The Stay at Home Crowd #6

Welcome to the sixth instalment of my weekly feature The Stay at Home Crowd or #SAHCrowd.

Each week I get to interview a blogger to find out all about their experiences of being a stay at home parent. I stay at home with our little boy and I always find it interesting to find out about others who are in the same situation. I’ve found it incredibly supportive and has helped me realise I’m not alone.

The Stay at Home Crowd

 

Thank you to Gemma from A Gem’s Life for taking part in last weeks edition.

This week we have the lovely Sarah, from the pregnancy, parenting and lifestyle blog Forget Me Knit. Sarah is due to have a baby any minute which is very exciting!

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

I’m Sarah, Mum to Ted who was born in July 2014, when I became a stay at home parent. I’ve been married to my husband Tom for three years and we live in the wonderful city of Bristol. We are expecting our second child who is due today.

Sarah & Family Forget Me Knit

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

We aren’t originally from Bristol so don’t have any family close by. We always knew that if we had children I would need to stop working to look after them. We looked into the cost of childcare compared with my salary and it makes more financial sense for me to be the one looking after Ted. I was on a fixed-term contract before I had Ted which came to and end just before I had him. I stopped working a few weeks before he was born.

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

I love that I get to spend so much time with Ted and don’t miss out on anything he does. We are in a really nice routine at home which means I can get things done around the house and also take him out to play. It is nice to be able to go with the flow and not have to be anywhere by a certain time like working parents have to do. If we have had a particularly bad night or if Ted is poorly, we can just spend the morning in our pyjamas if we feel like it!

Sometimes it can feel a little lonely as a stay at home parent, or if we are having a difficult day where Ted is a bit clingy or grumpy I might not get things done around the house, and then I feel a bit guilty. I like to be able to keep things fairly tidy and have dinner prepared and sometimes that is just not possible – especially since I have been pregnant and feeling unwell or very tired some days!

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

I found it really difficult when my friends returned to work – we were in a nice routine with lots of play dates and outings and then suddenly I was on my own. I admire them for going back to work and I am sure it must be difficult juggling home-life and their jobs. We had to find ourselves a new routine and new places to go just the two of us, but I have made some new friends who are in a similar position to me.

I think the most difficult thing is not having my own income, it can feel quite restrictive. We have had to cut back on things and budget so that we can live off just my husband’s salary. We get by, but can’t splash out on things and have to be careful.

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?

I try to take advantage of Ted’s naps and get things done during that time. Once he is napping in his cot I will use that time to maybe put some dinner in the slow cooker, prepare our lunches and tidy round. Once that is done I take some time to have a cup of tea and do some blogging. I can’t really get these things done when he is awake so nap time is crucial! Sometimes I can clean the kitchen whilst he is in his high chair eating lunch, and he is amazed by the washing machine so I always have that on the go! Some days don’t go to plan and he has a short nap and I don’t get much done, but I have learnt just to accept it when that happens. The last few weeks I have occasionally had a nap when he has as I have been so tired!

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

I have never really had a negative reaction, I think most people can see our situation and the reasons why I have not returned to work. Of course I plan to at some point, but only when it makes financial sense for us as a family. I am not too concerned what other people think, it is the right thing for us. Sometimes people ask me if I am bored which I find difficult to answer – I feel lucky to be the one looking after my son but it is very demanding and relentless at times.

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

Just to do what is best for your family and not to listen to what other people say – and don’t feel guilty about your choice. I would say it would be good to have a support network around you and try to have a bit of a routine of different places to go to ensure you get out of the house. If you feel like you are getting run down, make sure you tell people and ask for help – your job is tiring too!

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

I honestly don’t think my husband could be any more supportive than he is! He is really hands on with Ted and even after a long day at work he comes home and takes care of him and tries to give me a break. He always gives Ted his dinner in the evening and is in charge of the bedtime routine. I am so glad of this because by the evening I am exhausted! It gives me time to have a sit down or I will often have a bath at this time. My husband is really understanding and knows that my day will have been busy and at times, hard work!

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

Once Ted has gone to bed my husband and I will eat dinner together and have a catch up. I will use this time to do some blogging or chatting with people on social media. Before I was pregnant I went to a dance class once a week which I loved, and hope to do so again some time. It is really nice to have a bit of time to yourself! I also enjoy knitting so sometimes work on a craft project – but often I am too tired and just veg in front of the telly!

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

As we are having our second baby I will be a stay at home parent for a while longer. When the new baby is older I would like to look for a job that could fit in with our family life. I am a qualified dance teacher so could consider working evenings/weekends so that we don’t incur childcare costs, as my husband would be able to look after the children. I’d love to have my own dance school one day!

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

I would say try to achieve one thing a day – whether it be a fun activity for your child like going to a group, the park or soft play, or running an errand like going to the shops or post office. I always feel better when we have managed to get out and do something, however small. But, if you have a bad day, don’t be hard on yourself and try again tomorrow.

Thank you very much for taking part Sarah. 

I hope you don’t have to wait much longer to meet your new baby and that everything goes well and quickly for you. Can’t wait to see a birth announcement and some cute newborn baby pictures very soon.

We also try and achieve at least one thing a day, even something as simple as putting the washing away.

To find out more about Sarah please visit her fantastic blog Forget Me Knit. Sarah can also be found on FacebookInstagram & Twitter.

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.

16 Comments

  1. 17/01/2016 / 11:16 pm

    Aww congratulations on your new baby!! Very exciting!! I too have found it tricky not earning my own money but after a while I have learnt to not beat myself up about it and my partner never makes me feel bad .
    Great to read about another SAHM 🙂

  2. 18/01/2016 / 5:14 am

    Good on her for admitting it’s lonely and that she feels insecure not earning her own income. Love her honesty. Great tip at the end too x

  3. 18/01/2016 / 7:29 am

    I’m at home 3 days a week and it’s much harder than going to work!

  4. 18/01/2016 / 4:33 pm

    What a great interview! It was lovely to learn more about Gemma. Staying at home is great but it’s definitely not easy. I love her outlook & I can’t wait to see the new baby! Working as a dance teacher is a great idea for the future. x

  5. 18/01/2016 / 7:46 pm

    Oh this is great! I’m going to be flicking back through all your posts in this series now 🙂

  6. 18/01/2016 / 8:52 pm

    This series is lovely – I love insights into other mums lives (I am a bit nosey too!) I agree to achieving one thing a day – and crossing something off a list is SO satisfying! Good Luck Sarah with the new baby. Kaz x

  7. 18/01/2016 / 9:44 pm

    Lovely post, I am totally loving this series. I agree about getting out and doing something every day, I always feel like a day has been a waste if we haven’t done anything at all.

  8. 18/01/2016 / 9:54 pm

    This is a really nice interview to read 🙂 I definitely agree with the ‘try to achieve one thing a day’ idea. i’m a stay at home/work from home mum (part time private tutor/freelance academic writer) and it’s hard to balance everything, but being at home is generally amazing and it works for us. xx

  9. 19/01/2016 / 11:30 am

    Awww, this is lovely to read and I am glad that staying at home is working well for Sarah! Congratulations on the soon to be arrivial of baby number 2 🙂

    Gemma xx

  10. 19/01/2016 / 3:22 pm

    Lovely interview. Always nice learning about other people 🙂 x

  11. 19/01/2016 / 8:09 pm

    Another lovely interview. I definitely agree with the idea of getting one thing a day done. Especially when babies are newborns it;s really good to give yourself some daily motivation! x

  12. 19/01/2016 / 8:49 pm

    This is such a good series! It sounds like staying at home works well for you and you are so secure in your choices. Good luck with your new addition! S x

  13. 19/01/2016 / 11:34 pm

    I stayed at home for 6months in 2015 but unfortunately it didn’t work out for us. It really is such a difficult decision and so lonely at times. But it really is something that needs to be between you and your other half. So many people can have that “face” which adds to the stress of it all.

  14. 21/01/2016 / 1:34 pm

    What a great interview and congratulations on the new baby! I’m also a SAHM and can relate to most of what you said especially the need to get out of the house at least once a day x

  15. 23/01/2016 / 8:41 pm

    Ah I love this series and finding new bloggers to follow. I stayed at home for 12 months with jack and 14 months with Phoebe and I take my hat off to SAHM. It’s bloody hard work. I now work part time and love the balance x

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