I don’t know why I always feel like I have to start these posts with a disclaimer, but I do… I LOVE being at home with my boy. I love playing with him, teaching him, comforting him, I love the bond we have and there’s not a single moment that I don’t want to be with him. But yes, I still go to work.
I’m going to list all the reasons that I go to work, all the reasons why I risk my child becoming an axe-wielding psychopath by not being a stay-at-home mum.
Firstly, hats off to all the mums out there who don’t work, who have decided that being at home with their kids is their thing and embracing it; you are amazing, your kids are amazing and you deserve a huge medal and a massive glass of wine at the end of EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. Because your job is hard work.
(And don’t worry, your kid will be a psychopath anyway because you swaddled/rocked/let them watch tv/fed them chocolate milk etc).
I didn’t work for a long time. It was the way it had to be for us, to learn to care for our child who needed more than just the usual parenting, he needed medical supplies and a huge hospital stay, he needed parents who were solely focused on him to ensure he grew, and developed. So work was out of the question for a while, and then, one day, it sort of just came back in again.
I work because I love my job. It doesn’t mean I don’t love my child, it means that I have multiple things that I love in different ways and to have a balanced, happy life I need to keep a little of all the things I love going.
I work because I choose to work, because I studied for a long time in a subject that I’m passionate about and I didn’t spend that time and money studying to not utilise the skills I learnt (that was my first degree, you know, the one that you do just because and then never use…).
I work because I want Oliver to grow up seeing that mum’s and dad’s and men and women have varied roles and there’s nothing that defines what you can and can’t do. I want him to know that life is not about one thing or the other, it’s about one thing and the other, and the other and the other, because you can fill your life with so many things and it’s magical.
I work because unfortunately money is important and bringing a little extra cash in to help provide for our family makes me feel good and gives us a little more freedom.
I work because I’m lucky enough to have a fantastic support network that helps us everyday by loving and caring for our boy.
And I work because I existed before I was a parent.
This is the absolute biggest, most important one for me. So many people say their lives started when they had children, they didn’t know what meaning was until they held their child and I’m so happy for them, so glad that they have found the thing in their life that makes the sun shine and is the reason they get up in the morning. But my life didn’t start when I had children; my life existed before I was pregnant. I studied and worked, I danced and ran, I baked and ate and travelled and I loved it all so much. I don’t think you should lose who you are as a person just because you have had kids. Having children doesn’t mean I automatically stopped loving those things and didn’t need them anymore. Yes, we often have to take a break from them, to figure out how the heck to be a parent (Still trying to figure it out most days…). But slowly and surely you get little bits of yourself back and that is amazing. You get up one day and bake a cake, or run around the block and your body says ‘hello there old friend, it’s nice to see you again’, and you smile and try to slowly fit those things back into your life. And you should. You should try and fit other things into your life because you are a person, an individual. You are a man or a woman, as well as being a mum or a dad. You are a teacher or an electrician, you are a reader, writer, baker, knitter, and it’s okay to want to make time for those things again. It’s okay to get up in the morning on the day you go to work and be excited about that, it doesn’t mean you wont miss your children, of course you will. But how beautiful is it to get home at the end of the day and wrap them tightly in your arms and breathe them in knowing you are caring for them, while also caring for yourself?
I work because I am a nurse and I will always be a nurse.
Just like I’m a mum and I will always be a mum.