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!

Chottie Mon 13-May-13 21:51:42

I was a SAHM for 16 years. I loved being at home, I looked after the family, I gardened, I grew vegetables, I studied, I was on the PTA and did some volunteer work.

I went back to work part time and now am full time again. I have never regretted being at home. Did it make a difference to my career staying at home? No, not at all. There is another person on my level at work. She also is a mother, but she worked except for small breaks when her DC were very young. So although she has worked practically full time and I had a break, we are still both doing the job, at the same level for identical salaries.

AlvinHallsGroupie Mon 13-May-13 21:54:48

Sorry Valium the bit in your post that people couldnt SAH because they would be soooo bored.
My point is that I loved SAH( at the time) but had a lovely career and really enjoyed that as well and went back when they were a bit older.
I now do 3x 12 hour shifts a week and have 4 days at home. I love both parts of my lifesmile

OnTheNingNangNong Mon 13-May-13 22:01:21

Before I had DS2 I started a degree, helped at school with reading/swimming/trips and spent some quality time with DH.

If you can afford to do it and want to be a SAHM, then do it. I love it most of the time

valiumredhead Mon 13-May-13 22:01:33

Sorry Alvin I think we are writing different things grin

I was trying to say that I hear a lot of very dismissiveness wrt SAH and people aren't really interested in how you fill your day but instead are very quick to point out that they would get bored and couldn't possibly do it themselves etc etc.

Does that make sense? Sorry, it's late and my brain has stopped working grin

You sound like you have a good balance smile

I wish I could be a SAHM <sigh>
I work 4 days a week and don't like being away from my DCs for that long. It's a high paid stressful job. Also noone ever lies on their deathbed wishing they worked harder.
Yes I'd get bored and probably feel isolated at times as a SAHM but I'd take action to rectify.

One day I'll do it!

scottishmummy Mon 13-May-13 22:07:28

and no one lies on deathbed regretting achievement and approbation
why would a working mum croak it full of regrets.thats a lame cliche
as cliched as housewife wholly fulfilled by fluff and fold

AlvinHallsGroupie Mon 13-May-13 22:08:45

Yes Valium totally get what you are saying but lots of us have done and enjoyed bothsmile and DH enjoys his SAHM days as well !

bumperella Mon 13-May-13 22:08:53

If you're family are financially independent as a unit, if you've some savings - i.e. if you can afford it then why not? It's no-one elses business after all.
SAHM can be great role models, I don't get the earlier post that suggested going back to a Good Career = being a good role model for your kids? A good career is part of life, but it's not all there is; it doesn't define me.

Chandon Mon 13-May-13 22:10:19

Have been at home 10 years now! Done bits of work on and off, but nothing serious.

There are times I feel underappreciated and bored and a bit angry with myself. But when I had a good jo, I used to feel this as well!

What I do all day? I am not a great housewife, to be fair, but I do cook nice meals for us all.

Let's look at tomorrow: DS2 assembly, then need to go to B&Q, then fix window in shed, then playing tennis with a friend, then taking kids to karate, then dinner, bath, homework....time flies.

I read a bit, am in book club, I volunteer at sports events, I never mind if anyone asks what I do. I Say " housewife" . If they ask " but what do you do all day" I say " pretty much nothing, watch Tv, eat chocs."

Not too bothered about other people's perceptions, one weird bloke on the train once told me I was not pulling my weight. If I did not work. But most people don't really care one way or another.

I am starting to freelance again, tentatively, now the kids are 8 and 10, as I miss working a bit. It can be boring to be at home, but you can always study or work part time or volunteer.

Being " at home" does not mean you have to actually BE at home all that much.

Chandon Mon 13-May-13 22:12:25

Aha, there is scottishmummy wielding the anti- sahm axe.

How are you? Any precious moments recently wink

exoticfruits Mon 13-May-13 22:12:49

I can't see why a career defines you. If you can have the choice then do what suits you.

scottishmummy Mon 13-May-13 22:13:27

I'm demonstrating role model of career,stick in at school,dont have to give career up when mum
im observably contributing to family and not enacting sterotyped roles mum=home,dad=work
IMO,that's a beneficial role model.employment,and not just dad works

Dahlen Mon 13-May-13 22:13:38

I've never been a SAHM and it wouldn't work for me because I'm a lone parent. I've never judged or thought less of anyone who's chosen to do it though. Just as different people suit different jobs, different families suit different work/home balances. I think for many families it's an absolutely ideal set-up and I certainly wouldn't make judgements about another woman's life, intelligence or motivation based on her WOH/SAH status.

I have only one negative association with it and that is that if the marriage goes wrong, the SAHP often ends up suffering very, very badly.

scottishmummy Mon 13-May-13 22:15:48

I'm not solely defined by work,I'm defined by multiplicity of personal and professional variables

Chandon Mon 13-May-13 22:17:52

Dahlen, that is a fair point. i recommend all sahm's to be financially savvy ( like putting the savings, car etc in your name). I would not feel so relaxed about being at home, if I was entirely financially dependent on DH. In our case, we own one flat outright, which is in my name and rent comes to me, and one house mortgaged which we live in and is shared. Obviously not a feasible option for everyone, but just to say where I am coming from.

HumphreyCobbler Mon 13-May-13 22:23:10

The financial aspect of it is very important actually. I own half the business that provides our family income, so my SAHM status does not impact on me financially.

Viviennemary Mon 13-May-13 22:23:17

There is nothing wrong with not wanting to go back to work after your youngest child goes back to school. As long as you don't try to pretend your are rushed of your feet, and never have a minute to spare. It's a nice cushy lazy life. And I don't blame anybody for choosing it. But don't try and justify it.

Weegiemum - how did you get into teaching family literacy? I would love to do that.

Sorry for hijack OP!

Personally I think the most important thing for a sahm is to keep her financial independence and have financial security. I have seen so many threads here from sahms who have given up their jobs and careers to be sahms and care for their children, and suddenly there is the bombshell that their partner has an affair, the relationship breaks down, and the sahm finds herself single, without a job, and without the security of marriage to safeguard her right to her home, and share of family assets.

LessMissAbs Mon 13-May-13 22:27:02

I would do sport OP. Go back to work if you choose to do so, but if you don't, try not to do nothing. There are lots of hobbies to do out there, some of them you can do quite seriously. Your time can also be for yourself, not just for other people.

I've done both roles while bringing up the children. Am currently at home with the youngest at school all day.

Personally, I disliked work. I am by nature a bit of a rebel and get bored very easily. That's probably fine if you have qualifications coming out of your ears and all sorts of career opportunities but for a poorly educated grumpy skiver like me, choices are very limited grin

I worked full time for years and years but DH always worked much longer hours so everything else fell on my shoulders. I jumped at the chance to give it up when youngest DS turned two and have been at home ever since. I think of it as early retirement.

I hate housework bit and do it in a desultory manner, but I read and watch films, decorate and sort out the garden. And I spend huge amounts of time on my family - they all get the best of me because I am happy and rested and enthusiastic.

It works for us though because DH and I have a very equal relationship. There are no power struggles (we are both very strong willed but we really care about each other). I would never have to go cap in hand to him for money -everything is shared. And he pulls his weight in every way in the marriage.

Besides, with everything housey done in the week, we have much more fun weekends now.

TheFallenMadonna Mon 13-May-13 22:39:51

I adored being a SAHM. I also adored the opportunity that not working gave me to do things I don't have the time to do when I am working. So I did another degree for example.

But I have a passion for my job that I don't have for domestic work. And not having children at home during the day tipped the balance for me.

The financial aspect (security rather than day to day) is a factor for me, but you asked for other reasons.

As for whether there's anything wrong for it...? Depends on lots of things. I'm assuming we're talking about for the woman? If you have a healthy, balanced relationship and financial security, then no.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Mon 13-May-13 22:52:30

I was a SAHM for 10 years. Financially I didn't need to go back to work, but I'm now glad I did.

I started off volunteering when the second one went to school, and after about 3 years that led to a job.

I think that I was getting a little unproductive (too much daytime TV), and much as I would like to be, I am not that great a homemaker, and more than that, was beginning to be the person who picked up after everyone else. Even though my DH has always taken a great share of the childcare, just by virtue of me being around more, I would do all the washing, most of the tidying and most of the cleaning.

I missed my friends to begin with - going for a cup of tea after drop-off etc.

What I make pays the mortgage, which is a nice safety net. There was no financial pressure for me to go back, we share all our income and my outgoings were never questioned (quite rightly).

But I now am in the confident position to know we/I could cope if anything were to go wrong.

Give yourself time. You don't have to do anything you don't want to do, and no-one has the right to judge you. We are all different.

After a while, If you do find yourself getting defensive, though, think about why that might be - is it them and their prejudices, or is it you, feeling a bit disgruntled?

WouldBeHarrietVane Mon 13-May-13 22:54:05

Nothing wrong with being there for your dc. They will benefit provided you are happy with the arrangement.

EarthtoMajorTom Mon 13-May-13 22:56:55

I'm a sahm now and I love it. Kids are in mid-upper end of primary and they love it too. I've done full time, part time, nurseries, childminders etc and for now, this solution is working for our family. I don't spend much so that's not a problem - I'm not a high maintenance lady who lunches! I keep myself busy - have moved into a house which needs a lot of work doing to it. Having done all the variants of working / not working, I never bother with explaining or justifying my choices to anyone. Enjoy it xx

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