The other day, in the park I was talking to another mum.. We got to talking about our old life of working outside of the home. She explained that she had given up her job to look after her children. The cost of childcare was so high, it made no sense for her to keep at it. I felt sorry for her because she actually wanted to work outside the home.
It's great to be able to stay at home with your children if it's something that you can do and something that you actually want to do. I am lucky enough to be in that position and, for me, it's the right thing. However, for that mum, it was the wrong thing and she was desperately unhappy in her stay at home mum role. She said that she was actually bored being at home even though she felt it was also a lot of work. She didn't drive, had no hobbies for herself and her child didn't go to preschool or kindergarten.
In my case, I am on a career break from my job outside the home. As I didn't have my son until I was nearly forty two I wanted to be able to spend as much time with him as possible. I also wanted to be available to take my mother to her hospital and doctors appointments as she has COPD, chronic Asthma and arthritis. When I worked for an organisation outside the home I had to use up holiday days and flexi days to do this.
Unlike that other mum, I find that I don't have time to be bored by being at home. I agree that housework etc can be mundane but that is why it is important to be doing something else too, paid or not. A lot of the time I am not actually at home at all. I am usually busy transporting my mother to shops, doctors, hospitals and entertaining my son and his friends. I also look after people's cats and dogs when they are away from home or out at work. You could say I am a stay at home mum who looks after stay at home pets. I also have hobbies such as reading and blogging that keep me occupied in my rare moments of leisure.
I really enjoyed working outside of the home and will probably return to that in the future. However, for now I find that I am almost busier than I was when I did that.
I can't imagine how some people juggle both these things although I know that many people do. I think that mum that I met would have been happy to do both if, monetarily, it was possible.