As I’m sure you’re aware, since our holiday to the lovely South Africa back in March, both my husband and I have had to be off work, dealing with some family troubles and spending time with our little daughter and nursing her back to good fitness after breaking her femur.
My husband returned to work a couple of weeks ago, and I am due back on Monday.
But because I’ve been off for such a long time – it’s almost as if I’m new and starting all over again.
I don’t know why, I think it’s because I’ve become used to being a stay at home mum, especially with the fact I’ve been with Ella 24/7 while she’s been recovering.
I’ve become used to my new routine, the fact I might, on occasion, have a little later start in the mornings, but then getting up and dressed, getting everything in order.
I’ve enjoyed the role I’ve played as a full time mum, housekeeper, errand person, etc.
I’ve enjoyed being able to spend so much time with my friends and family, who are mostly either not working or on maternity leave.
I’ve felt included.
So in a nutshell, I suppose I’ve become used to a life I’d like to lead.
But as a couple with a young family, we’ve certainly noticed the difference in earnings. I’d not yet been in my working role for a complete year, so unfortunately my statutory sick pay was all used up weeks ago, so for the last month or so I’ve had to be off unpaid.
And with two children in nursery and the pastimes my husband and I enjoy, I don’t think it would yet be feasible to drop my hours, let alone be a permanent SAHM.
Hence returning to work on Monday. Under duress!
I couldn’t have timed it worse if I’d tried, don’t you think. The weather is just starting to pick up, making it perfect for outings, trips to the park, impromptu picnics – all of which I’ll now have to sadly decline when organised for any weekdays, which naturally all of my friends will be doing with their own little ones.
I will feel a bit of an outsider all over again.
Don’t get me wrong though, at the end of the day I know this is my choice, certainly for the now, but it’s such a hard decision to have to make, and yes, some might even say selfish and unfair on my children.
But I would disagree to a certain extent.
Yes it is good to be with your children, especially whilst they are young, after all – we’ll never get these years back, but I am choosing to be at work so we have enough earnings to keep us stable and to maintain the lifestyle that we like to lead, so it’s my choice to drop my girls off at nursery each morning.
One day, I hope though that this will change, I hope that we will find a way to do both almost, to find that happy balance. But I’m thinking this may be a couple of years down the line, most likely when the girls are both in school and the fees have disappeared just slightly ( though who knows – their school might decide to offer the children an overseas stay in Barbados!)
I will miss spending as much time with the girls, though equally I will also be happy in the knowledge that they are having lots of fun and enjoying themselves. Sometimes I suppose at home, just to get things done, I have had to resort to the good old big square box as a babysitter, so at least at nursery and pre-school this just won’t be the case. Every day will be varied and full of opportunities to learn and play – something, perhaps over time, I’d have struggled with.
So, as I’ve always said, I believe my girls get a beautifully rounded and fully varied little lifestyle.
And in the mean time, we’ll continue to save our pennies, ready for their futures, and perhaps even start doing the Lottery too!!