Today, well officially now, at 5pm, I’m on maternity leave. Of course I knew that it would happen at some point but I wasn’t expecting it to happen just yet. The little monkey is still small and so I’m having to learn to slow the pace a little – a skill I’m yet to master.
Lots of people have asked me what I’m planning to do with my maternity leave which always leaves me somewhat baffled. As a person who used to nearly drop babies if they looked remotely like they might vomit, I think figuring out how to look after a miniature human being without breaking them will keep me more than occupied.
Then I drop the bombshell, that I’m planning to be a stay-at-home mum or SAHM which I’m learning is the lingo in all of the forums *rolly eye emoji*.
Queue “Yeah, good luck with that, you’re too much of a career girl”.
I swear to god, if one more person says that to me, I’m not sure that I’ll be able to muster a polite response any more. Let me explain.
“Good luck with that, you’re too much of a career girl”
Yes, I’ve had a successful career, one of which I’m incredibly proud. I’ve worked my arse off to make a reputation for myself as being the best at what I do. I’ve travelled the world, I’ve worked through the night, I’ve delivered against deadlines everyone thought was impossible…. And I loved every second, really I have.
However, for some reason, lots of people seem to think that means that I’m incapable of staying at home to invest my time in raising a child, which I find incredible infuriating. Of course, I’m not planning on giving up work FOREVER. I’ve got nothing but the upmost respect for working mums who are brilliant role models to their kids, showing that women can hold their own in the workplace, but I believe that every family should choose the best option that works for them.
When I explain that I worked as hard as I could always with the intention that I wanted to get as far as I could before I decided to start a family, they always look at me a bit confused, before dismissing me with a “We’ll see what you think 6 months from now”…. As though it’s not possible to have a career and then change focus as your priorities in life change.
“We’ll see what you think 6 months from now”
Don’t get me wrong, I might find that I’m a terrible stay-at-home mum. I might be scratching my nails against the front door to fight my place back into the work place. Or, I might love it. I might find that it’s my calling, that being there to support my husband and to raise our daughter is more fulfilling than any job I’ve ever done. I would like to be given that chance before being written off.
I’m lucky enough that I have a husband who can financially support us and sees the value in having me stay at home, not only to look after our baby but to support him in his career also. To me what matters is our happiness and what we achieve together as a team rather than as individuals.
I’ll admit, I’m scared. It’s the unknown. But I’m also incredibly excited…. for the start of a new adventure.