When I got a full-time job back in June 2018, I got a lot of comments along the lines of:
“That’s nice, it’ll keep you busy won’t it?”
While it was meant as a boost and nothing less than positive, it wasn’t. It was said with blissful ignorance and demeaned everything I had been working towards. It created a false reality in which I was this poor stay-at-home parent, bored out of my mind and needed something to occupy my time so that I could escape the shackles of my home. Not only was that a slap in the face to me but every other parent out there who, yes, stays at home and looks after the children and household (and works their arse off doing so for that matter).
As soon as Joshua started preschool, I used to get comments from the same people asking, “What will you do with yourself now?” I swear these people believe that our identities live and die with our children and that as soon as we multiply, we stop being everything we once were. Well, fuck you! I will be doing exactly what I have been doing all this time. I’ll continue working but more of it. Even if I wasn’t in work at that point, screw you!
I decided to get a full-time job to allow us to get a mortgage much quicker – as I didn’t quite have enough yearly accounts for mortgage companies to accept. They required three years and I only had two (ish), and we weren’t prepared to wait any longer. At that point, I was working as a freelance writer. I have always felt that it wasn’t good enough for some people and some of my family will never see it as an actual job. My job, and life in general, have taken its toll on my freelance work for the time being, but I’m gradually getting back to it once again.
Now that I have left work to have our next little bubba, I have so much more time to crack on with my work and building my business back up again. I have so many things planned and hopefully by this time next year, I will be self-employed once again and earning an income from what I love doing most. Hopefully I can look back on this gap in my freelance work as a blip, that got us in our first family home – well worth it!
Being a parent isn’t the only thing about me; while I’ve lost a huge part of my identity starting a family (who doesn’t?) there’s so much more I have to offer the world than raising children. Truth be told, I don’t want to be any busier and if I was… I’d drop. So, “that’ll keep you busy” is one comment that couldn’t be further from the truth. I am, really am, busy already!
I spend 13+ hours a day fighting the never-ending mountain of washing, housework, and decorating tasks around the house. I work my way through my to-do list which probably should have been completed months ago, with more things being added daily. I then balance being a parent with freelance work; which often means working on the kitchen counter while cooking dinner or working from my phone at the park. I then barely have time to eat before rushing off to work literally the second Jamie gets home. Often, I would run out of the door as Jamie is approaching the steps outside our porch. On the days when I’m at work from 9am-6pm, I come back to find that of course nothing has been done. So, I have the days’ worth of housework and mess to clear up before sitting down and doing even more work until bedtime. On top of that, we’re also renovating our home and I’m taking on several courses to gain more qualifications – with more courses on my to-do list too!
I’m never on top of everything and only just have my head above water. I’m winging it every single day; I skip meals and have no social life. Having so much stuff that needs doing and mental health related short-term memory loss is a fucking battle – I rely on alarms, diary notes, calendars and sticky notes dotted around the house to get me through each day otherwise I would be a mess. I could be doing better, but I sure as hell work my arse off to provide for my little one. So, is getting a job to keep busy realistic? I fucking wish.
But how do I balance everything? Not very well.
Is it bedtime yet?