I am privileged to be a stay at home Mum. I cherish the time I spend watching Crazy grow, day by day learning new and exciting skills and never missing a moment. I wholeheartedly appreciate Mr T working hard to earn a living to keep us comfortable- he does so very well for us and I’m not sure I ever thank him enough. Is life ever perfect? I think it is what you make it.
I feel incredible guilt about being at home, not earning my keep. In reality, I work so hard chasing after Crazy and helping him grow and learn whilst making some attempt at keeping a clean and tidy house. I am all too aware that some people will judge me by the state of my house alone, as slovenly, lazy… to those people, well, I no longer care enough to even shrug. They will think what they will and I won’t care a dot. The neatness of my home is no longer a priority, my son is. Yes, it’s a brilliant excuse not to bother hovering or doing the dishes, but the truth of the matter is- I wish I had the energy to truly be happy to just be skiving and making an excuse not to do these things! They just about squeeze into my day when Crazy is sleeping, before I can do the same, ready to undo it all again with my little whirlwind of a boy. As I type, he is using me as a climbing frame and posting toys in between the sofa cushions. Going out requires a lot of preparation these days, gone are the quick ‘phone, purse, keys, go!’ days. I’ll change Crazy, get him dressed because he can’t go out in that state! Pack his bag with squash, spare nappies, wipes, Crazy has just taken the juice from the bag so I had better make another to replace it, snacks, purse, phone, keys, what is that smell? I’ll change Crazy again, and we’re as far as the car and the fickle little creature has changed his mind about a ride in the car. He will not comply with my polite requests to sit nicely in his seat and takes no notice of my hissing the instructions with intent into his ear. This situation is frequent and resolved in a number of ways depending on my tolerance levels. Sometimes -I’m not ashamed to say- he is taken in by good old fashioned bribery ‘If you sit nicely you can listen to Thomas in the car!’ (he may not speak yet, but he understands all too well and sadly, is as stubborn as me). Sometimes he just realises today is not a day to mess with Mummy and eventually complies with a few tears. A time out is a last resort, dragging out the situation even longer and involving judgemental looks from onlookers- but I am not afraid to go there! Anyway, you see how my day pans out, this situation arises in all manner of ways and so nothing is plain sailing any more. I do the shopping- I prefer to wander up and down the aisles than to order online because, firstly, I always order the wrong size online- picture a giant tube of toothpaste and a miniature bottle of squash, not helpful- and secondly because there are people. I’m afraid to say I am one of those people who talk to anyone that makes eye contact. I’ll happily chat to the elderly on the way around should Crazy let me. I’m happy to reach for that item you can’t reach if we just exchange pleasantries for a moment. It’s a bit sad isn’t it?
I have friends. I have family. I go to ‘Mummy meet ups’ and playdates with Crazy, we have made some new friends recently and that’s lovely. But the majority of my day is spent with Crazy alone, one on one and whilst that is lovely, I’m still lonely. I miss the closeness of friendship I had in my youth, where we would talk daily, laugh at nothing, pop in and out of each others’ houses without a thought, our lives were at the same stage. These days everyone is moving in different directions at different paces. I long for the familiarity of someone in my situation, with a Crazy of their own at the same age, close enough to face the trivial things together and laugh about them in an ‘I know what you mean- you don’t have to say a word!” kind of way. The reality is, I probably don’t even have the time or energy for that kind of friendship. Those that have known me the longest will be raising an eyebrow at this point and thinking ‘but you hate people…’ Maybe I’m getting soft in my old age! Maybe I’m changing as the years pass. I’m sure I’ll be sent some lovely invitations of meetings and visits as a result of this post, and I genuinely appreciate it, but we all know that time will pass, before we know it another week, month year will have passed and once again we will be saying ‘where did the time go?’. Maybe when I return to work this feeling will pass. When I am interacting with people on a daily basis and busy in a whole new way I won’t feel that something is missing. I guess when the time is right I will find out. In the meantime, if you know someone with a little one at home, stop by for a cuppa. Don’t bat an eyelid and the state of their house and just chat like old times. Better yet, take some cakes or biccies so they're not stressing about having nothing in. You never know, you could really brighten someone’s day.