Stay At Home Mum?



If you haven't realised already... I'm a stay at home mum. Yup. That's right. I don't work for a living. My job is staying at home, and taking care of Alice all day long. I get a lot.. A LOT... of people questioning me about my decision not to return to work straight away. Especially from mums who either have to, or want to (or both!) return to work. I wouldn't mind, but a lot of the comments and questions I get are quite negative and sometimes make me feel like I'm doing something wrong!

So here is my answer. I stay at home with Alice all day... because I want to. Simple as! I knew straight away, the moment I became pregnant, that I would want to be the one to take care of Alice full time. I didn't want to put her into nursery, or leave her with a childminder. So I didn't! Here are some commonly asked questions I get about my decision:

How can you afford to stay at home and not work?

Simple answer: I can't really. If I'm honest, it's not easy peasy. Yes, Dave has a good job which pays very well. We can pay rent, bills, food, clothes and things for Alice. But we wont be going on any holidays soon, and Christmas pressies are mainly thanks to charity shops (Amazing second hand toys, some of them still in their boxes!) and family. I use any money I make form this blog to fund my wardrobe and I always sell things I don't use anymore on Ebay if I want something new.

Why stay at home then?

I still chose to stay at home, even if some months we have to eat pasta every day so Alice can have her milk! The fact is, I don't need those luxuries in my life anymore. When you have gone without that new topshop coat or that pizza delievery, you realise you don't actually need it! In fact, sometimes it's more fun when you can't afford luxuries! Weekends become a challenge to find things to do with Alice that are cheap but fun! The bottom line is, I want to be at home, and so we make it work. We just do.

What do you do all day?

Besides run around after a little monkey who is determined to walk like... NOW. I do the massive piles of laundry that appear every. Single. Day. I make lunch and diner, Alice and I go out and about to the park or library or anywhere we can, I clean our never ending mess up, I spend a lot of time in a post office que selling things on Ebay. And in between all that, I take care of Alice. Naps, milk, food, play time...

Do you miss adult conversation?

A bit. But I used to work in a nursery so there were always children around! Now, I attend toddler groups and go to the library reading session where I talk to other mums (mainly about poo and sleepless nights... that counts right?). The thing is, I am one of those really annoying mums who LOVES to talk about their baby ALL THE TIME. (Hence the blog!)

Alice will be grown up one day, how will you get a job with no experience?

I'm sure I'll manage. I don't have a crystal ball, I dont know where or what I'll be doing in two, three years time! I may re-train, or perhaps get a lucky break, or even set up my own business. Childcare is a good career because technically I'm not out of work! But I can't base my decision on something that may or may not happen in the future! Life has a way of working out!

And finally, my favourite...

Don't you think that if you are with Alice all the time, she will struggle to be around other people/ make new friends/ live her life away from you in the future?

Um... no. As someone who has an Early Childhood Degree, I know for a fact that staying at home with my child for a bit longer than 6 months will not destroy her future. Children are clingy to their parents for a reason. They are attached. It is perfectly healthy for a young child to cry when mummy leaves the room, scream down a nursery every day when mummy leaves or be a little weary or strangers. In fact, it is unhealthy if these things do not happen. At the nursery, parents would feel so guilty when their child started crying when they left them, or even when they were picked up. But we were secretly happy (not in a mean way!). It means that you have developed a fantastic, strong bond with your child, one which will last the rest of your lives and one which means your child is perfectly healthy and happy in every way!

Hope these have answered some of your questions!

xx

20 comments

  1. I bet the people asking these questions are just jealous. I'd want to do exactly the same thing if I had a baby x

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  2. I stay at home with my two girls too,it is the right thing to do for us,to make sure they have the best start in life, and I don't want to miss anything :first word,walk and so on.Yes it is a bit of a financial challenge,but that is just fine.Just do whatever works for you.

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  3. I stay at home with my 7 month old and I plan to until she's 1. The truth is I'd miss her too much! I saved up for the first few months but now struggling but like you said don't need luxuries anymore. Any money I make from my blog is a bonus. I love staying at home and watching her grow everyday wouldn't change it for the world.

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  4. I love this post!

    I have dear friends who WANTED to go back to work following the birth of their children because they love their careers -- and that's AWESOME. Not everyone WANTS the same things (parenting is not "one size fits all," after all!). Not everyone WANTS to stay home or are "jealous" of people who do. One of my best friends couldn't wait to get back to work -- not because she hates her children, but because she is proud of her career and it's a priority in her life, too. That's totally cool with me.

    I have a friend who is dying to stay home but can't swing it financially because she's the breadwinner in her relationship. It hurts her every day to put her 2 year old into daycare, still, though it's been 2 years! She still makes a sad Facebook status each morning about dropping him off.

    There are SO many different cases. Mine was that I knew before I was ever pregnant, before I was ever a mom, before I was ever married, that I'd be a stay-at-home mom. My husband had a working mom and spent time in daycare and aftercare. He didn't understand the need for a stay at home mom other than it was something I cared about, and so he cared about it. Once my son was born, he was a neurotic freak about me staying home with our son at all times, ha. My mom was a stay at home mom. I always wanted to live her life: the chaos, the running around, the unwashed hair days and the tantrum days. I've always wanted it all, and I'm fortunate enough to be able to live it because it's what I want.

    Times aren't easy, like you said. I haven't gotten my nails done since my baby shower in June 2011. My husband and I are going on our first kid-free date since then, too, this Sunday...because we don't have money to go out, because these days I make my own activities rather than go out and buy things, you know? And it's tough. It is. I'm relying on my parents to get Ethan a big gift for the holidays because we're a little strapped, but it's worth it to me because this is what I want. I want to stay home with Ethan. It truly is a gift, worth sacrificing for.

    I hate when people have negative things to say, because I don't have negative things to say over what they choose to do. For the most part, all of my friends are supportive of all of our friends choices -- work, stay home, whatever it may be -- but I do have one friend who is a teacher and is always hounding me about "don't you want nice things?" "Don't you feel bad not contributing to your household?" (I do -- I raise my son!) Argh.

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  5. What a lovely post to read. I totally admire all stay at home mums! Seriously! Being around children all day is hard! I Had to return to work, And sometimes I'm grateful sometimes I hate it. However the last answer really made me happy. Neo has been so close to me his whole life that when I first dropped him off to nursery he screamed and screamed. I felt AWFUL! Its nice to know that maybe its because our bond is so good that he's really happy with me and that's why he cried. Man do I love that boy!! Anyway thanks for this lovely post xxx

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  6. Love this post! I also work in a nursery :)

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  7. I know that when I have kids in the future I want to be a stay at home mum. My mum was / is and I'm looking for an education in childcare myself, I want it even more :) Props to you!

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  8. I'm a stay at home mommy too. Before that I became a mom I was a workaholic and always had a job. But when I became pregnant I felt the same way you do. I am fortunate that my husband provides just fine and we never go without...so it was an easy decision. It also gave me drive and time to start my own photography career which would have never happened had I not been home to dedicate the hours to get it started. Now I work from home on my own agenda and make a fine living doing two of the things I love. I think that if you have passions and once your baby is older, then go for them. So many people I know make great livings on their blog and to me that is great...but what will always come first for me is motherhood. Good for you for being bold and saying this IS a job too:)

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  9. Lovely Post Emma. I'm a huge fan of your blog. Its really important to do what works and feels good for you. Alice is growing so quickly, and its amazing to be there everyday to see it.

    :) Kylie @ http://randomdrawers.blogspot.com.au

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  10. I wish I was a stay-at-home mum. I really, REALLY do. I always worry that Wilbo, unlike Alice, won't miss me. But we only just started to reach the stranger anxiety stage and I worry that, one day, I'll become the stranger...

    Staying at home with him was never an option for me - we wouldn't survive on Ste's wage and that's just life.

    I think anyone that asks those questions are likely idiots. I get asked awful questions by stay-at-home mums, believe it or not, and it's just defensive confusion most of the time.

    You are a great mummy and you don't need to doubt it. xxx

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  11. Good for you! I stay at home too and did a post about this - http://www.sippycupsandpearls.com/2012/10/pros-and-cons-of-being-sahm.html - if you get a chance, check it out...don't you get annoyed when people question you...it's like "hey, I don't question you about working so why should you question me about staying home..." (which is indeed working without pay) good post!

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  12. It is sad really that leaving a baby at home and returning to work has become the norm! In the past every family survived on a single income but the world today is too money-hungry! I think it is so important for a child's development that they spend as much time as possible with their mum (or their dad!).

    x
    Molly
    thecottagediaries.blogspot.co.nz

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  13. Really enjoyed reading this post. It all makes perfect sense to me! I made a similar decision 3.5 years ago. It's not forever and it is definitely worth it. You might be interested in my reasons for staying at home: http://lifeaftermaternityleave.com/stay-at-home-mum/8-reasons-to-be-a-stay-at-home-mum-and-bake-cakes-with-your-kids

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  14. Great post! I would love to stay at home with my baby after my maternity leave finishes, but my Husband says we wont be able to afford it. So it's unlikely. But if I have to go back to work I will aim to work the smallest amount we can afford, it's more important to me to be around my baby rather than have luxury things!

    Alex

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  15. I admire your thoughts
    Having babies is god gift, we have lots of responsibilities and also we can earn such amazing memories with our kids. We have to give our 100% love and care to them always and forever
    I love your blog

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  16. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  19. I feel like people judge stay at home mums too. They assume lazy + benefits. (Hubby & I had our first baby at 17 which did nothing to help the stereotype!) I have always wanted to stay home with the kids but for my own sanity, have done odd jobs from home for mental stimulation!

    The older the boys have gotten, the less "excusable" being a SAHM has felt - despite the fact it still makes more sense for us due to potential childcare costs. I run my own full-time web design business now (mumsco.com) however people still seem to think I just sit on my ass throughout the school day just because I work from home... :(

    People who judge are just ignorant and/or jealous. I think a lot of people base their lifestyle on 2 incomes and going down to 1 after having a baby is tough. Since we started our family so young, we have always based our outgoings on hubby's income alone. So although we're not rolling in money, in the long run it has made life easier. Any money I earn now is a bonus, and it works for us! :)

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  20. PS Just to add to my earlier comment. I also don't like it when SAHM judge working mums! It's about what is right for you and your child. Some women would lose the will to live if they had to stay home with baby babble for conversation! Going to work and then spending quality time with your baby is better than begrudgingly staying home. There are pros and cons to both. If you get to *choose*, that's a privilege. :)

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