I’m often asked what it’s like being a stay at home Mum, and if it makes me happy. My standard response is this;
“There are some days I’m tearing my hair out and it’s bloody hard work, yet there are other days when I feel like the luckiest person on the planet”.
I’ve written so many posts about why being a parent is hard, why I miss my old part time working set up, why sometimes it’s a struggle to stay sane as a stay at home Mum, yet I’ve never written exactly what I LOVE about being at home with the kids at this point in life.
Perhaps the reason being that I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. I don’t want to be smug, gloating about some kind of perfect existence whilst there are probably people who might love to have this chance but for whatever reason cannot. Or perhaps those who quite frankly just couldn’t do it, and might see me as some kind of over the top perfect mother (and we all know how irritating that can be).
I once read a post about why working Mums make better Mums, and to be totally honest, it cut like a knife. So, let’s get it out there right now, I do not believe stay at home parents make better parents. I do not believe working parents make better parents. I believe parents that love their kids with all their capability, try with everything they have to give them the best start, who retain a sense of self amongst the chaos of parenthood, the ones that are trying their best make the BEST parents.
But, in the spirit of positivity, and for anyone wondering why the hell I DON’T just go back to work in my old science career, here is why.
PERKS | Being a stay at home Mum is sometimes tough, for sure…BUT I’d be lying if I said there weren’t the occasional benefits ;-). Like for example, the new pre school being next door to the best tea room in town. Nom. . . . . . . . #coolmumclub #totsphoto #perfectandproud #rockingmummylife #clickinmoms #littlefierceones #childhoodunplugged #thismamaloves #366daysofpositive #myhappycapture #thismamaloves #dearphotographer #thatsdarling #funseekingkids #oureverydaymoments #cameramama #littlefierceones #ig_motherhood #pixelkids #cherisheverymoment #thehappynow #rememberingthesedays #littleandbrave #childofig #pinklinker #happylittlebuttons #tribalchat #capturingtheday #lionessmama #livingfearlesslyauthentic
- I don’t have to go to work. Let’s just think about that again. I don’t have to go to work! Can I get a whoop whoop! Now don’t get me wrong I enjoyed some elements of working, but there were certainly parts of it that appealed like a hole in the head. There’s a reason everyone gets all get excited about Fridays right? For me, now every day is a Friday and that sinking Sunday night feeling is no more.
- It’s opened up options for my children. Being a working Mum to pre-school kids can be a bit of a headache as the pre-school system seems to be geared around the hours of 9-12. Being made redundant meant we moved from one childcare option (a local day nursery) to dozens of lovely different pre-schools in our area.
- We know how to work the toddler group circuit. I remember going back to work after my first and feeling so gutted that we’d no longer get to go to the couple of groups where we’d met lovely people and had been our lifeline in that first year of parenthood. The littles have still been able to do all the groups that they love right up until they’ve got too big for them, or quite frankly, got bored of them.
- We are mid-week social butterflies. With so many friends having had young children in the last few years, keeping in touch at weekends alone would be a real tricky thing to achieve. Weekends are so precious and with endless kids parties, family events and (every now and again) a day all to ourselves, that being able to hang out with all the Mums and kids during the week has been priceless. We know exactly who is around on which days and there is never a dull moment in the midweek meet-ups schedule. The glory days of summer are here and there is no better time to be a stay at home Mum, believe me. But then again, those cosy snuggly winter days are pretty spesh too…
- Breakfast dates. With or without the kids, the mid-week post school run garden centre brekkie date with pals has to be one of the golden moments of stay at home Motherhood. The tea room, the cake, the fry up… it’s a massive highlight of the week! Indulgent? Perhaps. Earnt? DEFINITELY!
- The childcare hustle no more. Never again have we had to make the heartbreaking call to send a not quite 100% child to nursery or school because we really needed to be in that day.We celebrate the start of the summer holidays together as it means 6 weeks of fun without having to worry about any kind of childcare schedule. Inset days, half days, polling station days, they’re no skin off my nose and the stress elimination is priceless.
- Shit gets done. The sorting out of the shed. The decluttering of the wardrobes that won’t shut. The laundry. The grocery shopping. The nipping to the post office. This all seamlessly blends around our home existence meaning that evenings and weekends are our own to spend as a family. There may be a time you grab a couple of hours child free whilst tot is at nursery – clearly inadequate time to squeeze in a day at the office but perfect time to crack few some of those annoying little tasks that just need to be done…
- We call the shots. Some weeks we’ll work the toddler group circuit like a boss. Other weeks we hibernate indoors like a couple of recluses and blissfully play and chill to our hearts desire. We go where we want to go, because we have nowhere we need to be.
- It’s opened up opportunities. Being at home with the children has opened my eyes to what possibilities there are other than being ‘at work’ or ‘at home’. There are ways and means to make working around motherhood possible – and if you really want it, you can make it happen.
- I am here for my girls. Yes, don’t worry I hadn’t forgotten this one – I was saving the biggy until last. Being at home with the kids means I am the one here to hug them when they are upset. To laugh with them when the hilarious happens. To do their homework and to coerce them into eating. To explain what things just aren’t okay to say or do, and to praise them when they make me burst with pride. To potty train, to braid their hair, to make sure their bags are packed with the right things. To sing their favourite songs on the way to school, and to be the one waiting for them when the door opens at the end of the day. In the same way my Mum was the consistent figure throughout my childhood memories, I want to be theirs. To never miss an assembly, a sports day, a school or nursery meeting, a hospital appointment or a chat with the teacher. I can nurse them when they are sick, take them to their swimming lessons, cook impromptu tea for their pals and be here to listen when they need to tell me anything at all. I know I moan about all these things, but in all honesty, being the one to do all these things with my kids is an absolute privilege.
STRIPES & SQUEEZES | How’s your Thursday going #instamum crew? We are rocking a load of smiles, stripes and squeezes today after this little one and her sister had the best night sleep in, erm, forever! It seems as though the broken nights and ridic early starts are fading away? Or did I just jinx it? Getting woken up with a kiss and a coffee and a calm house seriously beats the grumpy demands of a pre-cbeebies Peppa Pig-athon which seemed like it was never going to give. In other news it’s Thursday and the #coolmumclub blogger link up is in full flow so head on over to have a read, find some new bloggers to follow, or, of course link up your own fab posts that need a little bit of limelight. @motherhoodrealdeal and I will be reading, commenting, tweeting and pinning your posts because quite frankly, you are all super cool Mamas. . . . . . . . . #thismamaloves #mummyshot #ukparentbloggers #myhappycapture #livingfearlesslyauthentic #pinklinker #totsphoto #snaphappybritmums #lionessmama #rockingmummylife #mydarlingmemory #funseekingkids #childofig #littlefierceones #outdoorsandfree #chasingnature #happylittlebuttons #whatevertheweather #rememberingthesedays #capturingtheday #perfectandproud #bestofmom #candidchildhood #theeverydayproject #photosinbetween #thesearethedays #inspiremyinstagram
Being a stay at home Mum isn’t always a bed of roses, but every now and again it’s important to remember that those girls won’t always need me as much as they do right now. And while they need me, I’m right here – and there’s nowhere on earth I’d rather be, because in the words of Aerosmith…I don’t wanna miss a thing.