Thank you for showing me that I am not alone in my view of bringing up my own children. And thank you for sticking up for me when my voice on its own cannot be heard.
It was indeed my own mother that pointed me in the direction of MAHM after reading a newspaper article written by your chair back in 2008. I was on maternity leave with my first child. She, as only mothers can, sensed that I was having an inner conflict regarding caring for my daughter and leaving behind potential career prospects that seemed to be so ‘important’ at the time. Despite being determined to put my children first and stay at home when my husband and I chose to have them, when it came to physically writing my letter of resignation I started to realise that I was leaving a relatively straight forward path of Monday – Friday work, and entering a completely unknown future of being at home with kids.
What was dawning on me in the first few months of motherhood, was that not only that all the formal literature sent to me only concerned returning to work and the formal childcare options available to me but also that all my peers and new acquaintances were returning to work without questioning the alternative. It appeared that I was going to be very lonely in following my gut instinct of staying at home with my daughter. Were there no other new mothers considering this as an option? I found a small minority of mums doing the same in the end, but at the time is was a question that hung over me somewhat.
Along with the support of my husband and family, it was MAHM that finally convinced me that I wasn’t in fact alone and there were others swimming against this social tide. I started to trust my instincts and became even more determined that this was right for our family. With this new frame of mind I wrote my resignation letter and have never regretted one bit of it. I soon realised that babies very quickly grow up and start to become individuals in their own right with their own personalities. It became clear that children simply want to be part of a family. Whether that is going out to the zoo for a treat or simply helping mark out a new flower bed in the garden. Kids want to be with their family.
Admittedly, some days are truly hard, there’s no denying that. Sometimes I can feel exhausted as it is a non-stop job being a full time mother. However, my children have a constant source of attention and consolation as and when required. In return, I have two beautiful children that I am immensely proud of and who I can kiss and hug throughout the day without rushing to get back in time for their bedtime story.
Now, after four and half years of making this my job, I can ask out loud: just what career could be more important than dancing round the kitchen with the kids when a favourite song happens to come on the radio? Watching their faces light up with laughter makes it worthwhile.
So, thank you MAHM. Please never stop your excellent work.
A very proud Mother of two children, aged 1 and 4