It’s been almost 18 months since I waved goodbye to my work colleagues of 14 years to go on my second maternity leave. In a unexpected twist of fate, I never did make it back to my desk 12 months later as planned – due to the redundancy of my position and major changes to the business.
That’s all old news now of course. Life as a stay at home Mum is better than I imagined it to be. Sure there have been tough days but on the whole I’m adopting the attitude that ‘The days are long but the years are short’. (My new favourite phase courtesy of Robyn, The years are short blog).
There are however a few things I do miss about my old lifestyle as a ‘Part time working mother’…
N.B. Battle Mums lay down your swords…I could have just as easily written a post titled ’10 things (or more) I definitely do not miss about being a working Mum. A dig or a campaign, this is not. #justsaying.
- A monthly salary. Possibly the most obvious…things aren’t too bad BUT there is definitely no denying the difference in our expendable income. Although we have saved a fortune in childcare, that doesn’t ease the guilt of picking up myself a little something, now it’s coming out of a much smaller ‘family’ pot.
- Sitting down. According to my new Apple watch, I’m averaging about 3 miles a day within the four walls of the house. It’s a wonder there is any carpet left? I do kind of miss the days of thinking ‘Oooh I probably should get up and have a stretch’, they feel a very distant memory. The days of sinking behind the screen browsing the internet, playing www.boomtownbingo.com and reading the Daily Fail were definitely the golden summers of my past…
- Subway / Friday McD’s / Pub lunches. When I returned to work after my first baby, lunchtimes had a new found nirvana status. Lunch out, with no small people to cater for, what a luxury. Nowadays it’s a treat if I make myself a proper plate of food and don’t make do with the left over mountain of cucumber, ham, crusts, cheese and cut up fruit. Groundhog day eat your heart out.
- Decent IT equipment. MMT is brought to you not from a stylishly instagrammed white desk with motivational framed prints and personalised stationary (one day). It is created through a variety of mediums…my iPhone 6 / iPad (perfect for reading on the move but not the best place to generate your finest blog creations – typing on it makes me want to scream and likely to be stolen by screaming toddler wanting Peppa Pig app), a proper PC on a proper desk in our bedroom (great for solitary confinement when needed but otherwise quite an antisocial form of blogging i.e. I can’t sit in front of the TV next to the hubby at least pretending to be sociable), and finally the laptop. The dying laptop, with no office programmes installed, which causes me repeated IT headaches and no amount of turning off and on is going to fix. It pains me that all the forms of above are not as super fast as my trusty old work laptop, including 24/7 Support, and they don’t have all the lovely programmes I could request to be installed at the (super fast) click of a request package which I so took for granted.
- Free Tea and Coffee. Note, not hot tea and coffee. That’s a myth…the tea and coffee at home is actually just as hot. But, it’s not free. And believe me, the amount I consume to get my tired self through the day, that is a sad thing.
- Dressing smart. Sure, we can play all dressed up with nowhere to go alongside our mini Rapunzels / Batman kids. I’ve done it, and ultimately felt a bit…silly? After all, tailored jackets and skinny jeans make a great instagram picture, but when you are wrestling with a self feeder and a pot of petit filous, you might just wish you’d stuck to your trusty sweater. It’s sad seeing all those beautiful smart clothes and shoes (that cost a small fortune) just cluttering up the closet.
- Cheeky half days. When you have small children in paid childcare, and you are entitled to 25 days annual leave a year, it is perfectly acceptable to take the odd bit of time off and leave the kids, blissfully unaware in their normal environment. While Mummy (or Daddy) spends the day doing whatever she damn well likes. Not so easy when you have multiple children, at home with you 24/7 and you struggle enough for friends and family to cover the odd appointment, nursery pick up, evening out. Asking someone to have your children so you can flounce around just ain’t gonna happen.
- Missing the kids. Closely linked to number 7. I miss, missing them. Feeling so eager to get home to them, rather than always feeling I need a break.
- Intellectual conversation. I love conversations with my girls, and with the Supermums, and my pals and family. I’m not short of adult conversation, but I do miss being part of a technical discussion, and feeling my input has a consequence. I’m a little worried my career experience may just fall out of my brain and be permanently replaced by a whole new set of files titled ‘parenting’.
- Reward & recognition. If there were a senior board member, or a presidential award, or even a peer recognition programme within the sector of SAHM, I’m pretty sure I would have nailed a £25 M&S voucher for ‘Outstanding contribution to Nursery Run punctuality’, maybe I’d have received a block of glass inscribed ‘The childhood project; Key team member 2016’, or maybe in my end of year appraisal be awarded an ‘Exceeded expectations in the area of keeping two children warm, clean, fed and clothed’ and a tasty little bonus to boot. But no, I’ll just pour myself a glass of wine on a Friday, and congratulate my own small achievements.