Once upon a time, many years ago, in a time where brunches were eaten and normal bras were worn, I worked an 8 till 4.30 job as a Social Worker. I loved my job, and had spent 3.5 years and 25k working towards my degree so that I could do the thing I felt most passionate about. To be a voice, an advocate, a support person. To work with people from all walks of life, in a community setting. To listen, to be empathetic, to educate and to be educated.
Fast forward to now, and I am and have been for 3 years, Chief Peanut Butter Toast Maker and Poop Cleaner Upperer.
When I was pregnant with Tilly, it was a give-in for me that I would go back to work after my year long maternity leave was up. The plan was to try and go part time until Tilly started school. I had worked so hard and had had very little time in my career so giving it up together seemed unfathomable.
Unfortunately, my agency didn’t see the value in taking my position down to a part time job share role. At the time, I was fuming. As a woman, a mother and a feminist I was incensed that there wasn’t more done to support women returning maternity leave. It seemed too hard basket for so many employers, and this made me see red. I remember standing there, 8 month old Tilly on my hip, fighting back tears and asking my bosses how I was supposed to tell my daughter, in good faith, that she could have a family and a career, when the support for this was so obviously absent.
Because of this decision, Hubs and I decided I would resign. At the time, there was no discussion of how long I would be out of paid employment. Not long after I resigned, I fell pregnant with George so life just sort of continued down the now familiar vein. Me working in the home and Hubs working out.
After we moved to Feilding, I started toying with the idea that I may return to work. And I was rather surprised to find that I didn’t have any desire to do so. The drive was gone, and the things that used to fulfil me had shifted.
Was it the move? Having two children? My involvement in Playcentre in both Christchurch and Feilding? My health? I think possibly all of the things. Simply put, my passion now lay with my family. I love being at home with my children, I love running my household. I am the quintessential organiser. I thrive on arranging, leading, bossing and structuring 😂😂 But, mainly I love watching my children learn and actively participating in that every day. I realise it’s not everyone’s groove, but it’s totally mine.
This realisation didn’t come without apprehension. Was I enough as a stay at home mum? Was I still a feminist? Enough of a role model? Shouldn’t I want to do it all? For awhile, I felt guilty that I didn’t have the desire to work, like I was a cop out. What sort of message was I sending to my daughter? And my son?
Luckily, this apprehension didn’t last long. I realised that I could be all those things to my children on a daily basis. Through my loving, equal partnership with the Hubs, through my communication; with my children, my friends, my family and even the lady I bought my coffee from. Every day, I had opportunities to be a good role model, a feminist, a teacher.
And now? Now I’m doing the thing I am most passionate about. I am a voice, for my children and others, I am an advocate and a support person for my friends and community. I spend time with many wonderful people from all walks of life in my fantastic Playcentre community. I listen and am empathetic. And everyday I educate and am being educated.
I am enough.
I also make a mean gingerbread loaf 😉 Come around for a cuppa some time x
Until next time
Ta ra for now