Time for a bit of self-indulgent introspection. Warning: this ain't gonna be pretty.
P and I made the decision a little while ago that I would be a stay at home mum for the time being, and that he would be the one out at workplace, earning money. I was (and, I think, mostly am) happy with this and of course I thank my lucky stars that we are in a position to be able to do this as a family, without me having to go back to work as soon as possible for the sake of keeping our heads above water.
I am also truly delighted to be able to be the main care-giver to Oscar, so pleased to be able to see, feed, clothe and play with him each and every day.
Having said this, reverting to a single income has meant that we (well, I mean I, actually) have to go without a few "luxuries" that, to be honest, I had come to see as my right and have taken for granted as part of my everyday lifestyle. These include, and are not limited to the following: a cleaner each week, fortnightly mani-pedis, being able to buy things that I like when I see them in the shops, like, oh, a nice top, a beautiful pair of shoes that are simply meant for my feet, several bunches of cut flowers a month for the flat, books, expensive make up and scented candles (which I am obsessed with and cannot seem to go without purchasing – I just fall for the lovely smell and crisp packaging every time).
Thank goodness P has agreed that I can still go to the hairdresser every 6 weeks. I am completely aware, here, that I sound like a spoilt madam who wouldn't know what the word "thrifty" meant and I deserve a big wake up call.
I understand and accept that, I really do, and I think it has been and is good for me to do without these frivolities but you see, the reason I have been able to afford these mere fripperies in the past is because I have had a job that meant I was able to earn my own money, and damn it, spend it on whatever I wanted, after all the household bills had been taken care of.
I worked long and hard, all through my twenties and early thirties, to get to a position in my career where I could earn a fairly "decent" salary. And then I went and ruined it all by going and having a baby, and then deciding to not go back to work.
Now my days consist of almost being consumed by domestic drudgery – and I'm sorry, but it is – washing, tidying up, washing up, cleaning, grocery shopping, washing again, sweeping, vacuuming, washing some more.
The only things I vaguely enjoy are sitting on the playmat with Oscar and having a game, singing to him, reading stories and cooking our evening meal.
Is it so wrong for me to mourn for my old life of carefree spending and fun? What about my career? Where will that be by the time I finally decide (or it's decided for me) that I should go back to work?
The problem is, that I really don't care so much for that anymore – all crises about meaningless guff that used to fuel my passion and energies in the workplace just seem like so much flotsam when I compare it to being able to see my beautiful baby sit up on his own for the first time. But I do still wish, as I stare wistfully into that bright and chic shop window, that I could buy that gorgeous frangipani-scented candle.
Are you a stay at home mum?
Do you ever have any regrets about what you have sacrificed for your children?
How do you find time and pleasure just for yourself?