The benefits of being a stay-at-home mum

I have been a stay-at-home mum for 14 years now, with BP at almost 14 and LP at 9 years old it's difficult to remember a time when I wasn't a mum. It's not an easy gig, you often get blamed for everything and you're the bad guy when anything bad happens. But at the same time it is the best job I have ever had, it makes me happier than I ever imagined I could be and I get to watch my boys grow up.

With the media focussing on how women should be strong and independent and strive to have the best jobs (with equal pay) in high-flying positions I find myself wondering about all those women, like me, who chose to stay at home with our children. Are we less strong? Are we not independent because we don't have a good job?


Morgan Prince, from Morgan's Milieu, watching over her children. she is smiling.


The fact is the recent bout of bigging up women who are executives trying to get equal pay is making people like me feel inadequate. Which, to be honest, is how society has always made me feel. Being a stay-at-home mum is not a choice made by someone who couldn't do better. The person who chooses this job is not intellectually challenged, they just happen to have put someone else's needs before their own, but they still have interesting things to say.

I have always found that when I'm in a group of people and tell them I'm a stay-at-home mum their eyes glaze over. They suddenly lose interest in talking to me because I have nothing interesting to say. Does that ever happen to you?

For years it has annoyed me that people see me as "just a mum", all I do is take care of the children at home - how hard can it be?





Never undermine yourself because you are 'just' a house mom.

Tracey Taylor, Stay At Home Mom





Yes, I mean really, all I do is cook meals, clean the house, iron the clothes, take the boys to wherever they want to be, make sure they're up and ready for school every day, organise play dates, organise days out, give treats, discipline, referee when they're fighting, and a hundred other things. And that's all usually in one day! So why on earth are we "just a mum"?

As part of my rant (sorry about that!) I've decided to put together a list of things, good things, about being a stay-at-home mum. Yes, we work very hard every day but we do get a few benefits too...



Outdoors


Every other day I walk LP to school, it's a little more than a mile away and on lovely sunny days it's a wonderful walk. I get to exercise in the morning and afternoon and I get to chat to my son without the distraction of tech. It's a brilliant opportunity to talk about how things are going in school, if there is anything that is bothering him, and even chat about silly things he's made up. We have fun together, we talk, and we get outdoors. It's all a win.


Family out walking on a canal pathway


For some parents the school is too far away to be able to walk the whole way, but why not try parking your car a little way down the road from school? I'm sure the parking will be easier and you get to chat to your children on the short walk to school.



Time alone


With both my boys at school every day I get lots of time to myself these days. Yes, hubby works at home but because I now have my own space I am alone for the majority of the day. I can sit in my room, tap away on the computer, and be "me".

Having this time when the boys are at school has allowed me to find the thing I love doing - writing. It began as writing a novel and has since transformed into writing this blog. So, that's what I spend my time doing. I choose to sit in front of a computer and write words - admittedly sometimes the words kind of suck but that's just who I am. I write about being a stay-at-home mum, in the hope that someone else out there - a stay-at-home mum who is feeling alone - will realise that she is not alone. I have been through it, I am here, I am a friend.

The time alone is a wonderful thing. I don't have to write, I choose to and that in itself is brilliant. Having a choice that I make for myself makes me feel more in control. Whether I choose to write a blog, attempt a novel, or even pop out of the house for a coffee with friends it is a choice for just me.

What do you choose to spend your time doing?



Children know where you are


My boys know that no matter what happens during the day I will be at home. Admittedly this is not always true, but I am never far away. They know that if something were to happen at school they could call me and I would be with them in a matter of minutes. There is nothing they have to worry about.

Being there for my boys is my biggest responsibility and I take it very seriously. I am glad they know where I am.



Manage your own timetable


Whether it's arranging to meet friends on a school day or organising a trip during school holidays YOU control your timetable. There is no one (apart from the children) dictating when and where you can do things. You can have doctor's appointments during the day when the children are at school - sparing your children from unnecessary worry. LP used to worry terribly whenever I had to go to the doctor's, he would always ask lots of questions about what was happening and I know it bothered him. I'm glad to say that now he's at school he rarely notices when I go to the doctor's.

I decide when my jobs get done, whether that's the washing and ironing, or something else, I can choose to do those jobs when I feel like it. Or rather, when I know it needs to be done. I don't think anyone ever feels like washing or ironing!



No need for a "Work's Wardrobe"


I can dress however I like - I could wear PJ's all day if I wanted to. Not that I have ever worn my pyjamas all day but I could. I have, on the other hand, worn jogging bottoms and a large tee in order to be comfortable.


Woman wearing light blue jeans and a white shirt.


On those wintry days when the rain is hammering on the windows and it's miserable you can sit in your loungewear and drink a hot cup of coffee without worrying about "looking the part". I have never had a Work's Wardrobe, I wouldn't even know where to start. I spend my days in jeans and a tee most of the time and I love it.

What do you wear most days?



School holidays are easy


Okay, so that's not to say the school holidays are a breeze, because let's face it - they can be hell. But what I mean is you don't have to worry about planning work holidays around the school holidays. You're already at home so no need for planning other than planning how you're going to be spending the time.

I love the school holidays (most of the time) because it's a chance for us to go for long walks, visit zoos and fun places, and to get the boys out of the house and away from their games. We get to talk to them, have fun together, and bond. What's not to love?



No childcare issues


I know I kind of covered this above but when you're a stay-at-home mum you don't have to ever worry about finding childcare. Whether your children are ill, there's a snow day, or there's been an accident, there is no need for you to find cover either for work, or for the children. You are there, all the time, ready to make them feel better, have fun in the snow, or clean their grazes.





A mother is the one who is still there when everyone else has deserted you. 

Author Unknown




Surprises


This is one of the best things about being a stay-at-home mum, especially when you're children go to school.

Arranging surprises is brilliant - being able to do research, plan a trip, and arrange everything for the trip without the boys knowing anything about it is one of the things I enjoy most. Saying to them that we're going to a place they've wanted to go for ages and that we'll be spending the day (or longer) there, seeing their faces light up and having hug monsters attack me is the best feeling ever!

Have you ever arranged a surprise for your children?



Coffee anyone?


Arranging to go for a coffee with friends is great, especially when you're going to be meeting up with people who are just like you - stay-at-home mums!


Coffee and cake sitting on a wooden table.


I don't get to do this as often as I'd like, mostly because times have changed and most of the mums I know are not stay-at-home mums anymore. When their children went to school, they started working. It's difficult to find common ground sometimes, and even more difficult when you can't get to have coffee! But it's always nice to go for a coffee with friends, in the middle of the workday when it's less busy than usual and you can chat for an hour or two. It's been such a long time, I really should arrange something!

How often do you meet up with mum friends?



Eating lunch together


This one may be more of a personal benefit rather than one for everyone but I wanted to mention it anyway. Like I said earlier, the Hubby works at home and that means we get to have lunch together every day. Sometimes we sit and watch our favourite TV shows, sometimes we'll eat lunch then do some of our Lego, and sometimes we'll even go out for lunch. The best bit is that we get to spend time together, without the boys. We get to be a couple, and that is so important.


The benefits of being a stay-at-home mum - what benefits can you think of?


So there you have it, just a few benefits of being a stay-at-home mum. While I write most days, and even help the Hubby with some of his work, I still consider myself a stay-at-home mum. It will always be a part of who I am.

What benefits of being a stay-at-home mum do you enjoy the most?



If you struggle to get time for yourself you could always get the children doing chores. My boys do chores daily and it helps to give me more time for other things. I've got a chores list download just for you, as a welcome gift. Once you've downloaded the list you can write in what jobs your children should do and put it up on the fridge - like we do!

And be sure to reach out to me on social media to let me know what you enjoy most about being a stay-at-home mum.

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