Roughly 9 year’s ago I had the role of SAHD and Carer land in my lap.
I was working as a night shift supervisor for one of the largest bookmakers. Mrs OMG was pregnant with Buddy and life was good.
We had money for spur of the moment 24 hour trips to Wales with my stepsons. Nights out while they were at their Dad’s for the weekend as well as not having to worry about how we were going to afford to pay the bills and get Christmas presents etc.
How quickly things change!
Within a matter of weeks I was on unpaid leave. Mrs OMG has epilepsy and due to the pregnancy couldn’t take her medication. She started having seizures every other day and I couldn’t commit to working a full nights shift without getting a phone call to say I was needed at home.
It swiftly became apparent that things weren’t going to improve so I had to resign. At the same time Stepson Number 2 was in the process of being diagnosed with Autism, ADHD and Dyspraxia.
With her seizures it wasn’t practical to leave Mrs OMG alone with a new born and special needs child for over 10 hours a day. So I became a full time carer and SAHD.
The amazing bits.
Don’t get me wrong I’m so thankful that I’ve seen every milestone for both my children. Every first from teeth to steps. First days at school, Christmas concerts. Soccer matches and parents evenings.
I’ve been to so many paediactrics appointments and developmental clinics. Held them while they got vaccinations and pushed them for hours on the swings.
It’s not all singing on a mountainside though!
After 10 nearly ten years, I’ve finally realised what Mums have been doing for years, without recognition. My situation isn’t as bad as some. Most days Mrs OMG is fine and we work as a team. Days when she isn’t, it’s like Prince said, You’re on your own!
And it wears you down. Little Miss OMG not sleeping doesn’t help. Running a house is never ending. Falling over toys, splitting up fights, homework, washing PE kits, cobbling together last minute projects that were forgotten, early morning dashes to shops for bake sale goodies, or end of term party treats. Treks across the county to drop off forgotten gym bags and gum shields.
Shopping trips abandoned because of a phone call to collect a vomiting child. Tears and tantrums at the school gate because of bullying.
Dinners not eaten because they suddenly don’t like Penne pasta anymore only Farfalle. Or the burger buns have seeds on them, because Little Miss OMG was having a tantrum and someone had put a seeded buns pack in the unseeded section! Not forgetting the infamous squares and triangles incidents.
I’m tired and burnt out. I need an adult conversation that’s not small talk about the weather whilst waiting for the GP’s receptionist to find the prescription. Or “forgetting I’d just renewed the broadband contract a month before so I could have a chinwag and a cigarette on the doorstep with the Vodafone sales rep.
I miss being able to shop without having to sort by price low to high.
I miss being able to buy the boys a treat just because it’s payday.
I miss being able to jump in the car and go for a day out that hasn’t been planned for weeks otherwise we couldn’t afford it.
I miss shopping anywhere other than Primark or Sports Direct flash sales.
I’m not surprised that the numbers of women wanting to be SAHMs is rapidly declining. I don’t blame them.
It’s the most rewarding job in the world. But it’s also the most draining.
I’ve applied for a week’s leave at Christmas I’ve a funny feeling HR won’t approve it.