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Month: May 2017

#MumisBest Guest Post – Nahdia from Nahdz_Adventures

#MumisBest Guest Post – Nahdia from Nahdz_Adventures

Welcome to another instalment of my new guest series #MumisBest!  #MumisBest is all about the ever-growing SAHM/working mum debate.  I really want this series to highlight that there’s no right or wrong way, but whatever works for you and you family.  If you’d like to take part do get in touch, I’d love to hear from you!  For now I will leave you in the hands of Nahdia from Nahdz_Adventures!

 

My name is Nahdia and I am a mum of two boys aged 6 and 3. Currently I work 3 days a week as my partner is a bus driver and with his shift patterns I need to be able to do the school run and house domestics.I feel like someone needs to hold down the fort. One thing I wanted my boys to have is consistency. So when my eldest started school I started working part time because I didn’t want everyday someone different to pick him up. I have the support from his dad, my mum, my sister, my brother etc. But I felt like it was putting a strain on others plus every week it was someone different which I felt wasn’t fair on a year one child. I decided to put him in after school clubs on the days I worked because I worked around the corner from him and only needed childcare for a 30 minute period. I know do a pick up share with one of the parents, I pick up her son one day of the week and she picks up mine 1-2 times of the week.

 

Currently I work in a school which means I work term time and get all the holiday’s off with my children. For me this works brilliantly because I wouldn’t want to dream of sending them to holiday clubs. This is just my opinion of my children going out on trips with these clubs I wouldn’t feel comfortable. Working 3 days a week and having the term times off is perfect for me at the moment. However when my youngest starts school I will have another hurdle to cross as I would want to work more hour which would fit around term time. I love working part time because it gives me the days off with my youngest to pre him for school and do early years related activities.

 

I’ve thought about working full time and I always think, when will I do my food shopping? When will I get to mop and polish? Would I spend my Saturday’s just cleaning? So now this is a turn off but eventually I will have to make it work.


You can see more from Nahdia here:

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#MumisBest Guest Post – Denver from Denver’s Diary

#MumisBest Guest Post – Denver from Denver’s Diary

 

Welcome to another instalment of my new guest series #MumisBest!  #MumisBest is all about the ever-growing SAHM/working mum debate.  I really want this series to highlight that there’s no right or wrong way, but whatever works for you and you family.  If you’d like to take part do get in touch, I’d love to hear from you!  For now I will leave you in the hands of  Denver from Denver’s Diary!

 

Back in my Great Grandma’s life, (when she was a young woman), without question when she had her children, she would be a stay at home mum. That’s how things worked backed then, the women stayed at home raising the babies and the men slaved away at work all day. Progressively, over the years things have changed and luckily, some of us get the option to go back to work OR stay at home (under our own will). For those mums who don’t have a choice and must go to work AND raise children, I think you are magic, it takes real guts to do both! I have been so lucky that I can stay at home with my baby without financial worry, I cannot imagine having to work on top of raising a child. Caring for a baby is a full-time job, never mind having the stress of going to work on top of that as well (seriously, working mums must be superheroes).

That being said, as lucky as I am to spend day after day with my bubba, it can get very, very lonely and repetitive. I moved to Scotland to be with my partner, that means we live 250 miles away from my family, my partner’s family and all our friends. We chose to take the plunge and do this due to my partner’s work, at the time we were child free and it was the leap we had to take to further our relationship. So, as you can imagine, being at home with a baby all day with no help from family or friends can make you feel insane. Especially when you have had no adult interaction or conversation all day. I went through a phase of being jealous of my partner, because he could escape the duties of being a parent and go off to work, talk to likeminded people (even if it is just about work stuff) and not be worrying when the next feed is.

After a while of feeling sorry for myself, I sat and had a think about how hard my partner works to provide for us and how heart wrenching it must feel to not be able to spend time with his baby apart from weekends and booked days off. I honestly wouldn’t change being a stay at home mum for the world. Even though sometimes I feel like screaming (and sometimes I stand outside and do) I get to be here for every milestone, development and lesson my baby learns. If I was to go to work, that is what I would be sacrificing.

I think working mums and stay at home mums get a lot of s**t. If you’re working, you’re being selfish, if you stay at home, you’re being lazy. You can’t win either way. That’s why, all mums whether you’re a stay at home mum or not need to support each other. If we don’t have each other’s backs, then who will? Stay at home mums, you’re amazing. Working mums, you’re amazing. And every mum in between, you’re amazing too.

 

Bio:

I’m a Yorkshire girl living in Scotland with my fiancé, baby boy & dog. I love all things old and weird. The purpose of this blog is to document my struggles as a mother and the joy of raising my son, I’m definitely no expert at it and I’m just trying to be the best parent i can be. Hopefully, along the way, i can encourage other mums to support and help each other, to try and figure out this impossible job called ‘parenting’.

You can see more from Denver here:

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Helping Your Children Cope with the Emotional Effects of Moving

Helping Your Children Cope with the Emotional Effects of Moving

It would be great if the first home we moved into were perfect, but sometimes life isn’t that simple. There are so many reasons why moving home may be the only option for you and your family. Enhanced career prospects, a better education for your children and a more desirable community.  These are just a few of the reasons you might be considering leaving your current home.  Besides the practical stresses that accompany any move, there are the emotional effects of moving. Adults can cope with these quite well, but change can often have a harder impact on little ones. For a happy child, it’s important to know what you’re facing with a home move at any stage of your child’s development. Here are a few ways to help everyone settle into a new environment.

 

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The Facts

Numerous studies have been carried out into the psychological effects of moving home on children. Unfortunately, it’s not all good news. Introverted children in particular, seem to bear the brunt of moving the hardest. They can find it more difficult to make new friends in new places. Extroverted kids have an easier time, but it’s still important to keep an eye on their progress post-move.

The Good News

The good news is that you can easily help. The key to coping with a child troubled by a move is patience. Kids might become more clingy when they find themselves in an unfamiliar situation and place. Bear with them it can take time, but they will begin to make friends, settle in and get back to their old selves. Encourage them to take part in new clubs and activities. This is the best way to get them chatting to their peers and enjoying the new environment.

 

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The Moving Process

One way to ease anxious kids is to involve them completely in the moving process. Introduce them to the place they’re going to be living in before the big move. Show them all the positive things going on around their new home and all the fun things that await them. On moving day, focus your attention on them. Make life easier for yourself by checking out removal services through Shiply. The less you have to worry about, the more you can check on your little ones and keep smiles on their faces. Once you’re moved in, give them freedom. Let them choose colours in their new rooms and maybe let them help with the painting. The last thing you want is them feeling uncomfortable or lost.

New schools

New homes mean new schools. This can be daunting, but it’s nothing unsurpassable. Get your child involved in as many local activities as possible. Dance troops, swimming clubs, brownies and scouts. A familiar face on the playground will make a strange new school seem a much brighter place.

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Old Friends

A big worry for children moving home is missing their old friends, but today it’s easier to keep in touch than ever. We have mobiles, video calls and endless social media platforms. Reassure your kids that this isn’t goodbye forever. They can see their friends and chat with them when they want.

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#Blogstravaganza #19

#Blogstravaganza #19

Happy Saturday you lovely linkers!

I hope you’ve all had a fabulous week and have enjoyed the sunshine.  We had a great turn out last week with 48 links, thank you all so much!

We have a fab little community over on Instagram too, again thank you all so much for tagging your photos with #Blogstravaganza.  I love Instagram so it’s great to see you all over there!

Featured Blogger

My favourite post from last week was Postpartum Body – A Husband’s Perspective from Autumn’s Mummy.  A lot of us feel differently about our bodies after having children, this fabulous post is proof that what we see isn’t always what others see!  Laura, grab your badge here:

 


It would be great to continue to spread some love over on Instagram, please do remember to use the #Blogstravaganza tag on your images! Here are a couple of my favourites from this week!

 

Don’t forget the join the #Blogstravaganza – Blog Share & Support group on Facebook.  If you want to share your posts, get some advice from fellow bloggers or simply have a chat, do head over and check it out!

 

I’m still on the look out for guest posts for my new series #MumisBest, if you’d like to take part please get in touch!

*Permissions* By linking up you are agreeing to me sending you an email and/or Tweet reminder each week for #Blogstravaganza.



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Freelancing – Earning a Living as a Stay at Home Mum

Freelancing – Earning a Living as a Stay at Home Mum

It has been said a million times, but it’s true, being a stay at home mum is more work than a full-time job, and your shift never really ends! However, many of us still feel unsatisfied in regards to our careers, or are simply a bit short on cash, and crave something to help with both. It might be simply impossible, or you may just not want to go back to a job, which would mean leaving your kids with a childcare professional (and therefore adding an extra expense) while you are at work. However, it is possible to make money from working, on top of taking care of your family. Freelancing offers work that fits around your schedule, and as much or as little as you’d like. Perhaps a few adjustments will have to be made to give yourself some time, which is not always easy- but since when was motherhood ever easy? Here are some tips on why, and how you can go freelance.

Going freelance is a good idea, specifically for full time parents, because it enables you to choose exactly what type of work you want to do and how many hours you are willing to work. Instead of a 9-5 job that often requires sitting at a desk all day, a freelancer has complete control to choose how her (or his) career goes. The more experience gained, the better and higher quality projects come around. That means the responsibility and money earned is completely dependent upon the determination of the freelancer. It is also means that no workday will look the same.

If this seems like a good idea for you, you should take a moment whilst the kids are sleeping in the evening, or while they are watching TV to go onto your laptop and have a look at what is out there. If you are reading this article, chances are you enjoy reading blogs and sharing ideas, and there are some really useful sites such as blog Jobrapido, which offers realistic and professional advice on all aspects of job searching.

You’ll find many different freelancing options, for all different job types with different companies. For example, take freelance writing. Many blog owners will hire freelance writers to write articles on their blogs. If you enjoy writing and being creative, but are also willing to do the research to create quality articles, this is work that is high in demand. Or there is website design. If you love design and are familiar with Photoshop, you can take these skills into the freelance space. Learning the goals and personality of the website owner can help you create one of a kind pieces on your own time and earn some money along the way.

Working as a freelancer can have a very positive affect on a mother’s life. Having the ability to make money and keep the career-motivated part of you satisfied helps those who are interested, stay more balanced and happy overall. Overall, freelancing/doing what you love and being a stay at home mum seems pretty close to balancing the best of both worlds.

 

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*Published in partnership with Mary Johnson.

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Loving The Life Less Lived – A Mental Health Awareness Week Giveaway

Loving The Life Less Lived – A Mental Health Awareness Week Giveaway

Mental Health Awareness week 2017 falls between 8th – 17th May.  In light of this, here at The Tale of Mummyhood, we are giving away a copy of the fabulous book LOVING THE LIFE LESS LIVED by Gail Marie Mitchell.

 

‘Loving The Life Less Lived is an emotional rollercoaster, it’s an honest, often brutal example of how anxiety can affect your life.

It is also a beacon of hope, that acceptance truly does have the power to change your life.’

Author, Shelley Wilson

 


For your chance to win this fabulous book, all you have to do is enter using the form below.  Please do take a peek at the terms and conditions…good luck!

 

Loving The Life Less Lived Book Giveaway

 

 

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Building Reading Habits For Baby Bookworms

Building Reading Habits For Baby Bookworms

We all like different things.  It’s what makes the world turn.  Things would be boring otherwise. Even when we like the same things, we like doing them in different ways.  Take reading, for example.  For some reason that we can’t quite fathom, it’s not for everyone.   Even the tastes of established bookworms vary.  We’re not only talking genre, though that’s one huge difference. Often, tastes change in the way people read. Some people can read whilst walking.  Others wouldn’t dream of picking up a book unless they knew they could finish a chapter. Some people can read while they cook or clean. Others like to snuggle down and get stuck in, but what if you’ve just started on your reading journey?  You won’t know what suits you yet, and the advice varies so much that it could be hard to decide.  That’s why we’ve taken a look at some of the favourite reading spots out there.  Whether you choose to take inspiration from each of these or follow them the way they are, they’re sure to give you some ideas.

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The first thing to consider is comfort.  Of course, it’s not necessary for everyone.  Those who read while they’re walking have given up the quest for comfort to pursue their passion.  For most of us though the more comfortable we are while reading, the better.  We love books so much because they allow us to escape, right?  So, it makes sense that we find a comfortable spot in which to escape! It can also help with all these spots, to stock up on a hot drink and a packet of cookies.  Who doesn’t love a snack whilst they read?  Trust me, once you’re settled in the perfect spot, you aren’t going to want to move!

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A LIBRARY

While it’s not necessary to surround yourself with books, it can help get you into the reading mood.  Every book lover knows that having books all around makes for the best reading environment.   A library also gives you a space where you can keep all those books you’ll be buying.  So, if you have a spare room you should give some serious thought to making a library.

So, how do you go about making the perfect library?  Of course, this all comes down to personal taste.  There’s no getting around the fact that you’ll need bookcases.  It’s worth buying more than you need.  Book collections have a baffling habit of growing at a fast rate.  Don’t worry if you have empty shelves for a while.  Get creative and use them to display ornaments or things that add something to the room. You’ll be glad of those extra shelves.  There’s nothing worse than having to curb your book obsession because you don’t have room for any more.  Chances are you would buy them anyway and end up stacking them all over the place.  Not that we’re against the odd book stack!

That’s the shelving taken care of, but how is this going to become your favourite reading spot? That’s where your library chair comes into play.  Every good library has a comfortable chair.  Pick a chair that you can imagine yourself relaxing in. Think about your reading tastes as they stand. Do you like to stretch out, or are you happy to curl up in an armchair?  If you want space, you could opt for a library sofa instead.  Who said you have to stick with tradition?  Then, stock up on blankets and cushions to suit your tastes.   Don’t forget to buy a small table to go next to your chair, you’ll need it for your snacks and drinks!

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THE PERFECT BEDROOM

Talking of readers who like to relax, many readers enjoy reading in bed.  It makes sense. What better place to escape and unwind in the evening?  Of course there are more reasons to get the perfect bed than just making it right for reading, but to make this the perfect reading spot stock up on new pillows from somewhere like Plumeria Bay.  These will ensure you’re comfortable when you read and sleep.  You could stock up on a nice blanket here, too!  To make things more relaxing, you could also stock up on some candles. Nothing beats a little candlelight and a beautiful scent whilst you’re reading.  To add to the atmosphere, you could stock up on literary inspired candles for the occasion.

Think about the lighting in your room.  Stark lighting isn’t going to help you relax.  If anything, it’ll glare off the page and give you a headache.  To ensure you can read for as long as you want, think about dimming that lighting a little.  It’s worth stocking up on bedside lamps that you can turn on and off at your discretion.  They’ll offer a much more relaxing ambiance to the room.  They’ll also ensure the glare on your page won’t be too much.

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ON THE SOFA

Reading on the couch is always a treat.  Much like with reading in bed, it allows you to stretch out and relax.  The good thing about couch reading is that your brain is less likely to think it’s bed time.  That’s not to say that it’s not easy to fall asleep on the sofa.  It most definitely is!  If you live on your own, you’ll be able to enjoy all the uninterrupted couch time you like.  The best part about this is that you can use it as an excuse to stop watching television!  Instead of watching programs you have no interest in, get lost in a book that you love.

If you live with your family, it may be a little harder to find decent chunks of sofa time.  Does your family turn the television on the moment they get home?  No surprises there. Get into the habit of grabbing the chances when you can.  If you have a free house for an hour, hop on the sofa and get reading.  If your partner reads too, you could encourage him to stop watching television in the evenings.  It could do you both the world of good!

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THE KITCHEN?

Ok this one isn’t so much about comfort, but it’s worth mentioning anyway.  Many people seem to enjoy reading in the kitchen.  It is after all, the hub of most homes.  The good thing about reading in the kitchen is that you’re close to everything you need.  You can have all the hot drinks you like when the kettle’s right beside you.  Snacks won’t be a problem, either!  Bear in mind that there may be some traffic through the kitchen if you have a family at home.  For perfect kitchen reading, you’ll need to learn how to block out distractions.  If you get used to people coming and going as you read, you might find you’re able to read when you’re out and about too!

To add some comfort to the experience, stock up on some good kitchen chairs.  It’s worth either buying padded seats or investing in some seat covers for them.  Hours of reading on a hard chair are sure to leave you with a numb bum! Find a position that you’re happy with.  It might be worth sticking your feet up on another chair, just don’t let the kids see you!   Think about buying yourself a special mug for the occasion.  As you’re going to be drinking more hot beverages, you could always get a unique literary mug for your reading sessions!

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Five Reasons You Should Exercise More

Five Reasons You Should Exercise More

I’ve always loved exercise, fitness and I are no stranger.  I’ve spent most of the past year working out at home, but with the Littlest turning one this month I’ve been feeling like it’s time to get back into keeping myself fit and healthy with a passion!

After re-joining my pre-baby gym, I spent a few days finding my feet with the equipment.  I then had a program drawn up by one of the trainers.  Having always trained by myself, this was a real eye-opener for me.  My trainer put me through my paces for around an hour, reintroducing me to the world I know and love!

Even though I have continued to exercise, doing it in the gym feels different.  The environment makes me work harder and the latest equipment makes working out much easier than you’d think.  So in light of my reignited passion for working out, here are five reasons why you should get more exercise:

Exercise boosts your energy levels.

When you first start exercising it can seem completely knackering.  Stick with it though, because once you start to become a little fitter your energy levels will increase.  You’ll eventually want to work out even more.   I for one always feel more lethargic if I haven’t been active enough during the day.  Even if it’s just a walk around the block, I guarantee it’ll make you feel alive!

Exercise reduces blood pressure.

This can only be a good thing, right?  In this day and age our lives can be so stressful.  Juggling work, children and everything else in between can see our blood pressure rising.  Taking a little time out to exercise can help to reduce stress and bring blood pressure back down to where it should be.

Exercise can improve your mood.

Depression and anxiety can be difficult to over come.  A lot of the time exercise will be the last thing you feel like doing.  However, if you can find it in yourself to push towards doing even a little, it often helps to lift your mood.  As an anxiety sufferer, I can vouch for the benefits that exercise has had on my mental health.  I find working out gives me the focus I need to distract myself from anxious thoughts and feelings.

Exercise can help you get better sleep.

This ties in well with the improvement of mood through exercise.  Not only are we wearing ourselves out a little more than usual, but our minds and bodies will feel more rested.  No more going to bed with an overactive brain, imagine the benefits you’ll reap from a good nights sleep!

Exercise can be fun!

Not all exercise is hard or boring.  There are so many different things you can do: classes, swimming, walking, running and many more.  You may have to try a few different activities to find what you like most, but wouldn’t it be great if you were exercising and having fun at the same time?

 

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Kite & Cosmic Children’s Clothes in Association with I CAN! Charity

Kite & Cosmic Children’s Clothes in Association with I CAN! Charity

This week we had a fantastic opportunity to work with M & Co on their new Kite & Cosmic children’s clothing range.   This Spring/Summer collection is designed by TV and radio presenter Kate Garraway, as well as being in support of children’s charity I CAN!  Like most parent’s I love buying clothes for my girls, so when I saw what this range had to offer and how much support it gives to I CAN!  I just couldn’t say no.

I CAN! is a children’s communication charity.   It works with vulnerable children in order to develop their speech, language and communication skills for them to get the best out of life.  I CAN! was established in 1888 and is still going strong today.

Looking through the clothing range, we were spoilt for choice.  The clothes are funky and modern for both boys and girls, aged 3-12.  They also ensure comfort and movability through the use of elasticated waist bands and soft, stretchy materials.  The designs are perfect for my eldest daughter, offering her the chance to explore the world with ease whilst looking very cool as she does!

When our order arrived I was immediately impressed.  The colours are bright and the designs are clear, my daughter loves the look of her new threads!  As a parent, I’m very pleased with the quality feel to each item that we received.  They seem comfortable and durable, perfect for the most inquisitive of toddlers!

My favourite item was the Sequin French Bulldog Tulle Hem Top, I love this motif and the use of sequins.  Sparkles are a big hit in our house, so it was a must have!

 

 

Baby J looks so relaxed in this photo, it’s easy to see just how comfortable this range is.  I love motif so much that we had the French Bulldog Print T-Shirt and the French Bulldog Print Leggings too!

 

 

Here are some other pieces that we adore:

 

Sequin Bow Top

 

Stripe Bow Applique Leggings

 

My daughter and I are super happy with her new clothes, we will definitely be back to restock her wardrobe next season!

 

*We were sent a range of Kite & Cosmic clothes for the purpose of this review.  All thoughts and opinions are our own.

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#MumisBest Guest Post – Helen from Talking Mums

#MumisBest Guest Post – Helen from Talking Mums

Welcome to the first instalment of my new guest series #MumisBest!  #MumisBest is all about the ever-growing SAHM/working mum debate.  I really want this series to highlight that there’s no right or wrong way, but whatever works for you and you family.  If you’d like to take part do get in touch, I’d love to hear from you!  For now I will leave you in the hands of Helen from Talking Mums!

 

What kind of mum is best for a child?

 

When I saw the opportunity to take part in Zoe’s new series I really wanted to have my say. I feel like I can express both points of view. You see after my first child I went back to work when she was 10 months old. Doing what many families do and placed her in nursery 3 days a week from 8am until 5.15pm. Nursery cost us half my monthly income. This was a bill for approx. £600 per month. I did this because I had too. My OH had a full time job, we were looking at buying a family home, we wanted to go holidays and have a comfortable lifestyle. To do this, going to work was necessary. There was also the aspect that my career is something I have worked really hard for and I actually think I do a pretty good job too.

 

I don’t regret this decision either. Pops flourished at nursery. I hated leaving her for such a long day but she seemed to love it. I enjoyed going to work (mostly) and keeping that part of my identity. I gave up the monotony of cbeebies from maternity leave to actually having adult conversations and felt like I was actually helping people doing my job. I did feel like I had a nice balance of working part time and being at home.

 

Roll on to baby number two. About half way through maternity leave our eldest started school. This was the game changer. My job is a 1 hour and 15 min drive away. To start work at 08:30 I need to leave home at 7am. No school breakfast club at that time! At the other end of the day I don’t get home until 6 – 6:30pm, guess what no after school club open till that time. Could I find a registered childminder in my area – no! I asked around, I had lists from the council and checked websites too. The nearest childminders didn’t do drop offs and pick ups at the school Pops would attend. We also have no help from family.

 

So what to do? Fortunately, over the years my OH has worked hard and does well with his work. So the discussion of a career break came up. I would be taking a 5 year break in my career and not have my own income but yet I would be able to stay at home with Pud, not pay someone else to look after him and get to do all the school stuff with Pops. My career will always be there so long as I keep up my registration through a few shifts a year. I figured I may regret not doing it, but I would be unlikely to regret doing it.

 

I applied for it and got it. I’ve been a SAHM now for about 3 short months following maternity leave. Positives are as I said above. Downsides are the strange adjustment to not going to work, a loss of identity and my own income. I also feel this sense of needing to be superwoman. I’m at home therefore I should have time and should be able to achieve so much including a tidy house and attend multiple playgroups. But I don’t, having a clingy toddler inhibits this to some extent.

 

I guess what I’m trying to get across is that most of make our decisions based on circumstances and necessity. Not often on choice alone. There is always a sense of ‘the grass is always greener on the other side’ but I think it’s only natural to miss what you don’t have. When you are a working mum you miss not spending time with your children. When you’re a SAHM you miss the social side to work and the professional identity you once had. It hard to have it all and find the perfect balance. Part time work is advantageous with flexible working to accommodate childcare but this is pretty hard to come by.

 

We all as mums want to do the very best for our children. An inevitable part of this desire is feeling guilty about what we feel we can’t or don’t do. This pushes us to justify the decisions we make, which can sometimes be construed as belittling the people who have made the opposite decision. There is no perfect solution in my mind, we just have to make the most of our situations. Whichever way our paths take us, being a working mum or a SAHM offer benefits to our children as do they have drawbacks. Neither one superseding the other.

 

Children will be thrive in whichever setting they grow up. So what kind of mum is best for a child? Well in my book it’s a mum who makes it clear to their child they are loved. Whether you are a working mum or a SAHM you do this all the time without thinking. So keep calm and carry on being a mum!

 

 

You can see more from Helen here!

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