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Tell me nice things about being a stay at home mum

(15 Posts)
Londonmamabychance Sat 28-Jan-17 12:03:28

If you are a SAHM, do you enjoy it? What do you like about it and what do you love less? What are the pitfalls and perks?

After looking closely at our financial situation as it would be with two kids in full time nursery and both under 4, it's dawned on me I have no financial reason to work for the next two years at least. DD is 2,3 and DS 6 weeks. So now contemplating staying at home with them until DD is 4 and goes to pre-school, or even potentially until DS is pre-school age.

Was quite career minded earlier on, but feel I am now left with three options: 1) Return to my job after mat leave and for two years work for initially none and then very little profit, as well as no career or salary progression. This job allows me to leave in time to pick up kids. DH works in an industry where this - or part time - will never be an option. 2) Look for another higher paying job which allows career progress. No doubt such a job will entail longer working hours, and we will probably need a childminder or nanny to pick up the kids regularly. 3) Stay at home with the kids for some years and get by on DH's salary, which we just about can manage if we move out of zone two and contend ourselves with a two-bed flat and no extravagances.

As option 1 seems pointless, and option 2 is not why I had children - to hardly spend any time with them and be stressed out about juggling career and kids at the same time - I'm now considering option 3.

Please tell me what the SAHM life is like, and if any of you regret going down that route.

Londonmamabychance Sat 28-Jan-17 12:04:31

Headline was probably a bit misleading - pls just tell me the truth, nice things and bad things about staying at home.

weekendninja Sat 28-Jan-17 12:13:12

Is working part time and option? That was you can retain your job and return to full time easier?

I was a SAHM following the birth of my first and I loved it. It was challenging but what I feel was best for us all round. It enabled my DH's career to skyrocket which was great for a time. Unfortunately it didn't stroke his ego quite enough so he had affairs and the marriage is now dead in the water.

It sounds really cynical but I would try to retain some form of employment for a security blanket. If your job is one that you can pick up at anytime easily enough then maybe not so much.

TheresABluebirdOnMyShoulder Sat 28-Jan-17 12:16:12

On the whole, I love being a SAHM. It's not for everybody, and that's fine, but for me there is nothing more rewarding and my DC are my absolute favourite people in the world so I feel very lucky to be in the fortunate position that I can spend all day with them. Although I had a fairly well paid professional job prior to DC, I was never really a "career" person. I wasn't passionate about my job. I miss adult conversation and having a bit of peace and quiet (and a tea break!) but I don't miss the job itself.

As for the negatives...It can be boring. Really boring. But I think it is what you make of it to an extent. With a baby you are a bit of a slave to their routine for a long time and it can be a hard slog (feed/sleep/nappy/repeat for months). But as they get older there are a lot of things you can do to make each day fun and fulfilling. Obviously this depends on your transport and financial situation and what is available in your local area, but we do lots of things like swimming, going to the park, museums, clubs etc.

I am currently planning a new business set up but this will work around the children. Is part time/self employed an option for you?

Stuffedshirt Sat 28-Jan-17 12:16:21

I was a SAHM with three under five. I absolutely loved it as I didn't miss a moment of my little one's development. It also meant that if we've had a bad night I didn't have to go to work the next day. When they had a nap, or some quiet time after lunch, I could put my feet up.

Quite early on I realised that I had to get out of the house every day, or if not, have someone round to mine for coffee.

We regularly went to parent and baby/toddler groups, which benefited both my DC and me. We also went swimming once a week.

Every afternoon we'd get out again onto the park. If can be a faff to get everyone ready but I would have gone crazy if we hadn't got out and about.

I also spent a lot of time playing with and reading to my DC. I didn't do an awful lot of housework, just the basics. My mum always used to say that children will remember a mummy who had time for them, but couldn't care less about a clean and tidy house. So true.

I did used to cook though and shopping was another outing that I used to enjoy. I tended to shop with just the youngest, once the other two were in playgroup on some days.

I loved getting my DC involved in cooking and baking, a bit chaotic at times but they all still love food and "helping".

Gardening was something else we did. We had a little plot in the garden and we had herbs and things like lettuce, radish, carrots growing. The children loved to be involved.

I look back on those days as the very best. Go for it and make the most of it. It's time you will never have again.

EmzDisco Sat 28-Jan-17 12:20:42

I was made redundant on mat leave, so decided to try staying at home. My DD is only 16 mo, so relatively early days!

She actually now goes to a childminder 2 mornings a week, that's my time to work on a v small little business, do a bit of housework that hard to do with small people around, and some me time. I found it very intense being with her 24/7 and this time doing other things with my brain makes me a better parent when we are together.

I think to be a SAHP with no breaks - be it a couple of mornings at a nursery, the working parent taking the kids out every Saturday, or regular grand parent help etc it would be v hard work to keep sane!

Nice things - no commute, no office politics, no missing your children, no missing milestones, no appraisals, no uncomfortable work shoes... ha!

Bad things - work can be a big part of your identity, less contact with other adults, being responsible for all housework and boring chores etc potentially, days can all merge into one, having to think of stimulating activities

I don't regret it yet, but so appreciate I am lucky to have a bit of a "best of both" situation

Londonmamabychance Sat 28-Jan-17 12:39:14

thanks for your comments! I am looking at whether we'd be able to afford just one day at nursery or with childminder a week for them, or potentially two mornings. I'm also already doing a bit of freelance work from home and if this goes well could potentially keep that uo it's nice to have the chance to do a little bit of sonmething else than childcare. Also, the good thing about London is that there are so many activities for kids, free and paid!

isittheholidaysyet Sat 28-Jan-17 12:53:35

You get to spend loads of time with your lovely children. Seeing them grow and develop, educating them about the world.
I wouldn't have missed it for the world.

Yes it can be boring, I had to get out everyday to meet adults, so we did lots of baby groups and toddler groups and I often ended up helping to run and organise them, which (along with activities I did at church) fulfilled my need to be productive, which some people get from paid work.

You need to have an understanding with your partner that your 'job' is looking after the children whilst he works. As if they were in nursery. So you are training them and educating them, a trip to the park or a slow walk to the post office will take precedence over housework. Obviously you'll try to get as much housework and cooking done as possible, but having three people around all day makes a lot of mess, if you were all leaving the house at 8am and not returning till 5 the place would stay immaculate. Make sure he understands that once he returns from work he'll be sharing the housework and kids as he would have been if you'd also been working full-time.

I've found it great fun. I'm so glad I had the opportunity to be around for my children.

isittheholidaysyet Sat 28-Jan-17 12:55:37

Oh yes, and mine all went to nursery for a morning or 2, from when they were 2years. It gave me a head break either to do housework or to take the younger child(ren) to activities more suitable to younger children.

skankingpiglet Sun 29-Jan-17 13:30:33

I agree totally with isittheholidaysyet particularly the importance of your OH, how they view your role and their expectations of what they still need to do around the house/with the children.

It's wonderful spending the time with the DCs, but I find it exhausting and relentless. I miss decent adult conversation, which can be hard to reach with other mums at playgroups as it can be difficult to move past the topic of the kids and related subjects. I miss having something tangible to show for my day other than alive children (my job involved/s building and making rather than emails and phone calls). It can be quite lonely and you don't get the rest of doing something different for a couple of days a week as you would if you were WOH mon-fri then childcare sat-sun. When it's good, it's great and I feel very lucky to have the option, but I certainly wouldn't describe it as easy!
I am on Mat leave at the moment but I'll return to pt self-employed work once DD1 gets her free childcare hours in September (baby will be 15mo by then). Just 2 days/week, but enough to give me a mental break and a sense of actually accomplishing something. I do need to bring in a small amount of money, but would still do a bit even if it wasn't necessary TBH. It gives me time to recharge (despite it being physically demanding!), and means the DCs get some extra social interaction which I think is beneficial to them too.

Londonmamabychance Sun 29-Jan-17 14:28:44

Skankinpiglet, that's good to hear you say that. It is something I've been thinking about too, whether I would just go nuts from it, not working with something else. I work in politics and am used to being v involved with current issues etc, and already after 2 months mat leave now, I do feel a bit sidelined. So that feeling could of course get much worse. I guess a proper part time job would be a solution, like three days a current job would max offer 1 day off, and then it's the thing that I just dontø earn anything by working there with two kids in nursery! arg, I just don't know what to do. I'm worried I will miss working if I stay at home and worried I'll be too stressed out if I go to work and have to deal with drop offs and pick ups etc

blinkineckmum Sun 29-Jan-17 14:42:33

I would love to be a SAHM but even with 2 tinies it is better for me to go to work part time. I pay very little tax, no student loan repayments, get childcare vouchers and tax credits, so when I worked it out I thought I was working for nothing but I'm not. The difference in our income is about £10k across the year, which allows us to improve the house and go on holiday.
However, when no.3 comes along I may take time out to be there for all the preschool/ school drop-offs etc, and to spend time with them whilst they're little as you say...

Mama2708 Sun 29-Jan-17 22:41:36

I can totally relate to this. I'm due to go back to work in April and it makes no financial sense for me to go back full time. I would literally be working simply to pay for nursery and this is not why I had children.

I'm going to go back part time instead and see how I get on but I totally understand your thoughts about the whole thing.

I think the key is to be really organised with what you do with your time as not having anything to do can send you mad. I found this out when all my friends and family were at work and I was sat at home with a baby.
It was quite lonely until I started to plan different things to do.

Good luck, I'm sure you'll do what's right for your family x

user1485734661 Mon 30-Jan-17 00:05:55

I love it when my LO is in a good mood, but I hate it when he is having a really bad day/tantrum sadwine

GimmeeMoore Mon 30-Jan-17 21:34:31

I work ft,my advice would be don't give up work.maintain your career,contacts,skills
keep working at least pt ,it is worth the financial/emotional investment in long term
You'll be a good role model by working,you'll be stimulated

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