The clue to how I feel about being a housedad is in both my blog title and Twitter name. And similarly, the clue to how Heather Lucas feels about being a Stay-At-Home-Mum is revealed in the name of her blog and her Twitter handle. Heather is SAHMlovingit.
But why? Why would anyone willingly give up a challenging, stiumlating, EARNING job to spend so much time with children? Is it a female thing? I needed to get to the bottom of it. Perhaps I might learn a thing or two.
But first, a little background on this week’s Blogger:
Age: 36 (soon 37 eek)
Daughter: Mini Cheddar, two
Hubby: Matt, 34
Live: North Wales border (not far from Chester)
Former job: Account Manager for a Marketing Communications agency in Preston (65 miles from home). Two years before I was a Marketing Communications Manager for a housebuilder working less than a 5 minute walk from my house. Who knows if I hadn’t been made redundant from that role if I’d still be working now.
When, how and why I became a SAHM: Mini Cheddar was due March 2009 but I started my maternity leave early at Christmas 2008 as I was driving 130 miles to and from work each day. I didn’t want to be over an hours drive away from MC each day so decided to become a SAHM so never returned to my job.
And now, in her own words, the moment you’ve all been waiting for:
When Keith contacted me the other week and asked me if I’d like to write a guest post for him about 10 things I love about being a stay-at-home-mum I have to admit, a bit of mild panic set in.
Now I was going to have to try and live up to my ‘SAHMlovingit’ name once and for all. How on earth was I going to do that?
Despite the odd weak moment that everyone gets I do actually love being a SAHM and, at the moment, I have no desire to go back to an office.
I surprised a couple of my friends who thought I was fairly ‘career’ minded. I’ve never particularly seen myself as career minded despite working full time since the age of 16. So leaving work to have a baby at the age of 34 should have been a scary time for me but I was looking forward to it so much. Call it time off for good behaviour if you will.
It will be 3 years this coming Christmas Eve since I last sat in an office.
Here’s why (in no particular order)…
My daughter’s giggle is infectious. I’m not saying that I didn’t have the occasional laugh in the office when I worked but you can’t beat the joy you get from a child’s laughter. The look of happiness on her face when she discovers something funny and the pure entertainment she gives me each day is sometimes overwhelming.
2. My human alarm clock
I love not having to rush to get ready in the morning. No loud bleeping alarm and bashing the bedside table to activate the snooze button. I love having my own human alarm clock with legs that comes running in about 7.30am every day and pulls herself onto the bed for cuddles.
No clock watching, no sitting waiting for lunchtime or home time, no wishing the minutes and hours away. I’m not saying I clock watched with my last job as I did love it but it’s nice to have no regimented timings. I can pretty much do what I want, when I want and the time flies.
I guess this is an extension of the point above. No more ducking out of work to go to the doctors or dentist and then sitting with beads of sweat dripping down your brow because they are running late. You visualise your work colleagues looking at your empty desk and bitching about the length of time you’re away from the office – even though you worked 4 hours late the day before!
5. Spending quality time with my parents
My Mum and Dad have both retired now and I’m lucky that they live within a 10-15 minute drive from my house. I love being able to see them a couple of times in the week and I love the enjoyment that Mini Cheddar gets from being with them. They look after MC on a Friday so I can spend the day doing volunteer work – another thing I love.
6. Afternoon naps
Okay, so now Mini Cheddar is getting older she tends to have dropped her long afternoon naps. They were the best when we used to crash out on the bed together. Now, if we are both feeling a little sleepy we will have a catnap cuddled up on the sofa together. I’m not lazy, honest.
7. Teaching and learning
I love being MC’s teacher. I love teaching her how to say words, count numbers, recognise shapes and other things. I love the fact it’s ME doing it and not someone else. As well as teaching I’m also learning to be a mother – and I have to say, MC is a great teacher.
This one luckily came as a result of my blog and it’s work I can do from home! I can do it in the evenings or if MC is playing on her own for a bit, as she often will. It’s flexible, it’s fun and it earns me some cash. It also keeps the old grey matter on the ball a bit, which is always a bonus.
9. Watching my daughter grow
A bit of an obvious one but I was there the first time she rolled over, the first time she sat up, the first time she talked, the first time she walked, the first time she jumped, the first time she did everything. I get to experience it all – first hand. Yes I also get to experience the joy of nappies and toilet training but everything has it’s downsides.
10. My husband
Without my husband’s hard work and dedication to his job I wouldn’t be a SAHM. He is the one who supports (and originally initiated) the decision for me to stay at home. We are lucky in the fact he works from home so we can all have dinner together just before 6pm and he always gives MC her bath and helps out. He never moans if I haven’t done the housework and will quite often say “Just leave it, relax a little”. Yes, he’s an absolute gem and I plan to hold on to him. Okay, I’ll pass you all a sick bucket now!
So there you have it. I know everyone is different, some people hate being a SAHM but I do honestly love it and I hope I continue to love it as long as possible. If I don’t I’ll have to change my blog name and that would just be a bloody nightmare.