Sunday, 27 May 2007


Woohoo weighed myself today and I am at 75kg ie first mini goal! Very happy about that but annoyed it's taking so long. Have I mentioned I'm impatient? I'm glad that I enjoy the gym - this would be so dispiriting if I didn't. Next goal is 72kg (ie healthy weight range) which now that the weight is actually demonstrably moving will hopefully be by the end of next month. I feel better about setting a timeframe - makes it harder to cheat...

To get there I am now doing 2 pilates classes a week, a Body Pump class and 2 Body Balance classes (all focussed on increasing my core strength and my back) and 2x 1-2 hour Cardio sessions per week where I aim to ride at least 10km and to run/walk at least 5km. I really ought to add in swimming once a week as well, but I'm lazy and its' cold hehe. But from next week I will have not much excuse because I will have another day free. My Monkey is picking up another day of daycare

I thought I would be completely looking forward to this but I'm not. I want to cuddle her in close and bawl at the thought of having her at daycare 2 consecutive days. One day a week for a couple of hours I could handle, I would fill in those very short hours doing stuff that is a nightmare with an active baby and then by the time I pumped, ate some lunch etc it would be close to 3pm which meant I could pick her up!! But now I have to have 2 days a week IN A ROW where I don't have my baby with me.

One of the weirdest things to do on my "days off" is to go shopping. I walk around feeling like I've forgotten my right arm or something and feel like a fraud walking into baby stores and feel the need to tell random shop assistants that "Yes!! I have a baby!! 2 in fact!!" with a slightly shrill note to my voice as they back away slowly from the crazy lady. It's just that I don't really look like someone who would have a baby and that makes me want them even more.

So being as it's only a short month or so before the MOnkey is in daycare fulltime I'm starting to hyperventilate a little bit. OK a BIG bit. I honestly don't know how I'm going to do it without feeling like I'm going to choke on my own heart every day. She is SO tiny, and still loves my boobs and ME more than anything else in the world. I am her world. But even when she goes to daycare she comes home smelling like someone else, and I want to snuggle her into me so that I can rub off the other person and mark her as mine again.

The Elfling is fine with daycare, loves it and asks to go even on the days when she is home with me. She knows we will come pick her up in the afternoons and runs off the second we are there to play with her friends. In the afternoon she runs up and gives us gigantic cuddles and then chats all the way home about what she and her friends have been up to. She so rarely cries or is upset at kindy that last week when she was crying they called me because they knew she had to be unwell if she was upset at kindy.

But the Monkey, my tiny baby who I can't actually believe is not still a newborn, leaving her is so hard.

All of the above is why people ask me (seriously) why on Earth I would put them in daycare in the first place. Or where people smugly claim that they have "sacrificed" so that they can stay at home. I can honestly understand why people do, and why it is so important to many. But it only works when the person staying at home for their children is doing it because it is the best thing for their family and they feel no resentment about it. Even if I didn't have 2/3 of a degree hanging over my head I would still struggle immensely with being a fulltime SAHM.

It is one of the things in myself that I find hardest to deal with because I do feel guilty about it. That I don't derive enough satisfaction and worth from something that by rights should be brimming with both. Everytime I read the studies into daycare I do get a pang, because I know that I can't do it, and that it's something that really would benefit my babies.

Ideally I know that even in my situation, part time work would be the next best bit, but I have chosen a degree that won't let me do that. So instead I cut the corners and do the bare minimum of hours at "uni" and don't do any work at home at all if I can help it. And I get good grades, mostly 6s (distinctions) and all of my supervisors are very happy with me. But not as exceptionally happy as I would be if I could devote my whole self to medicine. But it's the payoff so that I can be the best mother to my babies that I am able to be.

Being a doctor is important to me, it gives me a sense of self that so easily gets lost in the drudgery of being at home. But it's more than just that. Part of the consideration of having children when you are barely out of your childhood yourself is working out wht you have to do to make it work. We don't have 10 or 20 years of work and money behind us. No huge travel together, no house, not very many luxuries.

Those things are really just things, and to some completely unimportant in the scheme of things and certainly when compared to the welfare of their children. But to us they allow us to be secure in the future, to build a future rather than just relying on what we have at the moment. While I'm happy with where we are, it is just a spot in a continuum of dreams. DH and I, we're dreamers (well I'm the dreamer and the planner and he's just the thrill seeker along for the ride) and I love that our life has so much amazing scope and so many options.

I love having options in my life. As long as I have options and space to dream and plot and plan and the ambition to follow through on those dreams and plans, then I can be happy.

All of that may sound very selfish, and realistically it is. But when it comes to raising my children, I want the absolute best that I can provide for them. That has nothing to do with money whatsoever but is about giving them a mother who loves and adores them, who when she is with them can give herself fully to them, and who bears no resentment. A mother who knows that she has to compromise her career because her children come first, but who has the options and the independence to feel like a whole person and productive member of society. Someone who actively sought out the best possible care for her children and who refused to leave her babies with anyone who she did not fully trust.

Maybe that still sounds hollow, and maybe it's not an option you can even imagine entertaining, but I'm so glad that I had the choice.

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