This post was written by a wonderful friend of mine who is in her own struggle between being a mum and being the person she wants to be. I think loads of us will be able to relate to it (myself included). Thank you to her for the brilliant writing and her openness and honesty.
‘Be whoever you want to be. That is what I was told and what I will tell my children. But what if what you want to be is 2 entirely incompatible things.
A soldier and a mum. I wanted both, I had both, arguably I had everything I had ever wanted.
I couldn’t keep up, one had to go. I could not give 100% to both and I wasn’t willing to fail entirely as a mother. So here I am 8 years experience, a commission from the royal military academy sandhurst, a tour of Afghanistan, ski seasons, commanding, real responsibility and mattering, really mattering
and now, I weekly watch hundreds of episodes of Spider-Man, I watch 3 year olds play rugby, I change nappies a lot, I tidy constantly, I spent 4 hours at a soft play (and that was just today). I
still matter but it’s not enough, I’m no longer important, I no longer have real responsibility. I no longer wear a uniform that instantly and sometimes unjustifiably gave me respect. I have everything I ever wanted but it’s still not enough.
I genuinely dread the question ‘so what do you do’ I want to scream from the roof tops ‘I used to serve my country’ but I can’t that would make me sound like a tosser, and yes I know, we should be proud and happy we shouldn’t use the term I’m ‘just a mum’ but I am ‘just a mum’. I have no wage, no desk, no office, no work colleagues I mother 24 hours a day 7 days a week. For me it’s just not enough.
Under normal circumstances I would job hunt, unfortunately I have willingly and initially happily followed my husband to Cyprus where he has a vey important job, and I mum. There are no jobs. So until May 2018 I have no choice but to accept my choice and ‘man up’, and if my children and I make it out alive things can only look up.
P.S. If another person says ‘how lucky you live by the beach’ I’ll smack them in the face.’