All these thoughts of babies has made me reminisce somewhat about my own childhood. A friend asked me yesterday if I’m planning on going back to work or being a stay at home mum. No question about it. I’m staying home. I struggle a bit today with the fact that so many women have kids and then leave them in someone elses’s care. I do accept that some people don’t have the luxury of being able to afford to stay at home, but some do and choose not too anyway. That sucks.
I am fortunate enough (at the moment anyway) to be able to choose to stay home. I’ve been working super hard over the last year to set up my company so that I can work from home should I need too, but I plan to invest at least the first year of the life of any child I have, dedicated solely to them.
When we were kids, mum stayed home with us until we all started school. My childhood was pure magic. It was just like The Wonder Years. It was full of riding bikes with the neighbourhood kids, building forts in the lounge, playing in the sand pit and skipping stones down at the stream. Ok, that last bit is made up. As far as I know, there are no streams in suburban Auckland, certainly not in Epsom, but you get the picture. I think the sun shone throughout my entire childhood.
The three of us are only a year apart, which meant that we were pretty tight. We would form clubs with HQs under the house or behind the garage or up the feijoa tree. Mum and dad were only allowed into HQ to bring us supplies. The cat was allowed to join, but he was never a patched member because he couldn’t be trusted.
Mum has a degree in Early Childhood Education. We didn’t know at the time that we were a case study. She would record us while we played. Some of the tapes are hilarious. I made some interesting rules up whenever we invented a new game.
Discipline when we were kids involved being shut out in the (fenced off) yard to cool off, while the other two were allowed to do ‘fun stuff’ inside. One time mum got really mad and asked me how I’d like to be the parent. What self-respecting kid wouldn’t snap up that opportunity? I told her I’d love it. Within minutes she was locked out in the yard, while Mary, Dave and I climbed up onto the bench in the kitchen and ate all the chocolate out of the cupboard, in full view. Needless to say, I only had that opportunity once.
So life was simple and it was good. The world may have changed since those days, but I’m going to do my best to make sure my kids get the same start to life that I got.
I also hope they grow up with as much love and respect for me as I have for my mother.