I am no longer a stay-at-home mum.
I didn’t always think of myself as a stay-at-home mum. I was on maternity leave, so I wasn’t really a stay-at-home-mum, right? I was a digital content developer who just wasn’t developing much digital content anymore, unless blog content counts, in which case I was actually developing a fair amount of digital content. All of it was baby-related, of course, developed without any thought to content strategy or a digital marketing plan. I almost never properly SEO’d or social media’d it. My professional self should have wept. My mum self didn’t give a s***.
My mum self won because she was in charge. See, even if I didn’t think of myself as a stay-at-home mum, that’s what I was. A stay-at-home mum is, by definition, someone who spends their days at home (or the park, or the library, or awkward baby classes) with their child. That’s what I did. I didn’t go into an office and write emails and go to meetings. I stayed home and did mum stuff. I changed nappies and pushed prams. I read board books and sang nursery rhymes. I boobed a baby in front of Pretty Little Liars for hours.
This was my job. I was getting paid for it, at least for a while. Then I stopped getting paid for it, and it became pretty clear that I couldn’t go on wiping bums for free forever. I was going to need to earn some money so my family could continue to live the lifestyle to which we were accustomed, ie a lifestyle in which we weren’t starving and had a roof over our heads.
So here I am – still a mum, but no longer one who stays at home. I’m a mum who drops her daughter off at nursery on the way to work with a hug and a promise to return. I’m a mum who cuddles her extra hard at night, knowing that I’ll need to let other people do the cuddling for me during the day. I’m a mum who never forgets that’s what I am, even when I’m busy at work. There are wet wipes in my handbag and snot stains on my shoulder, after all.