Friday, May 14, 2010

The minimalism of the stay at home mum

Being the proud mother of two children and only one point of view, I see the choice to stay at home with my young children as the ultimate minimalist mum decision.

But I also think we do what we want and then justify it :-) I was exhausted and suffering from PND and PTSD after my son's birth, and even after a year of maternity leave I still couldn't face a part-time job.

I know, I know... "We can't afford to do that" or "I don't/didn't want to be a SAHM"! Since becoming a mum, I feel a combination of awed respect and heartfelt empathy for all other mums, regardless of their parenting choices. But focussing on your children as your occupation while they are small and needy seems less complicated to me. Not necessarily easier, but simpler.

I mean, do I really want to

- find that "high-quality but affordable childcare" that everyone wants
- pack children regularly to care - like it or not
- go out to work where generally they'd rather not know about your home life
- earn enough to pay for the care
- manage somehow when the children are sick
- maintain separate wardrobes for my double life
- get in as much quality time with my children as possible when we are together

My routine is: wake up and figure out what the kids and I are doing today - also whether I like it or not :-)

At home, I've been able to do the cloth nappies (and even homemade cloth wipes), more home cooking and networking with other mums to pass on clothes and other gear.

We also have the freedom to let the children self-wean, since I am always available. New Zealand's 20/20 is going to feature our family among others in a piece on extended breastfeeding on Thursday, May 20, 2010. I have mixed feelings about this - I feel very strongly about promoting this option, yet I'm wary of the possible negative attention.

I'm very keen to hear other mums' views on all sides. Mums who work out of the home, is it as complex as I imagine, or am I exaggerating?


  1. I too feel very grateful for having been able to stay home with my children during their preschool years. Also liking being back at work during term time in school hours

  2. Yes, I definitely have part-time work in my sights for that stage!

  3. I practised extended breastfeeding too and looking back I think it was a great decision which definately prmoted the health and well being of my children - who are 21, 24 and 25 now!

  4. Great to hear from you Deb - what helped you keep on breastfeeding? Did you have family support or other networks, or did you just do it?