Being A Stay At Home Mum

Discussion in 'Alternative Parenting' started by Dolores, Jan 20, 2019.

  1. Dolores

    Dolores Well-Known Member

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    Hi girls,

    I know staying at home full time and not working whilst you are pregnant and have your babies may not be what everyone would think of as "alternative" parenting but, because working for women is so common now, and going back to work so early is, I feel like I am partaking in some kind of weird, alternative parenting by doing this.

    So my question is this! Are any of you here stay at home Mums? I would love to know your experiences.

    I fall into a bit of a weird category. Me and my husband have never claimed benefits but we don't drive a Rolls Royce. We're not in the super rich category but we're comfortably off despite me being quite young (I've just turned 29 and haven't worked since I was 26). My husband works from home and runs his own business and employs a few people.

    Everyone I have got to know through pregnancy classes has now gone back to work. My son is 1, I have just found out I am pregnant with our second.

    It's put me in a strange, lonely place. I hardly have any normal mums I can relate too or who are about during the week days. Everyone looks at me funny when they ask me "When are you going back to work?" And I say, "Well, I'm not, I'm just going to stay at home"

    I've had nasty, sly comments from other Mum's about being a "Yes Sir" step ford wife, I've had other Mums outright ask me, "Well, don't you get bored?! I got my life back when I went back to work. I need my me time, my sanity."

    They constantly feel like it's okay to judge my choices, but if I were to judge theirs, just imagine the backlash! It's so unfair! Imagine if I said, "Well, don't you feel bad leaving your baby to go to work?" You would just never.

    Anyone dealt with this or know any groups for Stay At Home Mums?

    Any advice much appreciated.
    Dolores x
     
  2. Donna88

    Donna88 Well-Known Member

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    I'm planning on staying at home after having this baby (and we want another after that) I've already had comments from some people such as "you will get bored" or "you'll want to come back to work for the social side of things"

    I'm choosing to stay at home for a number of reasons. I went back full time after having my son and have regretted that decision; Although it was the right choice at the time (I was a single mum) I missed out on so much of him growing up. I took some time out after me and my now husband got together and settled in; however was back at work once my son was at school. We spent so much time rushing around trying to sort work out and fit it around my son's school life. Again I feel like I missed out on so much, I couldn't go and see his plays or his assemblies when he was given rewards. He was always in after school clubs.

    I don't want that for our other children and also I'm trying to get him into a better secondary, if he does get in the one I want it will be more running around which again will be difficult if I'm trying to get myself to work. However I feel he is more important.

    At the moment my job doesn't pay much and I'd be getting barely anything after paying childcare. So the whole "social" argument really makes me laugh as why would I go to a highly stressful job, while someone else looks after my child so that I can socialise. I'd much rather socialise with friends I already have or make through baby groups.

    I want to look after my baby not pay someone else to do that for me.

    Sorry; not really much help for you - but you're not alone and I also get very frustrated with some of the comments. I think people should be able to make the decisions that are right for them. We all do what's best for our families; for some of us that means not working, for others it means going back to work.
     
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  3. Dolores

    Dolores Well-Known Member

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    Hi Donna!

    Thank you so much for your reply - I really value your opinion and kind of find it so refreshing to hear someone say something against the general consensus of "You have to work or what will you have?! Think of womens rights!"

    I think what you are doing is fantastic and sounds perfect for your children - I do feel for you when I hear how you struggling juggling everything as a single Mum working and I respect your decision to change things as hard as that can be, simply because you want too. So, kudos there Donna! And, I can't imagine how hard it must have been being a single Mum - major hats off!

    I feel like sometimes the women judging me might secretly wish they could do the same? Because, it's not a choice for all of them that I know - they have to go back to work because financially, they need too. Sometimes I think, are they attacking me in order to justify their own decisions and make themselves feel better?

    They don't realise that for about 10 years me and my husband have been working very hard in order to create this situation because we knew when we came to start a family, that it was very important to us for me to be able to stay home and give our children my full attention.

    I never, ever pass judgement or comment on any woman who has chosen to go back to work, regardless of whether I think it's a good or bad idea, I never would say because I think they are making what might be a very tough decision. I think I always expect the same discretion to be given to me but it isn't always the case!

    Well I guess if I come across a stay at home Mum forum or support group I should let you know Donna!

    If it's worth anything at all, my experience as a single Mum from pregnancy to now (my son is 1) has been absolutely beyond amazing. Honestly, there have been ups and downs of course, and I can't say my situation is exactly normal as my husband is at home all the time and can now and then give me a hand but, I am there every second for my little boy and I feel like he absolutely adores me for it! We're thick as thieves! Everyone said to be he would be too clingy from being around me, but actually it is the opposite - ironically he is the most confident and least clingy out of all the babies we socialise with.

    I once asked my Doctor about this because he would go down to crawl or walk and not look back at me, it's as if he wasn't even bothered and it got to the point I was very worries, but he just said, "This may not be a popular opinion, but because you are with him all the time, he knows you're there and he is confident you will always be there, so he is a very confident, independent little boy because of that" and from then on I never doubted the affect me being at home with him could have.

    I'm not saying babies at nursery aren't confident but my close friend who has a boy who is in nursery says that when he comes home all he wants is cuddles from her, is very clingy and seems very het up and stressed and takes awhile to calm down. Just food for thought. I think some babies and very young toddlers don't adapt well to the bustle of nursery, where as others seem to handle it very nicely.

    I wish you all the best on being a full time Mum! It has been the best thing I have ever done in my life!

    Me and my husband are a little old fashioned and traditional, we get teased about that a lot but our son is always commented on as being so happy and the picture of health so, as long as you are happy and enjoying being a Mum, your baby will reflect that no matter what you do.

    I would love a forum for stay at home mums though! Don't mean to be snobby, I really am not but I feel it's either Mums on benefits sitting at home all day in their pjamas or the super rich "yummy mummies" and no one in-between. We could maybe do with a chat place for the kind of normies like us bucking the trend!

    x
     
  4. Kholl

    Kholl Well-Known Member

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    I have been a full-time Mom since my daughter was born in November 2011. I absolutely would not have it any other way. I believe children deserve to have a full-time parent. It's that simple. I don't think there is anything more important than being there 100% of the time for your kids, for a very long time. When I was in high school, for example, I still needed my mom a lot of the time. I don't understand why it's not ok to voice this - like you said, if you say anything that sounds like you're judging working moms, you're burned at the stake. ALL my closest friends are working moms, so it's not like I vilify them. I just feel deeply passionate about this. Nothing is more important than your kids. And it's easy to say that you're working to give them the best life, and sometimes that really is the only option. But most of the time, you can make it work, and it matters. Nothing matters more, in fact.

    I think of all the times my oldest is sick and has to stay home, or has activities during typical adult working hours, or doctor appointments, or random days off from school, or summer vacation... and logistically I don't see how that works unless a parent is available full-time (or there's a nanny, I guess).

    I think this is one of the inconvenient facts of having children. People get all butthurt when you suggest maybe it's best for kids to have a full-time parent. But that's just a fact. Remove your feelings from it; the research proves this. It's simply better for kids to have a full-time parent than not. You can feel however you want about it, but it doesn't change that reality.

    Short story: you're not alone, and you're absolutely doing the best thing for your family by staying home.
     
  5. Kholl

    Kholl Well-Known Member

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    I'll also say this: being a full-time mom (I get so frustrated with the "stay-at-home" term -- first of all, you rarely stay home! and second, could you imagine if it were called a "sit-in-cubicle financial advisor" or something absurd like that?) is not about YOU. It's not about YOUR needs - which is how you should think about having a child. I think there is a lot of push for women to feel like they can and should "have it all" - and I don't think that's a good message. Not just because you burn out, but also because life requires sacrifice and making hard decisions and it's not all about you.

    I'm not saying be a martyr - that's a recipe for disaster. But (and I am absolutely guilty of this) I think many people are raised with this idea that we should have everything we want and it shouldn't be that hard. There is a great quote: "you can have anything you want, but you can't have everything you want." Life is all about prioritizing, and making the hard decisions and putting other people (namely, your children) above yourself.

    I think there is an overall attitude that kids are something you "have" - so you can add it to the list of your life accomplishments. But they aren't just grouped in with the many other jobs and hobbies you have. They are a responsibility so great that everything else you love or want to do is secondary. Not forever, but for about 18 years. What you want is secondary. That's called being an adult. I can't even describe how many parents (and adults in general - my husband runs into this at work with his employees all the time!) can't seem to understand that concept. I'm not saying there's no room to do the things you love outside of child-rearing - that's insane. But it can't come at the cost of your children's well-being. You have to get creative and realize you don't come first. And be willing to put in the hard work without acknowledgement or your ego being stroked left and right.

    All of this is not to say that stay-at-home moms are doing it all right and working moms aren't. That's not what I mean at all. I know stay-at-home moms who are nightmare parents and working moms who somehow manage to truly do it all. It's not a straightforward answer, but I think that women have to look at it as what's best for the child, not what's best for THEM. Yeah, it's nice to have the social outlet of work. But again... not about you. For now, it's not about you.
     
  6. Abi88

    Abi88 Well-Known Member

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    I think I'll be in the same position when baby comes. I work in childcare so the pay isn't great, it looks like it would cost the same for childcare as I'm earning so it doesn't make sense for me to carry on. So I'll have at least 2 years off and then see how I go. If I go completely insane or feel like my son needs some time in childcare to meet other kids I can look at going back. I get on really well with my boss so she might be able for me to have free childcare as part of my contract but we'll have to see where the nursery stands when I'm ready to go back anyway. There's so much in the first few years that I wouldn't want to miss out on.
     
  7. WinterWolf

    WinterWolf Well-Known Member

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    Yep - I know how you feel. People always ask me how long I’m taking off for the baby. I keep telling them I’m done with work for the next few years and they think I’m joking because I’m only 26. I really think everyone should try to have at least the first year of baby’s life off. They need the attention and affection. Plus they’re only tiny for such a short time - I wouldn’t want to miss any of that for work. Ideally I’ll be home until baby starts school but we probably won’t be able to afford that.

    I do think once all the kids are at school it’s a bit weird to still be at home all day when you could be working. But each to their own.
     
  8. Dolores

    Dolores Well-Known Member

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    Ladies!

    Thank you so much for your replies and my God, how beautifully wrote! I can just feel your intelligence here! Smart decision and a very well thought out one as well. I sometimes think people label us full time mums as lazy and wanting an easy life - from reading your replies I think anyone who thought that would have to think again.

    Kholl - what a fascinating response. I can't help but agree with you all the way. I really do have to agree when you mention that a lot of people could make it work. I know this is controversial, but all the working mums I know have at least one large holiday abroad, drive a new car, get new furniture and clothes regularly, have expensive prams etc. and then they say "But I can't afford to be off!" I think well, do you value that stuff or could you go without all those extras and be at home with your children? I feel they use financial reasons as an excuse sometimes because they are used to a certain lifestyle and don't want to give that up.

    Also, thank you for your advice - it isn't just about you anymore. I have quickly learnt this from my sons first year. I used to do everything I wanted to do, when I wanted it, now I have the demands of him on me. As gorgeous as they are, often I can't just sit and read a book or take a 2 hour bath anymore. I have to wait until he's in bed and then prioritise my time and time with my husband and the house work as well. Life has changed, but not for the worst, for the better!

    Kholl - have you ever had any negative comments about your situation? How did you handle it?

    Abi88 - that is lovely that you think you may be able to stay home full time. It truly is the best decision we ever made as a family and I have a feeling you won't regret it. It might help to find other mums in a similar situation, this is where I have fallen short. The first few years as so precious as you say.

    WinterWolf - thank you for your response. I think you will not regret staying home and you may not be contacting your boss after all! I think once us stay at home mums get into the swing of things, you can't imagine not being there for them full time and I imagine you will definitely be at home for maybe at least the 2 years you are aiming for.

    As for mums who don't work whilst they have older children, I have absolutely no problem with that either. I don't see why people need a reason not to work. If they can afford it, why not? Their life I think. Sometimes I think well, if you could afford to not work, would you really, if you actually had that decision? (This is when I hear women who love their jobs so much say if they won the lottery they would still work). I am in disbelief sometimes but maybe that is in cynic in me!

    Thank you girls for your responses
    x
     
  9. Kholl

    Kholl Well-Known Member

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    Dolores, I'll take the time to write out a more detailed response when the kids are in bed tonight, but for now I'll say that I am fortunate not to have a lot (if any) backlash or negative comments from people for being with my kids full-time.
     
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  10. Kholl

    Kholl Well-Known Member

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    To elaborate: I think a lot of the responses you get depend on how you present your situation and choice. You have to be very secure and have a lot of confidence. Don't ever sound apologetic or hesitant or insecure when you tell people what you do. Have pride. Honestly, the response I get most of the time is "wow, I could never do that" (and I want to say: yes, you could! Just because I want women to have more confidence in their abilities).

    It is criminal that modern "feminism" seems to push women away from traditional roles. Listen, if you don't want to follow a traditional path, then that's fine. My best friend is a woman married to a woman, and she is a doctor who plans to work full-time even after she has children. She is very secure in her role and passionate. That's how people should feel! That's what makes the world go round, the variety of choices and lifestyles we choose from a secure, confident, loving place. But "traditional" roles are included in that. If you want to call yourself a feminist, then advocate for stay-at-home moms as much as you advocate for working moms. I don't see that side of it (there are many other issues I have with the way "feminism" views the world, but that's a topic for another thread haha). You're not doing women any favors by saying their value is in how much they can act like men. That's oversimplified, but I think you know what I mean. It's ok that there are differences between men and women. It's beautiful that there are differences between men and women. There are also many, MANY exceptions to the general trend and rule, of course. I would never, ever want any man or woman to feel crammed inside a box. But I think it's also vital to embrace and celebrate the differences between us - and the common threads that unite us all.
     
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  11. Selina13

    Selina13 Well-Known Member

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    Hey ladies,
    I'm a part time working mum but have had just over a year off with both my boys and will do the same with my new baby. I'm lucky that financially we are in a position to afford me to work 2.5 way as a week and have had the time I wanted off with the boys.

    I'm home 2.5 days a week with my two and Its hard work! I find going to work much easier and it allows me the time to enjoy them on the days I'm home and at the weekend. My husband works long hours and works away sometimes so everything falls to me- I feel I would go mad if I was a stay at home mum and I have that option if I wanted it. When I meet stay at home mum's I 100% admire them and think that anyone who suggests you have any kind of time on your hands as ignorant a -holes!

    I do feel that women who snipe at other women for their choices are clearly insecure about their own choices. I am happy with my choice and it works for me, I love my job and I love being a mum so luckily I have a great balance and I don't see myself going back full time again.

    I do worry for some sahm's that being out of the job loop will affect their future employment as when I wasn't working during my first pregnancy I struggled to get back into the job market. I find this unfair and this has to change in the long term.

    I totally support each mother's choice in all she does for her family and I agree that some women say they can't afford more mat leave or whatever and go back after 4mt but if you cut back you can do it.

    Sorry for waffling- I'm trying to write and keep and eye on the kids causing havoc!!!

    X
     
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  12. MissKW

    MissKW Well-Known Member

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    I am a SAHM but so far have not had any bad comments on it. To start with a sibling and my mum were trying to push me into working again, I haven't completely ruled it out but I'm very lucky as my husband earns enough to provide for us all and he's also a bit old fashioned. My reply to family was that its not a bad thing to put my son before money. They soon stopped mentioning it.
    I was fully prepared to go back to work originally but hubby would rather me look after DS than pay for childcare or dump him with grandparents as it would mean he spends more time with them than us. Also with hubby away, if I went back to work DS wouldn't have any of us around, and I would be over loaded. I think the quality time spent bringing the children up the way we see fit (grandparents for instance use the 'cry it out' method and I absolutely dispise it so nobody has had him alone until he turned 9 months and only for an hour at a time) and just being there for them is far more important than an extra income if you are fortunate enough to not need it.

    I have to admit I get bored, especially as hubby works away mostly so I'm alone for weeks on end, but I find it easier on my own as its easier to stick to a routine etc. I make a point of going out to do something a few times a week, be it just the food shop, visiting family, going for a walk, the gym or having a little day out, it helps refresh my mind and enjoy the experience more.
    If you can fit in a hobby that obviously helps too.
    Everyone else (only friends as I have not been to any groups) can't wait to get back to work, but personally for the most part I really enjoy being a mum and staying with DS.
    Don't let other people get to you, we all do what works for us and what we feel is best for our family. I think it's difficult either way, whether you stay at home or chose to go back to work x
     
    #12 MissKW, Feb 8, 2019
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2019
  13. Vintageling

    Vintageling Well-Known Member

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    I'm not a mum yet but I plan on staying home and my other half agrees. It's what our mum's did and we had a wonderful early childhood and I want to be able to spend all those special moments with my child rather then killing myself trying to work and care for young children.
     
  14. soffphie

    soffphie Well-Known Member

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    I shall 100% have first year off, then i be a part timer :) & working my job around my husbands.
     
  15. Lollypop79

    Lollypop79 Well-Known Member

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    I am a stay at hoke mum now.
    I have a 16 yr old and 13 yr old. We are trying for a3rd baby.
    My son (16) yr old is autistic and daughter is currently under going investigation for autism. Both went to mainstream schools but needed a lot or help. Still do.

    When I first had the kids I worked, I left their father due to abuse (not looking for pity) I worked at the time fulltime juggling work, home and kids. I felt so guilty the whole time. I wish I could have been part time but it was just us. Needed to pay bills.
    Met my now fiancé and now I’ve not been working for a few years. Especially since my sons diagnosis. I was able to concentrate on the the kids and they flourished.
    I plan not to work when I have a baby.

    When I worked I constantly had Critisim for working and neglecting my kids and now i’m not working i’m constantly asked when i’m going to get my lazy arse back to work. A lot of that is even from my family who don’t understand ASD kids.

    I say do whatever makes you happy. Stay at home, work part time or full time. So long as your kids are loved and happy it doesn’t matter.
    X
     
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  16. night owl

    night owl Well-Known Member

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    I don’t think many women can actually afford to be stay at home mums these days whether they would like to or not! most households rely on 2 incomes these days unless one partner earns a lot, or gets their household income supplemented with benefits such as working and child tax credits, nobody should judge anyone for choosing to be a stay at home mum but equally those who financially can not afford to be stay at home mums shouldn’t be judged either x
     
  17. Vintageling

    Vintageling Well-Known Member

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    I agree with you there aswell . I'm lucky that we couple cope with just him being the earner and the fact is the jobs I'd get literally would only just cover the cost of childcare because I don't have the skills to do a higher paid job
     
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