Sooooo, no going to work today. This is novel!
For the first time in twenty years, I don’t have to schlep out of the house before the sun comes up. Normally my day would consist of trying to coax a grumpy five-year old (known as “E”) out of the door at some ridiculously early hour of the morning, and drop her off at before school care, which she hated. The poor little thing has been putting in ten-hour days at daycare since she was eighteen months old, which makes me feel immensely guilty. So, due to a blessed mixture of circumstances and an extremely understanding husband, it has brought me to the conclusion that I should jack in my job and take a little time to look after my family. To be honest, it got to the point where between myself and E, we could barely get ourselves together enough to get out of the house in the morning, with all of the necessary bits, pieces, bags, lunch boxes, library book, paperwork, coffee etc etc… without a huge argument and one of us having a meltdown (usually me). It had just become TOO MUCH!
I was starting to feel like a neglectful mother. My commute was long and involved cars, walking and a boat trip, my job was stressful to the point of inducing anxiety attacks, and there was no “off” button; emails and phone calls were coming through at all hours of the morning and night, and it was starting to take a toll on me, E, and the husband.
I want to volunteer at school, cook a proper meal, live in a clean house! Now, I get that millions of people do this every day, and its nothing different, and single parents have it a lot harder than I do. But, in this small moment of time and after two decades of selling my soul to the corporates, I am in the extremely fortunate position of being able to do something about this.
So, enough is enough and today is the first day of this new journey. This doesn’t come without huge sacrifices, mainly financial, but after six months of humming and hawing over the matter, it was decided I would become a stay at home mum. At least for a little bit.
This is my list of things to accomplish in the next few weeks:
1. Work my way through the recipe section of Jamie Oliver’s website. No more stir frys for us! I’m on the second recipe and, for someone that doesn’t have a lot of interest in cooking apart from the basic instinct to not starve, Ive been impressed with the outcome. The husband and the dog are both eating the meals so they cant be that bad. E has flatly refused both of the meals but as she is five and everything at the moment is “eeeew gross!”, Im not counting that as a vote in the matter.
2. Go shopping and walk around in a leisurely fashion. As opposed to screaming through it in twenty minutes because E is bored, shouting things like “don’t touch that, you’ll break it!”, “where are you? stay where I can see you” and “pleeeease put your clothes back on, now is neither the time nor the place to try on that Elsa dress”……..
3. Buy presents for all of E’s kindergarten class, wrap them, and have them ready to go BEFORE the actual day that they are due in school.
4. Volunteer at said school, so everyone knows that E actually does have a mother that is willing to help and isn’t just a horrible absent parent. Shame on me that I haven’t had a chance to do so up until now. I know mothers-waiting-at-the-door-every-day-since-school-started, I am a bad person. But I’m doing something about it! To date, I have signed up to volunteer at three events, and two school functions.
5. Get to know mothers-waiting-at-the-door-every-day-since-school-started. This is becoming easier now that they know I actually exist. To be honest, this is fast becoming a favourite part of my day. There are some lovely parents at the school, who have been very welcoming so far. Lets see how my volunteering skills go. This could all change.
Even though it’s only day one, I feel immensely peaceful. Ive completed my “to do” list and all of the outstanding things that have been plaguing me for the last few weeks, and I’m feeling pretty organized! Also, for the first time in a long time, I’m not constantly worrying about something. Its a great feeling and I am fully aware of exactly how lucky I am.
What the heck am I going to do tomorrow?
This may take some getting used to.