Stay at Home mums

(1000 Posts)
marilynmonroe Mon 13-May-13 21:01:55

There is something that has been bothering me for a while about being a stay at home mum.

I decided to stay at home with my kids after my second was born. I enjoyed my job but wanted to be at home with my children. I have (and sometimes still) struggled with this. In the way that people who I meet will find me boring as all I do is look after the kids, clean, cook etc etc.I am an interesting person who reads, keeps up to date with what is going on in the world and I don't just talk about my kids!

Anyway, I'm getting to my point now, my eldest is about to start school in September and all I get asked at the moment is "have you thought what you are going to do next?" "Are you going to go back to work" now this may be due to small talk etc but...

It makes me feel that I should be thinking about doing something else.
But I feel that the kids need me now more than ever when they are at school and what about school holidays etc.

This isn't a thread about what's best, being a stay at home mum or a working mum.

I would like to hear from other mums that didn't go back to work when their kids started school and what they did with their time when they were at school?

I do worry about how i will fill my time when that happens and if I will get bored. Is there anything wrong with not wanting to go back to work and look after your family? Why do women feel that they have to go back to work when they don't need to? I'm in a very lucky situation where I don't need to work for financial reasons although this could change at anytime as my partner is self employed. I don't want to start a discussion about how some women have to work etc etc.

I'm not sure if I am being clear, I have been thinking a lot about this recently. Would like to hear other people's opinions just to make me feel better about my choice I guess. Maybe I'm trying to justify my choice.

Thanks for reading!

KatAndKit Mon 13-May-13 21:06:19

Your life your choice.
If you want to do something fulfilling with your time but don't want to go back to work you could do some volunteering. It will be good on your cv if you do eventually return.
However, the longer you stay out of the workforce the harder it will be to get back into a well paid job if you need to.

Fairylea Mon 13-May-13 21:09:36

I am a sahm. And I intend to stay that way for as long as finances allow. I don't feel I have to justify myself to anyone. Or "do" anything.

I used to have a very high flying career and I hated it and then had a minimum wage job part time for a bit. And then met my dh after a couple of bad relationships and now I don't feel I have a need to do anything really. I'm happiest being at home.

However, a lot of that comes from having a very supportive partner who respects what I do and we share all finances equally so we have joint spending money and I feel I have rightfully earned my share so I spend and enjoy whatever I like within budget.

I spend my days doing whatever I like and doing enough housework to keep things ticking over.. I currently have ds 11 months at home with me but I also have an older child and when she was at school I just went out, went walking, read, went on forums, watched tv, tidied up and cooked etc. I love it.

We are a low income family and I budget carefully. I have no desire to work ever again. I hate working and being around other people.

HollyBerryBush Mon 13-May-13 21:11:11

I hated being at home. I hated maternity leave. I hated having to be at home. Absolutely loathed it. I don't even like days off or holidays from work.

I like work grin. Home is boring and sucks your life away.

MammaTJ Mon 13-May-13 21:11:19

As someone who went back to work when my youngest was two and a half years old, there is nothing wrong with wanting to stay at home as long as you want.

I would find plenty to talk about with you, we both have children, we both read. I would ask what you used to do though, just to try to find another common interest maybe. I might ask if you intended to go back to work too, again, as a point to discuss, rather than to make a judgement.

1Catherine1 Mon 13-May-13 21:11:21

What's to justify? If you don't want to go back and don't need to then that's it isn't it? That's your choice and your DH choice. I don't judge people who choose this if it makes them happy.

I mean, I would be bored out of my mind, the same way I start to get bored on the 5th week of the summer holidays. That is also because, that tends to be when I've ran out of money. smile

I don't really get why you would be bothered by people asking what you are going to do next. Its purely curiosity, I'm curious how you could fill days without your kids with something stimulating. Unless you have lots of money to spend and friends who will also not be working. Maybe because I'm not one for art galleries and walks through the park or other such things that are "enjoyable" alone and free.

babanouche Mon 13-May-13 21:14:20

I agree, your life, your choice. As long as you're aware that if the worst comes to the worst with your relationship you would find it difficult getting back into the workforce, being independent etc. However, do we always have to plan for the worst? Shit happens in life no matter what you do and I think the best thing is to do what's best for you and your family.

No doubt you will get strange looks from people who don't understand your choice - just give them a big smile and be don't apologise for being who you are.

marilynmonroe Mon 13-May-13 21:15:28

fairylea thanks for your post. I do a supportive partner who would rather I was at home but would equally support me if I decided to go back to work.

I'm sure that I can fill my time but sometimes I have doubts.

KatandKit I understand what you are saying about being out of the work place for a long time but I think if I ever did go back to work I would retrain and do something else. (all in an ideal world of course!)

HumphreyCobbler Mon 13-May-13 21:17:56

I am a SAHM with one 6 year old and one 4 year old. I sometimes do a bit of teaching, but when I feel like it. No one ever asks me what I am going to do next - or if they do I don't remember. I am entirely happy not working out of the home. I worked for 18 months (finished last year) and whilst I loved the job I didn't find it conducive to family life and I am lucky enough to be able to make the decision not to continue.

I am five months pregnant so I suppose that means the next few years are spoken for, but I have no intention of working unless I have to. I have lots of things to do that I enjoy doing - a garden that supplies most of our veg and fruit, animals that need looking after, volunteering responsibilities etc. Cleaning and cooking gets done. I never feel I need to justify my existence to anyone.

PatsysPyjamas Mon 13-May-13 21:18:26

Presumably your youngest is still at home anyway? I work, but I think it's probably great for kids whose mums don't work. You've nothing to feel bad about whatsoever.

Moomoomie Mon 13-May-13 21:18:38

Your life. Your choice. If it works for your family and you are all happy. Sod everybody else.

LottieH Mon 13-May-13 21:18:48

I think it's very important to do what YOU want to do. Clearly you want to be at home with the children, be there to go to school assemblies, pick them up from school etc. I'm an SAHM too and love it. I do a bit of eBaying to justify my existence but to be honest even though I have 6 hours to myself while they're at school I'm never bored. I'm sure your children would far prefer you to be there for them before & after school rather than being fobbed off to some breakfast club or picked up by a childminder. Stick to your guns & ignore any busybodies questioning what you do! x

Fairylea Mon 13-May-13 21:20:02

I know what people mean about planning for the worst but sometimes by planning for the worst you don't enjoy the present.

Everyone is different and it's strange because I've been the mum who returned to work when dd was 6 weeks old (she is now 10 years old) because I was very career minded then... and now having done all that I'm the total opposite and you'd have to drag me kicking and screaming back to work!

Dh supports me either way, he just wants me to be happy.

AlvinHallsGroupie Mon 13-May-13 21:23:51

i didnt have to go back to work but I really wanted to.
I am a HCP who loves their job and I have a great career .
I was at home when they were little and gradually increased my hours.
I have a very supportive DH and have never needed to use childcare as a result.
There are pros/cons to every choice <shrug>

numbum Mon 13-May-13 21:23:57

I don't understand SAHM's who don't have children at home, but each to their own and it doesn't bother me what other women do with their time alone. I work term time only half of the week and that suits me, I couldn't be out with friends shopping or doing housework at home all week but that's just me

nicky2512 Mon 13-May-13 21:24:12

I have been a sahm since dd was born (now 11) and ds is 7. I get all the comments too about going to work now they are both at school. I just smile and say I don't have time! I volunteer in school a bit, walk lots and have never had a problem filling my day but really I think its down to what makes each of us happy. I may well return to work at some point but at the minute, me being at home is what is best for our family and I appreciate being able to.

valiumredhead Mon 13-May-13 21:27:46

I am a SAHM and have been pretty much apart from a year about 5 tears ago. Ds is 12.

I am crap at working and keeping things goings at home as well - I just can't do both well, I also have mobility issues which would make working hard.

I wouldn't earn enough to pay for holiday clubs/childcare for ds in the holidays.

I seem to do more ferrying ds around now for after school activities etc than I ever did when he was little.

We're fortunate that we don't need extra income.

I don't feel the need to justify anything to anyone but there is a definite 'snootiness' wrt SAHMs ime.

I also don't feel the need to justify my existence by doing charity/volunteer work just as I didn't when I worked either - I'm never sure why one is expected to become all charitable if one doesn't work but it's usually always brought up on these threads.

I usually find a big grin and 'It works well for us' puts an end to anyone questioning our decisions wink

valiumredhead Mon 13-May-13 21:28:58

Do you really think SAHM shop and do housework all day numbum?

I worked FT after my first, PT after my second and became a SAHM after my third. I hated my job and was relieved about not going back. I've been a SAHM for over 6 years now and I love it.

DH's job means that he was rarely able to take time off if any of the children were ill so it is a relief to know that I have that covered. Finances are shared and both roles are equally valued by the other partner.

I fill my days and am rarely at a loose end. I provide admin support to a couple of groups that meet in the evenings when DH is home - it pays a small amount so I feel I am also making a financial contribution and will be useful if I need a reference at any time in the future.

I am involved in the PTA cliche and a couple of other voluntary groups.

I was a SAHM for 4 years. I love my own company, the kids on in the way of that a little wink. Oldest two now at school and I started back at uni this year, did acces the year before. I love studying, really enjoying it.

But, and its a big but, I have zero intention of getting a job at the end. Hopefully I can scrape the cash together to do a phd, but still - I don't want a job after that either. I will get one if I fancy it, the hours fit around schools, and its not too far away. Not really interested in pay scale, just fancying it.

We don't have much money, but lemonade dreams to match so that's not really an issue, and DH is utterly supportive of me buggering about doing what I fancy. I have no issue telling people I don't want a job, they often cock their head at my plans though. grin

Most the things you mention I take as conversation starters tbh. smile

numbum Mon 13-May-13 21:33:31

No of course not hence the crossing out. It wasn't meant seriously. I was a SAHM for a year and that's what I did though grin

I soon got bored which is why I now work for half of the week and spend the rest of the week shopping and doing housework!

All finances in and out are from one (little) pot, everything is shared, we have no his and hers money in this house, all family... I spose that helps smile

dimsum123 Mon 13-May-13 21:35:10

My dc's are 7 and 9. I've been a SAHM for 10 years and I love it. I read, go for walks, coffees, lunches with friends, swim 3 times a week, get all shopping and chores etc out of the way so weekend is spent doing fun things.

I never want to go back to work and DH doesn't mind what I do as long as I'm happy.

My children are 6 and 9 and I am a sahm. I drop them off/pick them up from school, ferry them to afterschool clubs, etc. When they are at school I do housework stuff and go to the sports centre to do exercise classes. I also help the school out by being a parent helper and will go on school trips so they can keep to the adult:child ratio. If I went back to work I would need to pay for childcare as there is no family that could drop off and pick up the children and jobs that fit around school hours are hard to come by. We would also have to juggle childcare during school holidays.

1Catherine1 Mon 13-May-13 21:36:04

I think this is the problem isn't it Valiumredhead, those that have never been SAHM to school age children don't know what it is SAHM do all day and when they ask (purely out of curiosity) they get a vague answer and/or the person goes all offended - rather than just answer the dam question! Its only curiosity to begin with, its not as if it makes a difference to anyone else what it is you do. Perhaps we just want to know if the grass is greener on the other side or if we should stay put as WOHM? Perhaps people aren't being judgy? Perhaps they are... I only know that I am genuinely (non judgementally) curious.

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