There’s a common misconception about stay-at-home mums. It’s widely believed that we do nothing but sit on our behind all day, watching daytime TV, and cooing at the baby playing happily on the floor.
In truth, the reality is entirely the opposite.
Last week, my sister commented that I had lost weight. ‘Your butt has disappeared’, I think were her exact words. She’s quite possibly right. I told her, quite simply, that’s because I don’t spend enough time sat on it.
Of course, as I write this, I am indeed sat on my butt. It’s 9.20am, and so far I have got myself and two small children ready, given both of them breakfast, and enjoyed a bowl of cereal myself (something a LOT of stay-at-home mum’s neglect to do, simply because they are too busy putting the small people first). I washed the dishes, tidied away the toys, mopped the floor, put on a load of washing, got both kids ready to leave the house and then dropped my four-year-old off at school. I came home, put the baby straight to bed, and while I sit here writing this blog post, the washing machine soothes me with the gentle swish-tumble, swish-tumble as it works its cycle. My workspace is the kitchen table, and I am sharing it with a baby-cardigan, some library books, and Elsa’s musical wand from that well-known film, Frozen (if you haven’t heard of it, where the hell have you been for the past 2 years? Certainly not on Earth, that’s for sure).
So, I work while the baby sleeps. Some freelance work, or a blog post, or maybe even some studying. And in a short while, she’ll be awake again, and I’ll have to put my world on hold while I concentrate on her and the rest of the house (I won’t bore you with the details). If we get time, we might pop out for a short while before lunch and her next nap, when I’ll spend the afternoon running around after my 4-year-old. But, today marks the beginning of a new era, as today, she will be in school all day. The settling-in period is over, and I may now have a little extra time in my day to concentrate on my own endeavours while the baby has her afternoon nap, until it comes time to pick her sister up from school. Many of you will be familiar with the drill. You spend about 45 minutes getting your child to take of their shoes, get changed, go to the toilet, etc. They want a drink, they want a snack, and when they eventually settle down, it’s time to start cooking the dinner. The hours of between 4pm and 7pm are a chaotic whirlwind of cooking, feeding, bathing, settling… and then their dad gets in from work and sees it as his job to wind them up, so you have to settle them down again. Eventually both children will be asleep by 8pm (7.30pm if we’re really lucky), and then I might enjoy an hour or two before my eyelids begin to droop involuntarily and I can no longer stay awake.
It’s all a total juggling act, but do you know what? I wouldn’t have it any other way. I LOVE my life, and although sometimes I feel a little isolated (mostly when my husband is on night shift), it doesn’t last long. Because I’ll have a little natter with some of the other mums on the school run, or I’ll go off for a walk to get some fresh air. We’ve often got visitors, and the house is buzzing most of the time. And the best part of it? I’m still in control of my own life and destiny.
It’s my motto and I still live by it.
Dare to dream… Then live it.