Stay-at-home mum, not a phrase I thought would apply to me. When I got married I knew I wanted children and since I was already in my mid-30s I knew I had to get on with it. I also knew that I really valued my job, the independence it brought me and I loved earning my own money.
Becoming a full-time mum wasn’t an easy choice for me. I quickly realised once my son arrived and my husband began travelling abroad with his job more frequently, that something was going to give, if I went back to my full time marketing job. I just didn’t want it to be my sanity.
I had loved working in marketing, it had the right mix of creatively and analytics for me and it led me to working on the advertising campaigns for well known American software company. It was a very corporate job, lots of managers needed to be involved to get decisions made, there were long hours but also I worked in a close team who worked hard and did find time to play hard. I was always in a rush to get presentations ready, to reply to more emails, to try to do enough to get recognition from my managers. It was at times stressful and exhausting.
Gradually, over the course of my pregnancy it became clear to me that I wasn’t always going to be able to put in the extra long hours, I wasn’t going to be able to travel over to the HQ to be ‘seen’ by the executive management. I would be needed to do the nursery drop offs and pick ups. I knew I wasn’t going to be able to make the logistics work, without expecting a lot of help from my parents. Time for a change.
After my maternity leave finished, I decided not to go back to my job and it’s actually been the right decision for my family, for now. I’ve been looking for the right part-time job for a while and I know I’m in a lucky position to be able to wait to find the right thing. My husband is still travelling quite a bit and I think it’s been far less disruptive for our son to have his mum around full-time, as he’s getting older he’s much more aware of daddy leaving and being away, which often results in disruptive sleep at night.
I’m actually enjoying being at home, with my son far more than I thought I would. I’ve seen him go from a baby to a walking / running toddler. He enjoys being outside in the parks or running around our local gymnastics club. He’s already getting into football. Getting him up from his afternoon nap, is a slow and lazy process that involves lots of cuddles and knowing that we don’t have to rush around makes me more understanding and patient. I’m much more present in the moment and taking each day as it comes. For someone who was always in a rush to achieve the next life milestone, it’s a major change. It’s made me nicer to live with, according to my husband! I also know that if we are lucky enough to have another baby, then it won’t be like this the second time around.
So what next? There are some areas that don’t sit as well with me. Not earning my own money for example, hence why I’m trying to gain experience as a freelance writer. I’ve been lucky enough to contribute to a few online magazines and I have recently pitched for my first freelancing writing piece.
Motherhood has been the catalyst for me to try pursue something I’ve always wanted to do, to be a writer and even though I’m just taking the first step, I’m really excited to see where it takes me.