Saturday, 6 October 2018

Going Back To Being A Stay At Home Mum

Ok technically my employment status hasn’t changed recently. I’m still bringing in an income through my blog and social media, but ever since G’s job finished in July it has been a bit different with two adults at home each day. Life changed again this week when G started his new job on Monday and to be honest it is a bit of a relief.

Me and a toddler wearing police hats and smiling


I have embraced the opportunity over the summer to spend more time working and I happily handed over nappy changing and bath time duty to Little’s Daddy (obviously that’s because those activities aren’t great for my PGP rather than because I’m lazy). But it hasn’t always been easy with us both at home. Yes there have been many luxuries like I didn’t have to get up as early, I could have naps and the washing up got done more often, but changes in our home situation brought conflict too.

When G was out earning a wage I was used to his work taking priority over mine, after all he was the one bringing in most of the income and paying the mortgage. But when he stopped working it was frustrating that finding time for him to work still ended up being a higher priority, even though he was no longer bringing in an income and it was my savings paying the bills. Rationally I knew that the work he was doing was applying for jobs, a very important bit of work and a necessity for us long term, but somehow even though we discussed having time for us each to work and go to the gym more hours in reality went to him than to me. I felt a little resentful.

Then I would get annoyed with how during my time with Little I would play with her, but in his time, initially at least, the TV would often go on or the iPad out. This was fair enough at the weekends when he had been working all week because it gave G much needed relaxation time too, but not ideal when he was starting to be more involved in childcare. And the secret he didn’t seem to realise was that Little is great at independent play, but the more screen time she gets the more entertainment she needs when it has been switched off.

Over the months G was off the way he interacted with his daughter changed. He played with Little more and Little often requested her Daddy “come play with me” as she dragged him off by the hand. They read stories, they played, he did great. For the first time in Little’s life she had Daddy around for more than a week and G learnt the skills and knowledge about his child that I have had due to being the primary care provider. He has always been amazing at short interactions with her, but he got used to spending hours on his own with her.

Me holding my toddler

We were lucky that the time off came in the summer so we could spend nice days outside and go on holiday, we were lucky that we could financially afford the time without G working and we are lucky he has found a new job that he is excited about with less than a 3 month break.

I am grateful to have had him around for so long, but I’m also happy to be getting back to our normal and to feeling I can do what I want during the day without anyone watching. I am also looking forward to not worrying so much about money or feeling guilty if we decide to have a meal out or an expensive cut of meat.

I am grateful to the return to our more clearly defined roles, but hoping G will still think that providing full time childcare is hard (because sometimes it is and sometimes it isn’t) and that he doesn’t expect me to suddenly start being on top of all the housework. Eek!

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