Thursday, June 7, 2012

Thursday's Thought from my Life

Today's post is a mix of thoughts about life as a stay-at-home mum. So rather than having lots of pretty images, this post will focus on a thought. To be a stay-at-home mum or not to be. 

This post, I must point out, is unscheduled! After nearly 4 weeks of blogging I think it's becoming easier and so I just might try for an extra post in coming weeks... we'll see if Thursday's Thoughts from my Life keep happening. 

Recently there was an article in the Sydney Morning Herald titled 'A mother's load: time at home is hard work'. Lily Taylor is the author, she is a mother of three children. She basically outlines how much work it is being a mum whether you work outside the home or only at home. The quote of quotes from this article (in my mind) was this: 'There is no answer to the conundrum. You're damned if you do, and you're damn unhappy if you don't. I guess all you can do is find moments in the day to keep you going'. 

I think that conundrum holds true for many mothers (I know dads stay home too, so you can read 'fathers' in here if that applies to you!). For normal girls we are. We grew up, got good jobs we enjoyed and then had kids. They changed our lives yes, definitely. We knew they would. Everyone who had had kids before us told us all this. What I didn't know was just how much they would take over who I am. And a career is a big part of who you are. So whether you  work out of the home, or only in the home, it's an ongoing battle to make the right choice for you and your family. And to stay happy with that choice! 

Do you think it's the same all over the world? Should we just be grateful we had a job, could earn money and can now afford to stay home? Or does it make more sense money-wise to stay home? Rhonda from 'Down to Earth' makes some good arguments for that cause here and here. Me staying at home makes sense for our family.

That way I can run the house and focus on the children. Make it my career. For now at least. It's not what I would have dreamt about when I was studying at uni. Nor when I was working in a great job before children came along. But I do mostly enjoy it. And I try valiantly to make the most of my days and my moments... And I try and think about the 'work' as professionally as I would a job for an employer. Sound silly? Well, it's only the little things, for instance I have a weekly plan in my diary that I jot down on a sunday night. Just keeps me organised and together, or professional in my approach. I was a great planner in previous work so why not here at home.

Staying home means that I have time to make my own dishwasher powder and knit things (I am knitting something yummy right now for me, more details next week!). It also means I can have a reasonably orderly laundry, though I will never ever ever get on top of my ironing! However, I also do things to economise so that my wage isn't missed too much. And some of those things are as pleasant as just spending to have it done, I really miss my trips to the hairdressers (frivolous I know). And I think hard about buying new clothes because really I don't need so many when I'm just at home. In fact I've noticed my whole wardrobe is changing, it's much more casual even though I love dressing up. I just don't need thousands of gorgeous shoes, so I try not to buy them. What else? Hmmm. I painted the tiles in our bathroom and we'll wait for a new one, rather than just borrowing the money and re-doing it now. We love a good holiday, and when I was employed we enjoyed a European trip with the first two childran in tow, we only  dream of it now that there is just one income.

Another part of being a full-time mum is this..... I used to have lovely lunches when working. Lunches with work colleagues and/or friends. I can do that now too. But it's always with the littlest one too. Ever tried having a lovely lunch in a nice cafe with a toddler along?! That's when I miss childcare ;-)  Plus I have to time all trips out around her sleep routine.

So there are plenty of pros and cons. And each of our stories are different. No-one else should be able to make the decision for us, and often we don't want to make it for ourselves! But I do know that I wouldn't accept these terms of employment from any other employer! And they probably couldn't pay enough to keep me in the job either!!! It means that a child's smile and little hands are VERY valuable :-)

Ah, the joys. Will move on now. And do some work, at home of course, in our home. I do like my home and it's people. I hope you like your's whether you work only in it, or for some-one else as well. 

Hope you also like the littlest ones hands. Seems some photos snuck into this post after all!

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