Today is the day my maternity leave ends. But instead of having to go through the awful feeling of leaving Toby with someone else I while I go to work, I am lucky enough to be able to not go back at all.
Although a lot of people would say that this is a luxury and I should be really pleased, this actually brings about a lot of feelings I didn’t realise I would have until very recently.
You see, we are living in a culture that aims to keep the economy running so telling people you’re choosing to raise a child over going back to work is relatively unheard of. So because of this, it is often met with lots of questions and preconceptions.
You may have read recently an article that featured a blog post written by Mike of Daddy Fishkins about what its like to be a stay at home parent. So many people seem to have this idea that stay at home parents pretty much spend every day in their PJs, lazing around and watching TV with their kid(s) and often their partners buy into this idea, so when they come home from work and dinner isn’t on the table or the house isn’t as sparkly clean as it should be, they wonder what they actually got up to and why they didn’t have time to have everything done.
Well, granted, I’m not sat at a desk all day and when we have a particularly bad night from teething or whatnot, we have the luxury of spending the next day catching up on sleep but my job doesn’t stop. I don’t ever get a break. Even trips to the toilet are rushed and spent listening out for any moments of upset or I have company in the bathroom. My job starts the moment I wake and I am still clocked in long after I go to bed at night. I’m unpaid (I don’t know about you but dirty nappies are NOT a legitimate currency in my opinion) and my job description requires so much more than the title suggests: cleaner, chef, entertainer, nurse (to name a few).
I know, this all sounds very “Woe is me” so I just want to mention that I love my new job. I feel like I’m actually pretty good at my new job. Each week I get promoted to a new role with more responsibility and areas to oversee. 8 months ago I was looking after a feeding, crying, pooping machine, today I am looking after a little boy who has broadened his horizons by way of crawling and can communicate through “brrrrrrr” noises. It truly is the best job I’ve ever had.
I’d love to get to know other stay at home parents and the responses they get.
Must go, I require at least an hour’s sleep per night.