Being a stay at home mummy is in many ways the best job in the world and I feel extremely fortunate that financially we are in a position where we can afford for me not to work and therefore spend my days nurturing our beloved children. I embrace every morning that we wake up and have the freedom to go on teddy bear picnics, run around a park in the sun or go on long walks in the countryside. The concerns of meeting mortgage payments and keeping us all clothed have been shouldered by my husband and we appreciate everything he does for us.
However, there are some days or even weeks where I would gladly put on a suit and go and sit still at a desk with grown ups… This is one of those weeks.
It all started with me coming down with a colossal cold, the kind of cold that turns your face into a constant snot leaking tap resulting in the persistent need to be no more than 1 metre from a box of tissues or a toilet roll. As a parent of a toddler I’m used to one of us having an ailment of some description as little people have an ability to pick up gross germs as they spend most of their time licking things but this time my cold developed into something more sinister… a sinus infection 🙁
Something that separates the job of stay at home mum to that of paid employment is that you can’t call your children in the morning and explain that you’re feeling a little under the weather so won’t be coming in today. There I was feeling like someone had taken a brick and shoved it up my nostril, all I wanted to do was curl up into a ball and snooze until my face ache felt better but I had a colicky newborn who spends all night either vomiting or farting and my toddler was stood at her bedroom baby gate shouting “MUMMY MORNING TIME. MARMITE TOAST NOW”.
It was 5:45 am.
I managed to get a doctors appointment the next day and luckily the doctor took one look at my bogey dripping, veiny eyed face and felt such pity she dosed me up with strong course of antibiotics. Just getting to that appointment was a miracle in itself as they only had an early morning slot and getting yourself and two children clean, in fresh knickers, brushed hair and out the door by 8:30am is nothing short of a bloody MISSION.
When we got home I felt so guilty for not going somewhere fun to entertain Scarlett that I mustered up some energy to play ‘Dinosaurs’. I was chasing her across the dining room when I realised we were both slipping around in what turned out to be massive piles of dog sh*t! The dog had decided he had not poo’d enough the day previously and had at some point in the night created a collage of faeces all over my cow hide rug. My nose was so bunged up I hadn’t smelt it and now I was chasing my daughter who ran away screaming creating pooey little footprints as she went and I was trying to catch her with chunks of canine excrement seeping between my toes. Yum.
It was suggested to me that I might curl up with my babies and watch a nice film to give me a bit of a break. This sounds totally lovely in theory but the reality is a 2.5 year old child has the attention span of a common house fly and we hadn’t got much past the opening credits of Pocahontas before Scarlett was jumping on the sofa like a bouncy castle.
It’s at times like these that reminds me how physically and emotionally strong you have to be to succeed at being a parent and resist the temptation to climb into the loft and hide. Unlike paid work you get no holiday entitlements, no employment rights and no personal privacy (especially not on the toilet). The one thing you do get is perks and it seems I earned a particularly big bonus this morning when I was treated to my 6 week old’s first proper smile. Now that’s what I call job satisfaction…