I currently seem to spend my days in a permanent state of exhaustion, with an aching back and itchy, tired eyes desperate to curl up in bed, but all I can think of is that the kitchen needs cleaning/washing needs doing/Isla’s toys need tidying/prep for tea needs doing etc etc etc.
Ever since Isla was born, I’ve been trying my best to keep a clean, tidy, harmonious house for my family. The last thing I’ve ever wanted is for my nearest and dearest is to think is that I’m lazy and I keep a horribly messy house for poor Isla and Hubs to live in, so I seem to go into overdrive and become a Stepford wife.
Hubs, to his credit, has told me many times there’s no pressure on me to keep the house immaculate and food on the table, and as long as Isla is happy that’s all he cares about. Yet I feel as a wife and mum I need to keep a tidy home with plenty of food, especially as he works away so much.
But what keeps going through my mind is that I’m obviously doing something wrong because I know I couldn’t cope with another child right now, if at all, yet other mums do exactly what I’m doing, and probably more, with multiple children. People always ask if Isla will be having a brother or sister soon and I feel I’m depriving her of a sibling and condemning her to a lonely life as an only child by not having another, as society seems to demand. Yet I know I’d struggle to cope with a career and more than one child, so does that mean there’s something wrong with me? Am I not “mumming” hard enough? Or well enough?
I know this pressure is all in my head, but I’m desperate for people to think I’m a good mum and if people see this knackered, frazzled mess I’m worried they’ll think I’m not cut out for this. One of my friends is a working mum with three children and she makes it look bloody effortless! Why can’t that be me?!
I haven’t been able to blog for a while, purely because I’ve been so damn busy! Being a working mum is wonderful, but any free time I had is gone and any hours I have left in the day once I’ve got home from work and Isla is in bed is spent either trying to catch up on housework or trying to spend quality time with Hubs.
Being a working mum has it’s pros and cons though. One of the big contributing factors to me returning to work was the money situation. Hubs earns a decent wage but we definitely missed not having a second income and things were getting really tight. There was no question of where Isla would go while I was at work – she’d go to nursery full time. This was our only option as we have no family living anywhere near us, but luckily it’s been absolutely fine because Isla absolutely loves nursery and gets so excited when we walk through the doors and she sees her little friends. Most of the time she crawls off and gets stuck straight in and doesn’t even notice I’m leaving!
The main problem we have with having no family around is if Isla is poorly, one of us has to leave work to come and collect her from nursery, mainly me as Hubs works away a lot. Thankfully my employers are wonderful and understand our circumstances, but not being with Isla all day does make me worry about her. I know this is silly because her nursery is brilliant and she’s very well cared for, but I’m used to being with my little girl all day and now only seeing her first thing in the morning, an hour before she goes to bed and weekends makes me sad. We really have to make the most of our weekends with her now, which means Hubs and I don’t get to really spend quality time together either.
It’s also bloody exhausting! We’re both up at around 6.30 with Isla and I end up running around like a nutter to get us both ready to leave the house at 8am. her nursery is on the way to my office luckily, so she’s there and settled in by 8.15 and I get to work at around 8.45. I pick her up straight after work at 5.30 and then we try to play with her and wind her down as much as we can by the time she goes to bed at 7pm. But by then we’re both knackered!
Coming back to work was a good decision for me because it’ll give me a few more years to focus on my career. I was very lucky to have been able to go back to my old job which means I’ve been able to go back to a job I love and know well with people I get on with brilliantly, so not having the added stress and pressure of starting a new job from scratch has been great. but if we do ever have another baby, I’m pretty sure we couldn’t afford two sets of nursery fees so my career will more than likely take a back seat if/when we have another!
Also I think Isla being at nursery is brilliant for her social skills and development. I try my best, but I couldn’t provide as much of an enriching or creative day as the ladies at her nursery do. They’ve all commented how much Isla has blossomed over this past month, her social skills are excellent, she’s happy and she’s brilliant at playing and sharing her toys with the other children. I know that she’s in the best place but i miss her so much during the day!