Being a stay at home mum with my twins for 10 months and returning back to work some 6 weeks ago (0.8 capacity), I have to say that both roles are equally tough.
Being a stay at home mum enabled me to bond with my children all day, be consistent with their routines for meals-naps-bedtime, marvel at their development, comfort them in the wee hours of the morning, enjoy their company, stay in my PJs to whatever time I desire and generally, the world revolved around them. Not me. Yes it drove me stir crazy at times and other times, I derive my satisfaction through their growth and dependence on me. I am able to anticipate all their needs and that makes it handy!
Being a career mum enabled my brain to 'take a break' from baby stuff and concentrate on my skills in the workplace. It's also great being able to drink my cup of skinny flat white while it is still hot, enjoy my lunch and eat it at one go. However, I have had to trust others to care for my children. Now, this is the tough part. Trust. Will the carers from the childcare centre look after my children in the manner in which I would approve? Will the carers ensure that my children eat well? Will they ensure that they have at least two naps a day? Will my children be happy? etc etc. Very tough. It is very tough to let go of that responsiblity even if it is only part-time.
I am grateful that our children are in a good childcare centre, merely 5 minutes drive from home. They have a good system where they record every sleep, every drink, every meal, every poop, etc. Very assuring for parents like me. Also the other sign that my children are happy is whenever I pick them up in the afternoon, they are happy to see me and are often reluctant to get in the car bound for home!
In addition, I have a very supportive husband who works 10 minutes from home who drops the children off before 9:00am and the company that I work for values work/life balance hence my work hours are 6:30am to 2:15pm and I pick the children up before 3:00pm. They are at childcare for 6 hours maximum, 4 days a week.
Whether one chooses to be a career mum or stay at home mum, I reckon the toughest part is when mummy falls ill. Our children are very reliant on us and spouses rely on us for knowing-it-all, so to speak.
This weekend I was struck down with what most of us will term it as Fatigue. I started feeling nauseous on Saturday at 3:00am and for the entire day after, I laid in bed and slept. I was so tired. My body and mind literally went into shut down mode. I did not have a cold, cough or fever. My body and mind simply needed to rest. I had given it too much adrenalin in the last 6 weeks and it just needed a vacation! Though I am feeling 50% better on Sunday (today), I still needed my morning nap and no doubt, my afternoon nap.
Lesson learnt. Take it easy. So what if the home is a little untidy. Let go.