A journey from stay at home motherhood to family breadwinner

On the face of it, nothing earth shattering happened today. A typical manic monday morning, unremarkable when compared with all the other school runs I have emabarked upon with the children. It was this normality, this familiarity with the routine we have followed since my eldest started school that caused it. By it, I mean the wobble.

It hit me, full force today, that as things stand now, I know everything important in my children’s lives. As my son handed out his party invites I realised that I know all his friends, I know the teachers and TA’s and I know the vast majority of the other parents too. I know exactly which spellings he is struggling with this week, I know which days he has PE and which days he has assembly and what he prefers to have in his packed lunch. I know what time and for how long my younger children need their daytime naps. I know what they like to eat, which are their favourite toys and how to encourage (or wrestle) each of them into their coats, hats and gloves.

As I stood chatting idly at the school gate with a couple of other Mum’s, with no urgency as he we had nothing to rush home for, I realised just how much my life is going to change in 2 weeks time. I will no longer get to host the themed playdates that have been such a hit with my children and their friends. I will no longer get to feed the ducks and swans on the way home. I will no longer get to walk the long way home and see the excitement on their little faces when we see a digger at work or when a cat strolls up to us to be stroked and patted. When they fall over, it will be Daddy they are running to and when my son gets a certificate at school, it will be my husband he rushes to first, holding it proudly aloft.

By the time I got home I was in floods of tears. All I could think of was all the things I will be missing out on, and as the morning has gone on the list has grown. No more jumping in muddy puddles like Peppa Pig, no more encouraging the little ones as they explore the baby gym, no more 6 weeks of long summer holidays at home with the children to fill with adventures……..

After a good cry however I am starting to realise that all this has been a reality for my husband for the last 10 years. He has never had 6 weeks off with the kids in the summer. He has never had the chance to organise a themed playdate or really get to know the children’s friends. I have had those chances and have enjoyed and cherished them, but now it’s time to let him have a go. Besides, I can still take the kids jumping in muddy puddles or to see the diggers or feed the ducks at the week end, and the chances are I will appreciate it so much more.

In an effort to counter my wobble, here are 5 “no mores” I can celebrate:

1/. No more walking to school in the wind/rain/snow/all of the above

2/. No more wearing nothing but casual, practical clothes and flat shoes

3/. No more boring people to death by talking about nothing but my children

4/. No more doing the lions share of the housework

5/. No more feeling guilty about not bringing any money into the household.

Today I feel tearful and anxious about our decision.

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Comments on: "BAM!! That was reality hitting me in the face." (6)

  1. Aw, I really feel for you, it’s a tough decision to make and you’re bound to have more than one “wobble” wondering if you’re doing the right thing. I’m sure you are, and not only will it be wonderful for your husband to get to know the children as well as you know them, but it will also be lovely for them to spend more time with him too. But don’t worry, you’ll always be their mum, and you can still do all those lovely things you enjoy, just maybe not every day.
    Good luck with it all – I’ll be following your blog to see how it goes – and try not to spend the next two weeks worrying… it won’t change anything and you may as well just be making the most of it.
    Best wishes!
    Gemma

  2. Thanks Gemma. Sometimes it’s easy to see things through rose tinted glasses – by the time I had cooked dinner this evening, with a crying child hanging off each leg, I found I could see the positives of the changes a bit more clearly!

  3. That’s such a tough decision to make, but you’re right, it’s exciting that now your husband will get to experience these things. 🙂
    This post makes me feel a little better about myself too, every single medium-large life change in our world gives me a serious case of “the wobbles” even when I know it’s for the best.
    Good luck.

    • Thank you. I guess it’s normal to question the decisions we make. I think it’s a rare to make a decision and be 100% sure, there are even times when 51% has to suffice. The days I feel good about it far outweigh the days I feel stressed about it…….so far anyway!

  4. I’m so happy I found this blog!
    I relate totally. It is a little bizarre to switch up the roles you are accustomed to. But, you’re right that it is a really good opportunity for your husband. And it is an even better opportunity for your children to spend time with their Dad. Our family just feels more “together” with me working out of the home and my husband working at home and being with the kids. It provides him and the kids a relationship they may not have enjoyed otherwise, whereas I feel MY relationship with the kids hasn’t changed. I just see them a little less. Good luck!

    • Thanks for sharing your experience. It’s always good to hear from people who have already made a similar choice and find it’s working out well for them, and I appreciate you taking the time to comment.

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