Sunday, 15 March 2015

Just a stay at home mum?

Freddie was two weeks old when someone first asked me if I was going back to work. Two weeks. It took me everything not to snap "can you ask me again when the 7 inch wound in my stomach has fully healed". But of course I just smiled sweetly and said not sure yet. 
 
I have been asked countless times since and unfortunately I can feel a ranty post coming on. 
 
I am very lucky that my wonderful Mr P has said from the get go he wants me to be there for our children and 100% doesn't want me working full time. I mean, I might have to go back to work at some point part time, because we want to move and I would need to be earning for us to get another mortgage. But I know Chris's long term plan is for me to be at home with our children. And I will do whatever is best for me and my children. I want to work, I love working, if the right job came along with the right hours I would jump at the opportunity, but when I look at my beautiful baby, I just want to be with him and I would feel so guilty leaving him.

Working mum/stay at home mum it is such a hot topic and is personal to everyone. But when I am asked about 'going back to work' this is how it makes me feel -
 
Like I am lazy
Like I am stupid or uneducated
Like I am not good enough
Like I am taking advantage of Chris
Like I need to get off my fat arse and go to work right now
Like I'm straight out of Channel 4s Benefit Street. 
 
I have no idea why I am justifying myself but I have to say it, I have worked hard since I was 16. I love working, I have had a successful career for someone who is only 22, successful enough to get a mortgage at the age of 20. I am a hard worker and love working. But I love my child more.  When I look at Freddie I can see how much he needs me.  It is only 4 short years until he will go to school, and then I can do whatever I want to. But only ever part time. Children and teenagers need you too.
 
I recently mentioned 'pay day' around some friends and the way they looked at me! As if I'm scrounging off Chris, like poor Chris has to work all day while I get spa treatments and go shopping. (Ok, ok sometimes I do go shopping!)
 
I have had hard jobs, but being a mum is the hardest. I don't go home at 5pm. Everyday I am up for at least 18 hours, I clean the house, I cook, I do all the washing, and of course have Freddie to entertain, we go to baby classes, come home and do other activities, sensory, massage, playing etc. I have the huge responsibility of bringing him up to be a clever, well rounded member of society. That's a lot to have on your shoulders! His whole life will depend on what I do now in these early years.  I also have my health to manage. Having type 1 diabetes is like having a full time job too, and I need to be well for my boys. So anyone who thinks what I do is easy, I welcome you to spend a day with me. My bum barely touches the seat.

Of course that would be a million times harder if I was working too, and I admire mums who can do it all. A common worry I have heard is that working mums feel they are giving 50% at work (as they are always thinking about home & the kids) and 50% at home (because they are worrying about work. Us mums get it hard. No matter what we do we are judged, by each other, and everyone around us, which is so sad. We should support and empower each other. We, as women, are amazing. 
 
Just before I fell pregnant with Freddie I changed jobs, on a 6 month contract, all people in the company start on 6 month contracts and 99% end up on permanent ones, but obviously if your 7 months pregnant and have been signed off with pregnancy complications for the majority of your contract your not going to get your contract renewed so I have officially been unemployed since End of September. However, because I have paid so much tax since I was 16, I've been entitled to SMP so I am technically on maternity leave until June.  So even if I wanted to go straight from the post natal ward back into the office, it wouldn't be quite that simple for me, I can't just 'go back to work'.   So in May we will be discussing our plans, looking at our financial situation and deciding what will be best for us. It is between Chris and I. No one else. (apart from you, I will probably share our decision making here haha). 
 
I have no idea where I am going with this, not even sure it makes sense but I had to get it off my chest. Please don't ever say someone is 'just a stay at home mum' or ask someone if they are going back to work with that judgemental tone in your voice. Think about how it might make them feel and remember every family is different.  Women are entitled to a years maternity leave anyway, so let me have my year before interrogating me!  

To all those stay at home mums who feel judged, keep up the good work, just because you don't earn money it doesn't make you less of a person. I've got to say, hats off to those mums who work full time. My mum did it and I know how hard it was for her, and so to me you are Superhuman!
 
This post was not meant to offend anyone, I am quite old fashioned in my views and would happy living like a 1950s housewife haha but I support all mums, all decisions and understand everyone is different, which is what I love about the world we live in.




 
LOL! sorry couldn't resist!
 

 



7 comments:

  1. We're currently in the same situation. I'm not sure if I'm going to go back just yet, but if I do I'll feel so guilty about leaving Emily. Your right in saying it doesn't matter what you do someone will always judge.
    Steph | www.raisingemily.net

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    1. Thank you for your comment! It is so hard to know what the right thing to do is. I will feel guilty to leave Freddie and glad I am not the only person who feels that way! Us mummy's are always judged but if we know we are doing the best for our children that should be good enough :) Good luck with your decision :) x

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  2. I could have written this post myself! It is only now after 3.5 yrs of being a stay at home mum that I don't care what people think. I know how much I do with my children and at home, my children are thriving and we also don't have any help with childcare anyway. Like you I worked from 16 up until I had my first child, my partner works as much as he can to bring the pennies in and support our family. I do everything else, unfortunately some people don't get it and yes some people do think you live a life of luxury being a stay at home mum, hardly! Haha I spend my days doing school runs, going to toddler groups, meal planning & food shopping, cooking and cleaning but it suits us right now. I don't get breaks either, always busy but I love it :) x

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    1. I think being a SAHM is a million times harder than working, at least at work you get an hours lunch break! I am lucky to get a 5 minute wee break haha! So glad you have now got to a point where you don't care what people think, I hope no matter what we decide to do, that I can get there too! thank you for your comment :) x

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  3. The funny thing is that if you do end up going back to work, you’ll then be judged for not being at home with your son! I work full time (yay to you thinking I’m a superwoman!,) and have a two and a half year old. It is tough. I miss my boy so much, I would love to be at home with him even just one day more but we just can’t afford it right now. My mum looks after Zach three days a week and he goes to a wonderful nursery for two days. I have to say, nursery is a massive benefit to him and even if I was at home I would still want him to go. But yes, you should absolutely be allowed to carry out your maternity leave before being asked about work and you should be able to make the decision that is the best for your family regarding whether you go back or not! Unfortunately, you will never win either way, that’s for sure!

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    1. Hi Lisa, Thank you so much for your comment. I will be going back to work, we want to sell our flat and buy a house, and we have a wedding to pay for, so unless I start finding money in Freddie's nappies I will have to work at least 2 days a week. I like you am lucky enough to have my mum offering to have Freddie and I totally agree about nursery. I don't really know anyone with children, so I think it is really important for him to go to nursery, even if I didn't return to work I would still send him a couple of days a week as I can totally see the benefits. I just wish I could have my year or at least 6 months before people started judging and questioning me! I have heard people say they are judged for working too, we will never win! x

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  4. As a mum and part-time worker I can totally relate to this - it's bloody hard work haha! I wish I could be at home with Indiana all day everyday (she's work enough I think). I'm hoping once #2 is here we won't get asked too many questions about this xx

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