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!