Before I had my son I was a Digital Marketing manager for a film company.My son was born in March 2012 in the Royal London, Whitechapel. The beginning of our time together was so fraught with the challenges of breastfeeding and overcoming a traumatic birth that bonding had been slow and tough.
But once we settled down I then began to feel like a mother. I relaxed and enjoyed every second of watching my son grow and develop, play with him, nurse him. I loved just being with my son.
About half way through my maternity leave I had begun looking at nurseries for my son. Since I had rejected every single one, my options were dwindling. When I called one which was known came as ‘highly recommended’ the woman on the other end of the line scoffed at me for thinking I could even attempt to get my son onto the list at that late stage.
Silly me. I had been too busy taking care of my son and enjoying the sense of fulfilment that motherhood was giving me to be thinking about nurseries. I was too busy enjoying the truly rewarding time with him that had given my life new meaning and purpose and too busy learning how to be a mother to be contemplating leaving him.
So I visited a ‘baby room’ in yet another nursery. When I entered the room filled with tiny babies I could not imagine strangers looking after my son. And I simply couldn’t imagine leaving my son with any of them.
When I discussed it with my husband we agreed it would be a tremendous stretch but we would try to live on his salary alone and I would care for my son at home.
The impact it has had on us financially has been massive. I have learned to budget properly but some months it is beyond hard on us both and the pressure to get it right is enormous. I am finding motherhood demanding – stretching my patience, my organisational skills and way of thinking about life in a way work had never done. But it is worth it.
Yes, I sometimes reflect on the job I enjoyed but I know that no matter what I gave to the company I was always replaceable, never invaluable. I could never say the same about being a full time mother to my son. Ultimately I am not the centre of my world anymore – my son is. And that feels 100% right as he starts out in life.