Big Baby Love Blog

January 13, 2009

Is being a stay at home mum easy?

Its a forever open can of worms, with working mums, stay at home mums and mum’s all over the world wanting to profess that what they do is hard work and everyone else has it easy. Having never experienced being a working mum first hand it is a little hard for me to compare, however, one of my very close friends, Ruby, shares with me on a daily basis the turmoils she suffers from working part time and looking after her 8 month old daughter. We met up for lunch recently and she was in a terrible state, the worst I have ever seen her in. Her mother-in-law looks after her little girl while she goes to work 3 days a week. In the begining the situation was ideal.  Ruby was so happy to have a bit of her life back if only for 3 days a week. The pay was decent enough to allow her to continue with the lifestyle she had become accustommed to and not feel guilty about spending the moolar! So when we met up for lunch it came as a supprise to find her not so comfortable with the chilcare arrangement anymore. She said that after spending christmas with her in-laws, she had been driven crazy with the way her mother-in-law always thought she knew what her baby wanted. Everything she did with her own child was criticised and it was ” Oooooh, no, she doesn’t need that, she needs this..etc”. She lost the plot one day at the dining table and blew her top, storming out of the room, leaving everyone in shock 🙂 Ruby is now contemplating giving up her job to look after her baby girl full time. I did’nt really know what to say. Of course, I consoled her and said that her in-laws were being insensitive but deep down I think she knew that this is the path she had chosen to go down when she decided to return to work. Although it is not a choice but a necessitiy for some who need the money in order to pay the bills, those that go back to work  for whatever reason, have to accept that whoever is looking after their child is going to get to know them well and in effect, is temporarily taking over the role of mother.

So, being a stay at home mum is definately emotionally easier. I would say having to switch between employee and mother every day is pretty tough on your sense of “self”! On a daily basis as far as stress and workload goes, I would have to admit that staying at home is slightly easier in my opinion. Its not a case of intellect but of being able to choose when you do your hours that makes a huge difference on your everyday level of happiness. Alright, so I know you need huge amounts of patience and a strong will to spend all day, every day with your kids while doing the mundane household chores, but you can’t argue with the fact that if you have had a restless night with your little one, at least you get the opportunity to catch up on sleep when they go down for a nap. You can do the washing up whenever youwant to that day, there is no strict order in which these things must be done and the flexibility you get with staying at home really reduces the pressure on you in comparrision to someone who has to be there for a meeting at 9am sharp, or needs to hand in a project by the end of that week.

So my sympathy does go out to all the working mums out there, especially those that don’t have a choice…everything comes at a price and I’d rather give up my career any day than give up the precious moments spent with my babies.

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