Welcome to the fifth instalment of The Stay at Home Crowd or #SAHCrowd. Due to lots of positive feedback and the amount of bloggers that would like to be involved, I’m happy to announce that it will now be a weekly feature, which I’m really pleased about.
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.
A huge thanks to Becca from Mummydaddymia for taking part in last weeks edition
This week please welcome a very lovely lady, Gemma, from the lifestyle blog A Gem’s Life. Gemma is one of the first bloggers I got chatting with at the beginning of my blogging journey and she has been incredibly supportive throughout.
Tell us a little bit more about yourself and your family, including how long you’ve been a stay at home parent.
I have been with my partner for over 14 years and we are getting married in April 2016. We have two children, Kid One who is almost 11 (eeek!) and Kid Two who is eight! I gave up work before Kid 1 was born and only got back into work about three/four years ago while I was studying at university.
Why and how did you choose to become a stay at home parent?
I don’t think I necessarily chose it. It just kind of happened. I was planning on going back to work after my maternity leave and I decided against going back, although why, I can’t remember as we are talking about 10 years ago!
What do you enjoy/not enjoy about being a stay at home parent?
I enjoy being organised and getting everything in the house sorted out. I enjoy not having to rely on childcare which I know costs a bomb. I am lucky that I have a job that I do at the weekends for a few hours and at times I have worked during the week too. I also enjoy spending time by myself or catching up with family and friends.
What I don’t enjoy is how I am not using my degree to get a better career!
What’s been one of the hardest challenges you’ve faced?
When I was at university doing my dissertation, working part time and still being a full time mum. That was tough. It can be so hard for a parent to fit everything in.
How do you find time to get other things completed (for example blogging, housework, etc) during the day when you have a children demanding your attention?
Luckily my children are at school, so it gives me time during the day to do the food shop, tidy, clean, etc and a lot of my time now is spent blogging!
How do you find the reaction of others when you tell them you’re a stay at home parent?
Some people are fine with it but I do often have people ask “what are you doing now?” or “What are you doing with your degree?” and that makes me feel a bit crap! I know I went to university but due to the cost of courses and childcare these days I can’t afford to do further education or work full time. It is better off me just working at weekends than working full time! I don’t have to fork out lots of money on childcare which if I worked during the week I would have to. Luckily, we are getting to the position money wise (it has taken us years to get there) that we are able to survive with me only having to work at weekends.
What advice would you give someone who was contemplating becoming a stay at home parent?
Do what is right for you. Think about it and talk to other people.
What one thing would you wish your partner/family/friends would do to help/support you more?
My partner is fine. It is just I sometimes get remarks from family and friends that I should be doing more with my life.
How do you relax and unwind at the end of the day?
In front of the TV with chocolate (and quite possibly a glass of wine!)
What are your plans for the future with regards to being a stay at home parent?
Eventually when Kid One and Kid Two are at secondary school, I plan to get back on the track of a career for myself. Sometimes children have to come first.
Any tips or anything else you’d like to share?
Do what makes you and your family happy and do what is right for you! Don’t let anyone pressure you. What is right for one family may not be right for yours.
Thank you very much for taking part Gemma.
I’m really excited about your wedding in April, can’t wait to see all the build up to it, and hopefully sharing your special day with you.
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.