I always thought I’d be in the position to be a stay at home mum. I always thought I’d want to be one. Turns out neither of those ideas were correct.
I was able to stay home when I was pregnant and for the first 18 months of Nick’s life, and while at the time I was overwhelmed and completely clouded in a fog of post natal depression, looking back I am grateful to have had that time. They say it’s the most important time for a mother to be with her child. While I don’t necessarily agree that it was important for him, for me I think it was.
When he started daycare, I went back to work. It was just a couple of days a week and it was good for both of us. I honestly believe that. I could work while he was in kindy, it was great. Then he started prep, or big school. Suddenly it wasn’t as easy any more. I loved the staff at kindy, I knew them all, and I knew all the kids. Now he’d have school holidays, and what would I do then?
Between family, friends, a part time nanny, we got through the first year. In grade one he started going to before school care 2 days a week when friends of ours who took him to school moved away. Eventually, we added a couple of days of vacation care. To my surprise, he seemed to really have a good time and not feel too upset about it. Well, not upset at all, actually! But my mummy guilt was running rampant. I used to drive past the school and see the kids in vacation care and swear black and blue that wouldn’t be my kid.
As an only child, I used to worry about him not fitting in, not having someone to play with like those kids with siblings have automatically. But in almost the opposite fashion, being an only child has almost made him better at making friends because he’s not picky, he will play with anyone. I think he’s happy for any company that isn’t an adult! The guilt is lessened because during a period of 6 weeks of holidays, we only have to put him in vacation care 6 days total. That’s really not so bad. However, now I am considering/looking for full time work, I worry – and again feel guilty – about school holidays. I don’t want him to be at vacation care all school holidays. I know we’d both be able to take annual leave, we’d have some friends and family who could occasionally help out, but every holiday period becomes a juggle of what days he’s going where and doing what – you should see the calendar!
But if we are going to
get ahead catch up and at least break even, and if I am going to have anything resembling a “career” when Nick is older, then I really need to be considering full time employment at the moment. I have 12 months before I am finished with my degree, so the sooner I get something relative the better. Otherwise I will just be another overqualified person in an un-fulfilling, part-time dead-end job.
I know that being a mum means always carrying around guilty about one thing or another. And typically I don’t feel guilty about too much. But I am feeling really torn on this one. I guess I will just have to take it one step at a time and know that whatever is meant to be will be. There’s really no use worrying about anything until there’s something to actually worry about, right? Full time jobs aren’t that easy to come by. As a side note, why don’t men worry about these kinds of things?
Do you work outside the home? What do you do for school holiday care?
Linking up with Essentially Jess for IBOT