Friday, May 6, 2016

Staying home

This post is brought to you by Firths


It's hard to believe I've been a stay at home mum for almost 3 years now. Those years feel like they've gone so fast, even though most of the days felt incredibly long. Deep down I've always wanted to be a stay at home mum, however the decision to give up work and stay at home full time wasn't as easy as I expected it would be.

My whole adult life I've been super independent and I've always supported myself. The thought of losing my income and financial independence scared me, a lot, and I don't like having to rely on other people. In addition to that, becoming a single income family worried me. What if T had an accident and couldn't work? What would we do without any income at all?

I'm a planner, I love to be in control and know what's going to happen next. I need security, in fact I crave it desperately. I'm also always thinking of the worst case scenario before I do things {never a dull moment when you have an anxiety disorder}. You can bet your bottom dollar I've thought about the worst case, imagined it happening, freaked out as though it's already happened and then stressed about it even more for good measure. So the thought of us being a one income family and T not being able to work definitely crossed my mind. It crossed my mind a lot. It gave me many sleepless nights, so much so that I extended my maternity leave to two years so I still had a full time job to go back to should I need it.

My anxiety constantly clouds my thought process when making big decisions, but T has this wonderful ability to bring me back to reality and see things clearly. He constantly assured me that if something was to happen we'd still be fine. He has income protection insurance so we'd be covered should he ever be injured and unable to work, and in the rare case that the insurers wouldn't pay out our claim, there are compensation lawyers that would help us.

In the end we also decided after battling infertility to conceive in the first place, and the very real fact that bub may end up being our only child, I should make the most of her younger years and spend as much time with her as possible. So when my extended maternity leave was coming to an end, I put my big girls panties on and made the decision to resign, and surprisingly enough it wasn't anywhere near as anxiety inducing as I thought it would be. The first couple of weeks I was still a little paranoid, like I was about to go on a trapeze with no safety net to catch me if I fell... although that's a bad analogy because there's no way in hell you'd ever get me on a trapeze, but you get where I was going with that don't you? After the initial adjustment period, however, my fear subsided and I've grown quite accustomed to staying at home full time. 

Even though there have been hard days and at times I've wondered {sometimes out loud} what the hell I'm doing, I know we made the right decision for our family. At the risk of sounding cliché, I know the days are long, but the years are short so I'm making the most of the time I have to be with my baby {while she's still little}. For now it works, and I have no regrets.

Do/did you stay at home with your kids?
Was it a tough decision?

Toni x

Disclosure - this is a sponsored post as per my disclosure policy, all fears and anxiety mentioned above 100% happened and yes I really do overthink that much {about everything}.

24 comments:

  1. I'm pretty independent as well so can't imagine how I'd cope if I didn't earn my own income etc... Of course I'm sure when people partner up and share bank accounts it happens be osmosis, but it still must be stressful. Glad you're past it though and able to move on!

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    1. I think I cope with it better because I control all the finances and pay the bills etc so I still feel like I have money because I'm responsible for it, even though I'm technically not the one earning it.

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  2. I was made redundant while on maternity leave with my eldest. The company was sold out, so there was no job for me to go back to. Blessing in disguise because I don't think I would have managed the hour and a half commute with a baby. We went on to have three kids under three, so staying home just made sense. My wage would have barely covered the $750 a week childcare.

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    1. Childcare would've been another issue for us if I did return to work as it would've been nearly my whole income, even though we only have one child. Its ridiculous how much it costs {or maybe I just had a really bad salary}.

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  3. I took two years maternity leave with my first, and happened to fall pregnant with and have my second in that time, so I gained another two years maternity leave. I actually fell pregnant with my third in my second period of maternity leave - which qualified me for more maternity leave, but I made the decision to resign and make the most of three little ones. They are only at home for the shortest amount of time.

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    1. I didn't realise you could get more maternity leave while already on leave, that's awesome. I always thought you had to go back to work for a year to qualify for a new period {or maybe that's just my work}. I would've loved to get pregnant again while still on maternity leave, but it still hasn't happened. Ultimately I was always planning on staying home anyway so it probably wouldn't have mattered.

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  4. I took a years maternity leave for H and we thought about me staying home full time. The main reason why I didn't is he's an extremely social child who thrives being constantly around other kids. His competitive nature comes out and he learns better than if he was just at home with me. I know that's not the case for most kids so I think it's a decision every parent needs to make for themselves.

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    1. I do lots of play dates and am lucky I had a lot of friends who had babies around the same time so thankfully we have lots of other kids to visit. I definitely agree kids need socialisation with other kids {for many reasons} and also agree its a decision each family needs to make for themselves and based on their own circumstances.

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  5. When I found out I was pregnant it was an easy decision to quit my job and concentrate on being a mum. My pregnancy was high risk and from the very beginning the doctor said it was best for me to quit work. I tried going back to work now that the boys are 6 but I didn't feel I was doing a good job of either - being a mum or a professional. Even working one day a week is hard enough! Definitely enjoy these days with your little one, Toni x

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    1. I would've done the same thing Grace. Its not worth risking losing the pregnancy after waiting so long for it. I don't know how I'm going to fit in full time work + all of her school activities once she's at school either {secretly hoping I can just get a casual or part time job}.

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  6. Yes, I have been at home now for nearly six years! Gosh. That's a really long time, but I just keep having babies! I have gone back to work on and off casually when I can manage it but I have never pressured myself. I'm lucky I am in a position where this is an option for me. We value being able to raise our kids ourselves and having time with them at home so it was an easy decision when both Mr Vick and I agreed totally on the same thing.

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    1. We agreed early on that I would stay home when we had kids, it was just my own guilt and desire to have back up income source that muddied the waters for a few months. I wish I could keep having babies :)

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  7. It's a very tough decision, but you will never regret it Toni. I managed to be a SAHM for 9 years, did a bit of freelancing for magazines and bought brand name stuff from the op shops which I sold on ebay, to help make ends meet. And somehow we managed!

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    1. Yep there are a lot of sacrifices, but I think its worth it to spend the time with her.

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  8. I'm still acclimatising to no longer having a job although I am attempting to work from home. You are lucky to have the opportunity to be there for your little girl in her early years. I've seemed to have done it the wrong way around - I waited until the kids went to school to stay at home. Or did I really do it the right way, after all???

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    1. Who knows what is the right way to do things Kirsty, I'm just making up this parenting thing as I go along ;) I'm sure you did the best for your family at the time.

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  9. I have to say that this is a decision made really early in our relationship. We still don't have children but if and when Mr Sparky is happy to be to sole provider (in fact he pretty much insists on it) and I want to be a stay at home Mum (although I hate the idea of relying on him solely for money). Oh things might change when it all happens but for now this is the plan. Enjoy the time home with your child, the being there.

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    1. We made the decision before we had kids too, it was just my desire to have an income {and not rely solely on someone else} once we actually had one that was clouding my judgement when it came to the crunch of actually resigning. And my anxiety, that pretty much makes me overthink every single thing in my life.

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  10. Kids grow so quick, you are lucky you can stay at home and enjoy that time. After I had Summer and we had two at home there wasn't the urge to go back to work for me. I am still at home but with the two girls at school next year I may be looking for something to fill my day and will go looking for work again. Maybe not so much night work as I was doing before, and that will be the trick, finding something that fits into school hours.

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    1. Yes that will be my next challenge once she goes to school. Although I'm hoping we fall pregnant again before then so I can extend staying at home for longer because I really love it.

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  11. I have been at home for 4 years now but have dabbled in a bit of paid work here and there. It is the way I like it really. With my hubby doing 2 weeks on and 2 weeks off it allows us a bit more freedom if I am not tied into a job. I do get FOMO a lot though.

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    1. My partner does shift work {12hr shifts 4 on 4 off days & nights} so with his work schedule constantly changing each week it would be rather difficult for me to go back to work without putting her in constant childcare, which was another factor. I'd love to stay home and just earn a side income fro freelance writing {although I'll probably have to wait until she's in school to have more spare time to do it}. I get FOMO all the dam time!

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  12. This was a very interesting read, and something that I'm definitely going to have to face within the next 10 years. I live with my partner and am very financially independent and I think I would also have a mini meltdown if I was to lose that independence. But I suppose only time will tell.
    Tegan xx - Permanent Procrastination

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    1. I thought it would be a lot worse than it actually is. Surprisingly enough I don't actually mind it {when I thought I would actually hate it}. For me getting to spend time with my daughter outweighs the satisfaction I got from being financially independent.

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