Monday, 6 October 2014

The saga of the chocolate bar and other such things

There was a time in my life when my biggest concern was the size of chocolate bars. I just couldn't understand why they, the important chocolate makers, did not produce them in generous portions. Of course I was ignoring the family size offerings in my gripe, my pocket money did not cater for such flamboyancy. I was concerned with the average chocolate bar in the local newsagents and why it wasn't larger.
This was also around about the time I would frequently discuss with best friend, if she or I would be the type of person to become A Career Woman or A Stay At Home Mum.
Isn't youth great, you can be so naive it's ridiculous.
Sometimes in life you simply don't have a choice. And I'm not talking about those chocolate bars, because let's face it, you can always buy two when you are A Working Woman. Or realise they are that size for a reason - they can make you very fat and when you are An Older Person it's too easy to pile on the pounds when the old metabolism finally slows down.
I've returned to work after my maternity leave because I have to. Not so I can climb the career ladder, knocking people off on my way, ruthlessly heading towards the top, and for my reward I can occupy my own office and have someone else ordering my Starbucks coffee.
Fortunately I kinda like my job. Currently I am sort of in charge of a contract worth a little under a million pounds. It's for the international mailing of the publications, for a three year period. I've held meetings with potential suppliers, arranged site visits, and written reports and spreadsheets of my evaluations.
However, I would rather be with Tommy. This is the brutal truth but it is literally not possible. We have to also earn my wage to be able to afford our home, our bills, our car, our food.
So I regularly feel guilty. Especially in the mornings when I kiss Tommy goodbye, before he spends the day with my parents. I know it could be worse, he's with my parents who adore him and my boss is flexible - I'm allowed to work from home one day a week and book one day off per week. I treasure this extra time I can spend with my son.
Weekends are precious too. I love the fact I can play with him all day long. I don't want to miss a moment, I want to be there when he points at his book and says, "Car!" at the blue car. I want to hold his little hand when he tries to walk/stumble towards me. These are the things which money can't buy. These milestones are worth more to me than a million pound contract.
Therefore, I rarely venture out without Tommy at the weekends, why would I when I can be with him.
Apart from last Saturday. Last Saturday afternoon I met my best friends for lunch. It had been nearly a year since we last all met on the same day, which is a shame. I do miss our catch ups but circumstances are very different these days, for all of us.
I hated leaving Tommy. It wasn't really practical to struggle with a pushchair on trains and a boat, and expect him to sit still whilst I gossiped and drank. My friend saw my sad face when I walked up the pathway to her house, before we travelled by train together for our lunch date on a boat. She was hanging out one of her windows and asked me what was up.
"Oh I've just waved goodbye to Tommy, I feel guilty again."
"Hey, it's not for long. Besides, he'll have fun with his daddy."
I immediately felt better, and we did have a lovely afternoon.

Moussaka, joy on a plate.

Chocolate brownie, another guilty pleasure.

Me and the girls (a rare glimpse of me, and black and white can be more flattering, wouldn't you agree?!)


Amel said...

Awww, Nikki, you're too harsh on yourself in terms of appearance. You look BEAUTIFUL in B/W or colours. :-)

And when it comes to the guilt, I've heard similar stories from mommies who have no choice but to work outside of home (I've also heard those who miss their kids when they go out with their friends), but I'm also glad that Tommy gets to spend time with his grandparents and your husband as well. :-) He gets the best of all that he can get: so much quality time and love.

Kate said... need your time with your friends and with your job so you can show him what a balanced life is. He's too little to notice this now, but he will understand pretty son that his mom is important to him and to lots of other people, too.

The World According To Me said...

Thanks Amel, very nice of you to say so. I know I'm way too critical of myself!
He does get the best of all he can get, so I guess I shouldn't feel so guilty.

The World According To Me said...

Hi Kate

I agree, a balanced life is important. As much as I feel guilty, he does need to know other people love him and care about him too. I might as well go out again soon then!