So this is a hard post to write. I did touch briefly on this on Twitter and had some wonderful support, so I feel confident enough to write about it here on TillyButton.com.
Baby Button is fourteen weeks old, and before he was born when I was doing temporary work until the week he arrived – I vowed I’d be back at work within three months. That was while pregnant, before I met this pretty amazing creature who learns and develops every single day. It was before knowing what it would be like, waking up and seeing a toothless smile through the bars of his cot. Before feeling the bond of breastfeeding and before hearing him laugh.
This week I was offered a job after handing in my CV. A few hours a week, from 6am until 10am and with a lovely group of people.
When I went for my first day of training, I immediately knew it would be difficult. It was too early, I had to really beg for childcare and it was too early for nursery. But I have a strong work ethic, I figured I’d be fine.
I was wrong.
I was only gone two hours but couldn’t settle. The pit of my stomach felt like lump of lead and I couldn’t focus. Deep down I knew it just wasn’t the right decision for me at this time – I needed to be at home with Baby Button.
I don’t need to work just yet. I might not be able to holiday in the Maldives, and I might have to buy things second hand.. But Baby Button is happy, healthy and very loved. That’s all that matters and I knew what I had to do.
I contacted the manager, apologised and explained how difficult the childcare situation would be. Thankfully she was absolutely wonderful and there was no hard feelings! It was a massive relief for me – I could get back to our sleepy morning routine of coffee, hot bottle and cuddles before playtime and a walk if the weather is good. It was also a realisation: I’m officially a Stay At Home Mum. Something I never, ever thought I would be.. And it feels bloody wonderful.
I Never Wanted To Be A Stay At Home Mum
I was one of those people who eyerolled at the concept of a ‘Stay At Home Mum’. I cringed when the SAHM hashtag would pop up in a bio and I just couldn’t see the appeal. Work is work – strong women go to work right? Strong women don’t stay at home to look after children when that’s what a nursery was for.
God how small minded I was.
Strong women do go to work. But strong women do make the decision to stay at home and look after the children they helped create. Taking the steps I did to say no to work, were some of the hardest I ever have. Taking a step back from my independence, taking a step back from being in charge of my finances.. All for one little boy. Who is completely worth it. I’m a strong woman. The woman who goes to work and leaves her child at nursery, is a strong woman. As Mothers, we are strong in so many ways we don’t even realise. So when you feel judged by someone for staying at home – hold your head high.
Like me merely months ago, they just haven’t had to make the decisions you have.