Today is the day that most people return to work after the festive period. I say ‘most’ people but I don’t fall under that category. I’m a ‘stay at home mum’ (SAHM). I never in a million years thought that when I had children I would give up work but I absolutely love it.
I think sometimes more career-minded people, in a rather pitying way that makes me mad, can look down on SAHM’s. This usually happens when they don’t have children themselves. Maybe they think we sit around all day drinking coffee and watching daytime television. Fact of the matter is I don’t. Yes I go on twitter (and now this blog aha!) but it’s done quickly on my phone and usually when I’m waiting for something like the toaster or the microwave or I'm fed up playing with Mega Bloks ;-)
My working friends quite regularly ask me if I ‘miss’ work. I never quite know how to answer that. I wouldn’t say I miss work. I certainly don’t miss the 124 miles of driving every day. I don’t miss getting mad in the car at the idiots who don’t use the lanes on the motorway in the correct way. I don’t miss the Bank Holiday traffic and me getting angry at all the caravan owners sat in the middle lanes or trying to over-take trucks and clogging up my journey home. I don’t miss having disagreements with ‘creative’ bods who haven’t listened to me or read my brief correctly and me running around like an idiot trying to get something else done to present at a meeting. I do however miss my income. At the end of the day that’s what the vast majority of people work for no matter how much they say they ‘love’ their jobs.
I don’t have any desire to return to work in the near future. I left school at 16 and had plans to go to college but I landed myself a job. I was on £35 a week and I loved it. I worked my way up through the company, moving divisions and eventually achieved a manager role within marketing. As the first signs of the recession started to hit about 4 years ago I was made redundant. It hit me hard as the company was like my family; I’d grown up with it. I was lucky enough to be offered a job elsewhere straight away and lucky for me I loved it. Problem was it was 62 miles away from home and I also had to spend time driving up to Cumbria and down to Oxford. Fortunately the pay was good and they paid business AND personal on my company car. Happy days! Fast-forward 2 years and I’m leaving to have a baby…eek!
At that point I was hit with a decision. As it was I started my maternity leave early. I left Christmas Eve when my baby wasn’t due until 16th March! It was mainly my husbands decision as he didn’t want me doing all the driving in the final trimester. I was happy as it gave me time to prepare for having a baby. I think Matt and I both just knew I wouldn’t be going back to work. We’ve had to make some sacrifices but that’s what having children is all about. We’ve never led overly extravagant lifestyles but we have been known to splurge from time-to-time – well now we certainly live a more frugal lifestyle. We’ve had to adapt to this change in our life. I have to say though that sometimes I do struggle not having my own income. I’ve always had a wage. For almost 20 years I worked and bought things for myself - I even bought my first car myself at the age of 18 when most of my friends were getting them as presents.
Anyway, I digress. Sorry. I can see me amending this blog post a few times after publishing it! I’m really happy being a SAHM. I love spending time with my daughter and thankfully I still have contact with adults. I meet regularly with my groups of friends, most without children or children who are 17+ so I get to have conversations other than potty training and tantrums. I also have a few great friends with children of the same age as my daughter. I honestly don’t think I’d have the time to work and do all the things I want to do.
I’m not saying I’ll be a SAHM forever, but for now I think I deserve some time off for good behaviour. Until then I’m savouring each day with my daughter and secretly dreading the day I have to go back to work.
Photographer: luigi diamanti
Photographer: luigi diamanti