Thursday 24 August 2017's it going?

becoming a stay at home mom update

It's been well over a year since I packed in my full-time job in order to be able to be home with the kids a lot more, and I thought it was time for an update.

Actually, a friend of mine recently said "you know people at my work regularly ask me how you're getting on, and I tell them you sell vibrators now", and that very random yet accurate description of my current situation made me think that maybe you guys would be interested in what's going on around here at the moment...and what vibrators have to do with it.

becoming a stay at home mom update

So, in my original post I talked about how the job I was doing wasn't willing to let me go part time when I was returning to work after my year off to have Max. I really didn't want to put them into creche, and anyway the cost of it would mean I would be earning practically nothing (seriously, that's not an exaggeration), so I bit the bullet and left. It was tough, but not as tough as feeling guilty about leaving my kids everyday. 

And no, if you have your kids in creche I'm not judging you. I'm a firm believer that everybody has to do what they feel is best for them, and if you want or need to go back to work then good for you. It just wasn't what I wanted. 

I suppose my job wasn't something I cared very much about in more than a "I need to make money and I don't hate doing this" kind of way, so giving it up wasn't that big a thing for me. I mean, sure I enjoyed it, but there was always a vague plan in the back of my mind to some day end up doing my own thing. I don't think I'm the kind of person who's ever going to be happy giving my all to someone else's business. 

Now, I did say in my original post that I might find something else part-time, and after Christmas it became apparent that a couple of hours out of the house every week, when I got to put on makeup and talk to actual adults, might be a good thing for me. Max was getting more and more independent, and honestly I was finding the long, dark winter days at home with two "spirited" kids a bit tough. Plus the extra money wouldn't hurt. Sure, we were doing fine, and had been since my state maternity pay had come to an end eight months before, but things were tight, and the budget didn't really have any room for anything frivolous. Also it turns out I'm not great at actually sticking to a budget so trying to make it work every month could be a bit hairy! So much so that the week before payday became known as "poverty week". I did find out that I can feed our family quite well for a week on €30 if needs be though so that's useful! Every cloud.....

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A little extra would mean we could go away occasionally, go for days out without having to think about whether we should be spending the money or not, or maybe finally make some of the bigger changes we wanted in the house and I was all for that!

So now I work in my local branch of Ann Summers a couple of days a week, and have been for the last year, and it's working out really well. My dad is happy to look after the offspring, so I get to dress up like a human, I know the kids are well cared for, and I don't even have to pay for it! And I genuinely enjoy the job. Yes, I have to discuss peoples sex lives, but I am both very nosy and incredibly hard to shock so it's not a problem. 

I do have to use the word "lube" in day to day conversation though, which is not something I'm thrilled about. It's not the product I have a problem with, it's just up there with "moist" in the "words that make me uncomfortable" category.

Technically I suppose I'm not actually a stay at home mother anymore but I think I've found a balance that works.

becoming a stay at home mom update

So, things were going well. Having the extra money coming in was great, and we managed to get away a couple of times, both with the kids and on our own. And here I have to give a shout out to AMAZING grandparents who offer to take rowdy children for a week without even being asked. Seriously, the biggest thing we have going for us is having four grandparents who are so eager to spend time with our kids and who are so willing to help us when we need it. This child-rearing thing is really hard, and their help is what makes it enjoyable more often than it's soul-destroying. 

becoming a stay at home mom update

Then, in November Gavin managed to land himself a job that he finds much more fulfilling than his old one, and we found out we were expecting our third baby! Which was a surprise!!!! And almost an immaculate conception. But just a "crap, we weren't going to start trying again until next year" surprise, so it was fine, lol. And as you saw in my last post, little Cora made her entrance last month and things are going far better than I expected on the "how the hell are we going to cope? This is going to be horrendous!" scale so that's good. 

becoming a stay at home mom update
I was planning on getting a beautiful shot of my three lovely children, what I got was a lot of attitude, minimal cooperation and this picture of the three of them with their eyes closed...and Gavin's thumb.

I'm currently on maternity leave again, and I'll be off until next April, but I can't see myself wanting to change anything about my work situation. Part-time suits me, and it suits my family. There's just so much bloody organising that goes with small kids! I don't think I'd be able for a full time job right now. Yes, we have to make some sacrifices, but overall I think everyone is much more relaxed, and happy, with the way things are at the moment. I know I for one am much less stressed. 

becoming a stay at home mom update

I don't have any plans to go back to work full-time, but, slowly...other bits and pieces have started trickling in. This blog is first and foremost my creative outlet, but in the last few months it's been bringing in a little bit of extra income, so who knows? Maybe this time next year I can be one of those people with a fancy laptop who sits in cafe's all day working? Here's hoping, cos there are some really nice cafe's in Limerick, and at the moment I only frequent them to breastfeed while my feral children run around hopped up on hot chocolate. It's not quite as glamorous.

So there you have it. Things are good, if you were wondering. And I don't say that in a braggy way, but in a "things weren't so good for a while so I know the difference" kind of way. Leaving work was the right decision for me.

Yes, we're very lucky, and I do know that, but I like to think at least some of it is the kind of luck that seems to come from having a plan and working towards it. Here's hoping that the next year is just as good.