New Beginnings

Follow Claire Smith's Mothering Heights on Twitter @MinistryOfMum

Follow Claire Smith's Mothering Heights on Twitter @MinistryOfMum - Credit: Archant

NEXT Monday is a big turning point for me as a mother. My youngest is starting school.

I will drop him off at 9am with his siblings and probably sit in my car for the next hour, an emotional wreck. I will blub as it’s a big moment for me as a Stay at Home Mum because the nest will be empty. In fact I’ve already had a few tears when we were in school shoe hell last weekend. I cried earlier when he came downstairs dressed in his uniform. I hug him every morning when he asks if it’s school today.

This sentimental stirring keeps hitting me whenever I think about him starting school. Not because my baby is growing up, you understand, but because it means I have to get a job.

For the past 10 years there’s always been at least one child at home for part of the day. When the lament of “Well I’ve just had a baby” has run out, I’ve been able to use the excuse of having to be around for the kid not yet in full-time education. But, alas, no more.

I’ve run out of excuses.


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You could say that it’s an exciting time. You could argue that it’s a new chapter. You could even point out that I don’t always enjoy being a Stay At Home Mum because I miss an adult environment. And I will take all that on board – except the fact of the matter is that I’m SCARED.

I’m scared because today we were playing “What do you want to be when you grow up” and when it was my turn, I couldn’t answer. Because I don’t have a clue and I don’t want to have to grow up all over again. There’s a big ol’ world of potential opportunity out there but I’m lacking three important things to get me on that path:

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1) Ambition

2) Confidence

3) A Nanny

Ambition is a funny thing for me because it’s tied into my competitiveness, and it’s very rare that I am competitive. In fact what I need is somebody that I dislike to be doing the very thing that I want to do. Only then does it become a blood sport. At the moment the only thing I don’t like is Miley Cyrus’s twerking so you can see how I’m going nowhere.

My confidence in myself, in this house, with these children is shaky enough but in an office with adults whose past decade hasn’t consisted of choosing which washing powder to buy and making packed lunches? Enough said.

And a nanny. I would need a nanny for the school run/pick up and the endless holidays. Although I would kill for a nanny - even if she was the chain-smoking, long-distance telephoning calling, flirting with husband type – but the truth is, I’ll never afford it. Also, it would be so difficult to find that very special Mary Poppins who would continue my legacy in crap parenting.

Today I admitted to my friend that I’m worried that a year will go by and I would have done nothing with my life. She gave me some sound advice. She said that as long as that year is filled with family, friends and good times then that’s all that matters. So I’ll take comfort in that for now until it gets to January and I’m bored and skint.

The other thing is that my dog came into season and I didn’t realise. It only occurred to me when we were in the park and five dogs made a beeline for her. There was a very enamoured King Charles Spaniel who fortunately was too small to mount her, although he gave it his best. Reminded me of my first boyfriend.

Anyway, I’m now thinking that as pregnancy would be an option for me to get out of the job situation, albeit tempting, I might be able to rely on the dog instead. In nine weeks’ time there could be six puppy babies needing my love and attention.

Here’s hoping that the next few months can be spent clearing up their little ‘jobs’ instead of searching for one of my own.

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