Tuesday, April 22, 2014

It's Okay, Really.




I've been a stay at home mum for five years and counting.  During that time I've fluctuated between being entertained by my children and infuriated by them. I've danced (poorly) between dedicated engagement in their little imaginary worlds to overwhelming bored by play dough, duplo and lego.

It's been three years since I've worked outside of the house for real cash money. Three years since I've been able to call myself a Visual Arts teacher (gosh, that just sounds so foreign now) and three years since I've been required to be suitably attired and ready to jump in the car by 7am.

When I think about my years of 'unemployment' and my now outdated skills for the classroom, I'm kind of stoked.

In the past I've mourned the loss of routine, structure and the 9 to 5. But now, years later, I'm a dedicated track pant wearing slacker.

I'm not accountable to anyone other than my children and do you know what, that actually suits me perfectly. If I'm still in my PJ's at 10 am, it's okay. If I neglect to do the groceries, we have eggs for dinner and If I forget to hang the washing out and find it festering in the machine, hey, what's another 2 hour cycle between friends?

The stay at home mumming years are boring. Deeply so. But they are also wonderfully liberating.

I mean, at what other stage in my life would I be afforded the luxury of leaving my hair unwashed for days on end? Or wearing shorts when my legs are hairy?

None.

So this week. I'm looking at the positives.

My legs are hairy, my hair unwashed. There is damp washing in the machine and crumbs underfoot and it's all okay.

Really.

It is.

Lets raise our glass to motherhood. Pour another cup of tea and sit amongst the mess.

How are the holidays shaping up for you?


33 comments:

  1. Cheers! I could not have put it better myself! xo

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  2. Hooray! Geez it better be ok because your days sound an awful lot like mine!
    Frankly the thought of going and getting a job outside the home and being accountable to actual people is frightening!
    Wouldn't trade it for the world.

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  3. yep same here! everybody is ill these holidays!! 3 different visits to hospital already! sigh! happy easter. xxx

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  4. Ah, thanks for reminding me about that load of washing I put on yesterday... I must hang it out at some stage... maybe tomorrow. Cheers sweets. xx

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  5. I come at it from a different perspective. I've been a mum for 14 years & up until I had baby number 3 last April I had always had some kind of paid work. It was good & I enjoyed it but the guilt I felt about juggling my family & my work was so draining! Once my big kids hit school it got worse - school holidays were the pits as I tried to figure out when I could take leave, my husband would take leave, when they'd need vac.care & when they'd go to friends places. Throw in their social lives & sport & it was CRAZY!!!

    Now I'm home full time. I was due back at work this March but when I fell pregnant with baby number 4 when baby number 3 was only 4 months old I knew I wouldn't be going back to work. I was ok with this but it still feels weird that I don't have a job outside the house & I probably won't for some time to come. I am thoroughly enjoying being at home with all the kids, it's like a huge weight has been lifted from my shoulders. My big kids seem to love it too because it gives them more freedom too. I always thought as they got older that's when they'd need me less & I could work more but it's the opposite, they need me just as much now just in a different way....

    So I am LOVING school holidays- no plans, no pressure & pj's day after day after day is just perfect for us! So yeah, it's ok :)

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  6. ah i love it and thoroughly concur! almost six years and counting for me :) adjusting to my eldest starting school this year was a big enough shock (daily lunches! school bells!), I cant imagine when I also have to be prepared for myself to be presentable, organised and out the door daily ;) Truly, these SAHM years are challenging but also so beautiful in their simplicity, huh!

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  7. As an outsider, it never looks boring over there, but i certainly know how lonely those days with beautiful babies and kids can be. Lonely and aggravating and altogether special.

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  8. Oh so relatable! Agree wholeheartedly!

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  9. What a nice, honest post! I think I sometimes have unrealistic expectations of myself, and it's a nice reminder that other SAHMs don't have clean hair or swept floors (currently writing this in pjs) :)

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  10. I constantly tell my fellow Mummas - do not rush back to work. Once you go back you never get to leave again. I am lucky to have a wonderful part time job that suits my family and me but with each year of my children growing people expect I can take on a little more. No thanks, I love not working full time, I hope I am lucky enough to never work full time again.

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  11. The the hols are unfolding in all their dirty-clothes loving, chocolate-eating, late-waking, midnight-chasing, book-reading, kid-wrangling glory. x

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  12. PS - I wear skirts and hairy legs regularly and I don't give a stuff who sees them. What's it matter!?! x

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  13. Ah thanks for reminder about that washing... Work will always be there, hey? I'm juggling both but working from home with my unwashed hair and wearing my leggings xx

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  14. I can't say much about motherhood, but I can say a whole lot about teaching. You're not missing much. Trust me.

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  15. Perfect post Em. I must admit that I'm like that most days and both my boys are at school! That's being freelance for you. And yes, I frequently have to re-wash musty laundry. :)

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  16. I used to be a teacher myself and I love everything about life more as a stay-at-home mom. It's not perfect, but no life choice is perfect. It doesn't have to be perfect to be really good.

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    1. It doesn't have to be perfect to be really good.
      I'm off to put that line on my kitchen blackboard....I love it!!
      In my family is one who is caught in the perfection trap and it's stealing her life, maybe that line will help her too.
      Thankyou
      cheers Kate

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  17. Sounds like the perfect life to me. We are already doing the most important job, being a Mom and loving our family. :)

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  18. Yes I must remind myself of this. But to be honest the thought of one day entering the world of work after all these years scares me quite a bit.

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  19. Love it! I'm pouring myself another cuppa and sitting amongst the mess, and boy is it mess! x

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  20. That's a beautiful way to think about it. My hair just went over a week without being washed! (And I got regular compliments on it...) You go from being disgusted to just kind of... impressed ;)

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  21. oh this IS liberating! I have unwashed hair, slightly too hairy legs for the skirt I'm wearing and I really need to wash this floor..cheers! x

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  22. I love it. I think I was always going to. And am now reminded I have a load of washing to do! oops.

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  23. Oh I LOVE that you wrote this. Brave and true - thank you!

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  24. Love. This. Post! oops, just put butter on the computer as I was writing that. Eating lunch, reading blogs, in my pj's while the babies sleep. Works overrated! x

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  25. Today I was just thinking how much I would love to be a stay at home Mum again. Trouble is my kids are a bit old at 16 and 19 (wow, not sure where that time went), but on a day off from work my hair is unwashed, my legs are hairy, and I only just changed out of my Pj's at 2.30pm! So I guess I really do have the best of both worlds. BTW the washing is happily flapping about on the line.

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  26. I've just resurrected my career (a minor miracle) after 9 years as a stay at home mum.
    Whilst I'm loving being back at work (and having some money!), I wish i'd been able to appreciate it at the time, instead spending too much time bored in front of Cbeebies - i don't know where those 9 years went, but hindsight is a wonderful thing! nicola x

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  27. Em, how do you so eloquently put what the rest of us think and feel? Pretty much everything you wrote sounded like you had pulled it from the script in my head (except for the washing part... I hate finding washing festering in the machine - but it does happen - more than I like). I have no real desire to head back to the classroom. Here's to a pajama wearing holidays, without the pressure of school runs and finding something other than PJs to wear! S x0x

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  28. I am glad you found the positives Em you will get "you" back one day and when you do you will mourn these years of young children xx

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Thanks so much for your words of encouragement, advice and solidarity.

xo em