Posts tagged stay at home mum

Being a Stay At Home Mum

I was pleased to read this list of ‘five most common regrets’ and realise that I’m mostly on the right track.

I was living and working in Japan when I conceived my son. When at seven months my partner disappeared, I was incredibly fortunate that my parents welcomed me back into their home, and allowed me to stay there for the first year and a half of my son’s life. In that time I did both a TESOL course and a writing course, both of which I breezed through in the comfort of my home – and in the company of my baby son.

After that year and a half, I made the decision to return to university to do my masters. I left Adelaide for Melbourne, and while I struggled (having stupidly left behind family and friends – WHAT WAS I THINKING?), I got through it. At the completion of my masters, I returned to work fulltime.

That sucked. A lot. My son didn’t cope well with being at childcare from 6.30am until 4pm each day, and I struggled knowing how miserable he was. Housekeeping became extremely sloppy, generally I was so tired by the end of each day that I fell into a habit of simply grabbing take away several nights a week. I gained a LOT of weight.

When it came time for work to renew my contract, I asked if I could cut down to part time. In return, the contract they offered me was on the 24/7 roster. Which would have meant weekends and night shifts. I obviously couldn’t sign that contract, and lost my job as a result. I made the decision that I wouldn’t look for another job – instead I’d spend the next year and a half at home with my son. He would be starting school again soon, and as a single parent I’m anticipating that covering our costs is going to mean I’ll be working a lot once he returns to school. So this was a golden opportunity to just really spend some quality time with him.

Becoming a stay at home mum – without the benefit/cover of studying – has been hard. For a start, the boredom can be crushing at times. I enjoy studying, learning, writing. I enjoy regular grown up conversations and interaction. Being at home with a four year old every day can feel mind numbing at times.

There’s also people’s attitudes. It can be a struggle admitting you’re a stay at home mum. People judge. You’re ‘just’ a stay at home mum. But at least you’re being supported by a partner. As a single stay at home mum, people often don’t even see me as ‘just a stay at home mum’. They see me as ‘just unemployed’. Just a dole bludger on welfare/benefits. I had a so-called friend who never missed an opportunity to call me a bludger, a dole bludger, a lady of leisure, a scab, a big-spender of his hard earned tax dollars. Several months after cutting him from my life, I can still feel ashamed and guilty for making this decision to be with my child.

But reading the above list reinforces my belief that ultimately I made the right decision. I’m getting much needed time with my son. I’m living my life the way I want to at this moment. I’m doing my best to allow myself to be happy, at home, with my tiny family of two.

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