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!

AlvinHallsGroupie Fri 17-May-13 22:14:32

did helped hmm
helped

ihategeorgeosborne Fri 17-May-13 22:13:04

Sorry,*Permanently*, I didn't mean that working parents take SAHM volunteers for granted, I actually meant that I have been guilty of taking them for granted myself. I appreciate what they do and I will do more too when I am in a position to. I also realise that WOHPs volunteer too. However, at the school my dc attend, there is a high proportion of SAHP volunteers.

AlvinHallsGroupie Fri 17-May-13 22:12:51

Permanently I also helped out at Brownies and Guides,with swimming and reading at school and DH did helped on several school trips and with school projects both WOHP
I should also add those who cant always give time contribute in their giving to charity - equally vital .

Permanentlyexhausted Fri 17-May-13 22:08:59

Point made, I think!

Permanentlyexhausted Fri 17-May-13 22:08:02

Well, thanks, Almostfifty. Clearly my contribution is worthless because I work as well.

morethanpotatoprints Fri 17-May-13 22:07:28

Bonsoir.

I agree there.
When we had all the snow and people were unable to get about, the workers were struggling into work and trying to find childcare when schools were closed.
It was the sahm who were calling on elderly neighbours and doing shopping etc. Not because they are better but just had the time. Quite often as I go about I see sahms volunteering for lots of things, not just charity shops and helping at school.
I would volunteer more if time permitted but dd and I still call on neighbours between Maths and English.

Permanentlyexhausted Fri 17-May-13 22:05:43

Bonsoir and so do WOHPs.

Yes, lots of SAHPs volunteer for various things, but so do lots of WOHPs.

I do feel quite irritated that my contribution is largely ignored (as in the way what I have written above has been ignored) because it doesn't seem to fit with what other people want to believe (i.e that working parents take SAHPs volunteering for granted).

Almostfifty Fri 17-May-13 22:03:23

Permanentlyexhausted yes, SAHMs.

I know there's plenty of people who work that do voluntary work, but they couldn't do the amount I do if they worked. I do over thirty hours a week, and gladly, because I have the time.

My argument is that people seem to think that SAHMs just sit around doing diddly squat. I don't, and know plenty like me.

Permanentlyexhausted Fri 17-May-13 22:00:37

And I'll add that, where I live, of the 20+ Rainbow, Brownie, Guide, Beaver, Cub, and Scout leaders, only one is a SAHM. Everyone else works.

Bonsoir Fri 17-May-13 21:58:17

Yup, SAHMs do lots of small jobs for others for free.

jellybeans Fri 17-May-13 21:57:11

MumnGran great posts smile

Blueskiesandbuttercups Fri 17-May-13 21:56:22

And half the jobs won't be taxed anyway but will cost the state in childcare.

Usual Tory policy drawn up on the back of a fag packet.

Permanentlyexhausted Fri 17-May-13 21:55:26

Almostfifty

If it wasn't for people like me, voluntary groups that do a lot of good would fall apart. I do it purely because I have the time, I wouldn't have that time if I worked.

Think on that next time you drop off your child at Beavers/Cubs/Scouts then moan about the leaders.

Whilst I am exceedingly grateful that people like you (I'm guessing you mean SAHMs) run groups like Cubs, etc, I would like to point out that this is hardly the preserve of the SAHM. I run a Brownie unit with 24 girls. I also work full time. I do all the admin, accounts, and organise the programme, because my other uniformed leader doesn't want to do much. I have a couple of (working) parents who help out at meetings to keep us within our ratios. I would LOVE just ONE of the SAHMs to help out even occasionally but sadly, no, they're just not interested.

ihategeorgeosborne Fri 17-May-13 21:52:47

He might also find that there is a shortfall in jobs to match hmm

ihategeorgeosborne Fri 17-May-13 21:51:34

Well said Almostfifty, I'm the same as you, except my youngest is 2, so obviously he still needs me here. Practically all of the parents that volunteer at the school with reading, school trips, PTA, playground assistants, etc are SAHMs. I'm not sure what would happen without them to be honest. When my youngest starts school, I plan to do more volunteering. I feel that I am very lucky for my children to have been able to benefit from helpful, kind volunteers, and would like to give something back myself. David Cameron spouts on about his big society, but without volunteers, this would not exist. If Cameron succeeds in his quest to get all women back to work, he might find that there is a huge shortfall in the other free services that we all take advantage of and sometimes even take for granted.

Almostfifty Fri 17-May-13 21:39:58

The first one of these threads I saw made me join after years of lurking.

This is the message I put on there. My mindset hasn't changed since.

This is to Noorny:

I'm a long term lurker, and this thread has got me so annoyed, I've joined.

I'm a SAHM. We jointly made the decision that we didn't want anyone else to bring up our children, we had no family around to help, so as my wages were half my husband's I left work.

We went on to have three other children. The childminding costs would have been more than I would have earned, so it was a simple choice to continue on. My husband has always worked long hours, and has frequently had jobs that took him away from home for weeks on end, me being at home has meant life is much, much easier.

Twenty-one years later, our youngest is now 14 and I'm still a SAHM. I could work, but we manage fine on one wage, have a holiday abroad every year and have two decent cars. We're not rolling in it, but we have enough to live on and be comfortable.

What do I do with my time? I sit around watching Jeremy Kyle obviously....

Actually, I do voluntary work. Lots and lots and lots of it. I work a couple of days a week in the office of our local children's hospice, I help out in our local primary school and I run the local scout group. It takes up a great deal of time and effort.

If it wasn't for people like me, voluntary groups that do a lot of good would fall apart. I do it purely because I have the time, I wouldn't have that time if I worked.

Think on that next time you drop off your child at Beavers/Cubs/Scouts then moan about the leaders.

Think on that next time you see a parent who does reading with the children at school to encourage their potential.

Think on that next time you drop a pound into a charity box.

I also manage to do my housework during the week, so nights and weekends are free, ensure my sons do their homework when they're not shattered, and cook a proper meal every evening.

The good thing about all this voluntary work is that if I have a problem with my children and need time off, I can do it without it impacting on anything.

Those of you that wonder what we SAHM Mums do all day, this is what one does. Don't any of you dare presume that we don't do anything.

MumnGran Fri 17-May-13 21:24:06

My grandmother used to use an interesting expression (probably acquired around the time she was chaining herself to railings, struggling to achieve the right for women to vote")

"Methinks she protesteth too much"

In Grandmammas' usage, it referred to people who state a case endlessly, and usually with no acceptance of an alternative viewpoint, because it is a subject on which they have (undisclosed) reasons to be very defensive.

She had a point.

sunshine401 Fri 17-May-13 21:23:09

When my children were little, going to work for the part time hours I did back then was like having a rest. Being a SAHM is dam hard. Of course I assume it is a bit easier with all the children in education but then again it will be drop off at 9 and pick up at 3:15, so depending on your travel time to drop and collect the children you only get a few hours. Compared to full time workers who use after school clubs/activities/breakfast club and so on.

KitchenandJumble Fri 17-May-13 21:04:15

Just catching up on this thread. Great to see that the irony has only increased!

I'm rather amused at the post that seemed to claim mental illness was the result of having a WOHM. That is one of the silliest things I've ever read on MN.

It would be lovely to think that all our choices were freely made and we are all equally able to make whatever choices we want. However, as several posters have argued eloquently, the current social structure does not support that interpretation. I hope we are moving in the right direction but if so it seems to be at a glacial pace.

racmun Fri 17-May-13 21:03:40

Noorny

So what if a SAHM who's children are at school does have an easy life - what is wrong with it??

Assuming the family are well off enough to provide for their children and EVERYONE is happy why is it a problem.

I know loads of SAHM who enjoy their hobbies like horse riding, which is very time consuming, going to the gym or yoga meeting up with friends etc

They are not drudges their DH's are happy their children are happy and they are happy.

Dosser is a derogatory term and implies someone bumming around at home all day being lazy. Just because you don't go to work doesn't mean you are lazy

racmun Fri 17-May-13 20:56:40

Xenia
Just out if interest other than using your family as an example what evidence do you have to support your statement that

"children of working mothers tend to do better in life"

I am genuinely interested.

Noorny Fri 17-May-13 20:54:22

My mum was a SAHM and none of her children have grown up having no ambition. I am a solicitor, my brother got a first in his degree, my sister is an accountant and my other sister got 10 gcse 4 a's at a level and is a trainee doctor*.

But did she manage her cycling proficiency test and her 25 metres swimming badge?

ihategeorgeosborne Fri 17-May-13 20:51:30

Maybe because Noorny, in those days it wasn't so necessary for two parents to work. Things were cheaper, housing for a start, was considerably cheaper. My parents bought their first house in 1960 for 4k. My dad didn't have a mortgage and paid cash. Can you imagine buying a house for cash now. My dad worked for the African government and came home for about 6 weeks a year and my mum had 6 dc to look after, one of which was handicapped. She had to be a SAHM under the circumstances. Many women were then. It was actually considered perfectly normal. There were no benefits either, apart from maybe some form of family allowance, not sure when that came in to be honest.

racmun Fri 17-May-13 20:51:18

In lots of families 2 parents working doesn't equal private school fees and an abundance of money equally lots of families afford v v v nice lifestyles on just income.

My mum was a SAHM and none of her children have grown up having no ambition. I am a solicitor, my brother got a first in his degree, my sister is an accountant and my other sister got 10* gcse 4 a's at a level and is a trainee doctor.

Your children will tend to do well if you are aspirational and ambitious which both my parents are. Ambitious people will often go back to work to achieve better 'things' for their families but working isn't the only benchmark by which to measure how successful their children will be.

StealthOfficialCrispTester Fri 17-May-13 20:45:55

Noorny, are you ever in the house alone without your children? Do they ever spend a night at grandparents?

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