12 August 2011

SAHM - would things be better if I was a Working Mum?

I am currently having a mixed summer break with the children at home. E has finished her first year at school so I am really valuing the time with her and am amazed how much she has grown up recently. A starts two and a half days at pre-school in September so am worrying about how I will miss him and freaking out about how quick they are growing up! Also what will I do to fill two and a half days at home, on my own?? Sounds like a luxury but I know I will get a little bit bored once all the house jobs are done and I have Twittered and blogged myself out! I have some DIY projects on the house to look forward to doing without children under my feet but that is it really.
Add to that some breakdown in commnications by the grown ups and I have been doing a lot of thinking lately about me and my role. One of the issues I have been pondering is - will a return to work make everyone a bit happier? Should I continue to be a SAHM or have another bash at being a working mummy?
So I have made some lists (love doing that by the way!) to help sort my head out:

Being a SAHM means:
1. Being there for the children when they need me; being able to take them to school & pick them up, get them to clubs & friends houses etc...
2. My spare time is their time; not planning for lessons, not worrying about other people's children.
3. Come September some free time for me to do what I want to do (within the financial constraints of earning zero pounds!)
4. Having time to cook meals  not be rushing in at 6p.m. with hungry children and nothing ready.

BUT.....
5. I don't have my own personal income.
6. I sometimes feel like I have thrown away my women's rights - blah blah blah!
7. I get frustrated at having to rely on husband for money, use of car....

Being a Working Mum would mean:
1. Having my own income again so I can treat myself when I want and not have to have such a tight budget.
2. Rebuilding my career - if I go back into teaching.
3. A feeling of 'freedom' and driving somewhere on my own!
4. Having an influence on other children (hopefully positive!)
5. Having my own car again.
6. Having an opportunity to move house in the future.

BUT....I have to think about...
7. Putting the children into breakfast & after school clubs.
8. Stress - it will be me having to get the children where they need to be in time for me to get where I need to be.
9. It is all on me - we have no family nearby so if a child is ill I will have to take time off...
10. All the house things still need to be done and I will have less time to do it - and it will probably still be me doing the majority of this.
11. The fact that children grow up too quick and I don't want to miss a thing!!!!

So I need to think about what is best for me, my children, my family.

I would love to hear from other SAHMs and how you feel and from Working Mums on how you manage both worlds.


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13 comments

  1. All I can say is a happy mum makes for happier kids. Grumpy mum = misery for everyone in the house. Going through something similar myself. Don't know the answer yet :-/

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  2. Our kids school has a few classes with 2 teachers that are part time, that might be an acceptable compromise, some money, less planning. It appears to work well.

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  3. Such a tough one. I went back to work full time when my kids were 2 & 11months. It was tough, not only emotionally but financially. After 2years, I was paying out more than I earnt on childcare & nursery fees so we took the decision for me to become a SAHM. Its still hard financially, but I'm there for my kids at drop of a hat. We had a 3rd baby last Oct & I couldn't bare to leave her right now.

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  4. Over the last 20 years of bringing up bunnies I have worked and been a SAHM. I worked with my first children in my early twenties and somehow managed to juggle it all, it seemed to work.
    Almost twenty years on I regret it. Now I five year old twins and am a SAHM/WAHM and wouldn't change it for the world.
    I can honestly say if I had known just how FAST the boys would grow up I would go back and not go to work. The things that I was able to buy with the extra cash will never make up for the time I lost with them and now they are grown up I have had times when I feel so guilty about it.
    I am so determined not to miss out with the girls that we have decided to Home Educate them for the first few years; that's how quickly they fly!
    I think that unless the extra cash is deperately needed, as in you'll lose your home then don't do it. Or if you think you will be awfully unhappy being at home?
    Of course this is just my experience; lots of mothers work and are really happy to do that. It's such a personal thing, that all anyone can do is share what they did/do.
    Couldn't you work part time or from home in some way so you meet other WAHM and get out and learn new things that way. You do need to have other interests to make life interesting (in a different way from children ha ha!) but if going to work means that you miss things with your children I wouldn't do it.

    Good luck with the decision x

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  5. there are other ways to earn money, besides going back into full-time work, for instance you could do Phoenix trading, selling cards etc (have a look at www.phoenixtrading.com), or you could do Avon, Dorling Kindersley books, and any one of several other companies who offer an opportunity to work from home, or you could wrtie for magazines, whatever. time for some research perhaps, and maybe go back into teaching when the children are older. just throwing in ideas, hope you manage to sort something, but it sounds also as if you need to have a good long talk with your partner to see what he can give in the way of logistical support. good luck in whatever you decide to do.

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  6. I love this post. I have an almost 8 month old and am due to go back to work in about 4 months. I regularly swing between wanting to be a SAHM, being a WAHM and just going back PT. It's soo hard, I miss the adult company... But then again I know I'd miss my baby too. Good luck with what you decide. Both have their pro's and cons, at the end of the day i think it's whatever makes you more happy.

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  7. Thank you all for reading & commenting. I have a lot to think about and have had some great advice here. That's what I love about blogging, you get views & life experiences from so many people! Thanks x x

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  8. I would love to be a SAHM, but unfortunately, with the ever increasing costs of living, we wouldn't manage on a single income. Hence, I work three nights a week. That's the great thing about nursing is that shift work makes things a little more flexible. At least it does for us.

    But if you don't need to work but just want something to fill your days, how about doing a short course. You mentioned in a recent post you "fell into teaching". May be now might be an opportunity to do something different?! Food for thought. Trust your instinct because your instinct is usually right. Goodluck!

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