How to be a stay at home parent successfully
Tuesday, 31 July 2018 | Admin
Being a stay at home parent
I never returned to work after going on maternity leave with Lincoln who is now 3 years old mainly because my husband works long hours and we don’t have the family support if the kids are poorly or I had to work late. My husband doesn’t do a 9-5 and can be away from home for 2 weeks at a time, so I solo parent a lot. I quite often get asked how it works for us so below are my tips for surviving as a stay at home parent.
My main advice to anyone thinking of becoming a stay at home parent is financial planning. Do not underestimate the pressure that finances can put on a relationship after a baby arrives. Before you hand you notice in live off your partners wage for a while and make sure you’re happy with it. Sit down and agree a budget for each week so there’s not disagreements about what’s being spent. Be realistic. You will have coffees at costa, lunches out, parking to pay for, classes etc and it all adds up much quicker than you think.
Discuss chores. That may sound a little petty, but you can fall into a rut with this because one parent is based at home all the responsibility for chores falls to them. It is worth remembering that looking after the kids all the time can be exhausting. Accept that some days the kids will be demanding, and the housework won’t get done.
Also agree some time where the working parent takes sole responsibility for the kids to give the stay at home parent some alone time. It is the thing we find most difficult in our house! Make sure you also discuss night waking and who will deal with those. Will you share them equally or will the working parent do weekends and the stay at home parent weekdays.
Really research what is about in the area baby class/group wise. Find out what the fees are and what days they are on. Getting out of the house is essential with a baby and having people to offload to is also important. I have found that being a stay at home mum can be really isolating and not getting out and about really impacts my mood and motivation, so we try to get out every day. Some days we only make it to the park but its enough to blow the cobwebs away and break up the day a little.
Invest in a supermarket delivery saver. There is nothing worse (for me personally) than taking kids food shopping and having to suffer it every single week is not something I could face so I now order an online delivery every week and it feels much less overwhelming and it also helps control spending.
Finally accept that it’s okay not to enjoy every day. I really struggled with this initially. I’m so aware that I am lucky to have the choice to be at home, have a partner who is happy for me to do that and financial stability. Initially I felt like if we had a bad day I was doing a disservice to women who didn’t have those choices. Now I’m more accepting that it’s fine to have a bad day and days where I wish I was at work!
I love being a stay at home mum (most of the time). Lincoln is now in nursery 15 hours a week and we have increased his hours from September in preparation for full time school. Me and Etta will now have 4 days of just me and her to fill and I’m really looking forward that that 1 on 1. One day I’ll return to my career but for now its working well for us.