The 10 Month Itch

This is going to be a very honest post and I would love you to share your opinions and experiences on the subject in the comments section. I know that I’m opening myself up to criticism and some people just won’t get where I’m coming from, still I doubt I am alone…So I’m going to cut to the chase and admit it: I’m bored of being a stay at home mum. I’m not skilled at all this baby stuff and need more.

I think we are both the same, A is now 10 months old and needs more stimulation too. This morning I went to a baby group and realised I’m just not great at playing with babies, it was lovely to see her happy but I had to push myself to make an effort for two reasons: time alone with her is running out and I am aware of this and secondly I didn’t want other parents to look at me and think “she’s not doing anything, she’s just watching her baby play on her own”. However A is very independent and loves new things so she was quite happy climbing on the dolls house for example:

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She also loves to keep an eye on what’s going on and is mesmerized by other children you can see by her staring below!

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My husband told me the other day that’s it’s not my personality to get down on the floor and play with her but it suits him (so she wont be so deprived after all!). I think I’m more of a “teacher” than a “player”, I really look forward to her reading, painting, cooking with me etc over the coming years. Building blocks and rattles just don’t do it for me. Don’t get me wrong, I do play with her but I really have to make an effort and don’t always really know what to do – I’m not in my element.

Does she feel it? does it impact on her negatively? Is this one of the reasons she whines quite a lot? Who knows…Some women have “working mum” guilt, I have “mum at home” guilt. This only started in the past month or 2, up until then I was OK but recently I’ve had enough and think the fact that she starts settling in to nursery soon is a very good thing. I have not wanted to go back to work early but I think 24/7 for 10 months is slightly too much.I know I need a break because the other day, I was in a shop alone (rare thing) and the cashier asked if I needed a bag and I very nearly replied “No thanks, I’ll just put it in the buggy”… A little caveat here: I am super stressed about the whole nursery run etc, I’m not in a dream world imagining its going to be rosy once I’m back at work, if anything I’ll probably be more stressed and tired!  I’ve not had enough time alone for various reasons and so I am very very excited about the last 2 weeks of October because she will be in nursery full time and I will not be working!

I had actually started to resent mums that seemed to be having the time of their life looking after their babies, it actually made me angry and guilty those feelings were really getting to me. After some soul searching good old Adele style analysis, I have come to the conclusion and accepted that I’m just not one of those women who “loves it” or who wants 4 children or who can’t imagine going back to work. I recently got asked if I was “enjoying it”, I half heartedly replied “yes” (I must stress than I’m enjoying it a lot more than the first month but less than months 2-6) In reality I love her more than anything and think she’s amazing and have enjoyed having a break from work and having the freedom to do lots of different things but it’s all a bit “Groundhog Day” and there are things about looking after a baby that I really don’t enjoy such as the whole weaning thing and the mess that ensues, fights over naps (I’ve been writing this whilst my baby has been in her bed refusing to nap, that’s the reality and how anybody can enjoy that I don’t know…), never ending nappy changes etc. Also I’m not really a big routine person, so the fact you do end up doing lots of the same things at the same time every day just doesn’t suit me (and we have a very loose routine). Add sleep deprivation on top of that (nope she doesn’t sleep through the night, no advice wanted thanks!) and you end up with a slightly frustrated tired bored mum.

Of course I can’t predict how I will feel once back at work, I might want to resign and be back at home after a week, who knows but for now, I need some “me time”, a lot more “me time”, even if this time is spent in front of a screen working with financial data…

When did you get the “itch”? Did you wish you had gone back to work earlier or later? Do you resent mums that LOVE it? How much of it came naturally to you? I would love to know!

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6 thoughts on “The 10 Month Itch

  1. Proud of you for being so honest about it! Don’t feel guilty – we are all different mums and bring different things to motherhood. Xx

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  2. Adele, you’ve gone a great job so far. Never feel guilty or that you need to apologise for your choices. Everyone has a different approach – you just need to maximise your combined happiness! It’s great that you’ve allowed plenty of time for you to both adapt to A going to nursery. That definitely made going back to work easier for me. I honestly don’t know how full time childcarers do it, it is soo exhausting!

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  3. Reading your article struck a chord with me. I returned to work when my daughter was 8 months old and I literally skipped back. I’m fortunate that she has been a good sleeper but the day to day monotony was driving me insane (that and wiping up food gunk several times a day). I would feel guilty that friends were being so creative making sensory toys etc with their babies and she would be stuck playing with the same old toys day in day out. Since I’ve returned to work she goes to nursery full time and LOVES it which has made my transition back to work easier knowing she is happy. Of course I do miss her like crazy some days, work isn’t all perfect and it’s tiring juggling everything but I know I’m a better and more patient Mum for having this balance in my life. Bravo to you for putting it out there. I wish you and Baby A a smooth transition in the coming weeks.

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    • Thanks Sarah! Through this post I’ve realised many mums feel the same and we shouldn’t feel bad about it. I will report back on how going back to work goes. I’m glad you’re both happier now. Adele

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