Surname, first name, address. Post code, telephone, occupation. Occupation?
The worst bit of my recent and otherwise lovely course at St Martins was filling in an A4 form. Or this one little box, to be precise. Occupation. Occupation. Occupation. No matter from which angle I looked at the black little line behind the trigger, the right answer to fill the space just didn’t want to pop into my mind. Instead, an array of new questions opened up in front of me.
The biggest of all: why do I have a problem to admit I am a Stay At Home Mum?
I am happy where I am. I love spending time with little L. It’s great to have the opportunity to see her growing up and really get to know her. I want to be the first person she wants to turn to whenever there is a problem. This is much easier done when I can be literally there for her, not stuck in meetings or on the tube on my way home.
The role I occupy at the moment is the most fulfilling I ever had. Even working as a paid writer didn’t make me as happy as looking after little L does. The difference I could make in any job gets nowhere near the impact I have on her life at the moment.
So why do I, like so many others, have such a problem with the term Stay At Home Mum? Or even worse, Housewife?
I was brought up to believe Housewives were a lazy bunch of undereducated gold-diggers that spent their time between hair salon appointments and ordering from QVC. Not a good start. Growing up, I never even considered staying at home after having a baby. Of course I would return to work and drop her off at nursery three months after giving birth. But being pregnant changed my view on a lot of things. And so I changed my mind.
Recently, there has been a lot of discussion about wanting it all and why women can’t get happy. During the first months at home with little L I wasn’t happy. I struggled with the thought of not earning money, not having a job and not being the multi-tasking superwoman I once envisioned myself being. But as soon as I started to let go and focused on enjoying the time with little L more, I started to be happier.
Of course, one day soon she will be going to pre-school, doing her own thing and giving me more space and time to look into the things I want to do. Maybe I can get paid work as a writer again, that would be great. Or maybe I’ll have that children’s book finished by then, another fabulous project. This blog will help me to keep in touch with myself. And until then I’ll put down: