I DON'T want to go back to work. I DON'T want to put my precious Tiny Human into childcare. I DON'T want to put a brave face on it and I DON'T want to be "cool about it". I HATE IT! I HATE IT! I BLOODY WELL HATE IT! And you know what?! I surprisingly don't care less who knows!
I admit it, my stomach lurches with dread at the thought of returning to work and my heart drops at the thought of dropping my little girl off at nursery (despite it being her third one in two different countries). Even in spite of the fact that I know that she loves it there and is flourishing because of it. However, these feelings are there none the less and there is many a day where you can find us sat outside the school gates (Thelma and Louise style) with me asking my two year old "Hey, how about we sack off this nursery malarkey and do a runner to the park instead?!"
I'm also not afraid to say that I am dreading the thought of returning to work. Oh yes, work in my mind is now some far off place I am hoping will miraculously disappear forever or at least until the idea of going back to it doesn't leave me in cold sweats in the middle of the night!
"God, get a grip!" I can hear some of you shouting. However, you know what? That is exactly what I am sick of doing. Throughout our journey with motherhood and through some of the most daunting and nigh-on impossible decisions we are faced with making; from giving up breastfeeding to going back to work, to putting our babies into childcare, we tell ourselves to "get a grip" or to put a bloody brave face on it. Well I for one am sick of this and instead want to have a good old rant and say why the hell do we need to get a grip and what's so great about a brave face anyway?
Don't get me wrong, I'm not stupid or bonkers (well not totally yet anyway!) I know that us "getting a grip" is one of our many well-honed mummy coping techniques and that these skills ensure we get through whatever motherhood chooses to throw at us. I also know that going back to work can be a necessity for finances and/or to feel like our old selves again. However, two babies in and having to go through the roller coaster of emotions for the second time in two years, has made me realise that we also sometimes just need to be able to vent to no one in particular about how God damn horrid we feel about it.
Yes, I had a job I enjoyed before the babies came along. Yes, I like to class myself as a strong and independent woman. Yes I like earning money and yes I'm can sometimes be found climbing the walls longing for Mr Tumble to not be my only form of adult conversation. However, despite all of this, there are moments where all I want to do is shut the doors and windows to my cosy home, snuggle up with the girls, put a bun (of the Mary Berry kind) in the oven and decorate a loo roll with tiny painted finger tips.
I guess what myself and my mummy tantrum are trying to say is that rather than being strong and brave through it all, wouldn't it sometimes be a refreshing relief to admit how hard all parenting decisions are and how we bloody dread having to make them? Wouldn't it be pure mummy hedonistic bliss to admit our fears in all of their Technicolor glory to anyone who will listen, without fear of judgement, ridicule or being told to "get a grip"? You see what I'm finding with this journey through motherhood is that it is a world of contradictions and hidden meanings. It is a world to be celebrated and it is a place where sometimes (true to ironic form) the bravest thing of all is to admit how fearful and "un brave" we actually feel. It takes guts to honestly share how we are spending our nights wracked with anxiety and sheer panic over a decision we have to make for our children and how during these particular moments we wish we could cocoon ourselves and our tiny humans from the big bad world and the necessity of tough decision making.
Therefore, to all you amazing mums picking your way through the minefield that is deciding to go back to work, deciding to stay at home, deciding to put your child into day care, deciding to stop breast feeding, deciding to leave your child with a babysitter for the first time or deciding on any other of the thousands of tough mummy decisions we have to make daily. Let's all say to hell with the "brave" face and opt for putting on an honest face instead as it turns out that this is the bravest face of all!
In the meantime, if you happen to see a grown woman and a tiny human dressed in leopard print absconding from the local school gates and heading in the direction of the nearest swing set - please look the other way or feel free to join us!
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