Working mum. Work from home mum. Stay at home mum. There’s no right answer as to which mum is best, however I’d bet you’ve spent a lot of time thinking about it. Many people, both men and women, will tell you that being a stay at home mum is best for your children and for you. There has been an increase in the amount of working mums in the UK, and not just for financial reasons.
How does being a stay at home mum compare to being a working mum? Many mums will say its the hardest job in the world:
You don’t get paid
Yes you save on childcare costs by being a stay at home mum but there’s no actual salary for you. This can be a drastic change both in terms of household income, but on an emotional level for you. Unless you have an additional source of income, you become entirely reliant on other people for funding and this can be hard to digest.
There’s no breaks
Remember those days when you could curl up in a chair with a book and a hot cup of tea? Or go to the toilet by yourself? When you’re a stay at home mum it’s all on you. If you’re not changing nappies or wiping snotty noses, you’ll be clearing up from lunch or hanging out endless pairs of tiny socks. You might be able to grab a sandwich when your children nap, but you’re bound to think of something else you need to do. You can forget having any kind of break when you’ve got more than one to look after.
You may be getting out to loads of classes and playdates with your children, but there will be plenty of time when it’s just and your cherubs together and it can get very lonely.
You won’t get thanked
There’s no performance appraisal for stay at home mums, and certainly no yearly bonus. In fact, you probably won’t get a thank you from your children or spouse for everything you do from them on a daily basis. Yes, your children are too young to fully appreciate the mental and physical effort you put in on a 24/7 basis, but a bit of acknowledgement from your loved ones wouldn’t hurt!
There’s no training
Parenting doesn’t come with a manual, or at least one for your specific brand of little angel. There’s a huge amount of learning on the job, and once you think you’ve got the latest phase under control, the next one starts. From teething to tantrums to playground politics, there’s always something unexpected lurking around the corner.
You’ve given up your career
Whatever the reasons behind you being a stay at home mum, the chances are that you’ve given up your career to do so. Whilst being at home with your little ones can be a fantastic antidote to mum guilt, you might be missing work life. Things like having adult conversations, being in control of what you’re doing and earning a salary are all absent when you stay at home, and this can be an equal source of guilt.
Being a stay at home mum is the preferred option for lots of mums, but that doesn’t make it an easy option!
Why not check out the interview with a fellow super mum Joanne Jame on being a stay at home mum. Click here to watch.