Rediscovering the 'Me' in 'Mumeeeeeee'

'I have always thought that there is no more fruitful source of family discontent than a housewife’s badly-cooked dinners and untidy ways'. (Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management, 1861)

September 13, 2009

What a difference six months makes


13 March, 2009
It's official, I am unemployed; another statistic of the credit crunch. I finally lost my increasingly precarious grip on the corporate ladder and I no longer work for the big city law firm which has seen me engaged, married and produce two children. In their wisdom, they decided I was surplus to requirements. I suspect this had something to do with the fact that I am a part-time working mother, but only they, and their top secret files, will ever truly know. I’m not bitter; just slightly baffled.

In any event, my impractically-high heels are back in their nice box, my designer suits are en route to the local charity shop and I am about to embark on my new career as Stay At Home Mum.

Ridiculous though it may sound, I am strangely nervous and more than a little panicked at the prospect of being with my own children 24/7. I may have only put in a brief appearance each week at the office, but those days were, apart from financially necessary, invaluable ‘me time’ and on many occasion the only thing keeping me sane.

I will miss my freshly brewed lattes and double chocolate muffins, the idle gossip about who was wearing what at the Oscars and part of me will even miss the egotistical, self-important dullards I had to work with (you know who you are!).

Now, I face an onslaught of meals to prepare, books to read, games to invent, jigsaws to make, floors to clean and disagreements to referee and I will have to do this all with only instant coffee and jaffa cakes as my elevenses companions. How, oh how will I cope?


13 September, 2009
Life may now be less about boardrooms and deadlines and more about bathrooms and washing lines, but I wouldn’t change it for the world.

Don’t get me wrong, I live in absolute chaos. I lurch from feeling completely happy as I bounce on the beds in the middle of the afternoon with my two fabulous boys, to feeling utterly disheartened as yet another uneaten meal is spilt on the just cleaned floor and I yearn for the simplicity of my corporate yesteryear.

It is exhausting meeting the demands of the small people, but I sleep soundly at night, taking comfort in the knowledge that although there may have been some ups and downs in the day, I was part of those ups and downs and not reading about them in a book sent home by an anonymous face in the crèche.

I will be eternally grateful that the celtic tiger packed his bags and trundled off to the jungle. He has given me the most wonderful opportunity to be with my children before they are too big for bubbles, cuddles and bouncing on the bed.

My departure from corporate life may have been a small step towards the cost savings my employer needed to make. It has, most definitely, been one giant leap for me.

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14 comments:

  1. It ain't easy sweetie!! There are days when I miss my old job with a passion - but I know if I was there, doing it, I'd miss my children even more. Sometimes life has a way of making us do what we have to do...and what we need to do. They'll be grown up before we know it and we'll be so thankful that we had time with them as little ones...even if we did have to wash the kitchen floor 5 times a day in the process!

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  2. Sigh... There isn't a day that goes by when I don't spend a minute planning my escape back to adultland. But then I'm so glad I'm not there when one of the kids is sick or we go to the park to ride bikes.

    You're meant to wash kitchen floors? No one told me.

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  3. Sorry to hear you've lost your job. Welcome to the world of SAHMs! I find some days hard and yearn for a chance to go to the toilet on my own or drink a hot cup of coffee. Or have an intelligent conversation. I agree our children will soon be grown up and won't need us so much then it will be time to venture back - eek! Don't think I even own a suit any more.

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  4. Great post again. I, like you, had not exactly planned to 'retire' to life as a SAHM. Circumstances conspired to make it necessary for me to 'take a year off'. That was 8 years ago and although life is not quite as glitzy as it was in PR, it is organic and I also sleep better at night. And like you I offer thanks for the opportunity that was placed before me to make great memories with my girls. It makes me sad to think of how many other moms are stuggling at work/life balance. That could have been me - and you! Thanks for reminding me!! You know what I still miss - every year - the corporate Christmas Party!

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  5. We always say that children are adaptable but I think we're pretty good at it too. After 2 years of being a SAHM, I was offered a nine month maternity leave cover job. For a fleeting moment I pictured my straightened back (no longer curved from constantly picking things up from the floor), sashaying into a room full of adults confident the word "no" would be taken with credibility and not credulousity (I know this word doesn;t exist but you know what I mean!). I swept my fingers along my dusty work clothes and sighed, thinking i could finally buy those killer boots I'd spied which, lets face it, would look a tad ridiculous cleaning out the sandpit. But then I looked at my girls and I knew I might look good for 9 months, but I wouldn't feel good.... they may make me look like a harried old hag, but they make me feel like a princess.... especially when I have to dress up in a silly pink frilly frock and wave a wand! WEell done you.... you will NEVER go back!

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  6. Lovely comments ladies - thank you all. I really am so glad circumstances turned out this way. I certainly wouldn't have spent the morning with the boys at a chocolate factory if I'd still been in gainful employment!!

    Re the washed floors - I assume a 2-second baby wipe over the bright orange tomato soup stain counts as washed? No - oops!

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  7. Lovely post....This is such precious time with our little ones.

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  8. Glad you have appreciated the important things in life. Money could never compensate for the time spent with your little ones. And such lovable little ones. I have read so much about them I feel like their Grandma. Great blog.

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  9. It is SO much better at home than at work! By miles! Enjoy :o)

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  10. Well done for making the leap! I'm very envious, I'd give up my job to look after the spud full time any day.

    Thanks for the award!

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  11. Oh dear... I fear I may love your blog. Way too lovely for words:)

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  12. I'm so glad you're enjoying being a SAHM. All my life I have known that if I was lucky enough to have children, I would want to be a SAHM (way before the term SAHM was invented). I worked hard and saved hard to be in this position. I've only thought about going back to paid work once, when they were both screaming. My two year old counted to 5 this morning, I'm so glad it was me that heard him. But crumbs, isn't it hard work?!
    Re kitchen floors: the previous owner of our house saw fit to carpet every single room in the house. No washing the floors for me, well, not without a carpet cleaning machine anyway!

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