I never thought that I would be a stay at home Mum. I was ambitious and progressing quickly in my career. I was successful. People looked up to me and sought out my opinion.
Now it often feels like no one sees me
but please don’t think that this is me looking for pity. I accept that this is a choice that I made and that if I really wanted to I could probably make myself seen again. But for now I am happy to be invisible.
Being a stay at home Mum is still one that divides the playground and our society. For my generation being a stay at home Mum means that you often feel like you are letting down all the hard-working Mums with jobs. The woman I was before I had our second child. It is a decision that I am judged upon constantly. It is one that makes me want to lie when it comes to filling in the occupation box in legal documents.
But i’m not a prisoner.
I made this choice, willingly. It’s a decision that has caused me to feel isolated and cut off from friends. Friends who don’t understand how I was able to walk away from a flourishing career. Friends who don’t understand how I fill my days. Friends who don’t understand me anymore. I have made a lot of sacrifices for my family but still these are sacrifices that I am very fortunate to be able to make.
This new world that I now live in is exciting, liberating, challenging but also suffocating. Sometimes playing the same game for the 20th time makes my brain want to explode. But this was a choice that I made and I wouldn’t have it any other way but it is also a decision that makes me feel defensive. So why do I put myself through this? Why have I walked away from my career, losing some of my oldest friends in the process and also losing a part of me? Because it was the right decision to make. I will happily continue to battle the banality of everyday, negotiate the tiresome playground politics and continue the never ending cycle of cleaning away the mess.
I will do this everyday because it means that I am here for my children.
Since I gave up work my older child has flourished and that makes every little sacrifice worth it. Now she is secure and confident. Now I take her to school and pick her up from school, now she has me at home to talk to her about her day and to help her with her homework. I’m no longer dashing off because I have work to do or asking her to hold that story until later. Now I’m there for her.
With my youngest I have been there for every first. I am the one she asks her big unanswerable questions to, I am the one she carries her book to asking me to read it and I am the one she calls for when she wakes up in the night. I know from experience that if I was still working long hours it wouldn’t be me that she calls for.
So whilst today I might be missing my old life and feeling alone I need to take a moment. I need to remind myself how lucky and loved I am because at home the two most important people have me at the centre of their world and that is just where I want to be.