I am 29 years old and a stay at home Mum to my daughter Naomi, who is exactly 15 weeks old. My situation is a little odd, I kind of fell into being a stay at home Mum after my husband got a new job 400 miles from home which meant moving just before I started my third trimester of pregnancy. There was no point in going to find a new job as I would only be there a matter of weeks before I left to start my maternity leave and haven't gone back to work since she was born.
That said, I always wanted to be a stay at home Mum, I love the idea that I would be responsible for bringing Naomi up, that it wouldn't be a child-minder or nursery nurse who would see her roll over for the first time(as she did today), take her first steps or say her first words and that it would be making decisions about the activities she would take part in and I would be making the decisions around discipline. I have always thought I would be a stay at home Mum and I love it but there are challenges I possibly hadn't expected!
Sometimes I just need a break, since Naomi was born there have only been a handful of occasions that I have been away from my daughter, she has rarely been left with her Dad and partly because of the move away from family and friends she has only been left with a sitter twice, once when her Grandma came to stay and once when one of my good friends came to stay.
I sometimes feel guilty about wanting a break, after all, this is the life I chose for myself, the job I wanted was as a Mum and now I am complaining I need some time off! I have to remind myself this is okay, I have to remind myself that even the most pleasurable of tasks can become tiring after doing it constantly for 105 days (not that I am counting) and that would be true even if that task didn't wake you up at 3am! I am looking at ways of getting a morning or afternoon each week that don't cost the earth, but for now this is a challenge I haven't found a way round.
The obvious challenge of being a Mum without a paid job is one of finances, this isn't necessarily such an issue for me, having suffered from mental illhealth for a number of years my husband and I have largely survived on only one income for most of the nearly 8 years we have been married, but I am happy to admit that fitting all those extra baby expenses into our already tight budget can be difficult, particularly when tax-credits and similar are being cut all around us. That said, we are lucky to have good friends who have decked us out with all the baby equipment we could ever need and the folks at my church whose little girls are just 3 or 4 months older than Naomi keep her decked out in clothes and I find the charity shops are an amazing source of good quality equipment and clothes, so we never go short!
A final challenge is actually nothing to do with Naomi but to do with not working. I miss my job, I loved being an administrator, and I'd like to think I was really rather good at it. I loved making a difference (as the only paid member of staff for Aberdeen Street Pastors, an organisation close to my heart) and I loved the people I worked with. I love that my purpose is now to bring up my child(ren) but I miss having a purpose bigger than myself and my family.
Will I go back to work in the future? Maybe. Will it be any time soon? No, my job is here at home with my beautiful little girl, watching her laugh, roll over, walk, talk and throw tantrums!
It is lovely that you get to spend this time with Naomi, Jay. I always think if its the way Mums want things life expenses can be lessened greatly with real budgeting tactics. I'm sure we have all stopped throwing whatever we fancy into the shopping trolly and started adding up as we go around since little legs appeared in our lives! I hope you can continue for as long as you want to being a stay at home mum, it is obviously something you enjoy greatly - Mumra.