The Mixed Up Life of a SAHM

So it’s that big debate all us mothers have in our heads. Are we doing the right thing by our kids, our partners and ourselves. Truth is I don’t think we’ll ever be 100% happy with our decisions. Maybe it’s just me but I don’t think it’s possible to have ‘it all’, not all of the time anyway. What is ‘it all’? I guess that’s subjective but I interpret it to mean being there for our children all the time, earning an income, keeping a home in order, having time to ourselves and keeping a partner happy too. I think think we can have it all in different proportions but which aspect gets the biggest proportion of our precious time?

TalkingMums

For most of us the actual decision is taken out of our hands. Circumstances often dictate those decisions.

I’ve been a SAHM for 6 months now. It was something that I wanted but also needed to do. We didn’t really have any childcare options available for before and after school. Had we had this option, would I have gone back to work, I’m not sure? I’m lucky that financially not going back to work was a viable option. It’s a strange position for me to be in as I’ve worked since I left home at 17 and been largely independent.

Life as a SAHM can be brilliant be it can also be monotonous and quite lonely. Playgroups are sometimes my saviour and often I want to go for me more than him, but some weeks I just want it to be him and me and then I feel guilty that I’m not entertaining him with other children.

Last week my daughter made a remark that made me wonder if I was doing the right thing. Her daddy made a comment about being tired, my daughter said to him “Daddy you can have an early night to bed because you’ve been busy, mummy doesn’t need to because she hasn’t been to work”

TalkingMums
Those big green eyes

Why does she think this? Do I make looking after a home so easy she doesn’t thinks it’s hard work? (Ha, I doubt it). Am I not teaching her a strong work ethic for women? Does she value the role of a mother? Will she think that a woman’s role is in home? I really hope that I can help her see that she holds her own destiny. That she can be whoever she wants to be so long as she works hard to get there. I always talk about the value of things, be it a monetary value or an emotional value.

I don’t want to appear ungrateful that I can be a SAHM but I just wanted to sum up how I’ve felt over the past 6 months.

So the benefits of being a SAHM:

I get to escape the guilt that accompanies the return to work and not being around my little ones (but working mum’s – you shouldn’t feel guilty at all, I just know I did when I returned to work after my first).

I don’t have to suffer the guilt of relying on childcare (although there should be no guilt)

I don’t have to rely on anybody for childcare or pay the extortionate cost of it.

I don’t have to worry about being on my employers blacklist for time off sick (when there are two kids in the house there always seems to be a time of the year where we are suffering bug after bug!).

I can take part in all the school activities and do the school runs without having to juggle holidays and cover.

I get to (try to) meal plan and cook family meals (most of the time – I actually get a sense of achievement when I do this, sad I know).

 

The downsides

I don’t bring in the bacon and therefore have to rely on money from my OH – which is a pretty hard thing to accept after being independent from the age of 17.

I don’t get much time in the company of adults without the demands of little people.

Going to the toilet alone is a rare opportunity.

I sometimes doubt myself and struggle to find my sense of worth.

I feel like I should be able to keep an immaculate house and when it’s not (which is most of the time) I feel like a failure – after all what do I do with all my time!

Car seat dilemma

 

For all you mums out there, whatever you do SAHM, working mother, WAHM etc you are doing your best and you are doing a marvellous job. I try to remind myself that so long as my kids know how much they are loved, that they are fed and watered and that they know I am here for them, then I am doing a good job and so are you. 

What do you do and what is your biggest struggle and best aspect of it?

3 Little Buttons

 

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The Pramshed
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23 COMMENTS

  1. I too have become a SAHM after working as a teacher for 12 yrs. Although I love it and think it’s great how much flexibility it gives our family, I too worry whether I’m providing my girls with a strong enough female role model. I want them to know that this was my choice and I worked hard to be in a position to choose this life. #postsfromtheheart

    • I really hope my daughter (in time) can see that I have worked hard for a career and that my choices over the years have put me in the fortunate position where I actually had the choice to be a SAHM. I’m sure your daughter will learn that you are a strong role model x

  2. It’s so hard no matter what choice you make. I took a year’s maternity leave and now I’m a working mum, so I’ve seen both sides. For me, it’s important to work and have an identity outside the house, but it comes at a high cost – extortionate childcare fees, exhaustion and the guilt. Oh, the guilt.

    • It so hard to feel content with our decisions isn’t it. Guilt is a feeling we all have whichever decision we take. We are all just trying to find the balance and do our best x

  3. I’m a SAHM after leaving my career as a solicitor. It was a tough call and there are days when I miss various aspects of being at work but then along come the days when the kids are sick or have an appointment and I feel so grateful that I’m there for them and don’t need to rely on anyone else. Sometimes it’s just easier being at home in terms of logistics but I’m with you on the downsides too. It can be lonely and isolating. I think it’s hard being a mum full stop whether you stay home or go to work! x #postsfromtheheart

  4. I completely get where you’re coming from. I worked long full time hours for 10 years, and now I’ve been a SAHM for more than 5. I wouldn’t change it, but as you say at times it can be lonely. I can go days without any other adult company other than my husband! I feel lucky though because we own our own business, meaning I get to stay at home yet also have a thing, if that makes sense. And writing has helped me no end! Make sure you take time for you Mama x #BloggerClubUK

    • Thank you, it’s just such a big change! But I’m glad I had this choice and became a SAHM. I definitely try to get a bit of ‘me time’ now and again though. It is great when things all fall into place, glad you have a way of being SAHM and having your own business. Must be tough but very rewarding x

  5. Great, honest post- I like the way you talk about pros and cons in a balanced way. I agree, there is no perfect solution, just ways to make it work better for you and your family. I have found doing some voluntary work from home has helped to keep my brain occupied while I am not in paid work! Thanks for sharing, #BloggerClubUK

  6. A really great post! I have been a SAHM mum for 4 years since Mia was born and I’m currently pregnant so will definitely be a SAHM for another 5 or so years. I absolutely love it now but at the start I struggled, like you with doing the same thing over and over again and without any friends with children, I was really lonely! It took me around 2years to sort myself out and become a lot happier at home. I also struggled with not bringing in any money personally and relying on my partner but having my blog has helped massively with that and Mario is really supportive! 🙂

    #BloggerClubUK

  7. Ah I could have written this post! I’m a SAHM too, by choice, after initially returning to work after mat leave. The worst part is the lack of self worth I put on myself, the wonder that I’m letting myself down and limiting my future career. And the boredom/loneliness some days – though my toddler now talks a lot! The best bit is the freedom to do what we want, like go to the beach on a nice day rather than be stuck in an office, but more than that, it’s the close bond we have. When we were away for two weeks my daughter bonded a lot with her dad, now it’s just the two of us again and I’m number one at the moment, constantly asked for cuddles and showered in love. She tells me I’m her best friend. That makes the hard days worth it. #FortheloveofBLOG xx

    • Aww so glad being a SAHM is working out for you Susie. The lack of self worth is so hard to deal with. It’s such a big transition from being a working woman. We have to remind ourselves to live in the here and now and do what we feel is best and not what we think others want us to do or should do x

  8. I’ve been a SAHM mum for 8 years now. The original plan was to go back to work when our first started school but then I got pregnant with our youngest. As much as I love being a SAHM and am grateful we are able to it my self-worth was at an all time low and I felt like I had disappeared and I didn’t know who I was anymore. Then I started blogging last year and I finally feel like I’ve found myself again. As soon as our youngest is in school in a year though I need to get back to work for financial reasons. Hopefully, I can make enough from the blog to cover what a normal job minus childcare costs would bring in so that I don’t have to juggle the minefield of sick days and school holiday cover etc. I think it seems to be that whatever path we chose, or have to to take, there is always some guilt there about whether it’s the right decision and whether we are letting people down. It’s time to stop with the guilt and own it. All we can ever do is make the decision that is best for us and our family at any given time and screw what anyone else thinks x

  9. I’ve been a stay at home dad since my wife went back full time after second mat leave. The high cost of childcare was going to take the equivalent of my entire salary – even if we’d been able to find two places at nursery full time. And we didnt really want our one year old being looked after by strangers from 8-6 five days a week. Don’t feel guilty about anything. It’s bloody hard work and hats off to anyone who does this long term full time. I have a day a week when they go to nursery as I had some savings but this will run out soon and I have to try and find some part time/freelance work. The house is a tip as i barely get any time when the boys aren’t needing my full attention. Our eldest cant really be trusted with his little brother and I wouldnt leave them alone for more than two minutes anyway. So nothing gets done. (The eldest doesnt nap at all.) Thing is I am so glad i did this as i barely saw my dad growing up and i really feel that although they wont remember this time it has made me understand them better and understand how hard childcare is. My wife is adamant she couldnt be a SAHM but if you want to and can afford to go for it. Everyone should be free to do what they want to and not feel judged. I have no idea what we’ll do when eldest starts school next year. But i expect to be working as we cant manage forever on one income! #fortheloveofblog

  10. Forgot to add – i think your daughter’s comment was innocent so don’t overanalyse it. Kids dont see the world with all the subtleties and angles adults do. She just sees dad go to work and you’re at home. She doesnt see the effort you put in to caring for her. My two certainly dont but how can we expect them to? You dont know until youre a parent yourself!

  11. I totally get all of this. Having been both a working mum, a stay at home mum and a work at home mum, there are definitely pros and cons of both. I think you are totally right that it is impossible to have it all, whatever you ‘choose’ elements will always by lost #PostsFromTheHeart

  12. It sounds like you have got it all covered, and what a fab job you are doing too. I always find posts about SAHM’s fascinating, being a working mum. I think that being able to attend all the events and being around for pick ups, drop offs and activities is such a big thing. I always remember my mum being my rock for things like this, even as a teen. There are so many pros and cons aren’t there. Haha! I wouldn’t worry about your little one offering daddy an early night. I work the same hours as my hubby, and my little one is convinced I work harder 😉 #Dreamteam xx

  13. Ive been a SAHM for the last six years and wouldn’t change it one bit. I have friends who say it must be so boring being “Stuck at home” each day but for us, we are never in! There are down sides, it can be hard to juggle everything and sometimes you just want adult conversation, but the pros outweigh the cons for me. #fortheloveofblog

    • We are rarely at home too Laura, I don’t think I get chance to get bored! Sometimes I’ll go a few days without meeting up with other adults and begin to feel a bit absent but that is easily rectified! The pros definitely outweigh the cons x

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