I was reading this article from the Daily Mail all about how mums these days are more likely to return to work after their maternity leave ends. It got me thinking, why am I a stay at home mum? What's enabled me to make the decision not to go back to work.
Being a stay at home mum is tough, I can even say I find it harder than going to work. Gone are the days I can enjoy 2 minutes to myself with a hot cuppa, especially as Max is now crawling and into everything. There are lots of things I miss about working; having my own money, work banter, conversing with people who have something to talk about other than what their child had lunch that day. However much I miss my working life, I feel I've made the right decision to stay at home with Max and here's my reasons why.
Childcare is expensive. To send Max to the nursery of my choice part time would cost just over £500 per month. Both our parents work Monday to Friday so they wouldn't be able to help out on the days Max wasn't in childcare. It just wouldn't make sense for the majority of my part time working wage to pay for nursery when he can be at home looked after by his mummy for free.
I want to be there for all of Max's milestones. Max is my first baby and I want to be there for every single moment of his life, I really don't want to miss a thing. From the first time he crawls, walks, says his first sentence etc. Not only are they Max's first milestones there also mine to experience too. It breaks Freddie's heart everytime I send him a video or photo of Max completely a new milestone, I couldn't imagine how I would feel!
My mum was never around. My mum was a single parent and worked her butt off to support my sister and I through school, college and university. My sister and I never missed a school trip, always had a new pencil case at the start of the school year and always had the money to catch the latest movie with our friends. This was all possible because she worked full time and at least 12 hours a day. As much as I appreciate all of her hard work in raising us, I really wished she was there standing for us at the school gates at the end of the day like all the other mums instead of our childminder. I really want to be the 'soccer mum' and attend every single sports day, football match, school play, governors meeting and Max's driver, ferrying him around to all of his extra curricular activities.
That brings me nicely onto my next point, We can kind of afford it at the moment. We've sold our flat and moved in with Freddie's parents, which means we have very little financial commitments. This may change very soon once we've found our dream house, but at the moment we can pretty much provide everything Max needs on just the one wage.
Max isn't ready for nursery. Max isn't the independent type of baby, he's a sensitive soul who needs constant reassurance, cuddles and attention. Would he get this in a nursery where theirs another 5-10 babies to cater to? That's my biggest worry, I want him to have all the attention he needs and I feel I can offer that to him at home.
I don't want to let go. Max turns 1 next month and that's something I really need to come to terms with. I'm not ready to admit my baby is growing up and that means I'm not ready to let him go off into childcare whilst I try and go back to my old day job. Is that selfish? Probably. Max like any other baby his age has a lot of stimulation at home as I try and attend a baby class at least once a day, interacting with a lot of children his own age.
Whatever your decision is we all know our children and what's best for them. I feel in this instance Max for the time being he's better off at home with me. Who knows what can happen in the next 6 months, I may feel completely the opposite. In my head I'm hoping that I can be a stay at home mum at least until he's of school age.
Are you a stay at home mum or working mum? What made you decide on being a stay at home mum or working mum?