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Tuesday, 16 April 2013

My new boss.

My new boss: specialises in raspberries.
I had a big decision to make a few months back. A decision that had been weighing heavily on my shoulders, although it had taken me a while to realise quite how worried I had been about it. Every time the thought popped into my mind, I quickly squashed it back down, telling myself I would think about it after Christmas.

But then before I knew it, it was Christmas, and D-day (that's decision day) was looming ever nearer.

The decision in question was whether to return to work at the end of my maternity leave. I was in the very lucky position of having the option of staying home with my baby, and this was what I'd presumed I'd do when I was first pregnant. However, in trying to come to a decision, I hadn't bargained on the feelings of guilt I'd have. Guilt that I wasn't returning to my classroom. Guilt that I wasn't returning to the children and my colleagues. Guilt that I was lucky enough to have the option of staying at home when many mums have no choice but to return to work. I almost felt embarrassed when people asked me what my plans were at the end of maternity leave. I began to feel that I should be returning to work, even though the thought of it felt so horrible to me. But after an embarrassingly tearful meeting with my boss, I knew that home was where I needed to be and what was right for us as a family. So as of today, April 16th, I'm officially a stay-at-home-mum.

After all the to-ing and fro-ing in my mind, I feel that I've made peace with my decision now. I'm SO happy that I'm going to be at home with her. I feel like I've now got the best job in the world. Yes, my new boss sometimes calls on me rather early in the morning, likes to pull my hair, and can be rather demanding. And yes, there may be times when I'm envious of people that can drink a cup of tea while it's still hot, eat lunch without a small person trying to steal it, and not have a baby attached to them, koala-style, all day. But my new boss has such a sweet face, and I could spend all day listening to her laugh as we waltz around the kitchen.

In writing this, I feel I need to make this point explicit: I do realise how utterly, utterly blessed I am. I try hard not to take any moment for granted. To savour everything, no matter how dull and day-to-day. I know there are so many mums that are desperate to stay at home with their little ones, but can't due to financial reasons or career issues. I have friends that resent their work for all the moments it takes them away from their child. Perhaps my guilt lingers on, but this is the choice that works best for our family.

Now I know I'm not returning to work in the near future, I do feel I need to do something with my brain. Something to get the old grey matter firing up once more. To give me something else to talk about to R and my pals, instead of feeling like I'm a baby bore. I'm getting itchy fingers. I'm not sure what shape this will take yet, but it's exciting to think that I could do something else.

So, stay-at-home mums, please share your tips & tricks! How do you make sure you stay sane day-to-day when you've mainly been conversing in baby babble? (Is the answer always wine?!) Did you find that all your mum-friends went back to work and you had to find a new 'gang'? (That's probably my biggest worry). Did you return to work once your babies had grown up a bit?

11 comments:

  1. Awww, you should never feel guilty for not going back to work! It's a great thing you are doing and I am so certain you won't regret it. :)

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    1. Thank you - I'm trying hard not to feel guilty!x

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  2. Such a tough decision, but you have to follow your heart on this one. As a stay at home mam, I have never regretted the decision. Good luck and well done darling xx

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    1. Yes, heart following was the way to go. Thank you for the luck :) x

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  3. Welcome to the gang :) ... well done for making the right decision for you ... it is a very precious gift to give your little one ... I have been a SAHM for seven years now with three little ones and despite the odd day of feeling a bit frazzled I wouldn't change it for the world ... my advice would be get out and about regularly and enjoy it ... Bee xx

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    1. Thanks :) Yes I think I'm going to try and organise our week so there's a reason to leave the house every day - even if it's just to the library/feed the ducks! Thank you for your kind words x

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  4. I have just gone back to work, I was absolutely dreading it. I wanted to stay at home with my baby, but due to a number of reasons (a big one being finances) I went back.
    I have to say I think it was actually for the best. I quite like it, which has come as a bit of a shock!
    I only do 3 days and at the moment the baby is with my parents, next month she will go to nursery one day a week. I feel I have got the best of both worlds. Work is almost a break from the responsibilities and busy-ness of home and it means I really cherish my days at home with my buba.
    Every family is different and you can only do what's right for you and yours. Enjoy being a SAHM - I would :) x

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    1. That's exactly it isn't it - doing what's right for you and yours. Darn money though, it rules everything. How lovely that your little one can spend time with her grandparents - I bet they love it! Thank you for taking the time to comment. x

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  5. Don't feel guilty. The decision was yours and you made the right one for you and your circumstances. I went back to work when my first baby was quite young and spent a further 6 months regretting it until I finally handed in my notice and became a full time mum. I've since had another two children and am trying to find that elusive balance of being a freelancer or 'WAHM'. It's been tough occasionally and I've sometimes longed to escape to the relative calm of an office space but I will never regret having these precious years at home with my babies.

    Well done on making a tough decision xx

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    1. Thank you. It was a harder decision than I thought it would be. Good to hear from someone that has done both the working mum and SAHM thing - thank you for taking the time to comment. These years are so precious - and having the chance to stay home and share in them offered to me, I'm going to take it. I'm stillworking on the guilt thing... :) x

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  6. Hi - I've just stumbled across your blog via the Nature in the Home series so am commenting a bit late on this one!
    My baby is 8 months and I'm determined to stay at home with him. Finances will be very tight as a result but I'd much rather make material sacrifices as I don't think you can put a price on being home when your child is little.
    Of course, I have nothing but admiration for those who do go back.
    But for me I'm seeing it as an opportunity to maybe work for myself at some point (one of my long-term goals) doing something creative. And as an ex-teacher I'm looking into tutoring as it would provide a flexible form of income.
    Sorry for going on... I understand where you're coming from completely! And living in a new area too I know it can be hard meeting people. I've joined a few baby groups and you tend to see the same people - you're bound to click with a few of those!
    Good luck x

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