Sssh… some days… being a stay at home mum is a piece of piss

I am all about the moaning! I love a whinge! I am the first to complain (well..I’m very good at tutting). And it is generally very accepted (in life, as well as blogging) to have a right old grump about parenting: How hard it is, how draining it is, how much sleep you don’t get, the list of negatives just roll off your tongue. No one ever has a pop at you for complaining about being a mum (so far).

A couple of Tuesdays ago; the day usually reserved for doom, gloom, laundry and self loathing (which I have just decided will be the title of my autobiography), I woke up in a good mood. Maybe it’s the change in the weather. I put on my new maternity clothes (getting out of my pyjamas is a major milestone). I got the toddler ready and we went out.

But just before I left the house I read a tweet from that woman. You know the woman. I won’t name drop her. The woman who likes to upset people – it’s her career now. I followed her after she swayed me briefly on Celebrity Big Brother. It read something like

Stay at home mum? This just means you’re unemployed.”

I read it a couple of times, unfollowed her and heaved the three of us out of the door.

We went to the park just next to us. The sun was shining. The birds were singing. The flowers were in bloom. I watched my two year old stampede through the park, pushed him on the swings, lifted him up onto the slide. I then walked with him to our local collection of shops. I bought him two little cars. We walked to a local bar and he had the children’s fish and chips.

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I walked him half way home before he decided walking wasn’t for him anymore so I carried him the remaining half a mile. Once through the door he napped and I cleaned and caught up on TOWIE (don’t judge me!) I thought about the tweet again.

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The toddler woke up and we played together until Dad came home. Dinner time, bath time, story time, bed time. I sat down with my partner and he asked the usual:

“How was your day?” I shrugged ‘alright’. Not wanting to admit to him the truth:

that that Tuesday, that day – being a stay at home mum had been a piece of piss.

I never want to admit this to him – and it is an extremely rare occurrence – don’t get me wrong. But the day had been sublime. I felt organised, sun kissed, happy, stress free, a good mum, relaxed and accomplished. This doesn’t happen all the time. But it does, sometimes happen.

It reminded me of the summer when my son was only a few months old. I sat in the garden one day because we were experiencing a heat wave. My baby fell into a slumber in the shade. I poured myself a Gin and Tonic (just one) and I felt utterly at peace. My working partner returned home (sweating) and eyed me suspiciously, slightly angrily – I knew he was thinking

“I knew this stay at home mum gig was a piece of piss!”

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I threw the Gin in the paddling pool and started folding some washing off the line.

But – really, some days, being a stay at home mum is a piece of piss. And I’m admitting it. There.

Most days involve me pulling the covers over my head at least once and weeping silently or shutting myself in the bathroom for longer than it takes to do a wee and just shaking with frustration.

I honestly never felt worked up enough to respond to the tweet about me being “unemployed” – I could have written a post about how hard it is, how my Further Education Teacher’s pay doesn’t equal nursery fees plus travel, that I don’t receive any benefits (as I would if I was unemployed) but I don’t feel strongly enough about it. About her.

What I do feel is content – pleased, grateful and lucky that I am able to have these years at home with my son and also blessed that some days (at least 1 out of 34) are a piece of piss.

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ps. Post July I will have two children – and if you ever, ever insinuate that it is a ‘piece of piss’ or that I am ‘unemployed’ I will kill thee.

 

Give The Stay at Home Mum the Job

mummy's writing darling

Why you should give the stay at home mum the job

She’s got a four year gaping hole on her CV and she’s got an interview – she can’t quite believe it. She’s forgotten how people who work dress. She runs off to buy a power-suit with maxi shoulder pads and realises work based fashion has shifted. Just being out of her onesie feels exhilarating.

Before she knows it she’s sat in front of an intimidating panel, her dusty resume in front of her, her knees are weak, arms are heavy, there’s every possibility that there’s vomit on her blouse already. The adult humans are asking complex, challenging questions and she’s beaming like a Cheshire cat, buzzing like a fridge, just to be out of the house.

How would you motivate your team?

I find raisins, a pink wafer and one hour of screen time helps. Failing that? An acoustic rendition of ‘wheels on the bus’.

What are your skills?

Multitasking, blocking out interruptions, counselling and supporting others. For example, I can finish a three course meal between wiping arses and explaining why Bing killed a butterfly and/or why the dog died in Topsy and Tim.

Are you ready to be a manager? 

Honey, I’ve been managing shit for four years. I am the discipliner, negotiator, queen of threats. I will take your cuddly toy hostage. I’m the God Damn United Nations.

What will you bring to the workplace?

Enthusiasm. Sheer joy that I’m able to have hot coffee, uninterrupted lunch or toilet breaks without a small person asking me if I’m doing a poo poo and giving me a round of applause.

How good are you at problem solving?

My son was crying because his toast was in squares, not triangles. So I told him people weren’t allowed triangle toast on Wednesdays. (Mic Drop).

So give the post stay at home mum the job. Don’t underestimate her. She’s seen things, she’s dealt with things you can’t even imagine. She will value this job like no other. She is ready for any responsibility you throw at her. She is ready for a pay slip.

Give her the chance – and watch her soar!

mummy's writing darling
new job!

The Fairy tale of the stay at home mum

Once upon a time two people made a baby. Soon after the pleasurable birth, talk turned to what the mother wanted to be. Did she want to be a stay at home mum or a working mum? These were the only two titles available to her. The decision was quick, easy, without complication or hesitation and like most things in this world – entirely black and white.

The mother made it clear to her partner that the only real reason she had decided to have the baby was so she could loll around the palace all day, every day and scratch her royal arse. And so he agreed.

She saw that there were a plethora of free or cheap childcare options for her baby over the land, I mean, she couldn’t swing a corgi without hitting a nursery for a meagre price of say £10 a day… yet she still stuck to her lazy guns and decided that staying at home would be best for her and her baby (but mostly her).

She had also really gone off work – she hadn’t ever really had any ambition. Why would she? If she had had any ambition, then surely she wouldn’t have had the sprog in the first place. And she had been considering being jobless for some time anyway. What a great excuse a baby would be to do just what she wanted – nothing!

She had a vague recollection of working since she was seventeen, two degrees, a post graduate diploma and a thirteen year career – but none of that mattered now she had her new name badge securely fitted on ‘Stay at home mum’. She had heard working would give her children ‘something to aspire to’ and she certainly didn’t want any of that nonsense.

As she was at home she thought she might as well have another child – just to prolong her joyous holiday. And she did.

Upon ‘choosing’ to be a stay at home mum she found she had ample time to ‘hang out all day with her kids’ as she had heard this is what stay at home mums get to do.

Every morning she thanked the Lord she didn’t ‘have’ to go out to work and stared at the same old four walls, heard her baby scream and the toddler shout and thought about how lucky it was that they were barely taken off her hands for 24 hours a day.

She left the home to take care of itself and was never expected to cook or do 95% of the household jobs because she was the lazy stay at home mum. The tiny amount of housework, cleaning and watching Cbeebies she did do made her self esteem sky rocket.

She had worried her days might be full of tantrums, shit and boredom but was elated to discover they were full of home baking, arts and crafts and nursery rhymes.

But nothing gave her self esteem a boost more, than hearing about how highly regarded she was in her role of stay at home mum.

Her mental health soared. She never got lonely. She never found herself trying to talk to lampposts just to have some adult conversation. She never felt guilty. She never felt like a bad mum. She was certain her ‘choice’ was the right one. And she decided this would be her way of life for ever.

Slippers on girlfriend!

Sometimes she stares out of the window, across the land, at the working mum.

The working mum had the exact same black and white decision to make and just went the other way; there’s no accounting for personal taste.

When the working mum sees that over three quarters of her pay cheque has vanished into nursery costs and travel expenses she feels all warm and gooey inside. She’s heard she could get the same amount of left over wages if she stayed at home and got tax credits which really sautés her beans (in a good way).

With all her paperwork and out of office work she sometimes barely gets to spend much time with the children at the weekend too – which doesn’t bother her at all as she counts down the minutes at the weekend till she can palm the little shits off to a bunch of strangers at the Dickensian workhouse (nursery).

When her colleagues ask her how her weekend was she never breaks down in tears because she feels she didn’t spend enough time with her babies. When she sees how close her child is to the key worker at nursery it makes her feel swell.

Put simply she could stay at home if she wanted to – but bottom line is, she loves her career and therefore loathes her offspring.

She hears about how she will never get this time back again and she thinks ‘Thank Christ for that’.

But nothing gives her self esteem a boost more, than hearing about how highly regarded she is in her role of working mum.

Her mental health soars. She never feels guilty. She never feels like a bad mum. She is always certain her ‘choice’ is the right one. And she has decided this will be her way of life for ever.

High heels on.

 

Excuse me, Do these slippers come in black and white?

 

 

 

 

 

The Stay at Home Mum Christmas Party

stay at home mum christmas party

It’s Christmas time. There’s no need to be afraid. At Christmas time – the workers of the world get all giddy.

It’s a festive Salted Caramel coffee on the way in to the office. And look at Doreen! She’s rocking her Christmas tree light up dangly earrings!

And Stan’s got his Christmas bauble jumper on – the maverick. The canteen are doing mulled wine (one glass mind) and mince pie lattices. Look at all those pigs in blankets. They’ve put tinsel around the fire exits!

The halls have been buzzing since November with the count down to the Christmas break. The office is filled with the thrill of secret santa and you’re off to get inappropriately pissed at the Christmas lunch (four courses / steak house).

And then they’re off their heads practically elated typing their “out of office” email “back next year” fuckers.

Then there’s a Christmas party with them all linking arms wailing out “Fairy tale of New York”. Christmas hats on. The boss snogging Pauline in the third loo from the left. His wife won’t be happy.

And here we are – the stay at home parent.

“Are you ready for Christmas?” they ask us.

Christmas? It’s Christmas? What is the actual date today?

“Have you done your shopping?” No.

“Are you excited about your time off?” What time off?

There ain’t no point in wearing my Rudolph antlers and snowball earrings – no one is impressed here.

There’s no festive canteen treats – I am the canteen. And you’ll get what we’ve got in – beans and egg from now till Tuesday.

There’s no excited countdown to a “holiday” or break and when the other half puts on his “out of office” you think oh God – they’re home for how long? There’s going to be fights – and one more fucking person to hoover around.

There ain’t no secret Santa. You’re on your tod. And the only surprise parcel you’re gonna get is poop.

There’s no lunch, no party – none of that feeling – that ecstatic feeling of “It’s Chriiiissstttmassssss“.

Other half arrives home, rosy cheeked, party hat lop sided on their head, they’re wearing Doreen’s Christmas tree earrings … on their arse – “I’m home for Christmas love! You ok?”

“Muh” you snarl. “The eldest is constipated and the youngest has shit all up the door bouncer. Merry Christmas.”

Stay at home parents. Really – Do they know it’s Christmas time at all?