Growing up, I always knew what I wanted to do with my life. I knew that I loved the idea of helping to shape little minds - and from there on in, I knew that I was blessed to be confident in my decision to become a Teacher. Every decision I had to make, related to my education, all revolved around (what would be) my career. The GCSE subjects I chose, The AS Levels & A-Levels I took, the specific Degree I completed - all the perfect set up for my career.
I was always very much a career minded person.
Fast forward a little and along came Little Miss Emilia - my biggest, proudest and most beautiful achievement... ever! She turned my world around in the most amazing way.
Maternity Leave (a rather extended one at that) was so gracious to me! I loved every minute I had with Emilia & our family/friends around us. Watching her grow, develop, learn and achieve, every milestone she hits, every smile, every word... it all melts my heart! But it wasn't until I returned to work in September (2017) that I realised just how much I truly did enjoy it!
Don't be mistaken, I worked so damn hard my whole way through my education, through my degree, my placements, supply teaching & my short term employment. But, I have to admit, I have definitely become a 'family minded person' over a career minded person.
Emilia is now nearly 2 years old (21 months to be exact) and, in just over a years time, she'll be off to full time nursery, followed by school, college and maybe university. Bam! She's 18 years old & time has flown by. So why would I throw away these first 3 years of her life, watching her grow, shaping her mind, bonding with her and setting her up to take on every challenge thrown at her. I wouldn't! I'd be stupid too!
That doesn't mean that I think any less of my career and that I will never return to teaching - of course I will! But right now, family, health & happiness are my top 3 priorities.
So... SAHM ('stay-at-home-mum), or 'homemaker' as I prefer... do I enjoy it? I always said I was born in the wrong era, maybe I was destined to be a 1960's housewife!
Being a SAHM has soooo many ups, some of which I have already mentioned. But, in reality, it has its downs too. Many people, rightly or wrongly, think that SAHM's have immaculate houses, no laundry piles, every meal prepared in advance, all in a picture perfect home... I am proud of those of you who have achieved that. But that's not me. I spend my days travelling to different toddler groups/classes - Emilia has a better social life than me! - climbing into her teepee, lying on the floor and being used as a climbing frame... you name it! But I wouldn't have it any other way. That all beats housework, hands down!
My biggest 'down' (personally) as a SAHM is friendships. My best friend is currently at university, studying hard! The other now lives in Ireland. Other friends work (full time or part time), live far away, or connections have just fizzled out. And I find that hard. I mean, we all love our own company every now & then, but day in day out can be hard. I'm super lucky to have my mum & Phil to keep me company, but I'm sure I bug them after a while.
My aim in the next year is to build more friendships, both within Toddler Groups & outside of too! To spend more time with like minded people, young mothers, just generally good people! Family & Friends.
I will be eternally grateful to my amazing and selfless husband, for making me feel like I can take this time to spend with Emilia, for supporting us both financially and for cheering us on along the way. (And, in part, I am grateful for the company he works for - working remote allows him to have the most beautiful & flourishing relationship with Emilia. Which both Emilia & I benefit from).
To finish; no matter what you do as a mum - SAHM, working part time or full time, studying, whatever - you do you! You do your style! You do whatever is best for you and your family. Don't let the outsiders judge you for the decisions you make or the paths down which you travel!
"Don't judge me by the chapter of my life that you walked in on."