BEING A STAY AT HOME PARENT – WHAT HAPPENS AFTER
Someone PM’d me earlier this week and asked me a couple of questions about being a stay at home parent, and what I plan on doing afterwards, which is what prompted me to write this post.
They asked (in general, not to me specifically):
- Once your youngest hits school age, is there pressure to return to work?
- Do you plan on going back to work?
- If not, how do you better yourself as a woman / mother / wife between 9-3pm?
- Can you forever be the taxi driver, the cleaner, the cook – and be happy with that?
- What are you going to do with your time when your kids are at Kindy / School?
I’ve worked in an office as a receptionist, and secretary. I’ve handled financial accounts, and dealt with customer complaints and water leaks. I’ve worked in retail, slogging it out behind a counter. I’ve worked for the same company for 8 years. And also worked for a company for 24 hours.
Being a stay at home parent is both the best and worst job I’ve ever had. It’s more challenging that the hardest job I’ve had, and more stressful. It’s also far more rewarding, and far more fun than anything I’ve ever done.
Some days I envy my husband, who goes off to work. However, most days, I think “man I am blessed to be in this position”. I get to do what a lot of Mums out there can’t. And I hope when you read this, you aren’t thinking “I hope she’s not having a go at us working parents”, because I’m not. Just speaking from my own experience ????
When I grew up, my parents were farmers, and my Mum stayed at home to look after us – I’m one of four kids. They then moved to the “city” (aka South Auckland) and started their own business. As such, they were VERY busy, so didn’t get to do a lot of the school stuff with us that some parents did. They were, however, there for us when we were sick. Being self-employed meant long long hours, but it meant working from home, so they were always there.
I don’t want to be in my kids faces 24/7, but I would still like to be there for them like my parents were for us. I want to be their taxi driver, their cleaner, their cook … their
slave “right there” Mum. I’m happy with that.
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When my girl was first born, I had no idea who I was. No idea what I wanted to do with my life – being a parent was the only thing I ever really wanted to do.
I knew I wanted to be a stay at home parent, until they at least went to school. Then I figured I would get a job. However, as the parenting role continued, more and more I couldn’t imagine going back to work. I still had no idea what I wanted to do – but I knew I didn’t want to go back to the regular 9-5 job.
I had no inclination that Happy Mum Happy Child was on the horizon, and would take me to where I am now. But I don’t know where things will be in two years time, and I’m not that much of an idiot to assume it’ll stay the same.
However, for now, I have this awesome website, and an amazing team (that’s you). Helping Mum’s get through each day is pretty much what I love doing – because often I need help. So by telling you my problems / insecurities, it brings us together. Because on some level we are the same, or are going through similar problems / issues.
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Every person is different, and being a stay at home parent isn’t for everyone. If you don’t know what to do with yourself once your kids go to school, then don’t worry. If you have the option to stay at home and figure it out – then do that. If not, head back to work. Earn a couple of dollars, and keep your eyes and ears open to any opportunities or possibilities that might change your circumstances.
PLEASE, don’t worry. Rome wasn’t built in a day. If you know that going back to work isn’t something you want to do, then start thinking about what to do instead. Put a list together of the things in life you love. And go from there – it’s really that simple.
That’s what my Mum used to ask me … ‘What do you love to do Maria” … “As much as it pains me to say Mum, I love being a Mum”. I loved thinking of activities for my kids to do. I loved making different types of foods to get them to eat .. and that was how Happy Mum Happy Child was born.
Also, being a stay at home parent isn’t for everyone. If you can’t wait to rush off and start a job then I ENVY you and your passion. I wish I had that, because I don’t. All of us are created differently, and I know hundreds of people who openly tell me that being a stay at home parent is their least favourite thing to do.
Are you a stay at home parent? Do you know what you’re going to do when your kids go to school?