OK, so strictly speaking I suppose I am a WAHM, but the reason I’m at home and gave up my old career is to be home with the kids, so I pop myself into the SAHM category first.
My Little Man has now started school and September also happens to be when my maternity leave started with Boo, eight years ago. Eight years.
I was coming out of Sainsburys yesterday and I drove past some mums with their pushchairs on their way to a playgroup that we used to go along to. I actually have many more memories of taking Boo to that one than Little Man, and we started going when she was around 6 months old, meeting up with a friend there. It feels like it was only yesterday, but at the same time it feels like a lifetime ago, if that can even make sense?
When I see prams and babies now, I feel completely out of touch with how teeny they are. I no longer have sterilisers, dummies and potties in my house. I walk out of the door with a handbag, not a huge changing bag, and the kids just pop their shoes on themselves and they are opening the front door for me, ready to scramble into the car without needing any help from me.
The Husband and I talk about ‘being out of the tunnel’. The dark days are behind us and we can see the light! Life is easier with a 7 year old and 5 year old than it was with a toddler and a baby. Parenting still comes with plenty of challenges as I am sure it does with every age, it just feels like we have more time to actually think about it now rather than being on the treadmill of sleepless nights, nappy changes and tantrums. And we can enjoy it, really enjoy it.
I have nostalgic moments over weaning, toddler classes and CBeebies. I am not going as far as to say that I miss them, just that I have the odd moment! I flash back to breastfeeding my babies in the middle of a quiet night, I see myself pushing one year old Boo on the swing, I picture myself feeding the ducks with toddler Little Man, his tiny hand in mine. You only need to read back over this blog to see them growing up, something I’m so pleased that I have.
Nowadays we have board game afternoons, movie nights, trips away and exciting holidays to look forward to. It’s fun. Not plain sailing, I’d hate to paint the picture that there are no longer sleepless nights and tantrums (though the nappy changes are definitely over!), but they are few and far between. Boundaries are still regularly pushed, but communication is so much easier with these two now than when they were babies. School fills so much time, and they are flourishing there, making wonderful friends. Then just when they start to get tired, another holiday rolls around, and I am here for them, ready for a week or two of play and relaxation.
It feels a little odd now, now that I am home alone for 5 days a week. Yes, I’ve loads to do and keep me busy, but after having one of the kids around me for eight years, it’s still strange. Not bad strange, just different. I am sure I’ll be used to it in no time.
And me over these eight years?
I know myself better than I did 8 years ago. This is in part simply the process of growing older, I am sure, but it is also due to the fact that I stepped away from my career, a career that was all-encompassing and went a long way to defining me. Now I alone define me, not what I do for a living. It’s nice.
I am happy. I am beyond proud of my children and so glad, so profoundly grateful, that I have been able to be here at home with them to watch them growing and teach them all that I could and can. In the meantime, I have developed this blog and am close to finishing my degree. I have grown myself, and I really don’t know where the next eight years will take me. But then I’d never have guessed eight years ago that I’d be here, the career woman who’d never even considered leaving her job when Boo came along.
I wonder where I’ll be in another eight years? I’m looking forward to finding out and I know that these two will make it a fun, energetic and memorable eight years.