I am now officially a stay at home mother for one year and eight days. Hard to believe when this time last year Lucy was merely a hope and a dream and didn’t exist in any way shape or form. What a year it’s been! I often get asked whether I miss work or not and my answer is always the same and always as enthusiastic; not for one single solitary second have I missed it, mainly because I haven’t had the time! Of course there are times when my husband comes home and talks about grass growth and milk prices, topics around which my days used to revolve, and I do genuinely listen with interest. And for a fleeting moment I will look at him and think about how different our careers have worked out despite both graduating with a PhD within months of each other. And quick as a flash the moment is dissipated with a Cork twanged ‘Mummy’, usually from a bathroom and always urgent.
The last year was been tough in a way, I was tired, sore, stressed and weary from the aches and pains associated with carrying a nine pound baby around while being on your feet at the beck and call of two small ladies 24 hours a day. I’ve snapped and shouted and ended up wondering do the girls even like being at home with such a grump, and then I’ve felt guilty like most mothers do at various stages through the
day hour. And it’s taken me a full year to slow down to this new pace of life, where putting on shoes (with velcro!) can take 10 minutes and walking across the car park to a shop entrance can take the duration of a working woman’s tea break.
I’ve learned that shouting is a waste of time and I’ve learned how to get away with muttering ‘fucks sake’ just under my breath. It’s taken me the best part of the year to feel comfortable in relaying my new job title to inquisitive people and to really own it when people ask what I do. And I should ‘own it’ because I love what I do now. My day revolves around three demanding task masters, who pay me in artwork, who don’t give me breaks, who don’t always appreciate the fact that you’ve put dinner on the table instead focusing on the fact you didn’t play with them all day, who don’t care about how much overtime you put in and who ask you to wipe their arses. But my day is filled with laughter, colouring, adventures, playing with puzzles/dolls/railways/kitchens, baking, Mr. Tumble and questions that make you think.
And while I may no longer talk of dairy cows with my husband in the evenings with an (almost!) equalling knowledge I now talk about jolly phonics, naps, bowel movements and boobs with an enthusiasm I didn’t know I had for daily life before. I get to watch my four year old brim with independence and a kindness beyond her years. I get to hear my two year old’s quirky thoughts as her speech improves in leaps and bounds. And I get to watch our baby as her face lights up when her sisters vie for her attention. And we do our own thing, outside of school hours the world is our oyster.Of course there are times I need a little break, a little time to enjoy some peace and quiet. It affords me the time to have a hot cup of coffee, to have some original thought of my own, to take recharge the batteries before I coming running home because as soon as I leave them I miss them. And I’m thankful for this blog and all of its associated social media channels through which I have connected with women all over the world. Women who are inspiring, women who are funny, women who are generous, women who are knowledgeable and women who are helpful. Social media has meant that I connect with women on daily basis before I even leave the house and in a way its a form of adult interaction I am thankful for given how rural we live.
There are moments in most days where I roll my eyes or I ask them to please give the questions a rest, I’m only human after all but there are never moments where I regret the choice I’ve made. I lie here writing this with a contented 12 week old soundly asleep on my chest and my two other ladies snoring softly in their beds, and I feel the same contentment I have felt for the past 373 days
11 thoughts on “A year as a stay at home mother”
Lovely post Eimear! Need to learn to not mutter f sake a little more before I took this leap.. x
Ha ha it’s allowed as long as you really do mutter, small ears may not hear you asking them to pick stuff up off the ground but they will sure as hell hear what you don’t want them to hear!!
Hi there, I distinctly remember your blog post as you finished up work, (I commented on it at the time!) in which you outlined your reasons for your decision.
You detailed the challenges of juggling working and parenting and it sounded just so horrendously difficult and slightly unfair to the kids.
The fact you were a slave to the clock, rushing breakfasts into tiny mouths, rushing to get them to childcare, rushing to get home, rushing to get dinner, rushing to get dinner into them, rushing to get them to bed. I thought the whole thing sounded so depressing and it filled me with fear as I had just had my second child and I was on maternity leave.
I’ve since returned to work and I’m now living the life you previously described. Jesus, it’s just so difficult to justify dragging your kids out of bed at 6 am and rushing and racing until 8/9 pm when there is no money left at the end of the week after paying the childminder and tax man. I ask myself every day “why am I doing this?” Or “is this the right thing for my children”
But I find it just so difficult to make a decision. It’s very scary leaving your job. Any advice?
I suppose the decision was half made for me in that my contract with work ended so I knew that was coming for ages. When I went back to work after my second baby I just knew it was what I wanted to do, so no it wasn’t scary it felt like a natural progression. Sorry that advice is fairly useless but I guess you have to listen to your gut and sometimes take a leap of faith. I know friends that have taken career breaks to do the same thing but it doesn’t have the finality of having no work to return to – would that be an option?
Great post Eimear being a full time SAHM is the toughest most demanding yet most rewarding job ever. Delighted your content X
All so relatable. I’ve been at home for a year and a half, and while the adjustment is MASSIVE, the pace is lovely, as you say. It’s amazing how gratifying swearing under your breath into the wall can be! Enjoyed reading this loads! No regrets. 🙂
Ha ha ir is so gratifying!! Yes it certainly is an adjustment, one I will probably enjoy more this year as life return to ‘normal’ as in I won’t have to deal with being pregnant!!!
Thank you for this post. It came at the perfect time for me. I’m taking a career break later this year to be at home with the kids and I have had a slight worry of if I’m doing the right thing.
Oh I loved reading this. You sound so present! All too often blogs from SAHMs are so negative but you describe how precious the time at home can be even if you need to swear FFS twenty times a day! Enjoy the cuddles!
Glad to hear that the change has worked out for you. Being at home with children is definitely a more demanding job than office work for me too!
Great post Eimear! Stay home mother is the greatest job ever.