Never did I imagine that I’d be a stay at home mum.
All throughout my pregnancy and even until half way through my maternity leave, the plan was to always go back to work. Not to my job at the time because we had moved out of London when Arlo was 3 months old, but I was confident that I’d start looking for something local to our new house, and that I’d be back at work in time for the end of my maternity leave.
Well that plan was soon scrapped and I’ve been a stay at home mum ever since.
I don’t want this post to sound ungrateful- well in terms of the “lows of a stay at home mum” part anyway. I say that because I know there are some people out there that believe it’s an absolute luxury to stay at home with your child and not go to work, and of course to an extent it can be so amazing and rewarding (more about that in a bit)… but best believe it’s not always as lovely as some may think.
This post isn’t to complain, I’m here to just merely shed some light on how hard it can also be and give those mums out there who also stay at home a little reminder that they aren’t the only ones still in their pjs at 4 o clock on a Wednesday afternoon.
So on that note we better start with that.
Yes some days, I don’t get dressed
Ok so the new mums with their newborns are excused for not having to get ready for bed, because well, they already were ready… please tell me that it’s acceptable for mums to toddlers, or mums of kids any age for that matter, to just sack off normal clothing and spend the day in their pjs?
I don’t know whether this one is a high or low actually. Maybe a low because I do get a bit agitated with myself having not gotten dressed all day. But at the same time, it’s a bit of a high because, well a day in your comfortable pjs isn’t all that bad.
Entertainment/stimulation all the time
I’ve doubted myself many times- has he got enough toys? Is he playing enough? Is he watching too much tv? Are his toys stimulating and educational enough? It goes around my head some days. But I hope that’s pretty normal especially for a first time mum… it can be a worry, you compare yourself to other mums and think about what they’re doing for their kids at home, and then you even wonder if he’d be better off in nursery if he’d be more stimulated there.
I must admit in recent months I’ve kind of learnt to accept that I am enough. He has all he needs at home with me. Sometimes it isn’t all that easy to to keep reminding yourself of that.
Being spontaneous and flexible
I love a plan and a routine don’t get me wrong, but being a stay at home mum does allow for waking up and deciding what we will do. Working from home does ground me a bit of course and I do need to dedicate time each day for bits and pieces but the flexibility element is a great thing.
Working from home can be a bit of a battle, ok a big battle
So to give a bit of context, my partner, Arlo’s dad, works full time and when we decided that I wouldn’t be going back to work my blog and Instagram was of course my hobby but started to bring some opportunities that enabled me to work from home.
The life of a freelancer is very up and down and of course, you get out what you put in. Personal circumstances, mum life, and just life in general gets in the way, so I guess working from home hasn’t been as consistent as I may have imagined it’d be.
As Arlo has gotten older, having a toddler at my leg trying to reply to emails isn’t really ideal. I found that from about 12 months it became increasingly harder to work from home during the days, one of his naps dropped off and by the evening I was even more tired from the general running around after a toddler all day.
I have found a bit of a balance in more recent months which has allowed me to dedicate more time to my freelance work, but it’s no lie that it is really hard with a toddler that isn’t in nursery.
Sacrifice and going without
When we made the decision for me to stay at home, we knew things would be tighter financially. We all know how much nursery costs, and it’s no secret that £1000, sometimes more can be taken from your pay packet before you’ve even seen it to put your child in nursery full time. In all honesty, I would have to land myself a pretty decent wage for this to be even worth it for us… and then I always think would it be worth it?
So sometimes there is no extra money to put away for a holiday, or buying new clothes for ourselves, like there used to be. Parenthood is all about sacrifice and for us, with me being a stay at home mum, sometimes going without is just what it is right now and I’m not ashamed to admit that.
Spending every day with my son
Ending on a high of course- spending each and every day with my beautiful little boy brings me so much happiness. Despite the doubts and the what ifs, this is our reality right now and I feel very lucky to be able to be at home with him. He is only little once and I know I am doing the right thing for him and for our little family. Some days its hard, with no support on our doorstep, I do sometimes feel like I’m losing my mind but I know it’ll be worth it.
Whatever your reality, you’ve got this!