I should start this post by saying that I CHOSE to be a stay-at-home Mum and I am very happy with my choice. To quote a friend recently, I BECAME a Mum, to BE a Mum. I didn’t choose Motherhood so that someone else could bring up my children and benefit from the joy that my children can bring. I want to be the person who is there for them when they laugh, cry or want to just be. I want to do the school runs, the School fetes, the plays, the pantos and the like. I want to be their Mum! I know that I am a very lucky Mummy, because I know that there are thousands of Mum’s out there who would just love the chance to stay at home with their children as I do with mine, and I don’t take that lightly.
BUT! I’m a little fed up with the ‘tag’ which seems to go with a stay-at-home Mum. “Oh yeah, she’s at home all day, she doesn’t do anything” because you know what, I would LOVE the opportunity to just ‘do nothing’. In my job as a stay-at-home Mum, I am housekeeper, cook, personal shopper, banker, cleaner, driver, home secretary, entertainer and oh did I forget to mention that I am also self-employed doing a number of different jobs for different people from home as well as writing my blog?
In the nearly 18 months since Beanie Boy came along I don’t feel like my feet have touched the ground, it has been a very tough learning curve trying to juggle work from home with a pre-schooler and a new baby. I have seen my friendship circle dwindle further during this time because I just don’t have the time to meet up with everyone as I used to and recently I have received a number of messages from ‘friends’ saying that I don’t make the effort anymore. I text, call and visit friends when I can. Admittedly my timescale might not be to everyone else’s liking but I DO MY BEST! Sometimes I might receive a text just at the right time and be able to text back straight away, sometimes I could be up to my eyes in a soiled nappy and with all the best intentions I think to myself I will respond in a minute only to remember just as I am climbing into bed at 1am.
I see Mums standing around having a chat after the school run in a morning and think to myself, I’d like to stand and talk too but I have to get home to get started on work, to put Beanie Boy to bed and make every minute count until I have to collect Little Bean from school.
I have had friends who ask me “why haven’t I been to see them”. I have visited their house countless times but when I think about it, they haven’t visited my house since I moved or since Beanie Boy was born, so that’s 18 months. Why is it down to me?
Over the years I think I’ve been a pretty good friend to most of my friends, I wonder how many of my friends which I have lost since Beanie Boy has come along can actually say that they asked ‘me’ how I was feeling or how I was coping as a new Mum. I found being a mum to two very hard work in the beginning, a number of times I have wondered whether I might have a touch of PND but I’ve just told myself I’m being silly and have got on with it. I know that I am a good listener and I know that I have been there for my friends who have had difficult times but there have only been a small handful of friends who have made the time to ask me ‘how I am’.
When Hubby and I were lucky enough to go to France for the weekend recently, we left Little Bean and Beanie Boy at home with Hubby’s parents for a day, Hubby’s sister overnight and for the morning and then my Mum had them for the remaining day and a half. They all found it hard going, our children are gorgeous but they are very spirited children, they wear you out easily. My Mum often says to me, “I don’t know how you do it all day on your own with them”. I just do it, they are my children and I love them but being a stay-at-home Mum isn’t all coffee and cake. I just thought you should know!
NB: If you are reading this and feel offended by it then my only response would be “if the cap fits then yes I probably am talking about you”.