Angela Harden, 34, who is the mother of Joshua, 17 months, surprised herself when she became a mum. After years of trying to conceive she found out she had endometriosis and, shortly after, that her marriage wasn't working. At the same time as she split up with her husband she kissed goodbye to dreams of motherhood, believing her chances of conceiving were virtually non-existent. So she was flabbergasted to find she was pregnant after a brief fling. She moved from Wellington to Christchurch to be near her family when Josh was six weeks old.
Before I had Josh I… Was a communications adviser for a government department. I loved it, although it could be stressful.
When I was growing up I always thought… I'd be a career girl and if I had family they'd be in childcare and I'd be back at work as soon as possible… not quite how it turned out, but I'm more than happy with it.
My favourite thing about staying home with a child is…. Seeing my son's personality and skills developing.
My least favourite thing is… The sense of isolation I sometimes feel. Because I'm a single parent I am acutely aware that adult conversation is a little lacking. My subject matter a tad narrow and I do miss the diversity of topics and the interaction of being in an office environment.
I have a break from childcare when it's… Nan's daycare! Thankfully my mum is very willing to give me time out. She looks after Josh on Wednesday mornings so I can go to a Zumba class and she'll take him for a random day here or there if I need to concentrate on myself for a bit. Recently she took Josh so I could go do some much needed me-shopping and get my first haircut in about a year!
My favourite part of the day is… When I go in to Josh in the morning and his wee face just lights up. It makes my heart melt.
Is Josh better off because I am home all day? I honestly don't know; I would like to think that me being his primary care-giver has its benefits.
Things I miss about my old life in the workforce are… The newspaper daily quiz around the break table, Melbourne Cup sweepstakes, friendly debate about what the rugby score will be in the weekend, that sort of thing. And definitely the pay cheque!
I can't say I've noticed people judging me for not working… As I'm confident in myself and my choices. It's more personal discomfort at being on a benefit but when I voice this I've found people are supportive, understanding that I am treating it as a stepping stone, not a hand-out.
My parenting philosophy is… I try to be relaxed and go with what feels right for us.
AS FEATURED IN ISSUE 16 OF OHbaby! MAGAZINE. CHECK OUT OTHER ARTICLES IN THIS ISSUE BELOW