Introduction

Welcome to my journey into unchartered territory as I leave behind the world of work (for the moment at least) to see if I have what it takes to be a stay at home mummy. Can I stay the course? Do I have unrealistic expectations of myself? How much wine/chocolate will I need to survive?

I’m Caroline and apart from a year spent travelling the world I have always worked. I got my first job at a chemist when I was 15 and I have had a number of jobs/careers. I have worked as a television producer, an estate agent, a waitress and I even cleaned toilets whilst at University. My most recent job was managing a team at a concierge company, offering concierge services to wealthy bank customers. I worked long hours and always aim to succeed in everything I do. I was never going to set the world alight but I was well respected at work and the sort of person people would come to if they needed help.

Then nine months ago my life changed more than I could have imagined. My amazing baby boy was born and nothing will ever be the same again. At times it has been hard and at times it has been even harder, but he is my world and I adore him all of the time. This month marks the end of my maternity leave and I have struggled with deciding what to do. To work, or not to work. I have listened to opinions from so many people varying from one end of the spectrum to another – from “how could you work?” to “how could you not work?” It is a very loaded topic.

I finally realised I had to make the decision that was best for me and my little family so, for the moment at least, I have decided to be a stay at home mummy. I am fortunate enough that thanks to my very clever and hard-working husband, this is a realistic option for me.

Now comes the tricky part… how to be a stay at home mummy and stay sane? How to provide the best environment for the little monkey whilst retaining a sense of self? Having been at home with him for the past nine months I would love to have the answer to this already, but the truth is I don’t. I don’t have a clue. But this is my mission and I am determined to find a way to make both me and the monkey happy! I have read blogs from amazing, happy and creative mummies such as Rainy Day MumAttic 24 and Mummy from the Heart who seem to have it all figured out. I also have my own mum and mother-in-law to live up to but I am plagued with insecurities and questions!

If I am a stay at home mum should my house be spotless? Am I doomed to a life of repetitive mundane tasks and endless cleaning? Am I terrible parent for loving the 5 minutes of peace and rest I get whilst the monkey is watching Numtums on cbeebies?

I can’t knit, I sew very badly, I don’t iron (thankfully hubby doesn’t wear shirts to work very often) and my first proper attempt at baking a cake failed when I added salt to the mix thinking it was sugar! I am nowhere near achieving the status of domestic goddess but I am learning, little by little, how to fake it till I make it when it comes to being a stay at home Mum. So if you want to laugh (and probably cringe) come and join our colourful and chaotic world to see how I get on.

 

9 thoughts on “Introduction

  1. Hi Caroline,
    I stumbled across your blog and felt like I was reading about my life.
    I have a 10 month old girl and knew I would not be returning to work, but not everyone is aware of this yet (I am waiting for the 12 months to be up just in case).
    Your blog is brilliant and I am hoping it will inspire me to get to grips with life as a full time mum and provide a million fun things for my daughter to do.
    I have to say as many of my friends return to work I feel very uncertain about my decision not to, although I could not imagine being away from my daughter.
    I truly am feeling pressure from everyone, including the government, that going back to work is the ‘right’ thing to do so am very pleased to find a blog about someone who has chosen not to.
    Thank you
    Hannah

    • Hi Hannah,
      Thank you so much for reading my blog and for your very kind words. I completely understand feeling pressured and uncertain. It really is a very hard decision to make but like you I couldn’t imagine being away from my monkey. Even now, with the decision made, I still have days where I wonder if it is the right thing to do, and I’m very much still learning how to do this, but on the whole I know it is right for me and my family at the moment and that’s what matters. Keep focussed on what’s right for you and yours and try to tune out everyone else and above all enjoy being at home as much as possible. I wanted to write this blog so that I could reach out to other mums who feel like we do and so if anything I’ve written here helps you then I am really pleased!
      Thanks again
      Caroline

  2. Hi Caroline,

    I’m not a stay at home parent, but I really would love to be…I think! I’ve just found your wonderful blog and have it bookmarked – there’s a lot I need to learn about how staying at home really is!

    I think what you said about maintaining your own sense of self is really important. There are a lot of parents who scream at their kids “I gave up everything for you!” (and it’s true…) but how does this resentment help the children? By keeping your own identity I’m sure we become better role models as person as well as a parent.

    Good luck to you (and to all your stay at home parent readers)!! The decision to be stay at home parent is yours, not the government’s or friends etc (ahem…or random blokes on the internet!). You know your own family the best!

    Paul

  3. Hi Paul,

    Thanks for your lovely comments and I hope my blog doesn’t put you off wanting to be a stay at home parent! It’s not always easy but I do feel very lucky to be able to do it!

    I definitely dont ever want to resent my kids for something that is my decision, and hopefully being true to myself will help with that. I find blogging helps too, to get my thoughts down on paper is really cathartic, and sharing experiences with other like-minded parents can take away the loneliness you can sometimes feel as a stay at home parent.

    Thanks for reading and commenting!
    Caroline

  4. Hi Caroline,

    I too have stumbled across your blog having googled ‘being a stay at home mum’. I am a first time mum to beautiful Holly aged 8 months and I too have just made the decision to not return to work having had my request to work part time declined. Amongst all the worries of money etc, I worry about being able to stimulate Holly enough as she becomes a toddler and in preparation for pre school and on to big girl school! I’ve yet to properly snoop around your website but I am already feeling so much better knowing that there is a whole online community of mums who made the same decision as me. In advance of reading everything you’ve written ;) thank you so much for your support and I can’t wait to see more of your posts x

    • Hi Sara, thank you for such a lovely comment! Congratulations on becoming a sahm, it can be hard but it can also be a lot of fun! I hope you enjoy reading! xx

  5. Hallelujah, another wife/mummy that doesnt iron! I thought I was the only one! I’m just coming to the end of my 14 months maternity leave and about to start a new job, 5 days a week, term time. I’m excited but also dreading it. I totally identify with the ‘work or not to work’ dilemma and will do some keen reading of your posts as I start back at work. Knowing that we would like another one in the next few years, the idea of working with two pre-schoolers doesnt sit right with me, in theory. My upbringing was the same as yours and I cherish the memories of having had my mum around so much. Its a tightrope walk (isn’s everything in parenting life?!) and I have no idea if we will have a choice, financially, second time around (we dont this time, sadly.) Thanks for a fun, easy-read, down to earth blog. I love hearing how other people manage parenthood and all its tensions and joys, but few blogs seem so ‘real’ (such is the nature of social media and the instafilter!)

    Ramble over – thanks again, glad I stumbled across you here!

Thanks for taking the time to write something. I love comments and read every one xx

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