Six years ago I was eagerly awaiting the arrival of our first-born (she was late already) and the start of a new and exciting chapter to my life. The chapter where I become a stay at home mummy (or SAHM as we call it in the business). I’ve mentioned before I didn’t have a career and had I gone back to work I would have literally just been paying for childcare so it made sense to stay home.
I couldn’t wait, it was going to be a piece of cake after all. Six years down the line I still love that I am home with my babies but I’ll admit being a SAHM is like finally getting invited to that party you really wanted to go to only to discover previous attendees embellished the truth and it wasn’t always as cool as suggested.
Here is what I have learned.
It’s not all lattes, croissants and lunch dates. All your friends work so you’ve no one to meet up with besides, with not working comes not earning.
You accept yourself as a SAHM and deal with it but you consider yourself the exception, other SAHMs are terribly boring and talk about their children and dull stuff like that.
People don’t really like to ask too many questions about how you are as you actually are a SAHM and your answers will be about your children and other terribly boring things like that.
You feel you have to justify yourself a lot. “I’m lucky enough to be able to stay home with my children” or “I don’t work but I’m not claiming benefits paid for by you”. Firstly It’s not luck that I don’t have to work, Rory has worked bloody hard over the years to be able to make this happen and secondly there’s nothing wrong with claiming benefits anyway, I contributed for years before I stopped working.
It’s not all baking cakes. It can be but that just leads to huge weight gain, type 2 diabetes and your taxes covering my healthcare.
People forget you have other interests than children and so forget to talk to you like an educated individual with opinions outside of poo and Cbeebies.
You forget yourself that your brain once did other stuff and forget that you’re an educated individual with opinions that some might consider valid or at the very least interesting.
If someone asks what you’ve done with your day you struggle to come up with important sounding tasks. Somehow watching Masha and the Bear and keeping a small human alive doesn’t seem like a good enough answer.
It’s really hard to exercise with a small person around, they hang off your leg and get in the way.
It’s pretty lonely, your friends have jobs, their work wardrobe isn’t covered in snot or food and knowing they’re being treated as actual people makes you positively green with envy.
People think that because you don’t work you’ve got nothing to do and so can help out at everything.
You don’t get a day off, life is like a portable office.
‘Crafting’ is so much messier than you ever imagined it could be.
You stop caring that the floor needs hoovering.
Your five-year old is probably your best friend and you start to act like them.
The idea of going back to work when littlest is at school is both exciting and really bloody scary.
You realise you have absolutely no transferable skills, the knowledge you do have is well out of date and you probably SHOULD have got a career rather than a job before children.
Even the shittest days are actually pretty fabulous when you have a glass of wine and think about it.
You are one of the luckiest people you know because a lot of people would love to be in your position.