Three questions this Stay at Home Mum loves (to hate..)

A typical day in the life of a stay at home mum (not really)

I gave up work through choice a few months after returning from maternity leave. I’m not the most organised of people, and so managing to be a mum, while also trying to hold down a job,  remain sane and cook edible meals with food that hadn’t yet reached its sell by date was a step too far into the world of multi-tasking for me.

Since becoming a SAHM, I’ve been humbled by the huge amount of concern I’ve received (particularly from other parents) about how I spend my time and how I’m coping with being a lady of leisure. I had no idea that I had such a network of support. The concern is understandable.  After all, there’s only so much housework you can do, and with a pristine bathroom, sparkly kitchen floor and every item of clothing in the house ironed to within an inch of its life, there’s always the risk that I may end up spending a succession of monotonous days lazing about on the sofa with a hot cup of tea, while my toddler plays happily and quietly by herself, tidying up as she goes….

I’ve always appreciated the fact that other people take such an interest in my situation, but I worry that I haven’t always been honest with them. Particularly when I’m asked one of the following three recurring gems.  It’s time to set the record straight:

Question 1: “What do you do with yourself all day?” 

What I usually say: “Ha, ha, I know, I’ve got so much time on my hands nowadays.”

What I want to say: “Are you having a laugh?  You’re having a laugh. Right??”

If I didn’t have any children myself, I’m sure I’d be guilty of thinking that giving up work to look after one mini-human would be nothing short of ‘living the dream’.  In fact, in the pre-baby days, I’m sure this was exactly what I thought. But  what gets me is that this question often comes from other parents, who must surely have witnessed the abject carnage that can be created in record time by a curious little toddler.  Surely they too have forgotten what an empty laundry basket looks like, or what their living room carpet would look like without a peppering of Duplo bricks?  Do they honestly think I’m struggling to find something with which to fill my days?

Question 2: “You’re lucky you can afford to do that!”

What I say: “Well, we’ve had to cut back on our spending a bit.”

What I want to say: “Mind your own bloody business!”

What is it about parenting and child-related conversations that makes people feel they can stray into topics that would be otherwise off-limits? When I bumped into our neighbours just after they’d had a huge extension built, did I say ‘You must be fairly loaded to do that’? No, I didn’t. Why? Because it would be the height of rudeness!

We’re lucky that my husband has a decent income, but at the same time, we’re far from rolling in it. Luckily, we’ve never been big spenders (my husband still has an iPhone 3) and our only extravagances in the pre-baby years were far-flung holidays, but those are now long gone. We’ve had to make a few cutbacks and put a few things on hold so that I can be at home to spend these early years with my little girl, but for me, it’s worth it. And anyway, it’s no one else’s business!

Question 3: “Do you have plans now that you’ve given up work? Are you going to work for yourself?”

What I say: “Oh, I’ll just see how things go. I might look into working from home in the future if I can find something to fit around Little B.”

What I want to say: “Plans?? What do you mean, ‘plans’?? Because my current full time role as mum, cleaner, cook, secretary, driver, nurse, gardener, and teacher might not be keeping me busy enough?!”

Is there something wrong with just wanting to enjoy my daughter’s first years before she goes to school? I know that being a SAHM is not for everyone. As soon as I went back to work after maternity leave, I knew that I wanted to be at home full time with my little girl, but I have friends who were delighted to be back at work and who shudder at the idea of being a SAHM.  Other friends are somewhere in the middle.  It doesn’t mean that any of us are any more or less of a mum. We’re all different, with different situations, needs and wants. Being at home day in day out with a toddler might be a bit mind-numbing for some (and I can completely understand that), but for me, it’s fine.  And there’s nothing wrong with that. OK?

Right, that’s that off my chest. Best get the kettle on before Jeremy Kyle starts!


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30 thoughts on “Three questions this Stay at Home Mum loves (to hate..)”

  1. People are so rude! It’s none of their business anyway. I’m planning on going back to work soon, but I really hate people saying “what do you do all day?” as if I’m a lady who lunches and swans about shopping and working out with a personal trainer. I’m looking after a helpless human! That’s (more than) a full time job! #KCACOLS

  2. Hahaha yeah go and mop something! Lol. I’ve been a SAHM for 7yrs now and the questions are waning. I generally don’t mention it anymore people assume I’m on mat leave I think as I now have my 15 month old babba in tow so that has relieved the questions temporarily. Now I just get home ed Q’s everywhere we go ‘Inset day is it?’ literally *everywhere* we go. #KCACOLS

  3. Oh wow, you have hit the nail on the head! I get these questions too and it annoys the hell out of me. Especially the what do you do with all that time? I also hate it when people ask – when are you going back to work? I wish I had lots of time but I don’t. When I tell them I’m off for the next 5 years they give me a certain look and then I feel like I need to explain myself somehow. My partner likes to joke with me that I sit around watching Jeremy Kyle!!! x

  4. Brilliant post and I love your answers that you want to say, go on give them all a shock and tell them what you really think. People really should just mind their own business and get on with their own way of doing things because whatever way round we do it, it’s blooming tough. Your post should be pinned up and applauded!:) Thanks so much for linking up at #KCACOLS. Hope you come back again next time

  5. I am a billion times busier and more knackered as a mum than I ever was when I worked! I actually have 3 part time jobs and my blog but I still think of myself as a SAHM as most of the work is when the kids are in bed so I’ve already put in a full day with them! #kcacols

  6. People are nosy and a lot of people do ot think before they speak. I didn’t go back to work until my two were at school full time and even then it was only part time. I still work part time now they are older and still wonder how I will find time for anything lol x

  7. Say what you really want to say. Do it. Honesty is the best policy! #kcacols

  8. A brilliant read! I honestly could have written this as I too resigned from my well paying day job to be a SAHM to my now 16 month old Son. It’s funny how people make assumptions re the financial dynamics of one’s household when the truth is we’ve had to scale back and live more frugally. Keep doing you Mama x #KCACOLS

  9. All of this!! Thank you! I’m glad I’m not the only one. Why do we feel so pressured to ‘do’ something, as if parenting isn’t enough?! #TheListLinky

  10. Love this post so much. It is exactly what goes through our minds being STAHM. And being the daughter of a STAHM, i probably did used to think about what in the world my mother did all day. I have all the answers now after being home for a year with 2 babies.

    1. Oh thank you. I know what you mean. I had no idea what being a mum involved until I became one myself! Now I’m quite clear!

  11. This is so true! I have worked 2 days a week for the past 2 years (going to 5 days in 2 weeks eek!) and I get loads of people asking the same questions! it’s so irritating’ especially when it’s my mum! My mum was a SAHM with 3 kids and 4 dogs so I know what she did all day but she now asks me the same questions! Ahhhhh. Funny post. Enjoy Jerry Kylie….I may go and take a nap later after catching up on the box set of Game of Thrones…..loads of time for that! #brillblogposts

    1. Haha, the hardest part of being a SAHM is deciding which box set to watch. So many choices, so much time! Thanks for commenting!

  12. Great post – whatever decision you make, there will always be a dozen or so complete strangers queuing up to question it! I work part time, which I need to do financially, and I enjoy too, but have had comments like ‘wow you’re so strong – I couldn’t bear to leave my baby with strangers’ (also known as leaving he at a perfectly lovely nursery lol). Have had to develop a much thicker skin since becoming a parent! #FridayFrolics

    1. That’s so true. People aren’t always very sensitive! Thanks for commenting!

  13. Ahaha, I have had these same questions. As well as “don’t you miss work”, hmmm I would call what I am doing now like work but if you mean to I miss drinking my tea hot, taking my loo break on my own and actually talking to adults then yes I miss that. People are so rude! #Fridayfrolics
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    1. They really are. Being a stay at home parent is a million miles away from the life of leisure that some people assume it to be!

  14. Nailed it! I’ve been at home with the kids for 5 years. next September all three if mine will be at school and I’m ALREADY getting ‘bet you won’t know what you’ll do with yourself’. er I bloody well do … ! very relatable at the minute #FridayFrolics

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