Latest Instagrams
Thursday, August 15, 2013

This Thing Called Life....

Some random "selfies" I found of my phone of Alice... she cracks me up!

I often get asked about my choice to be a stay at home mum, and I have spoken about it on here before a few times! Well, here's another post about it. I guess I feel the need to keep writing about it because I feel like I have to keep justifying my decision to everyone all the time. We live in an age where there is a lot expected of women. Women are expected to have higher education, have good careers, have children and then bounce back to their pre-birth weight in a matter of weeks and then juggle raising their families and holding down their careers! We also live with a government who believes very strongly in the idea of work and the idea that if you do not work, you are doing something wrong. 

I hear so much about how work is not just about the money. It's about self-esteem, achievement and doing something worth while. If you want to feel fulfilled in your life, you must have a good job, because work comes first. 

But what is work? In our situation, if I worked full time I would lose nearly every penny I earned to childcare costs, even with the new policies. That's the way it is right now, I can't change that. So I would be working for free. Or in other words, I would be paying for someone else to raise my child while I worked all day long, with not a penny to show for it at the end of the day. Would that make me fulfilled? Would that help raise my self-esteem and make me feel I have achieved something at the end of my day? No. 

I have to be careful how I am wording this, because I know that there are lots of mums out there who either have to work, or who genuinely enjoy there careers and couldn't give them up because it does bring them a lot of joy. And if that's you, then that's great! But it's not me. I genuinely want to stay home with Alice, and I love raising her myself. I was raised by my mum, at home, and so I want the same for my daughter. 

Can we afford to live off one income? No! Of course not! In this economic climate, who on Earth can? But we get by. We make sacrifices so that we can live the way we want. Just like working mums make a sacrifice to be able to live the way they want. We are no different really, we are all just making hard choices for our families and doing what we believe to be best for us. 

Being a stay at home mum is not always easy. It's blooming hard. There have definitely been times where I have wanted to stick Alice in daycare and go to work instead of stay at home. She is demanding, stressful and very very tiring. My day starts at 5.30am and ends... with a little luck, at about 7pm. Though sometimes I am up 2 or 3 times in the night as well. On top of that, I make all the meals everyday, do all the washing and ironing, clean the house and do the constant pile of washing up on the side. Add to that a toddler routine to stick to and it is not an easy life at all. 

I complain very little about my life, because I also know that I am incredibly lucky. I am so thankful that we can survive on one income, that I can raise Alice myself and I am happy doing it too! I often hear working mums say things like, "I would be bored all day at home". Or "I wouldn't want to spend all my time with my children." Well you know what, I LOVE spending time with Alice. That's why I had her, because I wanted her! Why on Earth would I have a child to just leave it with someone else all day? It doesn't make sense to me. 

And as for being bored? That is something that can happen very easily and I can see why people worry about that. I'm afraid it's up to you to do something about it. there are plenty of play groups and toddler classes and mummy meet-ups around if you look. I take Alice to story time at the library, play group on a Friday, the park every single day and a new class that has opened in our shopping centre for messy play on a Thursday. The rest of the day is spent running errands, shopping for food, cleaning the house or playing in the garden. I refuse to sit down all day and do nothing. That really would be boring! 

There is so much media and government policies making everyone feel that going back to work straight away is the right thing to do. That staying at home with your children is the wrong thing, not only for you, but for the whole country. In fact, stay at home mums are made to feel quite ashamed of the choice they are making, and that really does make me feel sad.

The truth is, simply throwing your child into a nursery after they are born is not natural. It doesn't feel right. If it did, there would be a lot less tears from mums at the morning drop off. Mums wouldn't feel guilty.

I'm not trying to make working mums feel guilty here! I'm just tired of hearing about how much better working mum's are than stay-at-home mums. I am tired of hearing how I am doing the wrong thing, instilling the wrong ideas about work into my child by staying at home for her first few years. And I am sick and tired of the media and the government sending out this message that mums should get back to work as soon as they possibly can because their careers will suffer, or they will lack self-esteem when we all know it's because our economy is crap. I know some mums have to work to survive, but I am angry at our society for trying to tell us how to raise our children, and not allowing us the choice to raise them as we see fit.

Working mum's are not "better" than stay at home mums, and stay at home mums are certainly no better at being a mum than working mums! Being a mum is hard, whether you work 40 hours a week or not. 

So why do I stay at home with Alice? I made the choice that was right for me. I didn't listen to the media, I didn't listen to the government. Alice is my child, this is her childhood I am making, her memories. And I made sure that I can live with the choice I made. After all, we only get one chance at this thing called life! 



xx

5 comments:

  1. Love the selfies - hilarious!
    I totally agree with this. I have struggled with feelings of worthlessness since having my daughter and not going back to work as people really seem to judge by what job you do! It's nice to hear from another stay at home mum who is loving it!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I totally agree with this post, i work only work 10.5 hours a week (over 3 day + overtime) and im no better off going back so i cant imagine going back full time. I think not missing out on so many first moments is a million times better than the big of extra money you can get.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I must admit I never really respected my stay at home mum friends until I became a mum myself.

    Unfortunately we can't afford to live without my little added income. I'm due to go back to work in September, but as I can't bare the thought of leaving my little man in childcare I've said I'll only do 3 shifts a week, evenings & weekends. That way the little man can have daddy time while I'm working. I couldn't imagine going back to work full time & leaving him with a stranger for 40+ hours!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Here here! You always put this kind of post across really well. I am a stay at home mummy also as you know & am actually considering returning to some sort of job just to avoid all the general backlash you get for being a stay at home mum but I think 'why the hell should I feel like this' ...I have some stressful days with my two little ones but I love bringing them up myself. Anyway, you have your passion for photography which should take off so its not as if you dont have work in mind at all xx

    ReplyDelete
  5. Here here! You always put this kind of post across really well. I am a stay at home mummy also as you know & am actually considering returning to some sort of job just to avoid all the general backlash you get for being a stay at home mum but I think 'why the hell should I feel like this' ...I have some stressful days with my two little ones but I love bringing them up myself. Anyway, you have your passion for photography which should take off so its not as if you dont have work in mind at all xx

    ReplyDelete

I love hearing your thoughts... (And don't forget to follow me too!)

Latest pins

Subscribe