Throughout my life I never decided to have children. I always thought they would be a burden, my life would stop, and that mama’s that stay at home are just benefit money grabbers. . Hear me out, I obviously don’t think that way now. Children was just not on my radar. It’s been one heck of a learning curve when it came to parenting and how my views on everything flipped and my emotions ran. And my views on wanting children but I’ll dive into that another time.
There are hundreds of reasons why mama’s stay at home. Some mama’s can’t afford to go work, they’re no better off and are waiting until the time is right. Some can’t afford child care. Some can’t find the right work. Some are laid off from their jobs. Some do it by choice, and they can afford to. There are so many different reasons why and I’m so sorry that I was that teenager that shunned mothers (and fathers too) through plain ignorance. It’s a stigmatism that needs to be knocked down.
Being a stay at home mum is hard work. Wanting to work but not being able to is one thing, but the fear of working 40 plus hours, to never see your child and barely come out with money at the end of it is another. I mean literally, to come out with a £200 after childcare. Without even considering other costs. It’s tough, and no one has it easy. Well, unless you’re a walking billionaire then maybe money isn’t an issue. Money isn’t happiness but it helps.
However, money is the main factor in my own case. I can’t tell you how many days I dream about working, talking to other people and interacting and having a social life all over again. I’m a stay at home mama that can’t take my daughter to lots of different places every week, so I try my best to entertain her, and teach her at home. I’m doing a pretty damn good job too but it’s very tiring when you spend 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with the same little one.
So like many mothers I’m trying to take charge of my life and I’m trying to earn a decent living from home because it just doesn’t seem like it’s a possibility to otherwise balance my life. It’s a struggle. It’s no joke, and I think parents who successfully work from home deserve more praise than they get. Balancing time between work and your children, especially young children can be hard. Trying not to let the millions of chores get on top of you and just focus can get stressful but it’s not only that.
I’ve not really heard anyone say this but it gets lonely. Staying at home and seeing the same four walls takes its toll on you. Having social media helps and it can also break you. I’ve made so many mama friends online who are in the same boat and we all talk about things and it’s great. It’s just they’re not here. They’re not here to have a cup of coffee and try and help you stop a toddler from pulling their nappy off. Or to help comfort on those bad days where you just want to talk to someone. Seeing Instagram perfect pictures can be daunting too. I mean why couldn’t we all have Christmas pictures together wearing matching pyjamas? You can become very jealous of something that is very jaded. You just need to bear in mind that people share only glimpses of their life and that probably that coffee they’re bragging about is freezing cold.
Sometimes I even feel like the brunt of the family. I want to be able to afford most things, spoil my family, days out, holidays ect. Not working to some people just screams lazy. We’re all driven to want to work, to strive for better. When in reality, I know what’s best for my child right now is me. Her mummy. Just sometimes, I wish other people saw it just like that.
And that’s how it is. I love Imogen beyond anything, shes this amazing little girl that’s starting to talk at almost 2 years old and wants to play pretend tea parties and also drives me up the wall by drawing on it with crayons. Having no money and just her love is enough, I just always want it to be more than enough for her too. I know she won’t care when she’s older or in fact that she won’t remember but it would just be nice to be able to go out a couple of times a week, do different things and treat us both to a coffee and cake or something. It’s not how it works for us unfortunately.
I took her to classes near us but they stopped due to the lack of attendees. Our local library is teeny tiny. And there’s nothing to go to within walking distance. It’s a struggle. It really is especially whilst it’s been cold.
My eyes have opened up a lot since becoming a mum. I was probably supposed to live my ‘best life’ by being wasted and following bands on tour. It’s what I did. I worked my arse off, and spent it by celebrating two weeks away getting drunk every night with my friends and loving life. It was our release. Now it’s come to a halt. I can’t just runaway with the circus. I have bigger priorities. I’ve lost touch with a lot of my friends because I can’t do what I’ve always done and meet them up and down the country, but that’s okay. I’ve been fortunate to be able to hold some of those friendships and when I contact them, they welcome me with open arms.
Excuse my little ramble, it’s just tough staying at home every day but the love from your child is honestly the most rewarding thing I’ve come to know in my lifetime. It is because she looks at me like I’m the most amazing thing in the world. I know how to make her laugh, I know her in and out and every single sqweak and what they mean. And I know that no matter the hardships we face as a family, that I’ve got her. And R. I have them both. They’re worth anything I have to go through and face.
It’s just not easy being a stay at home mum. You learn who your true friends are. You learn how difficult life can get, how many sleepless nights can exhaust you to the point of passing out. About the stress it can cause with your partner. All about depression, anxiety and breakdowns too in my case. It’s a lot of weight on your shoulders, it really is but I’ve also got to watch my daughter grow up for the past two years and help shape her to the little happy girl she is now.
I’m just trying to tell you realistically that it’s been the hardest time in my life. But it’s also been my favourite so far and as cliche as it goes, I wouldn’t change it for the world.