Welcome to the fourth 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.
Thank you very much to Chloe from Life Unexpected for taking part in the last edition and replying to all of the lovely comments that she received.
This week please welcome the lovely Becca from the parenting, lifestyle and weight loss blog Mummydaddymia.
Tell us a little bit more about yourself and your family, including how long you’ve been a stay at home parent.
I’m Becca, I have been a stay at home mum since Mia came along two and a half years ago. Before then I was a Teaching Assistant at a local primary school. I run a small baby gifts business from home and spend a lot of time blogging. We live in Nottingham with Mia’s daddy Mario who is an IT Project Manager.
Why and how did you choose to become a stay at home parent?
We have always had traditional ideas when it comes to having a family and we decided pretty early on that Mario would go out to work and I would stay at home. It’s what both of our parents were able to do and we felt that I was at the stage in my life where I could choose to start my career or have a family. We were also in a position where we could afford to do it this way and are very thankful for that.
What do you enjoy/not enjoy about being a stay at home parent?
I enjoy being able to experience everything Mia says and does for the first time. I love taking her to different places and having the chance to see her experience new things. I also enjoy taking care of my family by being at home and doing all of the ‘traditional’ things.
However, there are things I don’t enjoy so much, sometimes people don’t respond well to me telling them I’m a stay at home mum and its tricky to handle those types of situations, also I don’t enjoy having absolutely no time to myself, ever! I tend to put myself under a lot of pressure to make everything perfect and that can mean some days are harder than others, it’s important to find the right balance.
What’s been one of the hardest challenges you’ve faced?
I would say the first few months of Mia’s life were the hardest I have ever dealt with as a first time mum. I had no idea what I was doing, I was emotionally and physically drained and Mario worked away all week so we only saw him and had his help at the weekend. It was really tough but we got through it.
How do you find time to get other things completed (for example blogging, housework, etc) during the day when you have a little one demanding your attention?
We have been very lucky in that Mia is very happy to entertain herself now. When she was first born I learnt very quickly to prioritise things such as housework and only aim to do achievable things every day. As Mia has got older and I have got into a good routine, I usually find a quick period in the day where I can get a few bits done but any work or blogging has to be done when Mia’s gone to bed. It’s impossible to concentrate with a toddler around!
How do you find the reaction of others when you tell them you’re a stay at home parent?
I don’t have many friends with children; those that I do have all work but I know would want to stay at home if they had the choice. It’s my own problem but I always feel guilty talking about it to them as I can stay at home and they can’t. When I go to Mia’s classes, most other mums work at least part time and I find people tend to be surprised that I stay at home full time. I think it’s unusual with mums like me to stay at home.
What advice would you give someone who was contemplating becoming a stay at home parent?
Just to make sure that you go out and do something every day because if you don’t, you will slowly go crazy in the house! It’s very important to go out and meet other people, even if it’s just to the park. Baby/Toddler talk can get very draining after a full day of it, you will crave adult conversation!
What one thing would you wish your partner/family/friends would do to help/support you more?
We are very lucky that we see family members each week and my mum has Mia for us once a month overnight so we can spend time together as a couple. It’s very important to make time for each other. I wouldn’t want or need any more support from them, they are great!
How do you relax and unwind at the end of the day?
I relax by either doing some blogging work, watching TV (usually an easier watch than something I have to actually think about!), and also by reading a book which is one of my favourite hobbies. It’s important to wind down after a busy day and make sure you enjoy the quietness of the house!
What are your plans for the future with regards to being a stay at home parent?
We plan for me to stay at home with Mia until she goes to school. If we have any more children then I will be staying at home with them hopefully but the plan is that once they are of school age, I will go and do my teacher training which is something I have wanted to do for a number of years.
Any tips or anything else you’d like to share?
Everyone gives so much advice to you but it’s important to look after yourself and your family first. Don’t feel guilty for not getting all the housework done or not cooking dinner in time, just enjoy being at home and doing something that not everyone is able to do.
Thank you very much for taking part Becca.
Like you I put myself under a lot of pressure for everything to be perfect at home. It’s definitely important to find the right balance for you and your family. It’s something we’re still working on.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org, send me a tweet @mummy_lala or comment on this post for more information. I would love for you to join.