As someone who has been both a SAHM and a working mum, I have seen both sides and I can say that neither is a walk in the park. There are pros and cons to being either or and I think that it just has to depend on your individual circumstances as to whether someone decides to go back to work or not. I had hoped to go back to work part time after maternity leave but there wasn’t a position available and working full time wasn’t financially viable after child care, tax and NI had been taken care of I would have been minus money each month. I had the opportunity in January to go back to work part time on a temporary contract till the end of February which allowed me to experience being a working Mum even if for a short time. Now I am running my own business and so I work out of the home in an office 2 days a week at least.
I have learned in the last several months that the feelings I had around being a SAHM were mirrored in my feelings of being a working mum.
- Guilt- Being at home I would feel guilty for not contributing financially to our household and the pressure being on my husband to be responsible to provide for us. At work I felt guilty for leaving Ailsa at home and not being with her, she was in very capable hands and was safe but there is still this urge to need to be with her and thoughts of ‘what if she is missing her mummy’.
- Joy- I was both happy to be at home with Ailsa but also at work, in a way I just wanted the best of both worlds. I love to be at home with Ailsa seeing her new milestones day in day out but being at work I was surrounded by friends, enjoying hot cups of tea and going to the toilet by myself.
- Satisfaction- I love nothing more than a job well done and I got this so much when I was out at work, finishing a piece of work and knowing I had done a good job just brings so much satisfaction. In the same way though I had this at home if by the end of the day the house was clean, Ailsa was happy and I was relaxed.
- Loneliness- In my working life this more effects me now that I am working for myself, there isn’t quite the same comradery when you work in an office by yourself or even with one or 2 other people and so at times can feel quite lonely. Being a SAHM is the most loneliest I have been though especially when Ailsa was a small baby. Not having many mummy friends in the beginning I spent most of my days alone with her whilst my husband worked long shifts. It certainly improved when I made some Mummy friends but it would always creep up on me every so often whilst I was at home.
There really is no right or wrong when it comes to either being a SAHM or working mum, you just have to do what works best for you and your family.