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Stay at home mum lark not as easy as it sounds

By Lincolnshire Echo  |  Posted: December 12, 2013

Essential viewing?:   For many, a date with Jeremy Kyle is a must every morning

Essential viewing?: For many, a date with Jeremy Kyle is a must every morning

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Iused to think stay-at-home mums have it easy but I have to come to realise it is much harder than it seems but not necessarily for the reasons that I first thought.

It's quite boring. If you're not careful, every day can be the same, a serious case of Groundhog Day.

Mine starts with making sure Lottie eats breakfast and Louie has a tummy full of milk and an empty nappy. Then there's the school run, which I share the responsibility of with Mr C so I don't have to drag Louie out in the winter weather.

Once Lottie is safely in the care of her teacher, I return home to a round of the same chores.

Despite my washing machine and tumble dryer running in tandem day and night, the laundry basket is never empty. If I do lift the lid to see one pair of pants I almost click my heels with joy but it's not long before there's a sick-covered sweatshirt and countless muslin cloths in there.

Everything, seems to fill up quickly. The kitchen bin, the sink with dirty dishes, the living room with toys, not to mention the ironing basket.

The only place where this trend is reversed is the refrigerator which seems to empty quicker than Boots' shelves on Christmas Eve when the price of their giftsets is slashed.

Then there's food to prepare. If I am home alone, I can survive on a diet of peanut butter and toast with a main meal for dinner but it's hardly fair to expect my family to do the same, so at the weekends when we are all home I have to think about making three daily meals.

The rest of the week I know at some point, without fail, we will eat spaghetti bolognaise, sausage and mash, chicken fajitas and baked potatoes with chilli (made by adding kidney beans and a packet mix to the three-day old bolognaise sauce). If I feel like mixing it up a bit, I might make a chicken korma or roast a gammon joint. Pudding is nearly always a yoghurt.

Mums that go out to work often do all these chores on top of their paid jobs. I know I did before I began my maternity leave but at least my day was broken up with adult chat and the occasional acknowledgement of a well-executed task.

When you are at home, nobody congratulates you if your toilet is freshly bleached or you manage to change everyone's bed sheets.

I also think Esther Rantzen may be on to something after she launched The Silver Line, a new helpline for the elderly with the aim of tackling, among other things loneliness. I'm thinking of starting something similar for mums with little babies during the winter.

In the summer, neighbours are out weeding their gardens, walking their dogs, taking their kids to the park, there's usually someone around to pass the time of day with.

When the temperature drops and the nights draw in, it seems most people are holed up watching Jeremy Kyle with a cup of tea and a biscuit. Thank goodness it's the season for online shopping, as the only person I speak to between the hours of 9am and 3pm is the Amazon delivery guy who I am now on first name terms with.

I sound like I am wallowing. I know there are baby groups where I can meet other mums, or online forums where I can chat, not to mention I have friends and family who I can meet up with to beat the monotony of being home alone.

But we are all so busy being the housework fairy it's difficult to find a slot in our busy diaries.

Sam Curtis, 43, lives in Lincoln in a house that's not as clean, tidy, or quiet as she'd like with her husband Leigh, Lottie, 8, and new arrival, baby Louie.

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