White Cotton Peonies

There’s nothing wrong with being a stay-at-home mum…

05/04/2016 10 Comments

Today, well officially now, at 5pm, I’m on maternity leave. Of course I knew that it would happen at some point but I wasn’t expecting it to happen just yet. The little monkey is still small and so I’m having to learn to slow the pace a little – a skill I’m yet to master.

Lots of people have asked me what I’m planning to do with my maternity leave which always leaves me somewhat baffled. As a person who used to nearly drop babies if they looked remotely like they might vomit, I think figuring out how to look after a miniature human being without breaking them will keep me more than occupied.

Then I drop the bombshell, that I’m planning to be a stay-at-home mum or SAHM which I’m learning is the lingo in all of the forums *rolly eye emoji*.

Queue “Yeah, good luck with that, you’re too much of a career girl”.

I swear to god, if one more person says that to me, I’m not sure that I’ll be able to muster a polite response any more. Let me explain.

“Good luck with that, you’re too much of a career girl”

Yes, I’ve had a successful career, one of which I’m incredibly proud. I’ve worked my arse off to make a reputation for myself as being the best at what I do. I’ve travelled the world, I’ve worked through the night, I’ve delivered against deadlines everyone thought was impossible…. And I loved every second, really I have.

However, for some reason, lots of people seem to think that means that I’m incapable of staying at home to invest my time in raising a child, which I find incredible infuriating. Of course, I’m not planning on giving up work FOREVER. I’ve got nothing but the upmost respect for working mums who are brilliant role models to their kids, showing that women can hold their own in the workplace, but I believe that every family should choose the best option that works for them.

When I explain that I worked as hard as I could always with the intention that I wanted to get as far as I could before I decided to start a family, they always look at me a bit confused, before dismissing me with a “We’ll see what you think 6 months from now”…. As though it’s not possible to have a career and then change focus as your priorities in life change.

“We’ll see what you think 6 months from now”

Don’t get me wrong, I might find that I’m a terrible stay-at-home mum. I might be scratching my nails against the front door to fight my place back into the work place. Or, I might love it. I might find that it’s my calling, that being there to support my husband and to raise our daughter is more fulfilling than any job I’ve ever done. I would like to be given that chance before being written off.

I’m lucky enough that I have a husband who can financially support us and sees the value in having me stay at home, not only to look after our baby but to support him in his career also. To me what matters is our happiness and what we achieve together as a team rather than as individuals.

I’ll admit, I’m scared. It’s the unknown. But I’m also incredibly excited…. for the start of a new adventure.

Melanie Kentish

Hi! My name's Mel and I'm a 30 something blogger living in Windsor, UK with my two ginger cats and a rather handsome husband. White Cotton Peonies is the place where you'll find my ramblings on health, fashion, beauty, food and my random adventures as a soon-to-be mum. Enjoy.


  1. Catherine


    I literally just sat here nodding along to this entire post…and I’m not even pregnant or anywhere near having a baby! I’ve always told myself I’ll work as hard as I possibly can to get as far as I can in my career until it’s time for me to ‘settle down’ and have a family. Then it’s family first. I want my kids to have the same upbringing I did – with a mum at home, not a nanny or a babysitter. I’m 24 (25 in two weeks – fml) and as much as I love my career and freedom, I know that when it comes down to it, having a family is the one thing I want more than anything else in life. It annoys me so much when friends and family tell me I’m ‘that career girl’…I don’t want that tag. I’m proud of my career and what I’m doing, but I don’t want to be ‘that career girl’ who just works. I want to have a family and be proud of creating a whole human being rather than a campaign, I want to be proud of making my own child smile rather than making a client smile, and I swear if one more person tells me not to worry and that ‘you always have your career if you can’t find someone’, I may actually punch them in the face. Work isn’t everything, love and family is.

    C x

    • Melanie Kentish


      Thanks so much for your comment gorgeous, it’s so good to hear such words from a girl who’s setting the world alight with their career! I just think women shouldn’t be pigeon holed that you’re either a mum or a career person, who says you can’t switch? Hope to see you soon lovely x

  2. JJ


    I loved the first year with my mini. And I’ve loved working part time since. I have the best of both worlds… And it’s perfect for us. T is such a smart little thing he needs the extra stimulation that other children and activities give him at nursery, but he loves his Mummy days too. As you say, you choose what’s right for you, as it’s right for you. No one can judge, and no one can tell you differently x

    • Melanie Kentish


      Thanks lovely, I think we are super lucky in our line of work to have such flexibility… Thank god all we need is a web connection x

  3. Katie Heels and Hooves


    Fab fab fab post. I would love to be a SAHM, I don’t want to spend a minute away from Lottie, so I’m backing you all the way sweetie. You are going to be a wonderful mum and you have to do what is right for you and your family. You’ve done amazingly in your career and I’m sure you will continue to do amazingly in your next role xx

    • Melanie Kentish


      Thank you so much gorgeous girl. You’re an awesome role model to a fab little girl and I can’t wait to see what’s next I’m your journey xx

  4. Yvonne


    I think lots of women would love to stay home but financial reasons ans also the pressure from outside might not make it possible. I don’t have children, not sure how I will do it once this rolls around. But I applaud you guys for your decision, after all there can’t be a greater “job” and a greater responsibility than to raise a child to be a wonderful person and a great part of society.

    go you!

    • Melanie Kentish


      Thanks Yvonne. It is scary but I guess until you give it a go, you’ll never know what works best for you. No doubt I’ll keep you posted on how it goes 😉

  5. Claire at Tin Box Traveller


    It is such a great adventure too! I had a career very much like your own before kids – travel, late nights and climbing the ladder. Having a family changed my career path for sure. I went freelance, then part-time for an agency. They have been very flexible and I have loved having the best of both worlds. However, I had no idea where my career was going when I held my eldest daughter in my arms for the first time and I didn’t much care. Life, work, parenthood – it all falls into place eventually. You’re going to rock it! 🙂 xxx

    • Melanie Kentish


      Having an employer that offers flexibility makes all of the difference. So pleased things worked out so well for you. Thanks for the kind words beauty xx

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