Stay home mum. I never saw myself as a stay home mum. Not for any other reason than, I was just used to working. I enjoyed the jobs I’d been in over the years. I liked earning my own money. It felt right. However, situations change. So much so that I’ve had the pleasure of four years at home with my eldest and now I’m in the midst of three years, hopefully, with my youngest. I wouldn’t change it for the world. I’ll treasure the years and I hope the boys will too.
However, the days aren’t always rainbows and blue skies. Your days consist more of being a slave to a dictator of a newborn, who is unable to communicate in English as to their issue and relies on crying and screaming at you, which you then have to use a mental tick sheet to decipher what the issue is! Then there’s basically being a taxi to your 5-year-old, who with now being at school thinks he knows it ALL. Don’t. Get. Me. Started.
Not forgetting there’s the house to keep and the dog to walk too. Yourself and your own sanity come way down the list.
But here’s a few things I’d consider to be imperative to surviving being a stay home mum.
Even though I knew no better, I remember feeling quite anxious at the thought of going to baby groups on my own, with a baby/toddler. I was still coming round to the reality that I was in full charge of a little baby. A tiny human being! Though once I’d been, I felt much better. Although you’re all in the same boat, there’s definitely a sense of judgement. The judgement of you as a person and also as a parent. And I can definitely appreciate why some people just don’t go to them.
With my second child, I’ve felt a lot more open and less bothered by my own thoughts and also other people with theirs. I’m more than a capable parent. Honest.
But really, I’d say to any new parent to go and see how you feel. I’ve met some wonderful ladies over the years. Some I’m still friends with now. They very much become your support network. Sharing your questions and worries. Plus it’s good to know maybe someone else is up at 2 am in the morning!
ALL the tea.
Some people run on coffee. I run on tea. I can easily have four to five cups a day. It honestly helps in any situation. Just got up? = Tea. Feeling cold? = Tea. Work time? = Tea. 3 am feed? = Tea (with extra sugar!) See where I’m going with this.
I began blogging/writing seven years ago now. In that time I’ve lost both my parents and an uncle and had two children. Writing this blog has given me not only an escape but also an outlet. There have been many blog post drafts over the years that have been deleted. There has also been a number that have taken time to write and have been deleted and re-written more times than I can remember. My blog/site is my own little place. A place I can be me, Caroline and not just ‘mummy’. I honestly believe having a hobby, even just reading a book, can give you some release. It’s important to remember to look after yourself, especially your mind.
Being a stay home mum doesn’t mean, staying home. Get out and explore. If you struggle with the hobby aspect, then make this a necessity. Not only is getting out and about good for your health, but it’s also double good for the mind. Plus, it opens up a whole new world to your little one. I have the added bonus that we live in a village with a primary school, so apart from on really wet days, we walk to school most days and also for collecting when school finishes. I also take our dog with us most mornings, so she gets a walk and in the afternoons, I’ll also head out half an hour earlier to have a walk around the village before the school pick up.
I always come home in the mornings with a sleeping baby and a fresh mind after the sometimes manic mornings we can have to get ready to go out, so I can make a tea (see above) and sit for five minutes or open the laptop and generally, lose myself to Google.