Life As A Stay At Home Mum, One Year In

Life As A Stay At Home Mum, One Year In

Anyone who knows me or my blog will know the painstaking decision, or lack of, that was whether to return to work or not. I did not. I will not go over the reasons why, as I have already. Suffice to say it wasn’t an easy decision to make or necessarily the one I would have wanted to make, circumstance however prevailed.

In fact I haven’t been into the office and performed a single task in a paid employee capacity since the 1st August 2014, that day my Maternity leave started with my first child. I had back to back maternity, as two babies in 11 months will do that to you. My youngest is now two and it has been just over a year since I confirmed that I would not be returning to my role as a lawyer. Instead spending the days as a stay at home mum.

It is a label that took me a long time to give myself. I don’t know why. It is quite silly really, it just didn’t feel like me. I also still struggle to say to people ‘I don’t work’. It still doesn’t quite seem right somehow. That said I am accepting it and it is starting to roll of the tongue a little easier.

I do miss the work place, or perhaps I miss the structure. I think I respond well to routine and having days that I literally do not know how to fill with two toddlers is difficult at times. I miss adult interaction, obviously. Some days can pass and my only conversation is with my two year olds. Until Mr Tammy comes home at whatever time that may be.

Sometimes he walks out the door leaving me with two small ones literally crying at my ankles or screaming for something and I can’t help but feel that pang of jealously at his freedom. Yet I suspect he feels the same toward me at times.

Sometimes I am just bored. Bored of singing nursery rhymes or playing with playdoh. Sometimes I am bored of the park or peppa pig.

Being a stay at home parent isn’t for everyone and I whole heartedly think that is OK. I wondered if it was for me for a long time.

That said I would often be bored at my desk glaring out the window, longing to be outside. I would often want to be anywhere other than the office and the thought that I could actually be home with my two peace destroyers, I imagine, would be pretty appealing.

A midweek day out with friends to Thomas Land

A midweek day out with friends to Thomas Land

I used to resent the bind that was the office, that I was dictated to as  to where I had to be when I had to be there.

Not returning to work has brought us a freedom. We are able to leave the country at the drop of a hat, which we do. Especially before the children start school next September. We are able to visit my family in Bristol during the week. Do pretty much anything during the reasonable serenity of the week days.

There is no battle between Mr Tammy and I as to who has to leave work early, who has to pick up the kids, drop them off, who’s job has to compromise to work around the children. We have not had the power struggle over who’s job may be more important or feel as though we are letting employees down should we have a poorly child at home.

Over and above all, what the decision has allowed is for me to give my children my time. I haven’t had to face that pang of guilt when dropping them off daily to go to the office. I haven’t had to feel like I am compromising my role as parent or employee. I haven’t had to spend hours on end, daily, away from from them. That is special to me.

Yes I find it hard at times. I find the constant demands difficult, and yes I can be bored.  I worry that I am not stimulating enough for them, that we don’t do enough, that I am not enough as their sole source of entertainment and activity each and every and sometimes that can be consuming. I know deep down however that I do my best.

I am  learning to let go of the ‘what if’ and the challenges that come with this role. I am not just talking about my children, there are a whole host of considerations that come into play when you don’t return to work – finances for a start, careers, pensions. The sacrifices that come with this decision run deep. Deeper than I allowed for.

For our family this was the best decision to be made and I can seek comfort in that. Moreover I am learning to love my new role. To truly treasure this time (perhaps not every minute, but you get the idea) I have with my babies for I know and finally accept that it won’t come again. I finally appreciate that I am lucky to be able to do this and that so many people would give their right arm to be in my position.

Yes there I things I miss and days can be tough but actually life as a stay at home parent has some amazing perks with it to. Ones that I would be stupid to overlook and not be grateful for. It has taken some adjusting to, mentally and physically but actually it turns out that I am cut out to be a stay at home mum and, really, I don’t think there is anywhere else I would rather be. Not yet anyway.

Life as a stay at home mum, one year in. How I have found my new role as a stay at home mum after reluctantly not returning to work at the end of my maternity leave.

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29 Comments

  1. July 25, 2017 / 6:52 pm

    Fab post lovely I just saw it flash up in my inbox and I thought I had better read that one, as I’ve just done the same thing, well nearly 3 months in. It’s really hard at first, and I still struggle with not being in work but I’ve loved reading this as me and my daughter still try to get used to seeing more of each other. The school holidays are tough when you’re a SAHM as all the toddler groups seem to be cancelled. Claire. X

    • Tammymum
      July 25, 2017 / 8:34 pm

      Ah thank you very much. You’re right it certainly is hard at first to get your head round it and to just adjust. I think it takes time to settle on. I totally agree though, I dread the summer holidays with toddlers because the groups are all closed and all the usual haunts are full of big kids making it a little difficult for our little ones. It is a tough time and you find yourself willing on September and the end of the summer! ARGH. Thank you so much, for reading I look forward to hearing how you are get on on your SAH journey xx

  2. Adventures with J
    July 25, 2017 / 7:14 pm

    Ah I recognise so many of these debates and dilemmas. I’m in a bit of limbo as I do work but not earnt enough to validate it as working yet so it feels odd. I think I count myself more as a SAHM than a work at home mum which is technically what I am. I don’t think whichever path you choose is without internal debate and guilt to some extent, at least not for me but I have the best option for me and my family so we will be happy with that.

  3. July 26, 2017 / 6:02 am

    Deciding whether to go back to work or stay at home can be such a hard choice to make – both have their ups and downs. I was a SAHM for my maternity leave year and I don’t think I’m cut out for it – while it was lovely to have freedom and spend time with the daughter, I felt a bit isolated and bored, and missed the mental stimulation of working. I work 4 days a week right now, which seems like the right balance, at least for the time being. The important thing is that you’re happy with your decision and that it works for you and your family. #FamilyFun

  4. July 26, 2017 / 7:50 am

    It’s weird, isn’t it? I work from home, but would call myself a stay at home mum…perhaps because I don’t do much work!! I like the freedom, but miss talking to people! #familyfunlinky

  5. July 26, 2017 / 1:58 pm

    I’m right with you on this one. I’m finding it really difficult to say that I’m “unemployed” or “I don’t work” like you said- it just doesn’t feel right. I honestly don’t think there’s any right or wrong way. I feel like people look down on me for not going back to work. but I guess everyone else feels the same way. #familyfunlinky

  6. July 26, 2017 / 2:41 pm

    I don’t work and look after our daughter but I hope I don’t have just one dimension and I’m not sure I fit into a category. Being able to be with my daughter is lush and I do find filling time hard but also I love the moments I haven’t missed. #FamilyFunLinky

  7. July 26, 2017 / 5:14 pm

    I think the secret to being a stay at home mum is to take your child to toddler groups, which will ensure adult conversation

    • July 26, 2017 / 7:09 pm

      Until it’s the summer holidays and they don’t exist!!!

  8. July 26, 2017 / 5:53 pm

    My wife went back to work three days a week, I work the other four. Both of us wish that we were able to be home all the time, though I will admit its nice to get away sometimes #familyfun

  9. July 26, 2017 / 7:14 pm

    I’m with you sarah. Think 2 in 11 months was extreme but you are surviving! Such a difficult decision for some, for me it was a no brainer though, my work was too dull with no prospects so of course I choose home. Glad I have Daves support really! 😀

  10. July 27, 2017 / 1:48 am

    I worked as a teacher before the twins and i truly loved it. Loved the kids, the intensity of working with severe needs, the adults. Loved it. When the balance became impossible and economically it no longer even made sense I stayed home and then the twins came along. Some days I miss it, but now three years later I am in my groove.

    #familyfun

  11. July 27, 2017 / 6:52 am

    I am so glad this worked out for you 🌸 I hope mr Tammy is recivering Well. Thank you for hosting 🌸 #FamilyFun

  12. July 27, 2017 / 7:49 am

    Your children are at such a wonderful age and it’s a time that only comes around once. It’s great you are lucky enough to be with them and I think your relationship with your children will be stronger for you being there with them every step of the way. I have tried every permuation of full-time, part-time, SAHM and now back freelancing – but still at home and I love being here when my kids come back and being the one they talk to about their successes and fails as well as having the luxury of watching them play sport in the afternoons. It is a win win on all counts. Of course there are boring moments but the good outweigh the bad every time. Hope your husband is on the mend. #familyfun

  13. July 27, 2017 / 10:08 am

    I think it’s fab that you can do this. I longed to when the end of my maternity leave came but finances wouldn’t let it sadly. But I do get the best of both worlds by just working mornings. Enjoy it lovely – like us, school will be here before you know it. Excuse me while I go and have a moment…again! :) #familyfun

  14. July 27, 2017 / 1:21 pm

    Whether to go back to work or not is one of the hardest decisions to ever make. You have made the best decision for you and your family. You can see that by the smiles on your kids faces.
    #FamilyFun

  15. July 27, 2017 / 4:52 pm

    I was in a similar position to Karen. My two mini baby bosses have been the best I’ve ever had. #FamilyFunLinky

  16. July 27, 2017 / 10:04 pm

    I can definitely relate to this. I haven’t gone out to work since 2008 and hate those ‘so what do you do?’ questions and always feel like I have to justify my decisions to be a stay at home mum, but why? It was a joint decision and the right one for us and that’s all that should ever matter x
    #FamilyFunLinky

  17. July 28, 2017 / 6:19 am

    I have done the same thing, well went back to work for one year but it was so stressful with everything decided that when we moved last summer I would not look for a new job. I miss my job, I am a Early Years teacher, no it does not make being at home any easier, but I missed time with my girls more. I have days were it is a hard decision and then days when think it is the best thing I ever did because at the end of the day work will always be there but the little people grow up!

    • July 28, 2017 / 6:44 am

      forgot to add #stayclassymama

  18. July 28, 2017 / 6:49 am

    Wow – 2 babies in 11 months! You are a brace lady. And even more brave be at home full time with them both. Being a SAHM is one of the hardest jobs you can do so kudos to you! #stayclassymama

  19. July 28, 2017 / 6:04 pm

    This is a brilliant post Sarah. I love getting to stay home with Molly. The days can be really long though sometimes. She is three now so I have been wondering whether or not to go back to work to get a bit of ‘me’ back. But then again, ‘me’ is a stay at home mum and thats the best job in the world isn’t it. #familyfun

  20. July 28, 2017 / 6:55 pm

    Ah I loved this. So similar to how I feel and I’ve been a SAHM for just over a year now too. Like you I really struggled with the “label” at first. I still do find it hard to say I’m “just” a mum (and housewife and cook and cleaner etc etc). But like you I know how lucky I am and that actually a lot o people would love to be in this position. Yes some days are hard. Yes I cry. Yes I get bored. Yes I sometimes get sad and lonely that I haven’t spoken to an adult all day, but, as my daughter grows older it’s more fun and our special bond is undeniable. I feel so loved. And that to me is worth it xx #FamilyFun

  21. July 29, 2017 / 8:57 am

    Fab post and I hear exactly what you are saying. There is no right or wrong just what feels right at the moment. Things can change and everything is not set in stone. I have gone out to work the whole time, been a single parent for part of that and had days where I’ve hated myself for putting them in nursery and thought I was a crap mum. However I’m over that now and realise that at the end of the day I’m their mum and we all I’ve each other to the moon and back so it’s all good:)
    Mainy
    #familyfunlinky

  22. Brilliant post, which resonates with all of us mums, I think. I have been a SAHM for 11 years now (!) and I still struggle with the term. It certainly doesn’t feel like ‘I don’t work’, but I still feel looked down upon every so often for ‘just’ staying at home with my 4 kids. Have you heard of Vanessa Olorenshaw’s book Liberating Motherhood, and her Purplestockings movement?
    #FamilyFun

    • Tammymum
      July 30, 2017 / 2:10 pm

      Well 11 years in and still feeling it, then perhaps I’ll never get used to the term?! No I haven’t? Is it something I should look into? Xx

  23. July 30, 2017 / 10:23 pm

    So interesting to read about how you’ve found being a stay at home mum. I changed careers after having children and would consider myself a stay at home mum, although I also work from home. I love the flexibility that being at home with the children brings but there are times when it feels quite monotonous and I do miss adult company as well. I love the fact that you are honest about the struggles and about the fact that sometimes you do get bored. #familyfunlinky

  24. August 1, 2017 / 8:39 pm

    I definitely enjoy all the perks of being a stay at home mum but sometime I can’t help but miss work. Like you I miss the structure of having a job and also the actual job. I did love it. Saying that my job was both physically and emotionally draining at times so I’m glad i have taken the time off to focus solely on my children. Thank you for sharing with #StayClassyMama

  25. August 8, 2017 / 7:58 pm

    The grass always seems greener on the other side, but it isn’t really… #familyfunlinky