Since my return to work I’ve been taking most Fridays off as annual leave. I’ve accrued so much holiday time and with our entitlement renewing in July, it’s use it or lose it time! As much as I love our family weekends, it’s also great to get some one on one time with Rory. Last week I was especially looking forward to my Friday off work. As you know we’re trying to save for a house so I’ve been doing a bit of overtime at work. The early morning starts have been a drag but the money makes it worthwhile! So when Friday finally rolled round I couldn’t wait to throw my office gear in the wash, stick my hair in mumbun and whack on a pair of leggings! I was back in SAHM mode – if only for one day – and I was going to rock it!
Or so I thought.
FYI SAHM = stay at home mum FTWM = full time working mum.
It turns out that the transition from SAHM to FTWM is difficult. What’s more difficult is the transition back from FTWM to SAHM that you’re expected to make at least once a week. Just as you get your head around your new routine, the weekend arrives and your back to family life. I’m not sure I should really admit this but I actually feel a very small amount of sympathy for my other half. All those weekends where he had no idea if he was coming or going, I now understand. I get it because now that’s me too!
Am I Becoming Less Like a Mommy and More Like a Daddy?
With the weather forecast not too promising we planned to meet one of the Mommy friends at soft play. Arranging to meet at 9am, my teenage self would be ashamed to know I now consider that a lie in! My mother on the other hand would just say I told you so. Maybe I let the lie in go to my head because by 8am we were running late. With no time for coffee let alone breakfast – who I am kidding time had nothing to do with it. The only bread in the cupboard was a week old and forget penicillin, it was growing a new life form! – I set about the daunting task of getting ready.
Two weeks of over time has definitely spoilt me. Arriving at work for 6am means the chance to shower and get ready alone. A rarity for any SAHM but something I’ve clearly become accustom to. Friday was like trying to train a suicidal chimp while attempting to apply makeup. In other words in was a pissin disaster! As if trapping his fingers in the draws wasn’t enough, obviously Rory did a shit immediately after changing his nappy and then proceeded to regurgitate his breakfast whilst I was brushing my teeth.
Four thousand wet wipes later, two changes of clothes and with a pair of slightly misshapen brows we were finally out of the door.
Where did the Super-SAH-Mum Go?
Back in February I had it down to a tee. Getting myself ready with the small one in toe was a breeze. But last Friday was like hopping in a time machine and going back to the newborn days. Maybe my lack of military precision was my downfall? Maybe I just need to start scheduling play dates for after 11am? Maybe I’ve just become more like a dad?
Now before I go any further I want to make it clear that my intentions are not to offend anyone. I’m certainly not trying to diminish the role of a father. In our home for a long time I was the stay at home parent. I’m sure you’ll agree with me when I say it is more common for a mum to be a stay at home parent. Of course I’m fully aware that there are plenty of stay at home dads who do a fantastic job of raising their children. I do however think there is a significant difference between the demands of a stay at home parent and that of a parent who works.
As the stay at home parent I was the master of multitasking. I knew my child inside out. But as a working parent there’s a lot I miss. Children at Rory’s age change so quickly. If five days pass without us spending much time together, the weekend arrives and it’s no exaggeration, he’s a completely different child. Things which made him laugh last weekend are now an annoyance to him. He has a new favourite book and all of a sudden he can walk backwards! It’s easy to see why the parents who work feel out of the loop.
But Does it Matter?
Take it from someone who’s been on either side of the fence, each role comes with different challenges. Both of which are equally as testing. It isn’t until now that I can truly appreciate how arduous each one can be. The nice thing about being more like a dad is that it puts Ryan and I on the same page. For a long time it’s been like were not level pegging. It’s a sure fire way for the petty arguments to start. Who works the hardest, who’s more tired, who’s turn is it to take the bin out. I hope that in the long run having two full time working parents doesn’t have any long term detrimental effects on Rory. It just means for now I’m going to have to keep a few additional plates spinning if I want good brows!
If you’ve got a sec, please leave us a comment because we’d love to know what you thought!