I hope you’re all doing well. You may not realise, but it’s been a year since I became a stay at home mum (a whole year!!!). It’s hard to believe that only a year a go I resigned and went from working mum to stay at home mum.
I have avoided to speak of this topic because I know just how personal and sensitive this topic is for many parents . However, I feel that maybe it will help someone out there. I have been on both sides of the spectrum, so I can relate to the opposing views. This may be a long one so grub your cuppa and relax.
Happy You, Happy family.
I’m sure you’ve heard this saying before. So WHATEVER you decided make sure it’s what’s best for YOU. THINK YOU. It’s not selfish, it’s important.
After playgroup with my daughter, Isabelle
Pros of working
- Adult interaction – need I say more?
- Financial independence – need I say more?
- Dressing smart- need I say more?
- I had little time to focus on any bulls*** outside of worklife
- Valued every single second I had with my children
Cons of working
Personally, I had two main cons. There were other things but these two were the ones I struggled with immensely.
- Boss may not be very understanding. Sick days can be very tricky. I remember feeling so poorly, I forced myself to get to work because I wanted to save my sick days for when my children were sick.
- Missing out on milestones, school plays etc… This was the hardest for me.
Pros of stay at home mum
- Spending lots of time with your children. What’s more to say?
Cons of stay at home mum
- Your new boss will be your baby/toddler- so if working mums thinks they have it hard with their bosses… well does your boss cry because they are tired???
Children will be fine
I went back to work when Isabelle was only six months old. It was the hardest decision of my life. I remember being at work and I thought I could hear my baby cry. It was the strangest thing. I am very protective of my children. Apart from their dad, I don’t ever leave my kids with ANYONE unless it’s aaaaaaaaaaaabsoultely necessary. Mainly because people can treat your children so different in your absence. Their emotional well-being is so important to me, so I don’t like leaving my children. I can’t bear the thought of someone maltreating my child in my absence. I guess this is drawn from my own experience being away from my parents the first 10 years of my life. People can be mean,
even especially FAMILY.
So just imagine how I felt leaving Isabelle, six months old, with total strangers to take care of her in a nursery/daycare. I had nightmares weeks leading up to it. I had a friend spy on them when she went to ask about nursery for her child. Her positive feedback was reassuring.
I can say for the most part that if it’s your child/children you are worried about, they will be fine*. Isabelle coped incredibly well. She was fond of the nursery manager. The nursery was less than a 2 min walk from work, so I was nearby in case they needed me for anything.
Now, one of the things that made it a bit easier for me to leave my job was my role. My job role was a general office role. Any job nowadays is hard to come by I know, however, it was a job and not a career. I’m I making sense? I didn’t feel invested in it to not let go.
However, if I had been in a career which I felt I worked very long and hard to get to my position- I think I would be writing a different post right now if I’m honest. That’s the brutal truth.
Having said that, I bumped into a former work colleague who was older than me. When I told her I quit my job, she was happy for me. She had older children of her own. She said something to me that stuck. She to told me to enjoy the early years with the children as I will never get that time back. She went on to say that I’m still young and have plenty of years ahead of me to work. Her words melted my worries about my decision to stay at home and still what motivates me to make the most of my time with them now.
I had to doodle to distract myself… it’s 1am
Hmmm where do I begin. If like me you didn’t save a lump sum of money to allow you to live comfortably should you decide to not go back to work… then. You. Are. In. For. A. Rough. Ride my friend. Reality is financially things will be tight. You have to budget wisely. Took me a while for it to sink in, I was spending like I was working. Truth is every little counts right now. I have to budget, plan and save for things like holidays. I use a lot of my disposable income to put my son into extra curriculum activities. It means we can’t spontaneously have a family getaways. Budgeting is crucial if you decide to stay at home. Personally, it’s a small price to pay.
Another thing to think about is childcare. If you are in the UK, I’m sure you would understand. This played a massive role in my decision. Majority of my income was paying for childcare. So ultimately, I was paying for someone to look after my children. Literally. Maybe I would’ve made that sacrifice and carried on working if I had an established career.
Working mums may think that stay at home mum is the easy life, but let me tell you it’s not. SAHM don’t necessarily have more time to do chores. My toddler wants my attention, or she’s clingy because she’s tired or she’s crying in the middle of an important phone call. I still do my chores after I put my children to bed. I’m writing this blog at 12 am because I can’t write in the day with my daughter. She is too distracting.
SAHM refer to themselves as full time mum? Working mums are not part time mums. Mum hat never comes off. I find it insulting when SAHM refer to themselves as full time mums. It makes no sense.
So as you can see, you can’t have it all. You win some. You loose some. At the minute, I am pretty confident with my decision. I have friends who are working mums and some who are not. Each to their own. No decision is wrong. It’s only right for YOU.
The goal is to have a happy life for you and your family.
* I am not a genie and I can’t perform miracles so please do research your childcare provider and take necessary precautions :-).
All the best