Some of you may know I was recently made redundant without notice. One day I’m a part time fashion designer (kind of, I did a bit of everything), the next I’m a stay at home mum. Wowsers. Shock to the system.
It’s been about a month now since my last day at work and I’m starting to get used to this full time mummy malarky. I’m actually quite shocked at how well I’ve taken to being a stay at home mum.
Firstly because I didn’t spend 6 years in further/higher education to give up my career and stay at home. Secondly, because it’s bloody hard! Or so I thought.
I think the reason I’m writing this blog post is because I’m quite proud of myself for adapting to such a huge change in my life. I question what made me think being a stay at home mum would be so difficult?
I went back to work when Lamb was 10 months old and I couldn’t wait to get back. I was struggling with what I call extended baby blues (basically undiagnosed PND) and was desperate for the few days away from my emotions; at work I switched into career mode (most of the time).
When Lamb was around 16 months I started to feel much better in myself and more confident as a mother. I say with some confidence I’m much better at handling toddlers than I am babies.
As Lamb has got older I’ve become more and more in love with him. To the point where I have tears in my eyes. Such an extreme emotion compared to how I used to feel.
I think what I’m trying to say it how shocked I am at how well I’ve taken to being at home full time. I’m not pulling my hair out, I’m not emotionally unstable, I’m not feeling like I used to.
I can do this.
It’s got me thinking about which is more difficult. Working mum or stay at home mum?
My answer: neither and both.
We all adapt to our own situations. No one is better than anyone else. We all have our struggles and no one is worse off than anyone else, because we are all different and shouldn’t be compared.
Personally I thought being a stay at home mum would be much harder. (Maybe I’ll write this post again once baby number 2 arrives 😉 ) When I was working, I found my days off with Lamb rushed and stressful. Trying to be a ‘good mum’ when I had time with him. Arts & crafts, trips out, activities. I put pressure on myself to prove, well, I’m not sure what, but I was trying to prove something.
I feel a huge weight has been lifted. I wasn’t happy in my job. I went work, earned a crap wage, but a crap one that just about paid my credit cards and Lambs nursery fees, so a wage that was necessary. Now, even though I’m the poorest I’ve ever been (nothing goes into my bank account now) I’m the happiest I’ve been in a long time.
So my answer is this. Being a stay at home mum is hard. Being a working mum is hard. But life is what you make of it, and I’m embracing this time I have with my son (especially before his brother or sister arrives).
Being 13 weeks pregnant and unemployed has put me in an awkward situation. Do I get a new job? Do I stick with being a stay at home mum?
In a matter of weeks I’ll be receiving my first delivery for my children’s clothing line, so I’ll have that to concentrate on and promote. But that’s not going to pay me a salary, for a long time. I’ve worked in the fashion industry long enough to know I won’t earn anything from my business for years.
Being a stay at home mum, or should we say working at home mum, will give me the opportunity to work hard on my designs and (fingers crossed) ship the hundreds of orders I get in the first month; optimistic I know *winks*.
If my husband allows it, I think I’ll stick to being a stay at home mum. I get Mondays and Thursdays to work on the blog and my brand (we decided to keep Lamb in nursery 1 day a week as he loves it so much).
Soon I’ll have another little person to look after, so I’d be on maternity leave anyway. Let’s see what I can do with the next 6 months. I’m going to embrace the ‘time’ and see what I can achieve. Who knows, maybe I’ll sell out of my first collection before the baby arrives.
Wouldn’t that be magical. ‘)
What are your thoughts on the working mum/stay at home mum debate (if there even is a debate)? Have you experienced either/both?