Ever since having a paper round as a teenager I have always had a job of some sort or another, I’ve never imagined not working. Of course I had time off during maternity leave, but that was hardly a break. As all parents know, having children is a full time job in itself, which is accompanied by all sorts of new challenges, and on quite the contrary to my hopes it does not get any easier to coordinate as they grow up.
Our latest obstacle arose in the form of arranging the childcare logistics once our eldest starts school, I soon discovered that breakfast and after school clubs were full, there were no local childminders which did our school run with any spaces available, and as you’ll know if you’ve read some of my other posts, I do not have my family around to help out. The thought fleetingly crossed my mind that it would just be easier to do it all myself. I brushed it off at first, because as I said earlier I’ve never even contemplated not working, but as time went on and it became increasingly difficult to make our schedules fit, it became a serious option I had to consider.
I gave it a lot of time and thought, and I mean a lot. It was not the easiest of decisions for me because firstly I know how important working has been for my mental health, and secondly because I loved my job, I genuinely from the bottom of my heart loved my job. Working at Birmingham Children’s Hospital was a dream for me, I was over the moon when I landed that job and I have been so proud to be a part of such a wonderful organisation, to top it off my team were just the nicest bunch of people I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with. So choosing to voluntarily put an end to all of that was hard, but on the other hand there is nothing more important in my life than my family, and my children are growing up so fast that it is a privilege to be able to spend more time with them.
There was also the small matter of being involved in a car accident whilst all of this was going on, it left me with PTSD which meant I started to find the commute to and from work pretty much unbearable and it didn’t seem to be getting any easier. This became the final nail in the coffin, and so the decision was made. I’m still in disbelief that at 26 years of age I am giving up work though, most people my age are in the early stages of working their way up the career ladder, whereas I am putting mine completely on hold. However instead of thinking about what I don’t have, I am focusing on what I do have and the future that lies ahead of us, and to be honest I am feeling pretty excited about it. I’m looking at it as a new chapter in our lives, I’m looking forward to embracing this new world of stay at home motherhood. Of course I am feeling cautious too, as I mentioned earlier, the routine and socialisation that work provided were essential for my mental health, when I have been at home for long periods of time previously I have become a bit reclusive, my motivation dwindles. Too much time at home can heighten my anxiety and has sometimes led me to depression. But I have found lots of local groups and even drawn up a little timetable for us, which ticks both the routine and socialisation boxes, hopefully I can just keep it up.
So as I leave my working mummy days behind me for now, I hope to find the transition into becoming a stay at home mum as seamless as possible, because right now I feel as if I’m about to step into unchartered territory. I hope to not encounter any divides or judgements between the two groups of parenting choices because I will always respect working parents, whatever choice we make we do it for our families, and I believe that we are all equally brilliant parents to our children, whether we work or not.