Title - Coping with Breadwinner Envy

 

I wasn’t always the envious kind. In fact no more than twelve months ago I was the breadwinner and it didn’t seem like a big deal. I looked forward to the prospect of being a SAHM or ‘stay at home mum’, I was dying to be free of the once loved work place I had came to abhor. Being a part of the most trusted profession worldwide for 2013 was no longer a moral ego boost, my time had come to leave the Ambulance Service. Everything was awesome. 

How naive could I have been?

1. Learn to cherish the little things: Being a SAHM is out of this world amazing. I get to be there every step of the way as our children grow in to the people they’ll become some day, I get to cook and clean, and wipe runny noses. I get the cuddles and the laughs, I get to wipe away the tears & see the sadness turn to joy, I get to watch the chubby little bottoms run away as I give chase with underpants in my outstretched hands. I get to make the muffins and the brownies, do school runs and help with reading homework. I get to be the kind of wife that I never thought I’d ever get the chance to be. I get to be the kind of mother that I believe our children need. I get to be present, not just there in body but really truly present.

Which means:

2. Try not to get hung up on bad-days: I also get the down days. I get the feeling of defeat that comes with an incomplete list of things ‘to do’. I feel like a failure when its taken six months to toilet train a child & suddenly there’s poop on the bathroom wall (that’s right, I said poop on the bathroom wall), not to mention the ‘accidents’ and bodily fluids of others that you must come in contact with one way or another. Did I mention the poop? I feel like a ‘maid’ when every day the laundry calls, as does the vacuuming, the dusting, the toilet & bathroom need cleaning (refer to my previous comment on poop), not including the cooking of aforementioned muffins, dinners by 5, and fixing sewing or gluing something back together. Being a stay at home mum isn’t easy to begin with, but just to spice things up there’s the incessant “mum, mum, mum, mummy, mummy, muuuuuuummmyyyyyyyyy” like a stuck record nearly every waking moment. But just when I’m feeling sorry for myself a little voice in the back of my mind says…

3. There’s always someone worse off so do a good deed. In all honesty the world doesn’t revolve around you and there are others worse off that you could do with a hand, so if you can squeeze out an extra mile, do something for someone else. In all honesty, sometimes dropping the laundry folding for an hour or two isn’t going to kill me. It’s going to bug my pseudo-OCD, but I’ll get over it & actually have done something good for someone else in need! Which always helps me to…

4. Find something to be thankful for: Some days I’m simply thankful that tomorrow is another day that hopefully will go a little better than today did.  It might help to remember…

5. There’s no “I” in “Team”. So when my husband closes the door on the home office I do occasionally wish that the shoe was on the other foot, but only for momentarily selfish reasons. I know that logically this is the best that its ever going to get short of hiring a troop of nanny’s Branjelina style & traipsing fabulously all over the globe.  Logically I know that we are truly blessed that our children get such hands on attention from having both Mum and Dad at home working as a team, and that isn’t something that I could have given them under any other circumstances. It truly is a blessing to have a team mate to work things through with regardless of how irrational I may feel on a bad day. There’s no way that I could have been as present as I am now if I were to continue working four twelve hour shifts a week no matter what uniform I wore, so I am thankful that my husband is able to work & provide so that we are able to have me at home with our children.  Simpsons - teamworkAnd no matter how envious I get of wonder-woman friends who are able to work, study and be amazing wives & mothers  (I love you & am constantly astounded at the miracles you pull!) for me there is nothing quite like today when I got to dance around the living room with my son and see his smile – a manifestation of the joy that I too felt on the inside so I took my time, I got to sew something, stop for a hot dog & enjoy the company of my family without having anywhere to rush off to.

One more for the road… It’s okay to do something for YOU: Now there is a common element among these things which have brought me such simple joy today, there is a sense of renewal and relaxation. So I’m going to try something for a week and I will report back in 7  days: when Master 2 goes for his afternoon nap each day I am going to take 30 minutes for myself. That’s right, 30 whole minutes. I’m not going to clean, I’m not going to run around like my crazy perfectionist self, I must do something for ME. My nails have been looking a bit tragic and I’ll be honest, I’ve painted them once since January. My hair could do with a treatment & boy could I do with a facial. Oh look, that’s three tasks for me to do this week already!

Next I’m going to work on not feeling guilty while I’m doing it!

It is possible to not be constantly jealous of my husband when he gets to close the door to the demands of being a SAHM, but only because my expectations of myself are so astronomically high that it would exhaust me just to get to the end of my to-do list! But that’s a post for another day…

 

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