Green Grass Everywhere

Persistent inner monologue last night over the potential of work refusing to let me come back part-time (four days a week).  It occurred to me this morning I’m being somewhat inconsistent, as not two months ago the complaint was having to go back at all. At least if I’m refused this flexible working we know we can’t afford the childcare and the decision is made for us; I’ll have to give up my job.  On reflection, though, that prospect doesn’t seem quite as attractive.

What’s the problem then?  On the surface I bleat about wanting to stay at home with our kids, how my parents never had money to burn, how we didn’t move to a bigger house until we were far older than B and G are (four and nearly one).  But, when faced with generating zero income I’m absolutely terrified.  The idea that every penny spent would come from my husband is daunting; not least because he’s far less gung-ho with the purse strings and all those little treats and luxuries for the kids (and for me, yes) would have to stop, but also because work gives you an identity separate to that of your family. After all, women fundamentally change who we are at several points in our lives, but none so marked as the day we give up the name we had for twenty or thirty years to take on a new one, unfamiliar on the tongue and seeming to belong to a stranger.  I recall a skiing holiday my cousin and I had when I was still childless but she had two.  Midpoint in the week, she burst into tears – perhaps aided by one or two vinos – and revealed it was so overwhelming to be just her again and not ‘Mrs M’, extension of Mr M and the two little Ms [the M & Ms, ha ha].
I now understand that sentiment and am loath to lose the last bastion of my individuality, but I am also plain scared of having no money. On the other hand, G is already nearly one and it’s passed so quickly. Perhaps I should just embrace poverty and my kids, and enjoy the latter before they turn into teenagers.

I’m in danger of persuading myself now that I do want to stay at home, at which point my line manager will phone and say I’ve got what I asked for and I’ll burst into tears…!

Must sign off.  Just noticed G is eating dirt from the houseplant again.