I am finally a stay at home mum – well almost anyway. I still go off early in the morning to do my short one and a half hour shift , but I have officially given up the afternoon shift and what a difference it has made!! I never thought my children would be pleased to see me in the afternoon after a day at school, but they are clearly delighted that I am home. Hubby is also delighted as this lets him off the hook of doing everything in the afternoons – yes he has a life again. This has really hit home to me how important my role at home really is. The economy and the nation we live in puts huge pressure on us as mums to be out there working. I have nothing against those women who love their careers – I just enjoy being with my family and being able to bake biscuits, cook exciting meals and even do homework. Don’t get me wrong – I enjoy timeout from my children too – that’s what schools all about, but I feel far less pressurised now that I have an ordered afternoon instead of running in at 6:30pm to be greeted with, “What’s for dinner mum – we’re hungry.” Yes, there are sacrifices that we are going to have to make – the budget will be tight and I am going to have to find ways to supplement our income from home, be creative with meals and stretch every penny as far as possible. This seems a small sacrifice to make – our kids will only be with us a short time and I don’t want to look back in a few years time and regret that I never had the energy or time to cuddle them, read them stories, help them with assignments and to be there when they hurt themselves, got heartbroken for the first time or just needed advice. So I’ve come to realise the value of being a stay at home mum – washing dirty socks and keeping my home a sanctuary and a place of joy is a marvellous priviledge and a time that I am relishing and looking forward to. I feel that this is the time I can put my hand to a number of tasks and really enjoy this phase of my life.