Friday, September 23, 2011

Finding the Joy in Being a SAHM

Sometimes I think we Stay At Home Mums forget just how important our "job" is.  Some days I think I should be out in the workforce providing a constant source of income.  Other days I love my job just the way it is.  Yes more money would be nice but how much would I have to sacrifice for it?

My Hubby goes away for work sporadically throughout the year.  Often he gets only 24 hours notice of a 2-3 day trip.  This is fine, I hate it, but it is fine since I stay at home.  If I was working it would be a totally different story.  There would be childcare that would have to be arranged out of the blue.  My kids school Out of Hours School Care group is usually pretty full as it is and often don't have places available for extras.  I don't know that the extra stress placed on the kids and I would be worth that little bit extra money a week.  I think if I worked I would have to find a job that was just in school hours.

Then I think of how much I do around here and if I worked alot of it just wouldn't get done.  I know many women balance the two but I'm at the stage where I'd like to explore new things.  I want to learn to be more self sufficient and hence save money rather than have to spend a large portion of my income just so that I can work.  If I worked there would be transport to and from said work to consider (I would need a new car as our old Tarago is on its last legs and only gets used for the school run and shop run).  I would need new clothes.  Then of course there would be probably child care for the younger two boys and the older two would become "Latchkey Kids".  Then we have school holidays where we also have Hubby's two kids.  There would then be vacation care for 4 of them and my stepson with Autism would require special care (he has previously been "thrown out" of vacation care that his Mum has had him in, due to his high needs and behaviours).  Of course, with me working there would be less baking done and also probably more take away or preprepared meals entering the house and the expense associated with it.  When I sit back and add all that up, would working really, honestly, be worth it????

Staying home enables me to keep my house clean (well kinda lol).  It enables me to plant and care for seeds which will hopefully produce food for us.  It enables me to bake treats for the kid's lunchboxes without having to resort to shop bought cakes/biscuits which are full of preservatives etc.  It enables me to cook from scratch, cooking most of our meals at home.  It enables me to prepare the kid's lunchboxes each day, saving money on school lunches.  Naturally my wardrobe is pretty daggy to say the least, but when I am cleaning and gardening and baking throughout the day, who needs to be dressed up fancy lol.

Yes life can get mundane and boring but you know what?  I really don't think I would have it any other way.  I am starting to get a new appreciation for my house.  I have ideas that will turn it into our home.  They will take time to save up for but I know that eventually we will get there.  If we move in a year or two, then we move but in the mean time we will work towards making this house look the way we would like it to.

Money is tight, yes, but when I add it all up, I don't think that me working will change it by much, by the time you add up all the extra expenses working would bring.  The kids are only kids for such a short time and I don't want to miss it.  I feel like my eldest has gone from toddler to teenager in a blink of an eye and when I sit back and think, I can't remember where all those years went.  I feel like since my Ex and I split up, there has been so much happening and life has been so busy that I forgot to sit back and enjoy my kids.  I hate that more than anything. 

Starting today, I want to ensure that I live in the moment more often and just relax and let the little things slide.  Life is to be enjoyed and our kids are precious.  I will get stuck into seriously decluttering and either donating to charity or selling online the things we no longer want/use/need.  This can bring a little extra money into the house, it may be small amounts but they all add up.  This is what blogging and reading all those wonderful blogs out there has taught me.  Reading blogs has given me new skills, a new mindset and  most of all inspiration to achieve so many things I had never really thought possible.

So I want to say a big thank you to all the wonderful bloggers whose blogs I read daily, the ones that I read weekly and just all you wonderful bloggers in general.  I may spend way too much time exploring Blog Land lol, but it is time that I think is totally worth it.

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Anonymous said...

It is so nice you feel this way, you are right on target of what it means to be a mother and keep house. love,andrea

Kimmie said...

Lovely post!

Tania @ Out Back said...

Great post Colleen!

I am a stay at home mum too. I have worked part time and full time and it was not long and I was longing to be home again. I am home for good now...

Yes we cant afford to do all the things we want to, but I save and get them done eventually.

I agree with everything you have said, it is exactly how it was when I was working. I was stressed to the max, not getting all things done, no decent meals, messy house etc. I had to buy an automatic washing machine and we lived on take away more because I was too pushed for time or totally worn out.

I save more money now that I am not working that when I was. The more you earn, the more you spend! I am happy to go without to get my time at home where I am happiest :)

Have a great day!

Niki said...

Absolutely agree 100%.
I have recently taken on doing some lunch covers for my girlfriend's shop, but already it is impacting on my home life with the children. I am at work for 3 hour shifts and all I am thinking about all that I need to get done at home or that I need to be home soon for the school run. I only plan to do this till the Christmas holidays. My husband & I have a pact that where ever possible there is always one of us at home with/for the kids.
In 15 years we have managed to do this mostly, apart from a little help form my Mum, Ha.
I am so grateful that I have been able to be there 100% for my kids.
Its a hard job. Sometimes boring, but always worth it.
Your right they are only little for such a short time.
Love Niki

Anonymous said...

Im with you 100%, having only become a SAHM for the last 3mths, Im lovin it , the kids are lovin it, the house is happy and peaceful...well most of the And like you am lovin this new world of Blogland!!

Becci Sundberg said...

SAHM here too! and loving it. I wouldn't have it any other way, although I understand that not everyone is able to I do believe it's the right thing to do. We aren't rich by any means, heck we don't even own our own home. But we really have all that we need and have learnt to live within our means.
I noticed you mentioned about getting back to basics and growing your own food.
If you haven't already please check out the Down To Earth forums and blog. I read and participate there everyday. It's such a wonderful nonjudgmental community for like minded peeps.