16 July 2013

Welcome to the July edition of the Simply Living Blog Carnival - With Kids cohosted by Mandy at Living Peacefully with Children, Laura at Authentic Parenting, Jennifer at True Confessions of a Real Mommy, and Joella at Fine and Fair. This month, we write about keeping things simple with our kids. Please check out the links to posts by our other participants at the end of this post.
When I became pregnant with my eldest I was working full time in a job I loved.  I worked throughout my pregnancy and went on maternity leave just before he was born.  I opted to return to work part time when he was nine months old, he attended a local nursery whilst I was at work.  I never felt rushed in the mornings as I had half an hour to do a ten minute journey to work and the nursery was on the way.  This worked for us for a few years until I got busier and busier at work.  I felt like I was trying to do a full time job in the eighteen hours I was at work. I was exhausted and knew that I had to do something about it as I was neither an effective employee or parent. As I could not resign from being a parent I realised that I would have to give up working.  This was not as easy a decision as I thought it would be.  I enjoyed the company of those that I worked with, as a parent I had met other mums but they were not like minded and I had yet to make any friends outside of work.   Then I became pregnant with my youngest and I knew I had to give up work as I was barely managing with one child, we also made the decision to home educate our eldest around this time.  When I walked out of work to go on maternity leave with my youngest it was a really sad day for me, because I knew I would never return and I was also anxious about where my future lay now.  I had worked all my life and always had my own income.

Now I know it is the best decision I could ever make.  It was really important to me that my child (when I had just one) was at the heart of our family.  It is still possible to do this when you are not with your child/ren all the time but you have to work much harder at it, when you are tired from being in paid work it makes it very tough.  My children are at the heart of our family and it is so much easier for me now that I am with them all day, every day.  This is far less exhausting for me and much simpler.  Had I continued to work I would have had to consider childcare for school holidays,  I would have had to take the youngest to nursery and the eldest somewhere else on the way to work, it would have made my life much more complicated.  I am sure that I would be able to cope with living in this way, but it is important to me that I am not coping, but enjoying life and, more importantly, being a parent.

We have also had my husband around alot for the last five years as well, as he became self employed around this time too.  This has made our lives very flexible indeed, we can do things as a family at our choosing.  However the work he has been doing has been slowly reducing to the point that our income has dropped considerably and we are dipping into our savings more and more.  He has recently applied for a job where he will return to being an employee if he gets the job it will a huge change for us as a family,  and I hope that we can find a new way to keep our balance and continue to keep things simple for us.

I feel that it is vital that each family finds what works for them.  I know of parents who work and manage their lives very easily.  I know of others who work and who find the school holiday arrangements a burden and a pain, I do wonder why they had children if they feel this way.  Whatever arrangements you choose I do feel it is so important to consider not only your own needs but those of your whole family when making decisions about work life balance.


Thank you for visiting the Simply Living Blog Carnival cohosted by Mandy at Living Peacefully with Children, Laura at Authentic Parenting, Jennifer at True Confessions of a Real Mommy, and Joella at Fine and Fair. Read about how others are incorporating simple living and parenthood. We hope you will join us next month when we discuss celebrations!


  1. I've never thought of our decision for me to stay at home with the children as "simplifying", but it really is! I've often thought that I was glad that I didn't have a career that I loved because it made it so much easier to decide to stay at home. I know several moms who really struggle with how much time to devote to a job they are passionate about and how much to devote to the family that they are passionate about.

    Thanks for sharing.

  2. When we moved to Africa, I decided I wouldn't seek a job because we wanted kids and I wanted to be there for them. 5 years in and I was getting in a bit of a drag. I am now working flexibly from home and we're trying to find a way for my husband to be home a bit more too.
    Every family has an ideal balance of work and home, and it would be awesome if we all could find that sweet spot, wouldn't it!

  3. I think it important for each family to find their balance. Keeping it simple looks differently in every family. Thanks for joining us this month!

  4. My husband is also self-employed and I stay at home - I do home day care to two boys, three days a week - and this works perfectly for us. I couldn't imagine not being here when my boys get home from school or having to get them up early during the school holidays or weekends (most jobs here require you to work saturday and sundays) to drop them off at some kind of camp/care. The mother of the first child that I had in my day care said that she loved free time with her daughter but the hated thought of staying at home with her all day everyday! I think it's important to find what works best in each family, I know income is obviously an important factor, but for me life would be terribly unhappy working outside the home.

  5. I always hope that families will consider all the possibilities that may be open to them — whether traditional employment, staying at home, self-employment, etc. Obviously, for some people this list will be made shorter due to various factors (location, education, single parenthood, etc.), but I often hear people say they "can't" do something (have a parent stay home, work for themselves, consider telecommuting, etc.) when they really mean they don't want to pursue the option or they think it sounds too hard or scary. Which — is totally their decision! But I like posts like this that motivate people to think about possibilities they might not have considered.

    My husband and I both work from home as well as parent, switching off with each other. It works well for us, and I love that we're flexible but that both of us get to follow our interests while also spending a lot of time with the kids as they grow. It's also allowing us to homeschool. Our finances have gone up and down, but the risk has been worth it for us.


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