I was asked last week how I felt about giving up work to stay at home with Daniel. I feel fine about it, and it wasn’t a tough decision to make.
However, I’ve been thinking about who I am now. Prior to Daniel I had things that interested me, I was completing lessons in sewing, I read three or four books a week and I regularly went out with friends, or for meals with my husband. I’m conscious that all my conversations are Daniel focused, be it what groups we went to, what new thing he has learnt etc. a bit boring for friends and family who want to hear other things!
Since Daniel arrived I have a probably read two books, max. I seem to start lots of books, but never seem to be able to get into them, or finish them. I’m sewing, but less for pleasure more for my attendance at craft fairs under the guise of The Crafty Octopus.
Things I used to be passionate about, such as animal welfare, is on my radar, but I have become lazy in my shopping and where once I ensured I only purchased BUAV approved products, I have been buying things for convenience and disregarding my previous strict rules.
As many of my mum friends are preparing to return to work, and to regain some of their old identities it got me thinking. I need to carve out more of ‘me’. I adore my son, and am so grateful that our financial planning over the past five years of our marriage has ensured that I am able to stay at home with him, and give him the start in life my husband and I want. I fully accept that as a mother I sacrifice my own wants and needs to support Daniel. I turn down many a meal out with friends as the times they are meeting don’t fit with the time my hubby is home from work, or allow for me to ensure dinner is ready for Daniel. But I do need to find time for me.
So, this weekend I revisited some of my ethical purchasing, making a conscious effort to start running down my old non ethical cosmetics and cleaning stuff, I’ve started a new book by Mo Hayder, one of my favourite authors, and have ordered a book I read a review of in The Times that I thought might be interesting. I have got plans in place for a meal out with a friend in a couple of weeks.
It is important to spend time with my husband, but clearly just popping out for a meal takes a bit more planning. We are hoping to go out with friends this weekend, just waiting for them to confirm they can sort out their childcare and last night, instead of sitting in front of the iPad/compute/TV, we played cards. It was nice to talk and relax and have a but of time together.
We have decided to make a conscious effort to spend more time together in an evening, and me more productive with our time….if you follow me on twitter then you will see that we ordered a load of games, including ludo, snakes and ladders, pass the pigs, UNO and dominoes….. I have always loved board and card games so can’t wait to get into these.
I hope that by carving some time for me, I will feel more relaxed, and less like I exist solely for Daniel. I don’t want to sound like I begrudge the time I spend with my son, I don’t, but I’m usually so tired by the end of the day that it is all too easy to sit in front of the TV and waste my time.
If you’re a stay at home parent, how do you find time for you, what do you and your partner do to reconnect? And can anyone recommend other board games?