I strangely like this picture of me, even if my hair’s not brushed, there’s no makeup, I wasn’t feeling great so was wrapped in a blanket with a hot water bottle and you can sort-of see my double chin. The Lamb took it on daddy’s phone (playing with phones is HUGE at the moment and I have hundreds of photos of tiny feet, toys at strange angles and the dog’s nose). Overall, it’s not the most flattering photo. However, the reason I like it is that it shows ‘Mama working’.
More than once since starting this journey of being a stay-at-home-mum, or rather a working-at-home-mum (WAHM) I’ve been faced with comments ranging from ‘when you go back to work…’, ‘you’ll get a real job when the Lamb starts school’, ‘must be nice doing nothing all day’, and ‘well, obviously I couldn’t bake, I actually work two days a week, unlike you’. I think it was the last comment, and the very clear implication that as a WAHM I didn’t do anything, that really stung, with the implication being only mothers who ‘worked’ had value in society.
Aside from looking after the pup and toddler all day, I do some of the ‘traditional’ chores associated with a SAHM but mostly because I like to use all the attachments on the vacuum cleaner and Hubby does all the cooking with the rest housework split between us. Yet my days are not filled with cleaning, mending and gossiping with the neighbours like some 50’s housewife. Whilst I may not be the main breadwinner, I have kept up some semblance of work, albeit in a very new manner which allows me to balance work and family in a way which works for us.
So, what do I do all day and how can I possibly find time to bake? (There really needs to be a sarcastic font!)
The are a number of reasons why I stopped working 9-5 to care for our daughter but I never stopped ‘working’. I’d had assorted short stories published, as well as my collection of short stories ‘Weird Wild’ published before I started my maternity leave, with ‘Akane: Last of the Orions’ being delivered (sorry, bad pun) after I had the Lamb. I’ve continued writing sporadically and was invited to submit to ‘Eve of War’ as well as having stories accepted in ‘Sirens Call’ and for the recent anthology ‘My Wandering Uterus’. My novella aimed at preteens ‘Ghoulsome Graveyard‘ was also published after I stopped ‘working’.
However, the voices of my assorted characters who normally demand I tell their stories were increasingly drowned out by the yips, yaps, wails and giggles of a baby and puppy (who thought it would be a good idea to have a baby and puppy at the same time? Talk about hands full!) so my writing has taken more of a backseat than I would have liked. I’m making more time for it now though, and there is some free fiction available on my blog. I’m also planning to do more writing in 2021 with my short story ‘The Whale and the Moon’ being published in ‘The Book of Love‘ coming Spring 2021.
I’ve always loved to craft. In part, because I’m a fidget, I like to keep my hands occupied and in part the challenge of learning a new skill and making something beautiful (or functional, depending). I hadn’t made much for the Lamb until she started growing out of some of the beautiful ‘onesies’ she’d been gifted. I didn’t want to get rid of them, but at the same time didn’t want to store them indefinitely so decided to ‘upcycle’ them into a bib, dummy clip and a hat clip. I even upcycled one of her dresses into a fishing game we still play with!
The making continued, from clothes to bags to toys. I learned to knit, then crochet.
The Lamb has also been a great inspiration and our assorted craft endeavours have led to my ‘Make It Monday‘ posts. It’s been fantastic sharing my love of crafting with her and trying new techniques or ideas. We’ve been inspired by TV shows or different interests or themes such as Girls’ Day or Women in Horror Month. It’s also been fun using our makes, such as the geode bath bombs which turned the bath water lots of fun colours. I’m sure as she grows, we’ll be trying out new things which is very exciting and I’m blessed to have the time to do crafts with her. It’s also teaching her so many skills, from measuring and counting to life skills such as mending and making toiletries. In a time when many people throw away used or damaged items, the Lamb is learning how to fix or make her own. I have learned skills and crafts I had only seen on Pintrest and better yet, I got to learn these with the Lamb. These are skills I hope she carries with her.
Much of my work is available via my shop and I always welcome commissions.
So, there you have it. I might be a SAHM, but I am also so much more.