A reluctant stay at home mum

ask_jen

Do you ever realise you have run out of milk, and before your partner has a chance to offer to get some you are already halfway through the door?

That 10 minute stroll to Sainsbury’s local sans children is liberation defined. You float down the road light as a feather – free from buggies, bags and babies. Time is yours to browse the aisles freely, carefully considering each item rather that chucking stuff in like you are on an episode of supermarket sweep.

That’s where i am right now. Hoping we will run out of milk.

Love my boys, though I do, I am starting to get to the point where I feel a real need to claw back a life for myself outside of being a mum.

I don’t have a job i can return to as i was made redundant shortly before i became pregnant for the second time; but with baby S now 8 months old I’ve been looking for work over the last few weeks. The challenge is that i don’t think either myself or the boys could cope with me working full time and part time jobs in my industry (advertising) aren’t really the done thing.

I could pick up bits or freelancing but it’s not really what i want either. I want to be part of a team, have proper conversations again, pop out at lunch and get a sandwich or maybe even have a pint after work on a Friday. I have a good degree and over 10 years or experience and i really don’t want to watch it all go down the plug hole.

I know there is a split on the whole working mum/sahm debacle – who’s got it easiest bla bla bla. For me the perfect situation is 3 days working, 4 days at home. This is what i did after returning to work after having little F, i still spent the majority of my time with him but had enough head space to properly enjoy it. I was lucky then to have that option.

So I’m at a quandary; do i just bite the bullet and look for full time work, do i look at jobs in another field, do i take up a hobby instead or do i just try my hardest to be a bit more patient with my littlies in the hope that i will be a better stay at home mum?

You see i feel like I’m failing them a bit right now. I feel like I’m not being the mum that i should be. I think i need a little time apart from them in order to appreciate them as much as they deserve.

Have you ever felt like this?

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39 thoughts on “A reluctant stay at home mum

  1. mylittledreamworld1

    I worked full time – I went back to work when my older daughter was 2, as a social worker with older people. It was hard hard work – I went back because the only social work jobs advertised were full time, a bit like you. It was either do full time or do something else.
    I won’t lie and say it was easy – it was absolute chaos pretty much the whole time – we dropped Amelia to the childminder at 8.15 and picked her up at 6 every weekday. Weekends I had to juggle seeing her with housework, washing. Me time was non existent.
    Ill be going back part time when i go back to work. However, having said all that I just said, working full time meant we could buy our house, and if we did it over again I’d do the same. I was planning on requesting more flexible hours anyway until I found out I was expecting Rosie. It’s an option to do full time for say 6 months to a year then request a reduction in hours / job share?
    Sorry, this is a long and not all that helpful reply!
    Xxx

    Reply
    1. hurrahforgin Post author

      Gosh that does sound tough. I don’t know how my oldest would cope being away from me full time, he’s more clingy since his little bro came along. I need to do something though! X

      Reply
      1. mylittledreamworld1

        I think it’s important to also think of yourself and do something just for you – for some that’s work, and in fairness I think that ill enjoy working part time, hopefully that will be a better balance. If not work, training, voluntary work, or just something you enjoy…I think that if time out makes you a better parent that’s what you need.

        And although I hated full time work, my girl coped great, much better than I thought she would – kids are surprisingly adaptable I find :) xxx

      2. hurrahforgin Post author

        I think it’d probably more me that wouldn’t cope if i properly think about it! If work doesn’t come along i think i juts need a new project or hobbie, something for me :)

  2. Laura

    Oh no! I feel your pain but I’m he opposite. I work full time but I long to be a stay at home mum. Unfortunately my husband doesn’t earn enough for us to live on one income. It’s something that knots my stomach every day whilst I think about ways of not having to go to work again! I am lucky that I do work in a job where I can get full time hours in 3 says but it’s also a job that is horrific and something that I don’t want to do long term but I’m stuck for the time being as I need the money. Argh!! We’re never happy are we? :(

    Reply
    1. hurrahforgin Post author

      Sorry that sounds rubbish :( I think it’s probably a case of the grass is always greener, I might feel the same as you if I did work full time.

      I hope things improve for you soon xx

      Reply
  3. 3yearsandhome

    I’m not a reluctant stay at home mum but I do need to do something other than look after my boys. I left work in December after the second one but really need a brain project too. I worked for 15 years in the automotive industry, and despite really enjoying, I know it’s not for me …. not part time or full time. In fact, I don’t want to work to anyone else’s agenda anymore. Luckily enough, there’s a couple of family businesses that I can get involved in around the boys (nepotism at its best, yes, but I really do know what I’m doing). So come January, CK is going to nursery in the mornings and I’ll start taking on some working (with BB as my assistant). If there’s a best of both worlds, I’m determined to find it.

    Reply
    1. hurrahforgin Post author

      That sounds perfect Rachel. You know i think it has less to do with working as such, just having another project to focus my brain on. One of the reasons i actually started blogging!

      Reply
  4. WallyMummy

    Totally know where you’re coming from. I’ve only got one child, and around the one year mark I could not decide what I wanted to do! But eventually after much soul searching I’ve decided I’m happy (for the most part) at home and that there will always be moments that returning to work looks more attractive than wearing porridge and rowing that bastard boat for the 35th time that day… but if I worked I’d complain I missed it… grass is always greener and all that jazz ;) I think you juts have to decide what’s right for you and tyr to be happy with it the majority of the time! lol xx

    Reply
    1. hurrahforgin Post author

      Thank you! Yes i think it is a case of the grass is always greener – i just want the best of both worlds but have to accept that might never happen. To be honest i think i’m feeling more like this as a result of a bad, virus filled week.

      Reply
  5. Kerrie McGiveron

    I work 3 days at the minute – and even that is a challenge! I feel torn between the home and work – but I wouldn’t want to do either of those things full time. I’m the same as you – I feel like I’m stuck – I don’t know what I want – I want to work, but I also need to be here for my babies. It really is the hardest job in the world being a mum, so much guilt whatever we do.
    I wish you all the luck in the world with whatever you decide. Oh and keep popping out for milk – that head space is priceless!! x :)

    Reply
    1. hurrahforgin Post author

      Thanks Kerrie, you are right – there is always guilt no matter what you do! I think i’ve just been holed up indoors all week because of the sodding virus and that has made everything seem much worse than it is. We all had a lovely day today x

      Reply
  6. lollielu95

    Oh my return to work date is hanging over like a dark cloud at the moment..even though it’s not until January! But like you, as much as I’d love to think I’d be able to be a sahm I know in myself that it would benefit everybody if I was able to go out to work at least part time, so I’m hoping I might be able avail of a 4 day week, I won’t hold my breath though as its not a done thing within in the company! I feel like I need to able to concentrate on something else as well as being a Mum to keep myself sane, I’ve worked since I was 16 so would find it extremely hard to stay at home all the time! I hope you manage to find a way to suit you best :)

    Reply
  7. notafrumpymum

    After having Baby O I returned to work full time when he was 10 months and hated it with a passion. I remember one day locking myself in the toilets and crying, not wanting to come out. O was fine as he was looked after by a combination of nursery and grandparents but I hated being away from him. I’d start to feel sick on a Sunday afternoon because it would be another week before we got any real time together.
    After long chats with hubby we decided I would go to 4 days from September (couldn’t do it earlier), and it was the best decision. I have started to enjoy work again, it gives me some time and space away from home, but I treasure our Thursdays together.
    There are not too many part-time jobs advertised but I’m lucky that my school is very good at trying to accommodate staff who want to reduce their hours.
    I’d be a crap SAHM, I’ve not got the imagination to come up with enough fun things to keep him occupied, so completely get where you’re coming from. I hope you find something soon that suits your family life.
    And when the hell did going to the supermarket on your own become a luxury? I consider it my Friday afterword treat (I need it get out more!)

    Reply
    1. hurrahforgin Post author

      Ha ha i known right! I think i really need a spa day :)
      That’s great that you were able to reduce to 4 days, 3 or 4 days is the best of both worlds i think z
      x

      Reply
  8. vicki

    I understand were you are coming from. You need to do what you think is best for you and your little ones. I became a stay at home mum officially 2 months ago after handing my notice in at work at the end of ML. For us its the best option although i too have a good degree and have had great job opps offered to me the thought of leaving my little girl to a nursery or minder and seeing her an hour in the evening before bed is just not for me. I want to be the best mum i can be for her and for me to do that i need to be at home with her. I did however start up my own little craft biz which is slowly going from strength to strength that and blogging gives me a life outside of mummyhood. The choice you make whatever that maybe has to be what YOU thinks best for you and your lovely little ones ..everyones different xx

    Reply
    1. hurrahforgin Post author

      Thanks Vicki – your craft business is great and i have been thinking of a creative outlet too. Maybe doing a screen printing course or something. i think it’s about having a project for myself as much as working :)

      Reply
  9. Dean B

    Believe it or not, I just had an argument with my husband about this tonight. As you know, we live in a small village by the ocean. It’s beautiful, but I’m a city-person. I have a degree in Literature and have about 18 years of work experience. I miss the rat race. I don’t even mind working in a bookshop – that would be lovely actually. I know I won’t be able to find work in my field and I’m okay with that. But I miss working! I’ve worked all my life, even when I was still a student I was already freelancing! I do a bit of that now, but it’s really difficult to find work at the moment, so that also keeps me frustrated. Blogging is my only refuge, how sad is that? I better stop now before I embarrass myself further. xx

    Reply
    1. hurrahforgin Post author

      Thnaks Dean, its nice to know that other people feel the same. Its why I started blogging too, a bit of a project if you like. Working in a book shop would be fab – I would gladly do that too! x

      Reply
  10. sandinmytoestk

    I’ve worked in the advertising and then, media industry. These jobs expect you to give everything and there are no fixed timings – that’s why I decided to quit with my son. Ultimately, it’s your choice and if you feel your experience is worth hitting the market again, you should keep looking until you find the right job. All the best! Here from #PoCoLo

    Reply
    1. hurrahforgin Post author

      Thank you – it is not the most family friendly industry is it! I’ve commented back on one of your blog posts but not sure which exactly you put as pocolo x

      Reply
  11. Amy

    That sounds so tough. I’m a nurse and never realised how useful that is – can always pick up shifts even 1 day a week (or less as an agency nurse!). Must be so frustrating to have the skills and experience for a job but the choice of full-time or no-time. I hope you can find a project (or better still, a job!) that gives you head space away from the kids. Good luck!!

    Reply
  12. Mummytobande

    I totally understand I too work in advertising but I have been able to make it work.
    After having B I went back part time and with contracted hours leaving by 4pm (I know it doesn’t feel like its an option but its amazing what happens when you ask!) I was blown-away by how open to having the conversation people were.
    Yes I sometimes had to log back in later, but nowhere near as much as I thought, and yes maybe my career did ‘stall’ a little – but it also opened me up to loads of other experiences (work-wise) which I would not have had if I was still on the career-path.
    Now my littlest has started nursery and planning on going to school I have gone back full-time and my career has never looked better.
    I really would encourage you to ‘ask’ for what you want. The worse they can say is no, and I bet they are open to the conversation.
    Good Luck

    Reply
  13. Erica Price

    To be honest I was glad to get out of work, but I do miss the people sometimes. I have some regular things I do during the day with other people so that keeps me sane, but I like working from home most of the time. I think though that everyone has to find what is right for them and I know my route wouldn’t suit everyone.

    Reply
    1. hurrahforgin Post author

      Thanks Erica – i guess everyone is different, maybe it’s just a case of the grass is always greener and i would start wishing i was at home again if i did find something!

      Reply
  14. Victoria Welton

    Yep, felt like this lots! Which is why I went back to work part time. It gave me a sense of identity and meant I had some me time. Got confidence back too. Thanks for linking to PoCoLo x

    Reply
  15. Aedin

    Totally feel your pain-decided to set up my own business 6 months after Mini was born. With all her extra special needs appointments and my partner working long hours, however, I’ve had less and less time to devote to my business and only work a few measly hours a week. I long for the human interaction of an office-going for lunches, or just having chats with other people that dont involve the merits of Peppa Pig!
    #pocolo

    Reply

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