When I Grow Up

When I grow up I want to be married, have children, then stay at home and look after everyone.

This was me.

I never had any real career ambition, didn’t want to be a doctor, a lawyer or a teacher {despite some rather lazy schools careers advice}. There was a short time when I entertained the idea of being a journalist or photographer, but then ended up studying performing arts at college. Which of course, then led on to a career in… marketing.

I enjoyed my job and despite the lack of any burning desire to be ‘a boss’ or run my own agency, I always wanted to do the best job I could and be recognised for being a hardworking and valuable employee. I think I managed it?!

So anyway, I met a guy, got married, had a baby… and found myself in the most fortunate position of being able to realise my childhood ideal of being a stay at home mum.

Fast forward a tad, and Miss E is approaching her 2nd birthday {where the feck that time went I have NO idea} and I have been presented with a couple of opportunities I was not expecting. So here I am, faced with this wrangle between the ‘I always wanted to be a stay at home mum’ side of me, and the ‘but maybe a couple of days at nursery would be good for her, my brain needs feeding and the extra money would be nice’ half.

I know how lucky I am to have the opportunity to debate this, and never imagined it would be a position I would find myself in; having grown up in a family where both mum and dad worked all the hours available to keep food in our bellies and a roof over our heads. But I am.

I suppose the only real issue I have with going back to work, stems from my selfishness and need to be in control. I don’t want to miss anything or have Miss E learn things elsewhere that I feel I should be teaching her. The rational me knows this is ridiculous. Of course we should guide our children along what we think is the right path, but they are people in their own right. They need to experience as much as possible to become well-rounded and respectful individuals. They need to feel confident in the company of all kinds of different people, not be kept under the wings of their mothers. We cannot control or indeed be a part of all of their experiences and nor should we. But she’s my baby, always will be, and I am sure I will always struggle a little bit, with taking a step back.

My question is, how do we know what is truly best for our children? Or do we ever? Is it better to be home with them, nurturing them, supporting them in all they do, for them to see us playing the traditional female role? Or for them to be exposed from an early age to nursery and experience things without mums influence? To drop them off/pick them up from school and be there for every sports day/nativity play? Or to have to miss some of these precious experiences because you can’t get the morning off work?

I guess we may never know.

Most probably, whether I decide to go back to work or not, I will always feel like I’ve done the wrong thing as that is a mothers guilt. But then that’s another post entirely.

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