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#MumisBest Guest Post – Lisa from Travelling with Kidz

#MumisBest Guest Post – Lisa from Travelling with Kidz

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 Lisa from Travelling with Kidz!

To Work or not to work now that is the question?

So I set out to do some research on working families. And do you know what  I discovered? Well, that in America during 2016 the mother was employed in 72.5% of the population and the father was employed 82.6% of those families. Interesting right. So what about the families that have both parents working what happens to their under school age children during the workday?

I myself have had different styles of childcare in my 12 years of being a mother. I enjoyed all of them and have learned through experience that there is really no wrong or right way for childcare choices. The services you see for childcare are either a good fit or a bad fit.

With my first child I had a younger family member move in with us to care for her. This was ideal for me because being my first child I was terrified of the idea of leaving her with complete strangers. It was something I was not accustomed to. My grandparents had taken care of me while my mother worked all the way through high school. So having a family member care for my child just came naturally. This worked out for about a year and a half. Then we learned we were expecting again so we had to seek alternative childcare.

We sought out an upstanding daycare provider that got good reviews online as well as wonderful reviews by word of mouth. So my 2 year old and my newborn were going to start the big “D” Daycare.  The year went well then we found out we were expecting again.

It was when that I felt the need to give stay at home mom a whirl. So with 3 children at home I found my days filled with love, happiness, laughter and a bit of craziness. I stayed home for a year and a half. I loved it but to be honest I longed for the interaction that work brought. I missed the work routine.

So I went back to work and again we found out we were expecting. So we went back to daycare and started with afterschool care at the older kids school. It went on like that for 5 years. It worked out for all of us.

It wasn’t until we had our 6th child that we decided that our daycare/afterschool fees were to high. I did some research and was shocked to find out that families were spending on average 10-25% of their monthly household income on childcare services! That’s a lot of money! However, I wasn’t ready to stay at home again. I still had career goals that I wanted to reach. (Don’t get me wrong I LOVE my family and they come before anything. But with 6 kids we needed to be a 2 income family)

It was then that I met a girl at work who was fun, caring and trustworthy. Not to mention that my children really liked spending time with her. So that was the beginning of Nanny adventure. I must say that it is a really good fit for us. She helps me out immensely at home with the children. This has by far been the best childcare option I have tried to date. This is my good fit.

As you can see I have tried out several forms of childcare and have found that for my needs a Nanny is the best fit for my family but again everyone is different. What do you do for childcare? What works best for you and your family?

Bio:

My name is Lisa. I am a wife and a mommy of 6. Also work full time outside of my house. I am a vacation planner, a peace keeper, a beginning blogger, a money saver and the owner of many other hats.

Social links:

Fb: https://www.facebook.com/Adventuresofsuper8/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/adventuresuper8

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/adventuresofsuper8/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/811985007787683779/

Google +: https://plus.google.com/u/2/102262470158327428500

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#MumisBest Guest Post – Becca from My Girls & Me!

#MumisBest Guest Post – Becca from My Girls & Me!

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 Becca from My Girls & Me!

I have always seen what working with children is like as both my parents have done it.  My mum and dad used to work long shifts to support us and they always looked so exhausted. I knew what they were doing and that was giving me and my sisters what we needed by going to work. We always had clothes on our back, food in our bellies and we were always warm.

I have never wanted to have children. There were enough in the family to keep me happy ha-ha! But I ended up having a surprise pregnancy and I was in love, now I can’t help but want more babies! When I had my first, Rosie, I was still full time in school so I got a weekend job at our local pub/restaurant as a waitress. It wasn’t a lot of hours nor was it brilliant pay but I will felt like I was trying for my baby girl.

After a year or so I had some major health problems which made me leave work. I was then off work for 2 years. I finished my GCSE’s and tried 6th form, but my health problems set me back so I was a SAHM.  I loved it; I loved being home all day every day with my babe! Even though sometimes I was extremely bored and we just couldn’t afford to do anything exciting. I loved being at home and watching my kids grow.

Now time has moved on I have started to miss the aspect of work. I applied for many jobs around my home town as I can’t drive and I got an interview at my local restaurant, as a cleaner in the mornings. I started of small but at the time I was debating whether or not to go for a job with longer hours, including the cleaning job. But at the time it seemed too much to be doing up to 60 hours a week. Plus I’m breastfeeding so it would have been really difficult to pump and make sure Miyah still latched to me and we still had that bond.

As time has gone on and we have had a few more setbacks it does seem like a good idea to start working more hours to get that extra income. My partner will be the SAHF and to us that’s fine. We like being ‘odd’ in a sense as you don’t see stay at home fathers very often.

Thank you for reading,

Becca x

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#MumisBest Guest Post – Zoe from Mummy and Liss

#MumisBest Guest Post – Zoe from Mummy and Liss

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!

About Zoe:

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. 

Zoe’s Story:

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. 

 

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#MumisBest Guest Post – Jo from Cup of Toast

#MumisBest Guest Post – Jo from Cup of Toast

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 Jo from Cup of Toast!

Being a ‘SAHM’

I am a stay at home mum, whatever that really means. I’m saying it here purely for context.

The reality is that I don’t stay at home very much. I whizz about on school runs, grocery trips and visits to parks, farms and pet stores. I organise our household, including any work that needs to be done to the fabric of the house, the decorating, the DIY, the ironing, meal planning and more. I arrange extra-curricular activities for our boys. I attend health related meetings for Munch, undertake voluntary work and read relevant government policies and initiatives whilst simultaneously keeping little people amused (although nowhere near as professionally as the likes of Licia Ronzulli!). I budget all of our variable expenditure to within a penny. Birthday presents and parties are all left to me to arrange. I’m as busy as I was at the height of my career, but is that what being a stay at home mum is all about? I wager that it’s not. Surely every parent whatever their working status undertakes these matters?

So this is what it means to me. It’s a label. Nothing more, nothing less. It’s about as important as saying that I’m brunette. Or that I have freckles on my skin. That I’m female. It’s just a label. A form of identification for those form hungry companies that need you to say what you ‘do’. To them, I’m a stay at home mum. Sometimes I’m a housewife. Often I’m unemployed. I’ve gone past the point of being particular about which box I tick or what I tell people. I’ve largely given up mentioning what I did before I had children, or pointing out that I worked part time for a couple of years when Chief was young. I even brush a lot of my pro bono work under the carpet. If other people want to focus on my stay at home mum status that’s fine, but please excuse me if to me it’s just a phrase.

For a while it did infuriate me. That people assume that my husband earns mega bucks made me cross. Comments along the lines of what I could afford were all based on assumptions, not reality. One person suggested that I could donate a large sum of money to a charity in need of help because I must be able to afford it as I didn’t work? Another questioned my priorities when it came to budgeting our income. Not going out for meals but being able to splurge on my family.

I have mum guilt just as much as the next person. I always put pressure on myself to work harder with our budget and resources, to manage my time smarter. At the moment it’s trying to find quality one to one time with each of my three children, to make sure that they know that I’m interested in them, and that I’m listening to them. That I am there to support them with their school work, their hobbies, their development. Others might be struggling to fit in trips to see extended family around their regular weekend commitments, or staying up until the early hours slaving over a hot oven in order to support their local school at a cake sale. Some might worry every day whether or not they’ll be able to escape the office in time to get home and put their children to bed. We all have various pressures, and seek to find a balance in managing them. So really, regardless of what we do with our waking hours, we’re all the same. We’re all parents.

You see, here’s the thing. I don’t wear a badge telling others that I’m vegetarian. I don’t say that I’m actively trying to reduce my dairy intake. I don’t have a stamp on my head to say that I have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. So why make a big deal out of being a stay at home mum? Why make it into a ‘thing’? We’re all doing our best, whatever that might look like. Whether we work full time, part time or not at all. Day shifts or night shifts, we are all making compromises. But there’s one thing that we all definitely have in common. We are all lucky. Lucky that we are getting to make these choices, or consider them. Lucky that we are in this position as parents in the first place. And that, surely, is all that should matter.
Bio:

Jo blogs at Cup of Toast about her family life, food, adventures and everything in between. She is a mama to 3 boys (aged 6, 4 and 2) and several fur babies. Jo enjoys reading, writing and eating biscuits!

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#MumisBest Guest Post – Ali from Instant Mum of Two

#MumisBest Guest Post – Ali from Instant Mum of Two

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 Ali from Instant Mum of Two!

On June 2nd 2016 I left work feeling sad and happy in equal measures. Work has and will always be my first baby.

I have worked in the Early Years sector for 15 years. I’ve been a nursery nurse, a deputy manager and in my current role as a manager for 6 years. 

I love my job. I love early years. I work with great people. 

But I was leaving to be something else I’ve always longed to be. A Mum. 

As we met the children and they moved in and we began our lives as a family, I thought about work a lot less than I thought I would. 

And as we grew together as a family I was so happy that everything was going so well, but alongside that happiness was a feeling of loneliness.

But why was I feeling lonely, I had plenty of support from family and friends and lots of people to chat through things with about the children. 

So maybe that was it. Children are amazing but let’s face it they are all consuming, your time and your thought process pretty much revolves around them. 

So even though I was talking to people I was always talking about the kids because they were pretty much part of every moment I was awake! 

So I missed me, and that was pretty much work me! Because I then realised that work was pretty much my social life (geez that sounds sad!!) but having relocated for work many of my local friends are through work and I believe that as a manager you have to be a part of the team and value each and every member of that team.

So a large part of my day was spent interacting with the team and chatting through ideas and challenges.

I missed that type of conversation. Conversation that wasn’t always loosely based on either; poo, snacks or Paw Patrol. 

I’m pretty good at once I realise something getting over it and adjusting and I also realised that I would never get this time back

with the children. So frankly I got over myself and focussed on the children. 

We’ve had an amazing 10 months. We have made unbreakable bonds, we have laughed, cried tears of joy and sadness. We’ve been on adventures. We’ve visited family and friends and they have stayed with us.

We have made so many memories that I will treasure for ever.

And I have this gut sadness, every time we do something during the day, or when I drop my son off at school that I’m going to be missing these things, these everyday beautiful things that yes can be bloody stressful but they are also the nuts and bolts of family life and I’m going to miss a lot of them.

Blinking heck I’m a contradiction! But isn’t parenting?

So do I want to go back to work? It’s not a simple answer. I have to go back to work for financial reasons but yes I do also want to go back. 

When I asked my friends how they felt about returning to work they all pretty much said the same. That the first few days are tough but you do get used to it and that you have to think about why you are working, to give the children the life you want them to have.

I’m lucky I get great holiday so I will be able to still spend a lot of time with them.

I feel guilty though, so guilty. Is that purely a Mum thing or is it the constant pressure to be this perfect Mum? 

I’m not perfect far far from it. I shout on occasions, I drink a bit too much vodka and I sometimes eat my feelings (fizzy Coca Cola bottles and cadburys fruit and nut are my thing). But I am a good Mum. I love them more than I ever thought was possible but I also want some time to be me. 

And that’s ok, it’s ok to be you, you know the you you were before you became Mum. It’s ok to look forward to peeing on your own without any interruption, or having a meal in one sitting, or having conversations other than ones about the children. 

I’m going to miss them though, as I write that I can actually feel a pain in my chest. But we will all adjust and hopefully it will make the time we do spend together even more special. 

Bio.

Mum to Big Pig and Piglet. I’ve not always been their Mum but we tell each other that we grew in each other’s hearts. They are my chaos and my calm. I blog about parenting first and foremost. The highs and lows and the in betweens. I’m so happy that we are a “normal” family whatever that is. But as we travel along on our adoption journey I’m consistently finding out that we share the same joy and struggles as other families, however they came to be. 

You can see more from Ali here!

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#MumisBest Guest Post – Lisa from Pass the Prosecco…Please

#MumisBest Guest Post – Lisa from Pass the Prosecco…Please

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 Lisa from Pass the Prosecco…Please!

 

I jumped at the chance to write this guest post for The Tale of Mummyhood as #MumIsBest is something I feel very passionate about.

When you give birth to a child, however they are born or indeed in some situations come into your life through surrogacy or adoption, you become a mum.

You have a small person who occupies your every waking thought and you love them more than anything else in the world.

When my son was six months old I knew I had to make a decision about when I returned to work; statutory maternity pay was rubbish and we could barely afford to pay our bills.  I knew I did not want to return to my former career in IT; the stresses and strains of a corporate lifestyle was not of interest to me; as nice as the pay was my outlook changed as soon as my son was born.

I found work in a local supermarket and thought I would be happy – I was earning good money and working hours that fitted around my husband so we had no issues with childcare.

Unfortunately I was employed on a ‘flexi’ contract and the terms of it didn’t fit well as time progressed.  Finding a job that fits around childcare is more of a challenge than childbirth I swear.

But I wasn’t happy; I always thought once I became a mum I would throw my everything into motherhood and being a housewife and my career and job would no longer be important.  This wasn’t true for me – I needed stimulation and work gave me that; I didn’t want to stay home all the time, I wanted to go to work and earn some money for my family.  I could have gone back to my previous job but extreme stress had destroyed me before and I didn’t want to go there again, I wanted and needed a clean break.

I found a job at a local dental practice working on the reception desk, and loved it straight away.  I qualified as a Dental Nurse in 2005 and I loved being back in the health sector.  I expected to go back to nursing but I sustained damage in my hands from carpal tunnel syndrome in pregnancy and have been unable to return to dental nursing.  I figured it’s probably best not to be trusted with sharp implements when my grip has a mind of its own…

I work roughly 18 hours a week over two days, Monday’s and Tuesday’s.  I’m lucky to have my parents living close by and my mum is off the same days I work to look after the wee man.  My dad is retired and wants a quiet life bless him – but William and him are like chalk and cheese and have such a wonderful bond.

I enjoy reception and administration work within my job and although I am unsure where my career path ahead lies, I enjoy adult conversation and being called ‘Lisa’ and not just ‘William’s mum’.

I have to work and I’m really lucky to be in the situation I am in, we qualify for no benefits despite our income being fairly rubbish and there is no way we can afford childcare, we wouldn’t even make any money after paying for it.  William is 3 in November and the next step for us is preschool, which I’m keen to start but not able to afford currently.

Unfortunately when your child reaches 9 months to a year and maternity leave officially finishes you no longer become ‘mum’ and you have to be tarred with some other god awful title.

Stay at home mum, full time mum, working mum, career mum – you HAVE to be one of them.

I’m a part-time-working full-time mum.  I don’t conform and I refuse to – it doesn’t matter if you work 2 hours or 60, when work ends you still have to go home and be mum, and lets face it, even at work you never stop thinking and worrying – it’s a huge juggle.

Hats off to stay at home mums(there was no avoiding the term – sorry) – I could not do it.  Being at home is stressful, I will happily admit I can’t hack it.  As tough as it is working two days and fitting chores in, being at home all day every day is hard and you mums don’t get enough credit.

So what do I think is best?  Personally when I meet another mum I couldn’t give a damn whether she works or not; I couldn’t care less if she wants to work or not, has to work or not.

She’s a mum and mum’s do whatever is best, who are we to judge.  We are one big sisterhood after all.

A mum is a mum and whatever she thinks, decides and ultimately does; it is always in her child/children’s best interest.

 

Bio:

Hello! I’m Lisa, a 30-something mum of one, wife, undomestic goddess and blog-brains behind Pass the Prosecco… Please.

I love to write and I generally blog about parenting, my mental health issues and food.  Expect the good, the bad and the downright ugly!

 

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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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