Why I wanted to walk with my son in the rain

Why I wanted to walk with my son in the rain

The rain was falling hard. Last week I excitedly picked up my four year old school boy child from his minder. The door opened, I saw his pocket sized face and all the work day’s crap melted away. “Come on darling!” I said “Now put on your coat, it’s really raining outside.” And it was – great big pelts of angry water thudding on top of my yellow mac.

“I’m going your way, I’ll give you a lift” the lady said. “No, no, that’s fine” I argued. ”

I insist” she squealed, half watching the rain wondering why I wouldn’t take her up on her kind rescue.

“No, really, no thanks.” I said seriously, and I led my son towards our special short cut in his matching yellow mac.

She is a lovely, kind lady. She’s a life saver. But I wasn’t going to let her take the walk in the rain with my son away from me.

What she can’t understand is what that walk means to me.

I work hours that mean I can’t take him to school, I can’t even pick him up from school – but I can pick him up from a childminder and walk home with him, whatever the weather.

This isn’t just a walk. This is when I have my precious boy all to myself, his attention purely on me. It’s a time I get to hear what he did at school, which is, granted, only usually ever “I can’t remember,” but that still matters.

It’s the time we get to take our own special short cut that only we know. It’s the time we get to stop and look at the leaves and their different shapes and colours, and even pick a few and stuff them in our macs like we are sharing an exciting secret.

It’s the time he can use expressions I have never heard before like ‘therefore’ or ‘terrific’ which results in me bursting into spontaneous laughter for the first time that day. It’s the time he can tell me his feelings in soft, safe quiet. It’s the time he can tell me my shoes are beautiful (out of nowhere) before asking me if that’s a nice thing to say, because he always wants to say nice things.

On our walk I can tell him he makes me happier than happy, and he can tell me he wants to always make everyone happy.

I can say a silent prayer, as the rain falls, that he will never change. Then we can get his younger brother from the nursery. Finally, the three of us are together, completely together. Nothing else matters.

God willing, when they are older, I’ll remember these precious gifts – these simple walks, hand in hand with my boys – the only things that matter in my entire world.

Our walk, our time together, is as precious as life. We might be sodden, we might be cold, we might slip and slide, but we can warm each other, keep each other grounded, and some days we might even get to share a rainbow.

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?