‘I can’t wait to go on my baby holiday!’
That sentence used to fly freely out of my mouth daily as I counted down the days until my mat leave. All that freedom! Nowhere to be other than where I wanted to, I’d have so much more energy to hit the gym, have mid week lunches with my friends. I couldn’t wait, life was going to be great.
Over the last few years we’d set ourselves up by working hard to pay off our mortgage and with investment properties on the go life as a stay at home Mum was waiting for me and it was going to be a comfortable one.
Before you knew it my mat leave had started and here I was, Mum to a baby boy. I adored every day at home with him. We sang songs and spent most of our days laughing. Sure he vomited on me all day for the first 3 month and leaving the house was far more difficult than I could have imagined, but I didn’t care and I wouldn’t change it for anything. We were so happy.
We were 5 months into the stay at home Mum dream when I was unexpectedly approached by an advertising company to come in for an interview. Jesse was sleeping through the night so I thought why not? I’ll go see what’s it about, after all it couldn’t hurt. The job sounded absolutely perfect and the money – amazing. It didn’t hurt that the Management sounded fantastic as well. While we were doing fine working towards our goal of being mortgage free, I knew that with 2 incomes we would reach this within a year. With this is mind I jumped at the opportunity.
Right I was doing this. We were all systems go. I had three weeks to prep my little man for daycare. Plenty of time! Right?!? Wrong! Up until now he was exclusively breastfed and hadn’t even laid eyes on a bottle. We tried and tried and tried and tried, but he wouldn’t have a bar of it.
‘He will drink when he gets hungry enough’, ‘Have you tried warming the teat?’, ‘Have you tried this brand or that?’ So much advice from so many well-meaning people. I tried it ALL and none of it made a single bit of difference. Eventually the only thing we found that worked was spoon feeding him porridge mixed with formula throughout the day and me reverting back to newborn days, waking up every few hours through the night to breast feed him. My wonderful child who slept through the night so early on decided it wasn’t for him now Mum was back to work. Argggggggh.
Those first few months back at work was a crazy blur, both my husband and I were completely exhausted. At the end of each work day we’d both get home and it was all systems go! Dinner had to be prepped, bath time had to happen then finally bedtime. As soon as the baby went down we would frantically get everything ready for the next day, at the end of it collapsing into each others arms in a congratulatory/exhausted pile and just hold each other. Argh we made it through another day! We laugh looking back on those times now. We now have it down to as fine art and it is nowhere near as difficult as it was in those early days.
After an extra loooooong five months and I mean an almost excruciatingly long five months he finally started to warm to the idea of taking a bottle. Yay!!!
Jesse is now 17 months old and is absolutely thriving!! Being away from him all day makes me really appreciate my time with him. Every weekend we dedicate time to at least one activity that is just purely for him and his enjoyment.
Nothing and I mean nothing comes close to the feeling I get when he accomplishes something for the first time. I could burst with pride. Those first few steps, new words, every time he lets us know he knows what’s going on – I don’t miss out on a single thing and absolutely nothing compares.
Even more exciting is in November last year, just after his first birthday, we fully paid off our first mortgage. It took us four years and four months in total by simply making better spending choices.
Now that we have so much more financial freedom we take often take him for weekends away, we’ve been to Hawaii, Fiji and Singapore. I can NOT wait to show him the world!
Having done both I can say life as a working Mum is tough but is no tougher than being a stay at home. Let me tell you I will never ever refer to it as a baby holiday again. Ever!