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.
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!
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 email@example.com, send me a tweet @mummy_lala or comment on this post for more information. I would love for you to join in.