I love being a mum but I don’t want to just be “mum”. There are some women who feel that their life mission is to be a mum. They dream of it and their hearts ache for it. That wasn’t me. If I am completely honest there was a time when I didn’t want to have children. Motherhood wasn’t for me. I wasn’t really the maternal type and after helping my mum bring up my siblings I thought I was done. And, then I met my husband. I’d had lots of conversations with family and friends in the past and they used to tell me “when you meet the right man, that will all change” and so it did.
DOCTORS TOLD ME I WAS INFERTILE….
Ironically, four years into our relationship we discovered that I had Endometriosis. The doctors told me I was infertile and our chance of conceiving was approximately two percent. We were devastated and that is when I truly knew I wanted to be a mum. Luckily, it was meant to be and we have been blessed with two children both of which we conceived naturally and both of which I carried.
When it comes to motherhood no two experiences are the same. Motherhood is what we choose to make it and we each have different desires in life for ourselves and our children. Some women know they want to return to work. Other women have to. Some women choose to stay home full time and return to their careers at a later stage and some choose not to return at all. No two decisions are based on the same set of circumstances and each decision made is a personal one.
I WANTED TO STAY HOME BUT COULDN’T….
When Tyler was born I wanted to stay home with him. I didn’t want to return to work. I never thought I would be lucky enough to have a child after my diagnosis and so I wanted to enjoy every moment of motherhood that I could. Financially we were not sure if we could manage. Before we’d had the chance to make a solid decision my mum suddenly passed away. Suddenly I was financially responsible for her funeral and lots of other expenses. This meant I had to return to work. Shortly after my son turned one I made the dreaded return. It was hard but it was something that I couldn’t avoid.
Twenty two months later in August 2015 I was leaving for my second round of maternity leave. I was only 29 weeks pregnant. I had been diagnosed with placenta previa at 17 weeks. It was a high risk pregnancy and at 29 weeks 5 days we prepared for his arrival due to a bleed. Luckily I managed to keep him inside until our scheduled c-section at 38 weeks. The c-section did not go as planned and we are both lucky to be here today to tell our story.
RETURNING TO WORK WASN’T A GOOD FIT FOR OUR FAMILY….
Before Jesse was born I knew returning to work was not a good choice for me this time round. Not only was it not a good choice for me but it wasn’t right for my family. Aside from suffering with PTSD caused by birth trauma I was also suffering with anxiety due to being bullied in the workplace. The thought of returning to work crippled me. I knew returning would break me. Half way through my maternity leave I made the decision not to return. I resigned there and then.
Although I was desperate to stay home with my boys I knew I didn’t want to just be a stay at home mum. I still wanted to have a career and contribute to my family financially. My desire to succeed was still strong and I was ambitious. I had always wanted to have my own business and be my own boss. I have always been the creative type and had dabbled with selling my handmade creations in the years leading up to resigning from my job. We had discussed this possibility many times in the past but the timing had never seemed right. On this particular day it seemed like the perfect solution.
In April 2016 I officially registered my business, Little Chiqui Paperie. It was a dream come true and I am so proud of my accomplishment. Little Chiqui Paperie has allowed me to stay home with my boys and run my business around the needs of my family. My children come first and I only have to answer to myself. I can take time off when I want for as long as I want and when my children are sick I can be there for them. Most days it is ridiculously hard but I wouldn’t change the struggles for anything. It ticks all the boxes for my family and meets my own desires too.
MUM GUILT IS UNAVOIDABLE…..
Mum guilt is something we can’t avoid on this adventure we call motherhood. We always question if what we are doing is right and we never really know if it is or isn’t. We juggle many different roles on minimal sleep and drink endless amounts of caffeine just to exist in survival mode. All of us do an excellent job at raising our families. It’s important to remember that we all have different circumstances and we should try hard to support each other. What works for one family may not work for another and finding a true balance is really hard. All we can do is hope that we are doing the best we can possibly do for our families and ourselves in the process.