Trapped?

Whether you choose to stay at home after you have a family or go back to work (or even attempt to do something in between) I think it is sometimes easy for us to think that the grass might be greener. When you read reports about women who choose to go back to work and wish that they could still be at home, it makes my heart break a little and also makes me realise how lucky I was to ever have this choice. I know it isn’t always an option for everyone. That said, me giving up work was not without sacrifice. What precious little savings we had before me giving up work were soon depleted and Mr Mostly works his socks off for the pair of us so that I can still be at home. I’m a big believer in finding what works best for you as a family and for us, that has definitely meant having one of us at home. When my eldest two were little, I worked part time which eventually increased to being full time and it is safe to say that we didn’t too well at the whole juggling thing. One too many balls were being dropped and I was as miserable as sin. Giving up work after I had my third baby was still a huge decision for us as a family. But one that we have never regretted.

It has been ten whole years since I gave up work. Ten whole years! Such a long time but it has gone in the blink of an eye, it really doesn’t feel that long at all! But there have been times over the years where I have felt slightly trapped. As much as I love being at home, when you have been off work for so long, surely you become unemployable? Even if I wanted to go back to work, I don’t know how I would do it. I mean what would I even do? The job I had ten years ago doesn’t even exist. I know I can’t be alone in this but I’m still not sure what the answer is. I guess if I was seriously looking and the right job came along then I would find a way to make things work. But part of me can’t help but think that as lucky as I was to make the choice to give up work, the sacrifice is that I might always be trapped at home.

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Of course, all of my children are in school now and have been for some years but having one parent at home still very much works for us as a family. Mr Mostly often works long and irregular hours and he simply couldn’t do what he does without me here at home keeping the home fires burning. Keeping on top of the orthodontist appointments alone feels like a full time job sometimes never mind all of the housework that six people create. Add in the number of school holidays, teacher training days and sick days between the four of them and there is hardly a full week that they are all in school anyway. Besides, I think that me being at home offers the children – even the teenagers – in fact especially the teenagers – a sense of security that you just can’t put a price on. When I think about it like that, all those feelings of being trapped simply evaporate. I am so lucky to have such a lovely big family and putting them first for ten, fifteen, or however many years is no great sacrifice. In fact it feels like a privilege.

When I think about it too, I can see how being at home has given me the chance to be more creative. I do have time to myself during the day if I make it. I would never have started my blog if I had still been working, I just wouldn’t have had the time. I honestly don’t know how other working mamas do it – hats off to those that do! But being at home does mean that I have the time to do a bit of writing here and there. Making a bit of pin money from cobbling together a thousand words, posting the odd tweet or Instagramming my dinner might not be a proper job but it is not to be sniffed at either. It will never make me rich but it does make me happy. That will do for now I think.

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21 thoughts on “Trapped?

  1. Rebecca Kempson says:

    You couldn’t have written this piece at a better time! It sums up how I feel perfectly. I’ve been at home with the children for coming up to 8 years now and have started to feel guilty that I’ve had this opportunity. Should I want more from my life? Should I have more goals and aspirations? It’s taken me a while to realise how lucky I am to be in this situation. Thank you for putting it in to more eloquent words!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. sarahmo3w says:

    Lovely post! I’ve been at home two years now, having gone back full-time after my eldest was born and part-time after my younger son. I have my own business so I’m working most of the time I’m home but, like you, I do have flexibility to deal with whatever life/ the kids/ school throws at me. It works for us and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. itsamumsworld says:

    This made me smile – so pleased you’re happy with what you’re doing but you’re definitely right about the grass always being greener. I hated going back to work after my daughter, the only thing that kept me going was the knowledge that I was pregnant with my son and it wasn’t forever! I then had about 18 months off at home with the children. I would’ve been happy with this forever but then as perfect an opportunity as I think it’s possible to get came along so I took it. It’s not perfect, and I’m still hankering for that lottery win, but hey, we can all dream can’t we lol! x

    Liked by 1 person

  4. helenlouisechandler says:

    Yes! This is exactly how I feel about it. We now have a baby as well, but even before she was born and after my eldest started school my husband and I both felt it was really valuable to have one of us at home.
    Also like you I have moments of panic about my future unemployability, but I would never have written my books if I’d been going out to work, let alone juggling life as a working mum. I think in the modern world careers are becoming a lot more fluid, and it is increasingly recognised that ‘work’ isn’t necessarily sitting at an office desk 9-5. I hope so, anyway…
    Many of my Real Life friends are back at work, and so it is great to have the blogging community to remind me that I’m not completely mad for choosing an alternative route – thank you!
    xx
    PS Goodness your eldest daughter looks like you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • (Mostly) Yummy Mummy says:

      It can be hard knowing that you’ve taken this alternative route. Many of my Real Life friends can’t quite get their head around me choosing not to go back to work. But like you said, we would never have these writing opportunities if we had!

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  5. onebusymumandthreekids says:

    I love this blog post. It sums up exactly how I feel. Hugely lucky to have had a choice at all, and privileged to have been able to share all these moments with my children, but accepting that it was a sacrifice and that it will have long term implications for my life. I’ve done things I never thought that I would do because of the freedom that I have, but I’ve also lost things. Being at home is right for us, right for our family and our children. I sometimes wonder what the “Sliding Doors” version of my life would have been, had I gone back to work after my third child, as we originally planned. I wouldn’t change my life, but it’s nice to hear that I’m not the only one feeling this way. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Nova (@cherishedbyme) says:

    It’s tough isn’t it. Personally I always wanted to be at home but now I am finding myself having to justify why I don’t ‘go out’ to work more and more. Why can’t people accept that being at home is important too. And like you I don’t think I could hold down a job outside of the home…hospital appts, physio appts, one off for three days last week, two off today..one to the doctors. Arghhh, I’d lose my job anyway. It is a big sacrifice and I don’t know where you go from here but as you say for now it’s right but when and if you do want to do something else I am sure it will happen! X

    Liked by 1 person

    • (Mostly) Yummy Mummy says:

      I think it is such a shame that more people don’t accept just how important it is to be at home. I know it’s not for everyone but that doesn’t make our choice wrong! The silly thing is, in years gone by we would have been the ‘normal’ ones.

      Like

  7. Meg says:

    I have only just discovered your blog after following your Insta account. This post was just so heartfelt and pushed all my buttons, so I have been reading through your past posts and loving them! You have a fab way with words and I can’t help but agree with lots of your thoughts also being a Mum to 4 kids with a 7 year gap in the middle ☺️ Keep up the great work – can’t wait to read more! 😘😘

    Liked by 1 person

  8. KatGotTheCream (@KatGotTheCream) says:

    Loved this post, it really resonated with me. I gave up my full-time job about 8 years ago and now that we have 3 kids I feel that the only way we can make it work for us is by me being at home. A couple of years ago I went for my ‘dream job’ when it came up in Harrogate and to my surprise got it. It proved to me that I was still employable but at the time we had to have the two girls in nursery full time which cost a fortune plus after school clubs etc for our son. The school holidays were a nightmare and I lived in fear of one of them getting ill and having to take time off. Plus I missed them. My heart actually hurt at 3pm when I’d watch other mums doing the school run out of my office window. So I left and went back to the old routine. It was a lesson learned and I now know for sure that this is what works for us. Enjoy your family. Whatever time we have with our kids is a privilege xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  9. TheMadHouse says:

    This post really resonates with me and I cherish the fact that we have been able to make me being a SAHM work for as long as we can and now I work part time on the blog. I have learned over the years how much of a privilege it is. I am happy with my decision now.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Innocent Charms Chats says:

    I have little tears reading this post. You totally get the fact that it isn’t an easy decision either side of the coin.
    I love the way you explain the importance in your role. Just as important and hard working as that of Mr Mostly.
    I also agree. I wish I had a parent at home in my teenage years. Maybe so much heartache would not have gone missed.

    I hate now working. There was a time it was the best decision for all of us. Mentally I mean but it had caused rifts in my family that sadden me. I can not get back the years I missed before Addison went to school and reading this post makes me so much sure that I want to find a way to change that if possible. But I am thankful there is a parent at home and Mr ICC does an amazing job.

    Sorry I have waffled. Beautiful post.

    Like

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