As I have mentioned a billion times, my twin daughters are due to start full-time school this September. They turn four next month, so will be one of the younger ones in their year but they are more than ready. They currently spend every afternoon at the nursery attached to the school so are familiar with the building and the routines so I am hoping come September it’ll be an absolute breeze for them. But for me it’s going to be a very different situation.
How Can You Be A Stay At Home Mum When Your Kids Are At School?
In September, my stay at home Mum title expires. I will be at home full-time, but my children won’t be. I will still continue to drop off at 8.45am but I will be coming home to an empty house. There won’t be two little hellbats running around causing chaos like there has been for the past four years. I am staying at home with no one to parent. I keep wondering myself how can I be a stay at home parent; does my title now become “unemployed?” housewife?” “jobless bum?”
I am constantly asked if/when I will get a job. People seemed to do this as soon as the girls started nursery but when I pointed out that I actually am only really available from 1pm until 3pm therefore not very employable, they backed off. But as we hurtle towards school, the questions are more frequent and my answers aren’t that easy to give. I constantly feel like I need to justify myself.
When asked what I do, I feel the need to explain my situation and that people automatically assume I’m lazy or will be claiming benefits. I have always worked. From when I left college, within weeks I took on a temporary job at the local Council typing up fraud tapes. I then went to processing housing applications and never left. I applied and was appointed as a full-time Housing Officer where I then went on to complete a degree in the field. Yet when I became pregnant with twins and childcare was not an option due to my Mother’s cancer diagnosis and extortionate nursery fees for two babies, I opted for voluntary redundancy. I had worked at my career for 8 years and gave it all up.
I don’t regret it for one second as I have been so privileged to be able to raise my babies. To drop Charlie off at school every day, to see all his plays, sports days and assemblies. To be able to dash and pick him up if needed. To have the luxury to take my girls out as and when with no restrictions. I have been so lucky, yet as they grow older I am now on my own. Four years without a career is hard. Even contemplating going back to work is an alien concept. Plus regardless of me being free Monday to Friday 9am until 3pm, what happens in school holidays? Sickness? PD Days? We do not have the option of family childcare and childcare for six weeks for three children surely wouldn’t be financially beneficial.
I am angry. Angry that I have let myself feel so belittled when people suggest that I should get a job. Angry that they presume because I don’t, I will be sucking the system dry. I am angry there is such a stigma. I am angry that no matter what you do, someone feels the need to make you feel like crap.
I went back to work after having Charlie so know what it’s like to be a working parent. I also know what it’s like to be a stay at home parent. But I don’t know what it’s like to stay home without babies around you.
I am dreading September.