To some, being a stay-at-home-mum is the sole purpose of their life, their dream job and the reason they were put on this earth, but to others it’s their worst nightmare and a job they would happily trade in for an office, regular meal breaks and adult conversation.
Of course for some families, having a stay-at-home-mum isn’t an option. With rising food costs, electricity bills and taxes on everything these days, a lot of families simply can’t afford to live on a sole income. If you’re lucky enough to have the choice, here are some pros and cons of being a stay-at-home-mum.
- There is little chance of you missing out on those important milestones such as first words, first steps and that first time your child eats solids and covers the entire room and themselves with pureed pumpkin.
- You get to spend ample quality time with your children. Being a working mum is extremely tiring and the days fly by all too quickly. After preparing dinner, homework for older children, bath time, preparing lunch boxes, bedtime and a full day’s work, it doesn’t leave much spare time to do fun things with the children.
- You have total control over what you child does and eats each day. Most daycare centres engage and educate children, enriching their delicate lives, but others have been known to neglect children. Being a stay at home mum means that you know what your child is doing all day, the food they’ve eaten and how many nappy changes they’ve really had.
- Stay-at-home-mums have the potential to pick up a part time job which can be worked around the children. Becoming a freelance writer, a typist, or even running your own small business are jobs that can sometimes be done successfully when the children are napping or having some down time.
- Many women are eager to return to work to ensure they don’t lose vital skills. Most jobs require training of some sort on a regular basis so being out of the workforce for years could leave your CV looking dilapidated and your ability to return to the workforce much more difficult.
- Conversing in baby talk and playing charades all day can be tedious to some woman, instead preferring to return to work in order to get the brain ticking over again. Being in a stimulating environment with grown-ups and engaging in adult conversation can be much more appealing.
- Being a stay-at-home-mum means that you’re relying entirely on your partner or family for financial support. Holidays, new clothes or that new car that you desperately want could be way down your list of priorities. Having less income can also be the cause of some relationship problems.
- Some women who choose to stay at home with their children can feel trapped in their own home. It’s all too easy to get stuck in a rut at home day after day. There is no break for a stay-at-home-mum. Being on call 24/7 can get extremely demanding and depressing for some women.
Women who make the decision to return to work, whether full time or part time should never be labelled as bad mothers who can’t stand being around their children and similarly, being a stay at home mum doesn’t mean that they are less intelligent or have less chance of getting a job. Everyone’s circumstances are different, we all do what we have to do to get by and if you’re lucky enough to have that choice of being a stay-at-home-mum, lucky you.
By Karyn Miller