Before I became a mother I wrongly was under the impression that stay at home mothers had it made. What could be better, I thought, than staying at home all day with your little darlings, not having to conform to strict time keeping to make it to work on time and being able to plan your week how you wanted, essentially I thought stay at home mothers were their own boss, oh how wrong I was! I will admit that when my baby was first born it was easy to look after him, I'd be lying if I said it wasn't. He used to sleep all the time, I'm sure he would have loved to have slept twenty-four hours a day if it wasn't for the fact that he had to eat and have his nappy changed. He was such a little angel and my house was cleaner than it ever had been, I had everything organised, dinner made every night and even had the time to shower and do my makeup, I was becoming the perfect housewife, something which I never thought I would achieve, this mothering malarkey is easy I oh so foolishly thought.
As the months went on I found it harder and harder to get my house in order, the lack of organisation drives me mad. I now don't have the dinner ready until my fiance literally walks in the door and even at that it's a 'take frozen food out of the freezer but it in the oven and bam!' job. A stay at home mother is most definitely not her own boss. In fact, my boss, my darling baby, is the most demanding boss I have ever had! Work starts at five in the morning and doesn't end until five-thirty that evening, that's a twelve and a half hour day, breaks are not included in my contract. He needs everything done when he wants and not a second longer otherwise his roars become intolerable, he's certainly got a good pair of lungs on him. I am not allowed to work on my own initiative, he has me on a strict schedule that allows for no other 'jobs' to be done, meaning the laundry basket keeps breeding whilst I'm not looking and the basket of ironing sits on the tumble-drier unloved and untouched. By the time my 'shift' ends I am exhausted, I want to do nothing but lie on the couch and chill out but unfortunately there are things to be done, bottles to be prepared for the morning, blog posts to be written and other bits and bobs which are necessary to the smooth functioning of my next working day, in reality it's a twenty-four seven job, you are always a mother, always on call, always needed.
Stay at home mothers are unable to leave the house on their own and this task is no longer as simple as getting yourself ready and picking up your handbag, do you know how many things a child needs when out and about? A lot! I went on a three day holiday with my boy and had to take four big bags, four! Being a stay at home mother can also be quite lonely, some days go by where the only adult I get to speak to is my fiance when he comes home from work. There are no work colleagues to have a laugh and some banter with, no work nights out and no company throughout the day, you're not part of a team it's just simply you and everything is up to you to get done. A stay at home mother plays many roles - chef, cleaner, driver, carer, playmate, entertainer along with many others, how many jobs out there have these many roles for one employee?
People seem to think I have all the time in the world to do what I want when I want, I think they're crazy! As you can probably tell these are people without children, oh the shock they're in for when they do eventually reproduce! I want to be a fly on the wall when the thought finally hits them that being a stay at home mother isn't all it's cracked up to be. One of the most challenging things in my day is entertaining my baby, do you know how easily babies get bored?! They can be occupied for literally twenty minutes before they need something new to catch their attention, I am constantly on the move looking for a new toy to give to my son, letting him crawl on the floor, play in his bouncer, it seems like I'm constantly moving him around the house trying to keep him happy, it's better than being at a gym! People laugh at me when I say I have to feed them baby at a certain time and need to go home, find somewhere to sit, etc. They think he'll be okay for another few minutes, he most definitely won't be, when it's lunch time it is lunch time and that's at one o' clock. If I didn't follow this strict schedule my life would be chaos and that would most certainly not be fun. Stay at home mothers have no time to be sick, therefore it's necessary to make sure you're in optimum health! There is no cover to take over for you, babies do not understand that mammy needs a day in bed, they're unable to fend for themselves. When people express how much they're looking forward to the weekend I just smile and nod, the weekend is nothing to me, just another day just like the rest of the week following the orders of my boss and sticking to our routine.
However, there are many perks to my job which I could not live without. I get a lot of cuddles, what other boss would be so affectionate? I get to play with my son, see him laugh, giggly and shriek because apparently I'm hilarious! I get to see him grow, explore, learn and be amazed by the general wonder of the world that surrounds him. Being a stay at home mother is one of the hardest jobs in the world and I am now thinking that 'job' is the wrong word, perhaps 'vocation' would be better. This vocation that I decided to undertake has been the best thing that has ever happened in my life. To be a mother, it's a feeling I cannot describe. Nevertheless, there are far too many misconceptions surrounding stay at home mothers, people really think we have it made. I would love one of these people to spend a week in my shoes and do what I do everyday, it's bloody hard work but my God is it worth it.