So in December i got a new job and although it is long hours with no guarantee of a break, not great pay & not many perks it’s still the best job i have ever had. You see in December 2015 i became a mum & i have decided to leave work to bring up my daughter until i can figure out a better alternative. I say better, because to the world, having a child and claiming the benefits you need to care for them is frowned upon & It’s almost an obligation that i have to do my best to work something out. Now, before some of you judge me, know this. I was born to a middle class family & have worked and paid my way since i was 15 years old. I’m now 33 years old, my partner is working and i see no shame in asking for help so i can raise my daughter. Living in the south-east of England is expensive enough and when full-time child care costs over £1200 more annually than what i take home, i think it really is the most sensible option. But here i go justifying myself again. I will say this now to any parents/grandparents looking to make a similar move don’t ever let people put you down for wanting to. Its commendable and is more generous than people will give you credit for.
I think it is inevitable that you will be judged and not only for the financial side of things but for staying at home & raising families full stop. So to all us parents giving up our careers, Cheers! Bloody good show! The day-to-day antics are not easy & sadly do open you up to ridicule from those who are not in your situation. In the last 8 months i can’t tell how many times people have ‘joked’; “It must be nice staying home doing nothing? “. They have failed to notice the luggage under your eyes, your crinkled dress, shiny unpowered face & messy hair. You laugh it off of course, you don’t let them into the fact that they just made a very stereotypical, unjustified, not to mention insulting presumption. I will say this now , raising a baby is NOT a piece of cake but you see us smiling laughing and enjoying life because we love what we do. Our child is our world and we live for the smiles, giggles, famous firsts & the privilege to be a part of their world.
When my daughter was 2 months old i spoke to a health visitor about my messy flat & she said “a messy flat often comes with a good mum, It means you are putting your baby first”. This has been the most comforting thing i have been told since becoming a mum & is something i remind myself of when ‘jokes’ are made. I have met women who are super-mums who have everything organised & i often wonder how they manage it but more often than not they have other struggles to deal with that have not been a factor for me . This is why us mums & dads tend to stick together. We appreciate each others efforts, we don’t pass judgement or bitch about ‘so & so for being late again’.
Before i had my daughter i thought i understood, i thought i was supportive & helpful but i can see now i really knew very little & ‘joking around’ saying “You never come out any more pleeeeease!” was actually not that helpful or considerate. Even while i was pregnant i remember getting worked up about a dad wanting to give up a 9 year career that he loved to stay at home. I was outraged that ‘he felt he had too’ but now i see its because he wanted to & commend him. How many dads do this without a second thought,next to none. He is actually the only one i know, at any rate!. He is Amazing.
So lets all hold our heads high, ignore the ‘jokes’ & celebrate our choices. Because for me having a child isn’t about resenting how much you gave up for them but about loving them enough to leave it behind without thinking twice.
Here’s to messy flats,untidy buns & days we don’t get to shower.
Heres to the next chapter…