People love to talk about working parents vs being a stay at home parent. Living in London, I’m not sure Amy and I had much choice about both of us working. The cost of living here is horrendous and as much as we could scrape by on Amy’s wages, we would just be scraping by and that’s no way to live if you ask me. So, we both work full time.
It’s been okay up to now. Eden stays with Amy’s sister when we’re both working and she absolutely adores her, so it’s always worked well. I work twelve and a half hour shifts, so I actually only work three days/nights a week, which is helpful but the long hours are a killer sometimes and looking after a toddler post night shift is… challenging to say the least.
What I didn’t account for however, was that Eden is developing separation anxiety. When I’m with her, she will often ask where mama is, and she does the same when Amy has her. The other night I left for a night shift and she screamed when I left and then screamed and cried at bedtime because I wasn’t there. Today I dropped her with Amy’s sister at the station and she had a little cry when I left, but that might have been something to do with the fact that it was 7am and I had woken her up in order for us to leave.
It’s gotta be hard to be a toddler with working parents. I love that she gets around and gets to spend time with other family – it’s awesome that Amy’s nan, who lives with her sister and mum, is getting to spend so much time with her as she’s terminally ill, so every moment is precious. It’s great that she gets to see different places and spend time with Amy’s sister’s cats as well as our dogs, so she learns respect for different species of animals.
I can’t speak for Amy, but I know I also like my time at work the majority of the time. I’m still adjusting to the new job and the fact that the hours are so long, but it’s nice to be somewhere where I don’t have to hear the “Show Me, Show Me” theme tune or have a toddler demanding that I dance with them, and where I can enjoy a hot coffee and conversation with other adults. It being maternity, though, I’m obviously still surrounded by babies and their families, so it does make me miss my own family. I think Eden and I being apart for a period of time is good for the pair of us, because it means I really maximise our time together when we get it. Plus, I’m not away that much. Do I miss our long, leisurely days together when I was on maternity leave? I absolutely do. But, do I also like earning money? You bet!
I don’t know. Sometimes I wish I could be a stay at home mum. If money was no object, I definitely would be because I feel like we get so little time with our children before school and such happens. But at the same time, I enjoy my time away and me earning money means we can do things like go on holiday or buy things that we want. I don’t like just scraping by and I’m thankful that we have a choice in whether we have money or not.
I think my point is that there is no right way. Whatever you’re doing, if it works for your family then you are doing it right. Even if it does mean you have a little cry on the way to the bus stop sometimes…