I became a stay at home mum four years ago and the amount of comments I’ve had about how easy my “job” is and how “lucky” I am has really got to me! I was struggling with giving up a career I was bloody good at and had spent ten years building up. Of course there are lots of positives too but it is hard at times.
Here are my top 5 reasons why:
1 – No Pay
Now obviously I get paid in the love of my adoring children but I had a good salary before and that immediately goes from your household. We knew it would be hard for a few years and there would be less disposable income but I don’t think I really understood just how much. We have no spare cash for treats, eating out, day trips etc and when we have things on like a wedding then I have to budget for it months in advance. My car is a lot older than I’m used to and when it needs an MOT or repairs I can really struggle. Thankfully I am pretty good at budgeting and try not to overspend but with 3 growing children that can be difficult.
2 – No Holidays
There are NO days off when you are a full time parent. A lot of that has to do with the less available money so no treating myself to a night away or a spa day etc.
3 – On Call 24/7
The boy has never been a great sleeper and now at 2 1/2 he still doesn’t sleep past 6am. This has been a killer since the girls were brilliant and always had twelve hours, 7pm to 7am. When my first was a baby I went back to work when she was 6 months old and I really enjoyed the break from home. I worked four days a week, one of them from home, and it was great. Now I don’t get to have a break at all. My husband is brilliant and a very hands on Dad so he has done a fair share of the work too but I don’t seem to be able to switch off! Also juggling three kids or different ages and stages is tricky at times. I have learned to give myself a break!
4 – Guilt
OMG the guilt! As parents, we usually feel guilty about a lot of things but this is another level. I have major guilt over not bringing a wage in. I’ve had a job since I was 14 so to be 100% financially dependent on my husband doesn’t sit well with me. He has never made me feel bad about it and in fact he works his arse off and has to watch his pennies but if I need to buy make up or shoes or a jacket I feel really bad about it. Then there’s the Mum guilt about having to do everything. My job is the kids and the house and it took me a very long time to realise that it doesn’t mean I need to be chained to the housework and running myself ragged.
5 – It Can Be Hard To Get Back Into Work
Before I was a HR guru I worked in recruitment and I know how difficult it is for woman to get back into work after maternity leave or a career break. I have been out of HR for four years now and as much as I’ve tried to keep on top of changes in law and legislation, I’m sure there will be gaps there. It also effects your confidence and self belief. I could easily stand up in front of a large group of people and make an announcement or be on an interview panel and I noticed over the last few years I was getting nervous at things like that. So I have already started putting myself out there and pushing myself to get back in the game. When I’m in a position to go back to work hopefully I’ll be in a good mental space to get back in the game.
photo credit: Keleene Sveta (and Vasilisa) via photopin (license)
Clare is a mid-thirties mum raising three miniature versions of her husband (with his help) – Miss B (11), Miss C (4), and Little D (2) and lives just outside of Glasgow. As an HR Professional currently enjoying a career break she is passionate about maternity and pregnancy equality issues and is a big supporter of Flexible Working. As a mum she spends her days dealing with food allergies, tween and toddler tantrums, all whilst striving for perfect hair and trying not to chip her nails. Generally dealing with the up and downs of life.