The Stay at Home Crowd #1

Welcome to the first fortnightly feature of The Stay at Home Crowd or #SAHCrowd.

I’m always interested in finding out about stay at home parents and I’m very curious about why they became stay at home parents, what they enjoy about it, along with a million other questions – which I’ve rounded down to about 11. This is the inspiration behind this feature as I am a stay at home parent and out of my friends I am the only one.

The Stay at Home Crowd

First up we have Ally from the blog Messed Up Mum, take it away Ally!

Tell us a little bit more about yourself and your family, including how long you’ve been a stay at home parent

I am a single mum of one to a little boy called Joshua who was born May 2013. Since his birth I’ve struggled with a lot of PND and anxiety, and then my marriage broke down in July 2014 so I’ve been on my own since then. I had intended on returning back to work but obviously life had different plans for me!

Ally from Messed up Mum

Why and how did you choose to become a stay at home parent?

I tried to go back to work in January 2014 when Joshua was eight months old, but I had a minor breakdown and couldn’t do it. My little boy had become my safety blanket and I couldn’t face being without him with my mental state not being great.

What do you enjoy/not enjoy about being a stay at home parent?

I love that I get to spend so much time with my boy, that we can chill together and have time to really build our bond, as we’re all each other has most of the time.

It can get very lonely though, and there are times when you could just do with someone else to have an adult conversation with!

What’s been one of the hardest challenges you’ve faced?

I’m currently facing my hardest; my son keeps hitting me. Being a single mum and not having support is making it quite a difficult phase, as not only do I wonder if I am dealing with it right, but also I have no-one to talk to to emotionally support me, as it’s breaking my heart!

How do you find time to get other things completed (for example blogging, housework, etc) during the day when you have a little one/little ones demanding your attention all day?

My little boy is quite happy to occupy himself and never demands my attention. He pulls my hand to play with him from time to time, but he’s also happy to sit and play with his trains on his own, or sit next to me on the sofa as I blog. Sometimes he even helps me with the housework; he loves doing the washing and the mopping. He makes my days so easy!

How do you find the reaction of others when you tell them you’re a stay at home parent?

I don’t see anyone else to have a reaction! Obviously, I see my parents and my boyfriend but they all know the reasons why and don’t have an issue with it. I was nervous about telling my boyfriends parents as I didn’t want them to see me as ‘lazy’ or anything, but they were actually really supportive!

What advice would you give someone who was contemplating becoming a stay at home parent?

Do whatever is right for you and your family. Stay at home/work at home/working parent. Each has there own pros and cons so work out which suits you the most and go for it.

What one thing would you wish your partner/family/friends would do to help/support you more?

I would love my family to come and see me from time to time, instead of me having to go to them. But then they do all lead busy lives so I suppose it’s only fair… It would be nice to get a visit sometimes!

How do you relax and unwind at the end of the day?

I’m usually with my boyfriend, either at mine or his depending on whether my son is with his dad or not. We’re both usually shattered by 9pm and take ourselves to bed. We try to go for a walk sometimes, go for tea, or sometimes just slob in front of the TV!

What are your plans for the future with regards to being a stay at home parent?

I’m currently working on a Level 3 Teaching Assistant Diploma and still working on my anxiety, so I’m aiming to get back to work sometime in 2016. Get myself sorted before maybe another baby?!

Any tips or anything else you’d like to share.

Same as I said before, do what suits you and your family. I’m a single mum on benefits. People think people like me are scum but I know I have no other option (my bills and childcare wouldn’t be covered by my wages if I was to work on my own). I know that I’m doing and know what’s best for me and Josh and that’s all that matters. People will always judge so don’t let it stop you doing what is right for you!

Thank you very much Ally for taking part and being the first stay at home parent to be featured. I find it really tough being a stay at home parent with my partner around and for you to do it as a single parent, well I take my hat off to you. I think you’re doing an amazing job and good luck with you Diploma.

I’m not sure what to suggest about the situation with your little boy hitting you, hopefully it’s just another stage that he’ll begin to grow out of. I love the fact that he helps out around the house, I’m hoping I’ll have the same help one day!

To find out more about Ally please visit her blog Messed Up Mum. Ally can also be found on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Go and give her a follow.

If you are a stay at home parent and would like to be featured in The Stay at Home Crowd series please email me at hello@mummylala.co.uk, send me a tweet @mummy_lala or comment on this post for more information. I would love for you to join in.

31 Comments

  1. 08/11/2015 / 9:05 pm

    Really enjoyed reading that!
    Things very rarely go to plan as a parent I find! I’m on the ‘no plan’ plan myself.
    Sorry to hear you are struggling with your little boy hitting, but I do think it’s something the majority of children go through. My approach would be to stop the interaction as soon as he hits.
    You’re doing a great job
    Nat
    x

    • Laura
      08/11/2015 / 9:20 pm

      Thanks Nat, glad you enjoyed reading it. I’ll pass your comments over to Ally.x

  2. 08/11/2015 / 9:19 pm

    An excellent start to your series, Ally is always honest and open with her thoughts and feelings. I admire her very much. Lots of good luck for the future Ally x

    • Laura
      08/11/2015 / 9:21 pm

      Thanks Lorraine, I’ll make sure Ally sees your lovely comment. Hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I did 🙂

      Laura x

  3. 08/11/2015 / 9:35 pm

    Than Kyo u for featuring me, I’m excited to be the first! I look forward to reading everyone else’s posts xx

  4. 08/11/2015 / 9:48 pm

    I can already tell I’m going to love this series! 🙂 I don’t have any suggestions for the hitting; Marianna’s a bit young yet to have reached that stage. I remember my brother used to bite and headbutt all the time as a toddler, and I do think it’s a fairly typical phase. As for the single mum on benefits thing… you pay into the system when you’re in work to be able to take out of it when you can’t, for whatever reason. It’s give and take, not take take!

  5. 09/11/2015 / 4:42 pm

    It’s nice to get an insight into being a SAHM. Ally it must be really hard being a single parent and not having someone to bouncing ideas off. My son’s went through the hitting phase, it was more out of frustration than anger and they do get through it. I just had to gently restrain them whilst they calmed down. #love2blog

  6. 09/11/2015 / 9:31 pm

    Ah what a lovely series. Love Allys advice, I say the same. It really is what works for you and your family. I have also been a single parent between my first and second and know how hard and isolating it can be at time. You are SuperMom and don’t forget it xxx

  7. 09/11/2015 / 10:24 pm

    Love reading Ally’s blog and its nice to find out more about her. Parenting, whether on your own or as a couple is tough and she looks like she’s doing a fab job.

  8. 09/11/2015 / 10:53 pm

    great idea for a series… I’ve been a stay at home mum for 13 years, though i’ve worked from home too for the past 4 years. interesting​ read x

  9. 10/11/2015 / 12:12 am

    This is such a good feature and an interesting interview from Ally. I wish her the best of look with your studies and plans. It is really good to read something that gives an insight into different ways to approach parenting. Looking forward to future posts.

  10. 10/11/2015 / 10:48 am

    what a lovely series, I love hearing about what works for other peoples families! x

  11. 10/11/2015 / 12:21 pm

    Absolutely love the idea of this series. I am the only one of my maternity leave friends who didn’t go back to work so I can relate to a lot what Aly said, particularly about the loneliness.

    I’d be happy to take part if you’d like?

    I think it’s so important for mums of all walks of life to share their experiences. xx

  12. 10/11/2015 / 9:40 pm

    fabulous start to your series – looking forward to being involved once I get a minute!! ally – you have my serious respect, being a mummy is hard work and even harder when you don’t have someone to help come the evening. All the best with your diploma and good on you for doing it as well as full time parenting! Sarah x

  13. 10/11/2015 / 11:21 pm

    Everyone has their reasons for staying home or working. I was fortunate to stay at home with my 2 boys. Now my oldest is in college and my youngest is a junior in high school. I went back to school and now am starting my own health coaching business. I loved being home with them. Now I am enjoying another adventure.

  14. Viki
    13/11/2015 / 3:35 pm

    I loved reading this post. I am a stay at home mum for the moment but would love to go back to work to help out with the bills.

  15. 13/11/2015 / 3:47 pm

    Great post, Ive tried to have part time jobs to work around the kids, but I prefer to be a stay at home mum and run my blog for some income for myself. It can be lonely, but being a blogger its great we have plenty of meet ups.

  16. 13/11/2015 / 4:48 pm

    Nice to see someone being so open about anxiety. I am currently a working mummy but hope to be a stay at home mum in the new year. 5 months to go! Xx

  17. 13/11/2015 / 6:13 pm

    Love this series. I think with my next baby I’ll stay off of work for a while or only work part time. I think that’s best for me, and they grow up so quick. Four years before school just doesn’t feel like enough!

  18. 13/11/2015 / 6:33 pm

    This is a great series. We all have different reasons why we go back to work of why we don’t. It’s great to hear about other peoples choices and journeys x

  19. 13/11/2015 / 6:35 pm

    I love reading about people’s lives like this and this us a very insightful, open interview.

  20. 13/11/2015 / 8:45 pm

    I’m more WAHM than SAHM but I totally get the whole lack of adult converstation thing – it can be really hard work at times!

  21. 14/11/2015 / 12:24 am

    What a fabulous idea for a series. I am a stay-at-home mum and I love hearing about other SAH parents. It makes you feel less isolated. Plus, Ally is one of my favourite bloggers so it is lovely to hear more about her. I agree that the lack of adult conversation can be the hardest thing to cope with. Especially if you are having one of those days! And you’d just
    like to sit down with a friend, a cuppa and a bar of chocolate and not have to get up every minute to stop your child trying to kill themselves. I would love to be involved if you would like me to. Please feel free to email me. Hugs Mrs H xxxx

  22. 14/11/2015 / 12:40 pm

    Love the idea of this tag! Stay at Home mums are amazing 🙂 x

  23. 14/11/2015 / 5:34 pm

    What a superb feature and interview. I really enjoyed this. I have a lot of love for Ally. I’m a stay at home mum but also work from home. It has its moments but I wouldn’t have it any other way. X

  24. 14/11/2015 / 9:05 pm

    A great read! What a fab series to start 🙂 I did something similar with some of my blogger friends a while ago! x

  25. 15/11/2015 / 5:48 pm

    Life is always about adjusting to what our needs are at the time, well done on looking after yourself and your little boy. They are the most important thing.

  26. 22/11/2015 / 10:01 am

    Love this! We all have our reasons for our staying at home/working choices and I find it really interesting reading everyone else’s. Ally, I really hope you don’t get too much judgement for the single mum on benefits thing, this was exactly the position my mum was in with me for a long time and I dread to think what would have become of us if this avenue wasn’t available. You are doing an awesome job x

    • Laura
      22/11/2015 / 11:59 am

      Thanks for visiting Michelle. I’ve sent a tweet to Ally to let her know you’ve commented 🙂 It’ll be your turn before we know it. I’m really glad you’ve enjoyed reading this, the next one will be published this afternoon at some stage.x

  27. 24/03/2016 / 8:05 pm

    Well done on looking after yourself and your little boy, you are Super Mummy xx

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