Being a stay-at-home mum when you're not a "natural homemaker"

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Two weeks ago I wrote a post about NOT being the breadwinner and how it's okay. A comment on that post was about not being a "natural homemaker" and it spoke to me. I am not a natural homemaker, far from it, and yet I'm a stay-at-home mum, so how do I do it?
muffins

I have never been the baking, cleaning-loving, stay-at-home mum I'd dreamed I would be. The "natural homemaker" thing never came to me and I found it quite a struggle when I became a stay-at-home mum.

Over the years I have learned to love my stay-at-home mum status and I'm going to show you how.


It's not all about the cleaning


As long as you're not walking over lego pieces and trampling crisps into your carpet the cleaning isn't essential. Just because you're a stay-at-home mum doesn't mean you need to spend all of your time cleaning the house. 

When my kitchen resembles a rubbish tip I tend to clean, I'll take a day and get it tip top again but it's not something I like to spend all of my time doing. The same goes for the vacuuming, dusting, washing, etc.

Cleaning is essential but it's not necessary to spend 7 hours a day doing it. It's also great when you have older children because you can get them doing some of the chores, so you don't have to!



Not Nigella


When it comes to baking lovely cakes and fantastic feasts I leave it to the professionals. If I need a cake I either ask my sister (who is amazing!) or I buy from a supermarket. They can do a far better job than I ever could.

death-star-cake
My sister's creation for LP's birthday.

Don't get me wrong, I do cook but the majority of the time I leave it to the oven or the slow cooker to do all the work. I'm not terrible in the kitchen when it comes to main meals, I mean I can cook a Christmas lunch for nearly 20 people without much trouble, but I don't particularly enjoy it. Cooking is not something I want to spend a lot of time doing.

If you enjoy cooking and baking, go for it, but if, like me, you're not that bothered about it it's easy to find other ways of keeping your children and partner fed without spending hours in front of the cooker.

Pasta bake is a brilliant, and easy, recipe to try out - and the cooker does most of the work!
The slow cooker is a god-send. Chop up ingredients and throw them in the crock-pot - 8 hours later you have a wonderful meal for your family.
Spaghetti bolognese (using a dolmio sauce) is a fantastic meal everyone will love. It's super easy too.



Crafty Mama?


A lot of the stay-at-home mums I know are fantastic at craft. I am not one of those mums. I cannot make an amazing dress-up outfit, I can't come up with crafty ideas for my boys because, basically, I'm rubbish at it! Splodges of paint on a piece of paper is pretty much the best I can do, which means my boys aren't going to learn a lot from me in that respect.

Again though this isn't necessarily a bad thing. When my boys were younger we didn't spend our days doing crafts, we went out and visited nature parks or went shopping.

The one thing I can do is draw, I'm not great at it but I do enjoy it and can copy a picture. Both BP and LP enjoy drawing some of the time and we have spent many hours working on drawing particular things. BP drew a fantastic stitch a couple of years ago and LP is getting pretty good too.

It's nice to let the little ones play with paints and learn but you don't have to be fabulous at it. Once they go to nursery they'll get to do that kind of thing every day. Spend the time with them doing something you'll all enjoy.



Venturing outdoors


I have to admit that I have a love-hate relationship with the outdoors. Sometimes I love nothing more than going for a long walk along the canal or enjoying some time at the local park. But there are times when I just cannot be bothered to go out and want to lounge at home in my PJ's.

When you have little ones a short walk outdoors can turn into a wonderful adventure searching for bugs, birds, and plants. They learn about animals as you walk along the canal or through the woods and they think they've been on an adventure.

With the older kids it's more important to get them away from the technology and screens that they spend so much time in front of. My boys do enjoy a walk once we're out, although there are lots of complaints before we actually go out. The great thing about walks with older kids is they can run off ahead, leaving you and your partner to enjoy the walk together. It is great to be able to walk along holding hands.



Finding a hobby


While your little ones are taking up most of your time it is easy to forget the things you enjoy doing. You are so consumed with making sure the little ones are enjoying themselves and are healthy and happy that you forget who you are. I know exactly what that is like, I completely lost myself after having BP and it took me a long time to find myself again.

When LP started nursery I was terrified, I had no idea what I would do with all that time. After all I didn't want to spend it cleaning, or cooking, so what on earth would I do?

It was at that time I read an inspiring blog post and turned to writing. I drafted a novel within the first two months of LP starting nursery. I'd found something that I truly loved to do and I began to learn who I was again. The words seemed to flow from me, it was like they'd been trapped inside for years and the release was amazing. As time passed and I tried my hand at blogging too I found that blogging appealed to me more than the novels and I put the books aside to concentrate on blogging.

Being able to write every day is what I LOVE, I can express myself using the written word much better than I can with the spoken word. If I didn't write I have no idea what I would do instead.

Now that my boys are at school every day I can take time to write and I am a much happier person because I have time for me, I do something I truly love to do.

stay-at-home-mum-make-you-happy

You need to find the thing you love to do, whether that's crochet or knitting, sketching or writing, find the thing that makes you whole. There will be something, a thing that, when you're doing it, makes you smile. It could be that you return to something you loved to do when you were a child, it could be something you're trying for the first time, but it is something that allows you to be YOU.

Whatever you do ensure it makes you happy!



You don't have to be a "natural homemaker" to enjoy being a stay-at-home mum. It is okay to be a little selfish and enjoy the time on your own.

There is nothing to feel guilty about - it is an opportunity.

Grab it with both hands!

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