Now don't get me wrong, I absolutely love staying at home with Alfie and spending quality time with him but it's hard, it's really hard! I give full credit to the Mum's out there that do stay at home every single day with their children and cope, you truly are brilliant, but as are the Mum's (like myself) who work full or part time. This post isn't to offend at all and it shouldn't, it's just simply my reasons as to why I personally couldn't be a stay at home Mum.
To give you a little bit background, when I was pregnant with Alfie I was very set in the opinion that I absolutely would not be going back to work full time (or at all) once he arrived, I felt that I didn't want to bring a child into the world and pay for someone to look after him every day, plus childcare costs can be crippling and at the time I honestly thought I'd not want to return to work.
This particular pregnancy wasn't planned (oops a daisy!) and I was in the middle of studying for my Nursing qualification, impeccable timing!! My poor husband was close to having a coronary when I told him! I took a year out during the last part of my third year and returned to complete when Alfie was just over 8 months old. I didn't have a choice but to return back to full time study and placement as I didn't want to waste what I'd already dedicated 2 1/2 years too, I mean I would have been crazy not to finish my studies, I was so, so close to becoming a qualified Nurse and it took my husband some gentle persuasion that I shouldn't waste all my hard work. I hated every single second when I returned, I remember driving to Uni in floods of tears suffering the immense guilt of leaving my son with someone else, it was probably one of the hardest things I had to do, but after a while I did get used to it and yes it's hard but you do get used to leaving your child in the hands of somebody else. Not only did I have 2 placement's to complete I also had to sit my final exams and revising with a small limpet child is unbelievably difficult. I slogged my guts out and with some hard work and focus I passed all my exams and placements and achieved my dream to become a Nurse, the relief I felt when I checked my results was unbelievable, probably one of the best feelings in the world, 3 years of studying was such a challenge and not one I wish to repeat anytime soon!
I knew that I'd always wanted to work in the community and when I had my final placement I was lucky enough to be offered a job on a full time basis, at the time I knew that if I didn't accept the offer I'd probably lose the chance of my dream job. So it was both with a heavy heart and excitement that I committed to a full time position. After a few months I found that the full time hours were too much for me, I felt that I really missed out on things with Alfie and was constantly suffering 'mummy guilt' and feeling really quite down in the dumps so prior to my maternity leave discussed with my managers about doing just 30 hours a week which helped me out loads. Anyway, as usual I'm digressing!
As I have now been off work for a month and my maternity leave starts officially this week I have been fortunate enough to spend more time with Alfie, this is both a blessing and a challenge. As much as I am loving spending time with him, keeping him entertained is something of a chore, he is just on the go all the time and in a way I'm so pleased he is still in nursery twice a week as I feel this keeps him stimulated, socialised and educated, plus Alfie loves nursery and he thrives there, they do things with him that I wouldn't be able to and it's setting him up ready for when he attends school which I'm sure will come around far too quickly. Sometimes when I'm at home with him I just don't know how to keep him entertained all day! He is my life, everything changed when he entered the world, I grew up, I look at things in a different way and I would do anything for him, I cherish every single second I have with him (tantrums exempt!), but there is part of me that still enjoys working and the adult communication that comes with it.
At times I find myself missing my job, particularly the adult interaction and conversation. This brings me on to why I just could not be a stay at home Mum, I worked hard for my career and I wouldn't want to lose that, I like that I earn my own money and don't have to rely on anyone else, I use my brain and skills day to day and come home and feel I have achieved something. Of course I miss my boy more that anything, that goes without saying but there is something really nice about my brain not turning to mush and having to watch reruns of Peppa Pig and Thomas and Friends, plus when I see the smile on his face when I get home it's truly priceless! I admit that full time working is not for me now, I really struggled juggling everything on full time hours. Especially more so now with baby number 2 on the way, how could I possibly dedicate my time to my job and 2 little ones I just don't know how I would do it, but what I do know is that I still want my career, there are so many doors to open and explore and I don't want to lose that chance, plus I'd miss the money, after surviving on a bursary for 4 years earning a decent salary is amazing. I like being able to spoil Alfie and the new baby and without me working how could I do that? Plus I'm a sucker for the finer things in life and to buy all these things you need the dosh!
So that is why I couldn't be a SAHM, I am delighted with what I've achieved and want my children to be proud of me for that, I want them to be able to tell their friends that their Mummy is a Nurse and helps people. I want them to flourish and enjoy being around other children and learn through nursery, I want to value the time that I do spend with them when I'm home and most of all I just want to be the best parent I can be, so regardless of whether you're a SAHM or a working Mum that should be the ultimate aim right?!
So are you a SAHM or a working Mum? Any regrets?