#MumisBest Guest Post – Helen from Talking Mums

Family / Monday, May 1st, 2017

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!







38 Replies to “#MumisBest Guest Post – Helen from Talking Mums”

  1. Thanks for having me Zoe, brilliant idea for a series. We all need to see that we just do our best given a situation x

  2. This was so nice to read as us Mums se to always get the brun of someone else’s angry opinion on whether we should stay at home or work. Helen is right, as long as our children are loved and know that they are, thats what matters. #MarvMondays

  3. What a brilliant series! I thought I wanted to be a SAHM, but after a year of maternity leave with my twins I was itching to get back to work. Now that they’re five I think I could easily be a SAHM, but I like working and earning my own money. As you say either is fine as children with thrive regardless. #TriumphantTales

    1. Ah me too, I thought for ages it was what I wanted but I’ve gone back too! Thanks for stopping by x

  4. Loved reading Helen’s thoughts. I’m going back after my second but I’m lucky hubby works from home and can help with drop offs and pick ups. Not sure what I would do without this really! Thanks for sharing with #bestandworst x

  5. Really looking forward to reading more from this series, as a Mum about to return to some form of working I’m interested to hear other Mum’said views on this internal debate that I seem to change my mind about every day! #bestandworst

    1. Ah thankyou, it’s good to learn about other people’s circumstances. It’s definitely not a one size fits all! x

  6. I totally agree that the most important thing is for the child to know that they are loved. The options aren’t always there for some, and when they are there they aren’t easy decisions to make. As Helen says, it’s about considering your circumstances at the time. It’s also about being flexible and adapting to suit changing routines as your family, home life and career all evolve. #BloggerClubUK

  7. I worked as a registered child minder for many years and one of the mummy’s I was minding for asked me if I thought she was not a good parent as she had gone back to work , I replied that if everyone was like me then I would be out of work, she then told me that by leaving her daughter with me for two days a week made her a better mother as she felt she had more patience with her child #brilliantblogs@_karendennis

  8. These words here absolutely nailed it for me – “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.” – that’s all we need to know and remember. Thanks so much for linking this up to #coolmumclub xoxo

  9. I wish my husband was asked as often as I am about whether or not I work full time. So frustrating. I work full time. It’s the right decision for me and my family. But it’s not right for everyone, and some of my best friends are SAHMs. I could never do what they do. Shout out to all the parents, working hard at work, at home and wherever their kids take them. #stayclassymama

  10. We are fortunate to have grandparents help us out and I will forever be grateful for that. I’m not sure what we would have done if that wasn’t the case. This looks like a great series and I look forward to reading more. Thanks for linking to #TriumphantTales, we’d love to see you back next week 🙂

  11. I love what you stand for here Helen and I think that we would do well to all support each other’s choices whatever that may be, as we all have to make the best choice and decision we can based on our own circumstances. It’s funny how we all put ourselves under pressure to be Superwoman when we stay at home too isn’t it? I think we apply the same principles that we try to achieve in the work place sometimes don’t we? This is a great series! Thanks for sharing with #DreamTeam x

  12. I think,you are spot on when you say we make choices out of necessity. I work part time because it suits us. But recently worked extra covering for sickness. I think what’s important to me is my boys feel loved, secure and happy. And know I love them unconditionally whether I work 2 or 5 days. Thank you for linking up to #ablogginggoodtime ?

  13. Fab post – every word is spot on. I went back to work at 10 months with my first and now 9 months into my second mat leave, and with the eldest starting school in September, I have just resigned from the day job to try and make it work from home with my blog! If I can manage to keep earning money and be at home, I’ll be a happy mumma! Thanks for linking up with #TwinklyTuesday

  14. Helen this is wonderful! I agree whole heartedly regarding the child only needing a mum who loves them, who cares if you work or stay at home?!
    Thank you for sharing this series with us at #TriumphantTales. I hope to see you back tomorrow

  15. Aw I really love the end of this post! A mum who shows their child they love them is definitely the most important part of being a mum. I completely agree the grass is always greener, I sometimes think about what it would be like being a SAHM and I realise that I wish for the same if I was on the other side. I’m happy where I am now, the time I do get to spend with my son is quality : ). Thanks for sharing with #StayClassyMama!

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