Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Where I belong.


I was putting my daughter down to sleep the other evening after a poor night the night before and no nap. I had spent a large part of the run up to bedtime feeling 'stressed' about having some time to myself and some unbroken sleep. But as she fell asleep in my arms, I realised I shouldn't wish any of this time away. This is where I am supposed to be, a little snoring body pressed against me. This is what, if I am honest, I have always wanted, even when I didn't know it. Bad sleep and all.

In my experience I find it isn't always the done thing these days to love Motherhood, especially not the kind where you stay at home, at least with women of my generation who are educated and have careers or professions. I hadn't really understood what a political topic this was until I became a Mother, I thought people simply did what was best for them and their families given the constraints of cash, whatever that may be. I loved my job, I think I might even have been quite good at it and given the time and opportunities I believe I could have learnt to be excellent at it. But I gave it all up in a heartbeat and frankly I don't know exactly what I will go back to as that specific role my never exist again. A huge amount has changed in the world I worked in in a very short amount of time. But the fact of the matter is, for me, being at home with my child, it is the right path. I am thankful to the universe (and my Husband!) that I am getting to live the choice that is right for me and my family. Even on the days when it is downright awful!

I don't know what the future holds for me. But I do know I won't regret the decisions we have made so far. You can't ask for a lot more than that in life. I should thank my daughters sleeplessness for the chance to navel gaze over this!

28 comments:

  1. I love being a mother, we returned back to our native North East, so I could take time off and me a mum at home to my children. It would do everyone some good to remember we are bringing up children, not managing an inconvenience. That said, even I need a reminder every now or then

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    1. I try everyday at some point to remind myself!

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  2. I hear you! Why must women try to compete and undercut each other? We are our own worst enemies sometimes. I find the comment and opinions about my choice to be at home always come from other women. Men just accept it, or, more likely, couldn't care less!

    While I am ranting, i wont use the expression "full time mother" as it implies mothers who work are somehow part time parents... ooh i could go on about this for hours. But essentially, my view is "Go women!! We are all brilliant and just trying our best to make it work"

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    1. I totally agree! I think Women should do what is best for them and their families, and be happy for other women doing the same! I am always left with the impression people who are judging me are really thinking I am judging them for their decisions and I really am not!

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  3. I hear you too! I could rant about this for hours. I am grateful for the opportunity to be at home with the children but others (yes women not men) find it hard to accept. Just the other day another mum at school said in a very patronising/sympathic tone "are you ok? The days aren't too long for you?" i burst out laughing! And replied I am very happy thanks.

    Anyway, good for you! hope your daughter is sleeping better. If you look at my instagram you'll see Bella fast asleep on the couch because she missed her nap today x

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    1. Andrea, recently someone who is pregnant with their first told me in a meaningful way that they didn't want to give up work and have nothing for themselves when their children are older! Why do people always assume that you should feel the same as them?!

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  4. I believe that we should all be able to choose the path that is right for us, and our circumstances, and not stand in judgement of others. Even though we may choose our path, it can still be full of potholes, steep climbs and downhill slides at times. Sleep deprivation is a struggle - my son existed on 3-4 hours sleep each night until he reached 2 1/2 years old. I returned to work when my youngest moved to secondary school and started a new career teaching. We are forunate that there are opportunities for us after a career break. So carry on enjoying what you are doing. I like the saying "All mothers are working mothers" xx

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  5. I feel exactly the same way! x

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  6. Gosh this is a subject close to my heart. I had three children close together and seven happy years when they were my only focus. Then I went back to work for two days a week. At this point I had a lovely, lovely oops baby. This time I wasn't ready to give up work, in fact we would have really struggled without my income. With Finn now 8 I work full time. I feel guilty about this but I have to be honest, I really love my job and I feel ambitious. I am almost 50 and I want some time to focus on me before it really is too late.
    At about 50 I have found that I have incredible energy to put into work. This has lot to do with having children who sleep - try waking a teenager up - but also to being menopausal. I have several friends who have gone through the process & they all say how great they feel. There is lots of time to find a career path - these days our working lives are long and we are no longer 'past it' at 50 - in fact I think the next few years may be the best. But then I always loved starting a new book & new decades always feel a bit like that don't you?
    You are doing a wonderful job right now - it is a job for life. Other jobs can be added if & when you are ready x

    Sorry went on a bit there x

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    1. I love hearing people's story Karen, and good for you making the most of every year, I hope I will be able to do the same.

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    1. Glad I'm not as alone in my choices as I sometimes feel!

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  8. Your daughter has a great mom. :)

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  9. Being a mum is the most important job a woman can have. We have to think of this little person before ourselves ALL the time... unless you have had a child I don't think anyone can comprehend what a massive job raising kids is. Everything else that you can cram into your busy day is a bonus. Time will come and go, somedays they will be at school, you feel great and can achieve so much. Other days just getting a loaf of bread is biggest thing! You are lucky having just your daughter to focus on. I work 2 days and I am trying to develop my artwork plus have the 2 boys and keep the family home in order.. I am feeling burn out right now. Despite all this, the important thing to me is my boys are happy and cared for the rest can slide.... ;-) x

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    1. Women really do have to juggle in a way I am sure men never do! I really hope the artwork side progresses as you would like - I know I am enjoying the odd purchase ;)

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  10. I love all the comments already made. Because they are all real and totally from the heart. Oh and I loved your post too for the same reasons! I had my boy and after a short period of materniity returned to work part-time, eventually going up to almost full-time. I hated it. I felt guilty for being at work and not with my son, I felt guilty when my boy was poorly and I was letting colleagues down. With no family to help us out, life was a struggle. And I didn't want that for my family. So I gave up my job totally. (I have to say for the record I wasn't happy there at all so it was a fairly easy decision). It did leave us cash poor though! But now I work a couple of days a week in a market garden and I love it. I also work term time only. I look at it as retraining for when my boy is old enough to look after himself in a few years time. For now I'm more than happy being a Mum and staying at home most of the time. Motherhood is the hardest job in the world and I'm glad I made the choices I did. Every Mother has to do the best they can! x

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    1. I totally agree - the best we can do is enough.

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  11. even though i get frustrated and miss having adult conversations, there is nothing i'd rather be doing. i feel like becoming a mother really gave my life some focus that it didn't have before. i love being a stay at home mom. one of my best friends tried it and it drove her crazy. i know she feels guilty because she works. i think that, provided the finances are worked out, we should find whatever situation works for us. a happy mom is going to be a good mom. for some of us that means staying home and for others that means following professional dreams. there's no one right way to live life, which i think is wonderful!

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    1. You have put it perfectly - there is no right way, only the right way for us. Women shouldn't feel guilty or competitive over their choices.

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  12. I hear you too. I chose to be a stay-at-home Mom, I chose to have four kids, I chose to home school two of them, I chose to fit time for me and, later, time for my work around all that, and to be mostly broke trying to raise a huge family on never enough money ... I'm fifty, and my youngest is 21, and I would choose the same path every time. And trust me, motherhood was just as political a battleground twenty plus years ago as it is now. To stay home or not is a choice for many, it shouldn't be seen as a commentary on what others choose. Great post :D

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    1. Yes, Annie, I am beginning to realise it has always been so over 'hoe to be a Mother'! Glad you enjoyed the post.

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