I’m so lucky to be able to spend 5 days a week with Ella. But do I ever need those 2 working days!!
I was very much driven to start my own business so I could be in the position I am now, being a mum the majority of the time, but also being able to have a career.
Now I’ve been balancing the two for the past year, I’ve realised how perfectly it works for me! I absolutely love my days with Ella. I just can’t imagine now working full time and not getting to spend as much time with her. It’s great to be able to take her to playgroups, to help her learn and develop and to build our bond together.
But, I also can’t imagine not working at all and this being my full time role. Much as my hours are (by choice) low, they are still needed!
Here’s a few reasons I couldn’t do this full time and why I have utmost respect for mums that do (oh and dads too!!)!
1. Adult Conversation
Now of course SAHMs do have adult conversations! You don’t find yourself chatting to them in kid speak! But, they certainly get less opportunity to talk about something other than kids. And that’s the big draw for me. I struggle to talk non-stop kids. It’s a reason I had to stop going to one baby group I went to. It was all chat about the babies. I don’t really like chatting about me either. But I do like chatting about the wider world, and business, and, well, anything really! I suppose I vent all my kid talk on here, but this somehow feels different to only talking kids in person!
My god, how often do children need feeding?! Well, it’s pretty similar to us really. 3 meals with a snack or two in between. But I find it so much harder to feed Ella than feeding myself! I can grab and go, eat something quick and simple. Eat something healthy because I know I should, even though pizza for lunch everyday would be amazing! Yet with kids, you’ve got the battle of creating a balanced meal that they’ll actually eat! I’m sure if I gave Ella a plate of chocolate, cheese and sweets, followed by ice cream, for every meal, she’d demolish every last bit. Instead, I make sure there’s always veg included, then get demoralised when said veg ends up in the dog’s mouth rather than Ella’s! She isn’t bad for eating healthy stuff, but it depends how she’s feeling at the time. And then there’s the mess clean up after! I do look forward to the days I don’t have to think of another balanced meal!
3. Not getting paid
When mums go out to work and put their children in full time childcare, the big advantage is bringing home an income. But SAHMs work just as hard, and often harder, and yet don’t get paid for doing it. And of course they wouldn’t expect to. I have problems with not earning money. Something in my psyche goes awry when I’m not earning! I like my independence and to have my own money to do what I want with. SAHMs I salute you for how hard you work for little financial return (but huge emotional return!)!
4. Pressure to entertain
Ella doesn’t like being in the house all day, and neither do I. We walk the dog every day, and then it’s a case of ‘what next’! I feel the pressure to come up with something fun to do on every one of my days off with Ella. And when we are in the house, I’m doing my best to play with her. But, I’ll be honest, I can soon get bored with kid play. I love that nursery will give her a full day of different activities and experiences and feel it takes the pressure off me somewhat!
5. Alone time
Enjoying a hot brew, eating without sharing, having silence for your thoughts, are all things I love about my working days! Ella is perfecting her toddler whinge currently. She’s regularly found trying to get in to the snack cupboard, then whinging and eventually tantrumming when she can’t. My working days mean I have a break from these battles and all the other ones that emerge each day!
So, stay at home mums and dads, I salute you! You do such an amazing job, have to put up with a lot of shit (sometimes literally), but I know you get the best rewards too! And I’m very glad to be in the unique position of only working 2 days a week so I know how hard the stay at home can be, but how brilliant the time I get with Ella is!