I’ve recently become a stay at home mum, while not an uncommon event for a woman who has just had a baby; a year ago I had my seventh child, and for the first time ever I am not on maternity leave from an employer.
It was while pregnant with baby number six and fretting about my return to work as a police officer, that I finally realised something, I was needed at home much more than my job needed me. Although I guess being a police officer, that is something that could really be argued, but the be all and end all is that family comes first.
It has taken me a LONG time to adjust to the full-time mother role, I know I can hear the scoffing as I write that – How can I say that when I had that many kids?! The truth is I looked at my job as having more value than parenting.
Think about it, parenting can often feel like a lot of hard work with little to no acknowledgement – and you know something else, it is not very exciting. I looked at the hours I spent at work as my time out, where I got to play with adults and talk like one too, I was openly valued. Twelve whole hours, during which I didn’t have to wipe one snotty face or shitty bottom, or ask anyone if they needed to go pot pot before we go out, then again some Friday night shifts did get a little funky. Even now I still look at passing police cars with longing, craving the excitement, but I’m getting better I just have to recall a few night shifts and I’m over it.
So, here I am into my second year at home with all my babies, are we having fun yet? I can say now that I am. Sure the budget is super tight, but with this many kids it has always been that way, no matter how much money was coming into the house. I have learnt so much about my children, and I’m getting to do the fun stuff with them I didn’t have the time to do before. I really believe that they are benefiting from me being at home and I’m starting to feel valued again. Especially when I look at the improvement in my three autistic children, totally worth it.
Do we really need to have it all?