It’s my last official Saturday in the most high powered job I’ve ever had, a stay at home mum. From Monday I’ll be starting my new life as a clown, juggling motherhood and working in an office. My recruitment agent rang me yesterday and kept asking me like a wild puppy if I was excited. If being a mother has taught me one thing, it’s to be honest, and so I told her that actually I was more nervous to be leaving my son. Well, she didn’t like that one bit, and said “well I think it’s exciting.” I felt like saying, well that’s because you’re a skinny blonde bird in her twenties, renting a swanky pad in Windsor and getting a fat wad of cash by me accepting this job. I didn’t of course, and said in my most non sarcastic tone, “yes it’s very exciting”. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a fantastic opportunity and I know I’m lucky to have been offered a local part time job, with great hours and in my field, but at the moment the apprehension of leaving my son is too overwhelming.
Virràe is almost 18 months old and I’m very aware that not many mum’s get to stay at home this long. A lot of my mummy friends had to go back after 1 year and I know that emotionally, I would never have been able to do that. However, we live in a time where life is expensive, and that’s just the basics. Mr. Blonde told me that he would get a second job and work nights so that I could stay at home full time raising our son. The tone in his voice was so genuine and real, and I know he wouldn’t hesitate if I had said yes. To be honest, I’ve even caught him looking through job sites and doing the math’s in his head. The very fact that he would is enough for me.
I always say that the reason I was created in this life was to be a wife and a mother, they truly are the only two things that matter to me, especially the latter. I feel immensely privileged at having carried a child, and now raising one – I simply can’t verbalise the gratitude that runs through me every single day. That’s why knowing I have to leave him is so painful. I have to remind myself why I’m doing it, and only then do the pieces of the jigsaw fit together. Being a parent, but especially being a mother means that your entire life becomes about making sacrifices. When you fall pregnant you sacrifice your body. When you give birth you sacrifice every ounce of dignity you ever owned. When taking care of your new born you sacrifice sleep, even showers. When raising your toddler you sacrifice time with your girlfriends, sometimes your career. The list is endless, but when you become a parent, sacrifice not only becomes second nature, it becomes instinct.
The reason I explored going back to work was not purely down to financial need, but also because Virràe was showing me signs that he needed longer periods of interaction with children his own age. Going to toddler groups for an hour or so a day, having play dates with his friends, Virràe was at his absolute best, but it just wasn’t enough. He needed more. Recently during the February half term I looked after 3 children as well as Virràe, during these 5 days he learnt to walk, he learnt more words, and I had never seen him more excited. This confirmed it for me, he was ready for more than me and a few toddler groups could provide.
Mr. Blonde and I went to look at nurseries and there was one in particular that felt right. My mum friends said you’ll just know when you’ve found ‘the one’, and they were right. Your gut instinct tells you when you’re in the right place for your child. However, I knew that without me working we couldn’t afford to send him, and so I said to myself, if it’s meant to be something will come up and that’s how I’ll know if I’m doing the right thing. I’m one for needing signs to reassure me, and thats when it happened. In the days that followed the nursery visits I got a call about the job, I got the interview and then I got the offer. It was meant to be. I accepted the job, signed on the dotted line and within mere seconds my days were numbered with life as I knew it.
I have spent the last two weeks settling Virràe in at nursery, and to be honest, I think I have cried more than he has. I’m really proud of how well he’s done, except with food of course, but we all knew that was going to be hell on earth. That aside, its true what they say, kids really are more resilient than we give them credit for. However, I’m not sure the same can be said for us mummies, but only time will tell. For now, like one of the seven dwarfs, Hi Ho! Hi Ho! it’s off to work I go.