What is This Feeling?

This was the day my life changed. Admittedly it was a few hours after this picture was taken, when this arrived…

It was the happiest day of my life without doubt, the day little Evie came into our world, but it was also the day when sleep became a luxury, and time to myself became a thing of the past. You don’t realise how rubbish the tv is at 3am until you’re stuck there watching it while this small but very loud being attaches itself to your nipple! However all too soon that phase was over, and I was back at work, but with a school of teenagers knowing that all they had to do to get out of a few minutes of a lesson was ask about Evie – of course I’d oblige and tell them. My life as a teacher, that part of me that was still ‘me’ wasn’t the same either, because it revolved around my precious bundle. I couldn’t stay late or get in early to clear work, and didn’t want to either.

Thankfully I had a secret up my sleeve so I knew it would be okay, because 23 short months later, this happened…

and three became four (this was literally minutes after birth, so please don’t look at my hair, puffy face, lack of make up…!)! Queue round two, a continued lack of sleep and me time! Then again, all too quickly, came the going back to work.

Finally, in September last year, I was able to do what I’ve always wanted to do, and become a stay at home mum, and boy have I loved it. Spending time with my boy has been really special, for both of us, and also made me wonder how on earth I had time to hold down a job with quite a lot of responsibility (obviously the fact that I was paying someone else over half of my salary to look after them while I was at work explain quite a bit but still!)!

Then this happened…

but today, I’m feeling quite emotional because this happened…

Yes, one hour ago, I dropped off my boy for his first ever pre-school session, and I’ve got some me time back. It’s not the fact that this is a milestone for him, which perhaps makes me sound slightly harsh, but he’s been to nursery before, he’s had lots of regular childcare when I was a working mum, in fact, he loved it so much, that I cried when he had his last day at his nursery before we moved to Wiltshire, and this morning he was so excited, and showed his lunchbox to anyone who’d look and listen (not a euphemism I promise!). Today, the emotion that I’m feeling is guilt. Guilt that I’ve wanted to be a stay at home mum, for so long, yet today, I am at home, childless. Guilt that my husband is working stupidly long hours to support his family, while I’m sat at home, not doing the job that I supposedly gave up work to do. He said to me this morning that this was a luxury for me, and perhaps I should be paying the pre-school fees, and while I know it’s tongue in cheek, we both know that our boy really loves the activities and independence that pre-school offer, it still makes me feel guilty that I’m on my own for four hours a week. Obviously I’m not going to stop during these four hours and they will fly by, but for now, drinking a cup of coffee while it is still hot or going for an uninterrupted wee are feeling quite strange and I’m not sure that I deserve such luxuries!

So I’m not quite sure why I feel this emotion, perhaps it’s actually quite a selfish way to feel, and that I should be thinking more about how my son is getting on, on his first full day. Maybe I’m feeling guilty because there’s no actual reason why I shouldn’t be looking after my son right now, whereas whenever they’ve been in childcare before, it’s been because circumstances have made it necessary and now they’re not. Maybe I’m feeling guilty because when I’m not looking after my children, the job role of ‘stay at home mum’ becomes a little redundant!

I’m not sure, maybe somebody else out there has felt a similar way to me at some point, or maybe I’m just a freak, who knows! I guess for now I’ll just have to prescribe the same medicine I’d prescribe to anyone else who was feeling slightly emotional – coffee and cake’s the way to go right?!

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10 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. HELEN
    Jan 16, 2012 @ 10:59:21

    I felt like this when my little boy started pre-school (my other 2 are at school). I work from home so didn’t really ‘need’ him to go because I could still look after him but to I did it for a couple of reasons…one of them because I knew he needed to spend more time with others his own age and also because I wanted the time that I do spend with him to be of better quality, rather than trying to do work. You don’t need to feel guilty about your role….you still are a SAHM…if that phone rang now & it was pre-school asking you to pick him up as he wasn’t well you could be there for him in an instant, so even though you have that little bit of freedom for a few hours you still need to be there. Hope that makes sense!
    Enjoy your hot cuppa, mines gone cold as it’s not a pre-school day today!
    x

    Reply

    • itsamumsworld
      Jan 16, 2012 @ 11:41:18

      Thank you hun, I know you’re right, in fact, it takes me back to the time when my daughter was poorly at nursery and I wasn’t allowed to go and pick her up because there was no one else who could look after the children I was teaching. I felt like the worst mother in the world! I’ll have a hot cuppa for you today, and you can have one for me tomorrow when I take the little one to toddler group lol! x

      Reply

  2. The Boy and Me (@TheBoyandMe)
    Jan 16, 2012 @ 10:59:59

    I understand why you feel guilty but you have no reason to; you do a job as well as your husband. I know he’s the one who brings the money in to pay the mortgage but you are the one who keeps the house running and has brought up your children. After four-five years, you are entitled to four hours a week (which aren’t for you, but are for LO). Even if you do spend them doing ‘nothing’, then it’s a wellbeing session to ensure you can continue to do the wonderful job you have been doing.
    (Please don’t think of this as a husband bashing comment, it’s not, it’s a mummy-hugging one)

    Reply

    • itsamumsworld
      Jan 16, 2012 @ 11:38:23

      Aw thank you my lovely, I know you’re right, my head tells me everything you’ve said, although my heart acts very differently, I’m probably just being hormonal lol! x

      Reply

  3. Anita (@ExMiss)
    Jan 16, 2012 @ 12:43:16

    I do love that you’re writing this down. With only one child at home, I wonder what this will feel like when I get to be in the same situation, and I totally understand! Of course, my husband thinks that I get to sit around a fair bit with the little one, but we know this isn’t true! We’re always looking after the kids or doing housework or feeling guilty that neither are done well enough. Use your time to put your feet up for 30mins. Yes, our husbands are working, but they have coffee breaks and sociable lunchtimes. This is yours!

    Reply

  4. MotherWifeMe
    Jan 18, 2012 @ 21:07:01

    Our bubs both started pre-school on the same day then! Well, the Tinkerous Toddler started pre-pre-school. She turned 2 on Friday and started nursery Montessori on Monday. I totally understand the guilty feelings, I am a SAHM whilst my husband works long hours building up his business. But, we are both agreed that being a full-time mum is the best thing that I can do for our daughter, even if financially it is a struggle. And yes, it does feel weird suddenly having time to myself for a few (5!) hours per week, but hey, whilst my husband works long office hours, my job is pretty much 24/7, so a little bit of respite, whilst the TT does something that is positive for her development – and lots of fun – can only be a good thing! Let’s coach each other through the guilt until it has gone eh!!

    Reply

    • itsamumsworld
      Jan 19, 2012 @ 10:15:13

      Aw thank you hun, it’s so reassuring to know I’m not on my own to feel like this, and yes we’ll be guilt buddies! I prescribe you tea and lots of cake! x

      Reply

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  6. Lisa
    Jan 25, 2012 @ 17:00:33

    Oh hun. Big hugs. Us mums always feel guilty about something, don’t we? All three of my girls are in school full time now, and I too have struggled with the fact that I am a SAHM without any children home in the day, but I’m glad I’m home. It’s nice being able to do all the housework, grocery shopping, trips to the bank to pay bills etc without the kids in tow, and it makes your time with them even more special xx

    Reply

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