunting and job hunting and things were pretty tough for a few months as we figured out what we were doing. We always seem to land on our feet and for that I am truly grateful, don’t get me wrong we’ve been through some tough times, but it has only made us stronger as a couple and more determined to make things work for us.
Gary is the breadwinner, there is no way I can ever match his salary and he thrives on knowing that he can provide for his family. I enjoy staying at home but some days I would love to throw on a power suit, do my hair and make-up and talk strategy in the board room, but for now that is not an option. I am by no means a good house wife, Gary will often come in from a 8-6 day, bath Mouse and then make dinner for the 2 of us, he’ll do the dishes and sort the washing. He sees to Mouse every morning at breakfast and I do worry that sometimes I take him and what he does for granted when I am standing buying expensive make-up, going for lunch and buying new clothes. He is happy and I am happy, it works for us. The money is OUR money and I manage the household budget.
I’d be scared to be entering the job market again right now as all I know is nappy change times and nursery rhymes. I do believe I can have a great impact on my children by being at home with them in the early years, but I don’t believe any more so than any working mother, if my circumstances were different, I may have no choice but to work full time. I still put Mouse in nursery 2 mornings a week, I justify this by saying that she needs to socialise, the truth is I need a break! It’s tiring and for me as a person there is only so much child care I can give without going insane! I just hate being pigeon holed or needing to justify my decision, that wasn’t really a decision, if that makes sense! Maybe the only person I am justifying it to is MYSELF!
Thanks for reading.