It is with slight apprehension that I begin to write a blog post on Stay at home mums V working Mums. Mainly because, like most things in life, I don’t believe there is a firm black or white, right or wrong answer. However, today I saw the Myleene Klass Yahoo channel ‘Bumps, Babies & Beyond’ programme and it was discussing the common debate – Can mums really have it all? – so I thought I’d dive in.
Until fairly recently, Ruth and I (who run this blog together) represented both of these worlds with Ruth staying at home to bring up Munchkin and me working (albeit part time) with Bear Cub in nursery 2 days a week and 1 day with Aunty. So this is a discussion we’ve had many a time and we both see the pros and cons of each choice. I say ‘choice’ when actually many mum’s are unable to afford to stay at home and not work and it doesn’t feel like a choice at all. But from first-hand experience I’d also argue it’s an equal financial struggle to afford the astronomical childcare costs these days if you decide to go back to work!
The controversial bit: Personally I don’t really see the point in having kids if they are in nursery from 8am-6pm 5 days a week. It seems a bit like when people have a dog and then keep it outside in the kennel all the time – I just don’t get it. Having said that, I don’t think I could not work at all a) for my own sanity and b) for financial reasons. So I opted for working part time. Bear cub gets a lot out of nursery and enjoys it but, there is just no denying if he had the choice he’d want to be with mummy full time.
One of the mums in the Myleene Klass video spoke of how upset she was that she missed her child’s first steps and this was what prompted her to become a SAHM. However, the other guest described how working actually enabled her to be a happier and more fulfilled woman and therefore a better mum. Both are incredibly strong arguments.
So in the interests of sparking some feedback and discussion let’s really go there with the good, bad and ugly of both options.
STAY AT HOME MUM:
Good – Won’t miss out on any key ‘first’ moments, give a secure start to your little one, form a close bond, educate them yourself, influence according to your family rules and preferences
Bad – Can sometimes be boring, may miss engaging your brain beyond child level activities, may miss adult company/interaction, may get frustrated with little person due to so much time with them, tiring.
Ugly – Lose your sense of being a woman in the role of being a mum, only talk about poo, Cbeebies and the latest soft play area, live in jeans and joggies
Good – Having something for you can raise your self-esteem, by having time away from your little ones you may have more energy, patience and quality time when you are with them, makes you put make up on and do your hair, you can go to the toilet in peace and on your own!
Bad – May miss special/key events and first moments, bad habits can be learned at nursery/childcare, your child may have increased separation anxiety, nursery/childcare may teach different values/lessons to your preference, missing out in general as they grow up so quickly, tiring.
Ugly – You may have to learn how to walk in heels again (depending on your job) you have to work extra hard to keep all the plates spinning.
I’m sure you can think of many more to add (and I hope you will in the comments below). One thing that really struck me is, whichever category we fall in, there is one accessory we all seem to wear as mum’s – altogether now – GUILT!!!!
Let’s give ourselves a break ladies and do what we feel is best for our family.
As we’ve often said on More than a Mum, we firmly believe it’s possible to be a great mum AND a fulfilled woman.