I have so many wonderful mummy friends since having children. We hang out all the time and support each other so much in our daily ups and downs with our little ones. I must confess, that we hardly ever talk about our lives before kids and I really don’t know much about what people did before. We are all accomplished women and we had careers but that isn’t really the focus of our conversations any more, it’s all about the kids. Don’t get me wrong, I am so happy and grateful that I get to be a stay at home mum and I love it. I’ve just been thinking a bit more lately about whether or not I will ever go back to work and what it would be like.
I am a qualified dental hygienist and dental therapist. I guess most people know what a hygienist is but no one seems to know what I mean when I say therapist. It means that I am also qualified to extract children’s teeth and perform various types of fillings in adults and children. I studied for two and a half years and was one of only twelve people (out of over two hundred that applied) to be offered a place on my course at the time. I actually got married ten days after my final exams so it was a pretty intense time all round.
I worked for almost two years once I’d qualified, right up until I had my first baby, and I haven’t worked since. It’s been almost five years now and I feel a bit out of touch with it all. If I had to go back to work tomorrow I think I’d be terrified because I’ve lost my nerve and things have changed a lot in that time. I do wonder about what it would be like to have a job again though. I can’t say that I adore my career which I guess is good in some ways as it wasn’t hard for me to give it up for my kids. However, I do miss that feeling of achievement at the end of the day. After a crazy day of back to back patients, challenging myself to never run late, giving people the best treatment I possibly could, I felt so good. I was exhausted but I’d done it and it was such a satisfying feeling. As a stay at home mum, it’s harder for me to distinguish when my work is ‘done’ because it never really is. I constantly beat myself up about everything I’m doing wrong and all the things I should be doing once the children are in bed. I can’t just pack up and go home and relax like I could when I was working. Even if I went back now I guess it would never be like that again because I’d come home to busy family life!
I feel very lucky to have a husband who is able to provide for us, I know it isn’t like that for everyone. It is an absolute joy to be with my children every day and to teach them and influence them in my own way, as their mother. Financially, it would make so much sense for me to work and give us a double income. It’s not easy by any means but we make it work because we feel like it’s important. If I worked we could do a lot more and potentially even live somewhere bigger, but is that what I want? What is more important to my family? I actually don’t know right now, I really don’t. Our home is lovely, but it’s teeny tiny. We don’t go without, but we have to watch our spending I would need to find childcare but I guess people do it, don’t they? I don’t want to work and leave my kids but if I had to, then I would. Am I doing what’s best for them by being with them and not working? I feel lucky that I have a career that you can just dip in and out of and there are lots of jobs around. It’s also flexible with hours so I know I could make it work with family life if I tried hard enough. Do I want to though? Do I want to go out and earn money for my family? Of course I do! Do I want to leave my family in the hands of someone else while I do that? Not so sure about that one…