As you know, I am, first and foremost, a SAHM (that is, Stay At Home Mum to those of you who don’t know interweb lingo). I always felt drawn to motherhood, and it was a given that I would be a SAHM, even if only for a short period.
I loved it.
Until … I didn’t.
It was as though a switch had been flicked. One day, I was perfectly content being at home with the kids. The next day, I was not.
As luck (?!) would have it, this switch was activated the same time Mr T got his work transfer, resulting in us moving six hundred bazillion miles away from where we lived.
As soon as we had arrived here and the kids were settled in school, I began to search for work, and didn’t have much success. The glaringly obvious voids on my CV, combined with my eclectic work history (picking up work in between kids) and large variety of experience (from entry-level to management) worked against me, especially in a tricky and competitive market for even the most basic of jobs.
And so, I found myself still a SAHM. Except, I was increasingly shifting away from the nice, easygoing SAHM, and drifting towards the moody, grouchy, yell-y SAHM. A mum I did not want to be. A mum my kids didn’t deserve.
In November I got a part time job, and my other work, my passion, my dream job, is finally taking off as well. But I am still, primarily, that goddamn SAHM.
BabyGirl turns three on Sunday. In two days, my baby will be three. Which means, on Monday, she starts preschool. 20 hours a week, she will be going to preschool. I will be working two of those days, and the other two days I will have, for the first time in nearly seven years, uncommitted time without children. People are asking me, “Are you ok with her going for that many hours?”. People are saying to me, “Oh, you must be so sad that your baby is growing up!”.
Well, yes, I am, I suppose, a little sad at the prospect that my baby is growing up. But no – I’m not sad she is starting preschool. I’m am ok with her starting preschool.
You see (and I feel it important to mention at this stage, that this is very hard and upsetting for me to write) – there have been moments, snippets, times, when I have looked at my kids and thought, “Do you know what? I don’t like you. I’m sick of you. Go away. Leave me alone”. I’ve never said as much to them, but I’ve come close. And it kills me. I never wanted to become that mum who doesn’t like her kids. I mean, I’ll always love them, that goes without saying. But I would like to like them as well.
I want to enjoy my kids, to laugh with them and play. We still do those things, but they are increasingly far and few between.
I need to be apart from my kids, so I can have the opportunity to miss them.
I need to be away from them long enough that they miss me, and see me as more than that lady in the house who does all the stuff for them.
When that switch flicked off nearly a year ago, the light, the spark, began to fade. Finally, at last, with BabyGirl starting preschool in three days, I can see the light again.
I need to regain myself, so I can be the best mum I can be to my kids.
Because that’s the mum they deserve.