I can’t help but notice the amount of grandmothers I see out with their grand children day in day out. I don’t just mean families all out together, I mean grandmas taking on the role of the child minder day in and day out. It totally makes sense with the cost of childcare, I get it, but it just got me thinking about the difference a generation makes.
I just have to say that I’m exceptionally fortunate with how fabulous my mother is in supporting my children and I will be eternally grateful for her generosity and unconditional love and time. But I am also aware how many people out there aren’t fortunate enough to have the support to call on and it really must be so tough.
When facing the question of childcare, there are so many considerations; Do I want to go back to work? Can I afford to go back to work? Can I afford to not go back to work? Do I have the support to actually be the mother I want to be? It was a clear cut decision for me after my second child…Yes I wanted to be at home with my children and no, I didn’t earn enough money to cover the childcare… I would literally be going back to work for no financial gain. So decision done, I embark on being with my children 24/7.
And the world really is 24/7… whatsapp groups to call on at crazy o’clock when sleep training isn’t going to plan, local area facebook groups where to discuss anything from ailments to events, coffee mornings, google at just a phone grab away to clarify something or be that little bit of entertainment for a necessary moments peace. A ton of Instagram accounts of various mothers documenting their own journey of motherhood allowing you to voyeur, buy the tshirt, compare, aspire or tut at. Whatever way we look at it, we are so connected. And whether that means we have greater aspirations, a greater feeling of anxiety to ‘keep up’ or a greater sense of community… there is this security knowing that so much is at our finger tips.
But our mothers who are now looking after our children in this crazy connected world we live in… they did this all on their tod. Yes they might have had family support, but those questions driving you mad at 3am, that rash that appears at 7pm or that feeling when you have no plans for the day and you can’t see straight you’re so tired… well they just all had to wait. And I watch those grandmothers when I’m out… and they aren’t glued to their phones or walking at a crazy speed to get from a to b, they are just in that very moment. They are pushing the swing, singing songs and walking hand in hand and it just got me thinking… maybe in some ways we just need to strip it all back. I want to have real solid memories of looking into my kids’ eyes, I don’t want to just remember a haze of me trying to do it all. And its the biggest dichotomy of all really, because all the mundane everyday stuff does still need to tick along, but I think in some ways I want to remove myself from all the other connections and just be with my children.