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 Zoe from Mummy and Liss!
I’m Zoe from Mummy & Liss, I’m 18 years old and a young mum to Alyssia Grace, I’m a Stay at home mum and I am from Somerset. First of all I want to start by making it clear that there is no right or wrong way, but whatever way works for you and your family.
As I said above, I am a Stay at home mum to my now 1 year old little girl, some would say that this is a ‘cop out’ as I am not actually going out to work and contributing to the ‘money pot’ at the end of the month however in my opinion, this can be just as challenging.
Before having my daughter last year, I wanted to be a midwife or a paediatric nurse, both in which I still really love the thought of. I applied for an apprenticeship in a hospital 30 minutes away from my home, but had to withdraw my application when I found out I was pregnant. I am a young mum, so I left school and was thrown right into the deep end of motherhood. I have always wanted to be a mother, and I have stepped in and played the mother role to my 2 younger brothers when my own mum fell poorly with extreme postnatal depression when I was just 11 years old, I was actually classed as a Young Carer at the time and went to a support group once a fortnight. I am now 18 years old (nearly 19) with a little girl who is now 1 years old.
Like many other new mummies to be, when I found out I was pregnant, I panicked. I didn’t just panic at the thought of telling my parents or the pain of giving birth, but the worries about where we would live alongside the financial worries of how we would afford everything. As I said, when I found out I was pregnant I was just 16 years old. I was living with my boyfriend and his mum at the time (not ideal, but it worked for a while) Until she found out I was pregnant and kicked me out. My boyfriend got an apprenticeship and worked a job alongside college to help bring some money in for our soon to be ‘little family’. I battled for months with depression and with the help of the mental health team and the midwives, I got my own flat when I was 8 months pregnant. I applied for various jobs whilst pregnant but as soon as I told them that I was pregnant, they turned their noses up at me. Time flew by, and in February 2016 I had my daughter Alyssia. My partner had 2 weeks paternity leave and then had to go back to work full time. I was at home on my own, all day every day with a newborn baby who was at the time suffering with colic. It was an extremely tough time for me and my whole world changed when I had my daughter.
I was definitely very naive before having a baby, I assumed that when the baby sleeps I would get on with all of the housework and everywhere would be spotless. That wasn’t always the case though, I was exhausted and actually fell asleep with her alot of the time. My partner would work 8am until 5pm every night and I would always make sure his dinner was on the table and all of the housework was done by the time he got home, but I really did struggle to cope at times. I was so exhausted and in my own little bubble that I didn’t really contact anybody for days, didn’t leave the house and just got on with life. It wasn’t until somebody asked me when the last time I went outside was, and I couldn’t tell you.. It was over a week and I was getting really down in the dumps.
As I said above, Alyssia suffered with colic from about 3 weeks old – I breastfed for the first 2 weeks and she was then moved onto Aptamil formula which I didn’t realise at the time she was allergic to, hence the colic. Some days I felt like going to work would be much easier than trying to juggle everything else. I needed a break and this seemed to be the only way out but I decided that actually my baby needed me more than ever and I needed to do what was right for me and my family. My daughter is now 15 months old and usually at 1 years old alot of the working mums will be returning back to work and sorting out childcare. I absolutely love being a Stay at home mum, I have been able to watch my baby grow up and see all of her firsts which some mum’s may miss by going to work. However I can imagine its not always financially possible, for example: If you have a mortgage to pay off, both parents may need to work in order to be able to achieve this. I rent a property and all in all, it benefits me more to stay at home with my daughter than to go out and work and spend it all on childcare (earning next to nothing at all). I do quite often feel the pressure and feel like I’m not contributing enough but then I remember what I do actually do, and sometimes I feel like being a stay at home mum is actually much harder.
I started blogging in January 2017 and moved over to a self hosted blog in March 2017 after my little girl had just turned 1 years old. My plan for this year is to build my platforms and then hopefully, if all goes well – in 2018 I plan to go Self Employed with my blog and become a “Stay at home working mum”. I plan to have my children and then when they are all grown up, I would like to maybe get back in the game and work for the NHS.
I feel like the term “STAY AT HOME MUM” often gets read as, “somebody with children who stays at home all day doing nothing” I just want to clarify, that is definitely not the case.
A typical day to day life of a Stay at home mum with a toddler would be:
· 7.30 am – Daddy goes to work
· 7.45 am – Wake up & Change Alyssias nappy
· 8.00 am – Breakfast
· 8.30 am – Get dressed, Cuddles & TV
· 9.00 am – Alyssia plays with her toys while I pack last nights dishes away, I clean down the sides & tidy the kitchen, I also put a wash load on and fold any washing that has been dried and not yet packed away.
· 9.30 – I will sit down and spend some quality time with Alyssia, usually we will read books or just play with her toys together. She loves sitting on my lap and reading together.
· 10.00 am – Snack time, Alyssia will usually have some fruit or a biscuit with a drink around this time and If it is a blogging day (Monday, Wednesday, Friday) I will post my blog post and update my social media.
· 11 am – Alyssia usually has a nap around this time but she is 15 months old now and we are slowly trying to cut out the nap times, depending on how busy we are and what we are doing. This is my time to crack on with the rest of the housework including packing the toys away for the 1000th time.
· 12pm – Lunchtime for both of us.
· 1pm – Alyssia is usually full of energy after she has had a nap and some lunch so she runs around the flat with her pram and will quite often just sit nicely playing by herself while I wash up the lunchtime dishes and clean the kitchen again.
· 2pm – Rob usually comes home from work around this time, he is self employed so it can be anytime really. (Monday we do the dreaded food shop all together or we get it delivered)
· 3pm – Snack time again (On a Wednesday we go to my Grandad’s around this time)
· 4pm – I start to prep dinner
· 5.30 pm – Dinner time
· 6.00 pm – Bath time
· 6.30 pm – Cbeebies & Bed
· 7.30 pm – After Alyssia has gone to bed, I wipe down all of the sides, sweep the floors, give the kitchen a quick 10 minute blitz with the anti bac & zoflora, have a general tidy up, tidy away all of the toys and sit down to watch the soaps.
Whether you label yourself as a Stay at home mum, Stay at home working mum, working mum or just a mum.. there is no right or wrong way and you need to do what is best for you and your family.
You can see more from Zoe here: