I recently found time to catch up on reading a few magazines that I subscribe to. I was intrigued by a snippet in the May edition of Mother and Baby. It said that according to a recent survey (carried out by Warburtons), between 7:17am and 8:30am, busy mums tackle almost ten different challenges. This is more than double the amount carried out by senior executives in the first hour of their working day. Not very surprising, but it made me feel good. In fact, I felt quite proud of myself for the achievements.
The issue of being a stay at home mum is very prevalent right now. This year we celebrate the centenary of the suffragette movement, there is pressure on high-ranking businesses to employ more female executives, and of course, there is a royal baby expected in the middle of July. I am still bemused that I managed to fall pregnant at around the same time as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, even though I am not especially a follower of the royal family. Still, it makes my pregnancy all the more memorable!
I am a stay at home mother. I am also a working mother. My work is my writing, but I cannot develop it into a fully sustainable business until my children are older and I can get into a regular and workable routine. Our household income is purely from my husband, who works long hours and several days per week at the moment, beginning anywhere between 4am and 7am, and not finishing until 8pm or 9pm. We had to give up my car to reduce costs, and so I only have access to the family car when my husband is off work. Or, on occasion, I can take him to work and collect him, but it is a hefty commute and I don’t generally like to be up and around that early in the morning.
Returning to the aforementioned survey, I totally understand the achievements that mothers manage every morning. I remember when my daughter was newborn, how I began to get quite dispirited because I never got dressed before midday, and most days passed in a blur of mucky nappies, breastfeeding, cuddling a crying baby, and trying to find time for eating and sleeping. It was even an achievement if I managed to have a shower during those first weeks, and that is something I am approaching with a little trepidation as my second child prepares for birth.
How different will my routine be with a baby and a toddler? I am still breastfeeding my two year-old, though not as frequently as before, so it will be interesting to see how she reacts to sharing her mother’s milk with a sibling. My daughter is almost fully potty trained now, and she took to it very well, so hopefully that particular issue won’t cause too many problems. I have decided to resort to Internet grocery shopping in the beginning, until I figure out how to navigate a supermarket with two small children and a pushchair.
And as for my writing? Well, that is another sacrifice I will make because despite the stress of being a parent, I wouldn’t have my life any other way. OK, I will happily accept a hefty book deal from a big publisher, and maybe some movie rights for the Redcliffe novels… There is plenty of time left to achieve all of these targets!
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