So tomorrow marks the start of a new journey for Me and for Millie too... I’m starting a brand new job and it’s FULL TIME! After only working part-time since early 2011, it’s a bit scary to go back into it working 5, 9 hour days a week and of course, doing it alongside looking after a 2 year old and studying part-time definitely mixes things up a bit. I’m definitely looking forward to it though but before I decided to take the plunge and start working Full-time, there was obviously the question of whether it would be the best thing to do and why don’t I just be a stay at home Mum? Well, here are my answers...
I’ve always worked. Since I was 13, I’ve had a paper-round and then when I turned 16, I got a part-time job in Halfords which allowed me to fund holidays, my car and saw me through until I was 18. I’ve worked in gyms, hotels, receptions, bars, nightclubs - you name it, I’ve probably done it but I was sick of working in a dead end job and that’s when I decided to go to uni and do something that I would enjoy. Of course, that never worked out due to falling pregnant and you can read more about it here.
I don’t think the benefits of being a working Mum necessarily outweigh the cons but there are definitely a few things to consider if you’re looking at going back to work or even considering not working:
- Your time with your children is obviously cut short but it means that you’re more appreciative of the time you do spend together.
- Money isn’t everything but it obviously helps and I think one of the main worries for everything parent is money. Having 2 incomes is much better than one.
- You get your sanity back! Having an adult conversation can sometimes make a bad day good. Just imagine not speaking to an adult for 8 hours... It can drive you a bit crazy, trust me.
- Social life resumes. Unless you have babysitters you can call on every time you want to go out, having a social life is harder than it sounds and although you might be working, you get some of that social life back when you start work.
- You do miss out on milestones in your childs' life though - this is something that I struggled with especially when Millie was 12-18 months old.
STAY AT HOME
So, even though I was working from when Millie was about 12 months old, the main thing that made me want to get a job was money - living on just one income is hard and unless you’ve been there yourself, it’s something that you can’t imagine having to do. So being able to bring in an extra bit of money was definitely making working more worth while but when it come down to it, it wasn’t actually all that. Considering being a stay at home Mum is a big deal and although I was only home for the first 12 months, it’s a big old job:
- Everything is down to you when you’re the one that’s in the house all day whilst your partner works - washing, cleaning, ironing, cooking etc etc. You can’t expect them to go out and work 9 hours and then come home and clean the place, can you!?
- You get to experience every milestone that your child reaches - walking, potty training, first words. It’s such a special feeling knowing you were there to see it for the first time!
- You get to have playdates with other Mummy friends, trips out when the other kids are at school and general quality time together!
- You learn to appreciate your partner too and they appreciate you. Sometimes I think men find it hard to understand what it takes to be a Mum but when they come home and ask what you’ve done today - it can be a little insulting so just make sure you thank him for doing what he does and he will you.
Everyone’s preferences to either work or stay at home are obviously going to be different - some women are lucky enough to not have to work and others choose to go back as soon as they can. It’s different for everyone but I know that whatever choice people make, is their choice to make and they shouldn’t be judged on it. Being a stay at home Mum isn’t “the easy way out” it’s actually more tiring than being at a desk all day - trust me. But on the other hand, there are definitely days that I would rather be at home painting and playing with Millie than stuck in work. I guess that’s just how it is.
Are you at working Mum? What made you choose to go back to work if you are?