We get up, we put on our clothes and we go to work by whichever method is the most soul destroying, right? Every day is the same, we do our work with as much vigour as we can muster, coming home to the comforts we have surrounded ourselves in, but then we have a baby and all that changes.
For me, the idea of an arduous commute into London every day whilst pregnant, was one which I was not prepared to entertain. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed my job, my friends and the banter and social life which comes with working in a great office environment, but pregnant, no seat, hot and on my feet…no thank you! I did it once to visit friends at my old work; when I got home I was in tears with the worst backache I have ever had from not getting to sit down, sore feet and the confirmation I had made the right choice in my decision to get a job closer to home. For some, this isn’t an option. I know I was lucky to find a job within a sensible driving distance, which was (although a step down in terms of career progression) the right move for me.
But then came the drawn out process of doing ‘the maths,’ you know what I mean? How much is the childcare? How many hours can I reasonably work to make this viable? Does my husband have to do condensed hours, long days and job share in order to help out? Oh the brain ache. I’m not even a parent yet and it is already becoming so complicated.
I chose the latter option…not to work. Not to go back after having the baby and to be that person, the ‘housewife’ the ‘stay at home mum’ the person which gets the question an infinite amount of times…..’what do you do all day?’
You do get people who give you the same look or the same comment about being ‘lucky’ and yes I am lucky to get to spend every day with my children, but it comes at a cost. Being a parent is fulfilling and wonderful and rewarding, but it gets to the point where that just isn’t enough. Where watching CBeebies and making pictures doesn’t feel like it’s your only purpose any more. Where you want to contribute to the family pot and not feel guilty about buying yourself that new top, because you didn’t earn it.
There have been studies by the Telegraph showing that a housewife should be paid £159,137! What the actual…? Well now I feel like I should buy myself a whole host of tops!
Whatever the decision, it seems like there is no right or wrong answer and I don’t know anyone who is totally 100% happy with the decision they have made. We just have to do what we think is best; as a mother, as a family but most of all, as a person. We mustn’t forget that before we all went on this crazy journey, we were office workers, cleaners, cooks, we had a purpose before we were a mum and we can all find a path that’s right for us again.