Who are the Foxes?
This is a long-overdue introduction!
I’m Jenni, stay-at-home-mum to 2, and wifey to Mr Fox.
We live on the beautiful North Shore of Auckland, New Zealand.
These are my ramblings on life, and the things I love.
Is the grass really greener?
I’ve been on both sides of the fence, and all I have to say is: everything comes with a price.
With my first baby, circumstances forced me back into the corporate world much sooner than I wanted to return, and as a solo-parent. It was hard, but necessary. I felt guilty every day – and even more so looking back – knowing that I missed out on things I never would have known about, if I hadn’t stayed home this time around.
Now, almost 2 years after baby #2, lots of my working-mum friends say they envy me because I get to stay at home (I’ve even had some say that they can’t wait to have a baby so that they can have a holiday…!) I can promise you, being a stay-at-home Mum is nothing like a holiday (in fact, my kids make sure I work 25/7 – not a typo!) but I AM really grateful to have the option to stay home with them. I’m incredibly lucky that I have a Hubby who not only enables this, but also encourages it. I couldn’t do it without him, and our wonderful extended family – but then I feel guilty every day that I don’t bring in the money that I used to… or would I?
Just another frustrating statistic
We’re one of those families that sit right in between “struggle-backwards” and “struggle-by”. When our littlest turned one, and my maternity leave was up, we had to make the decision about whether it was worth it overall for me to return to work. I loved my job and my team, so that wasn’t a factor, but even on the good salary I would return to, the amount I would bring home (considering fulltime daycare for one, and out-of-school care for the other, travel time, travel costs, and so on) it was not going to be worth the time lost and expenses paid versus raising the kids myself fulltime. We even worked out that we’d go backwards financially if I was to undertake part-time employment! Admittedly, it causes more stress on our relationship than we’d like, but lack of spending money is just one of the sacrifices you have to accept for a family of four on one income. The mortgage absorbs 2/3 of our income, so, we do everything on a shoe-string.
“Sell your house and go renting”
Hahaaa – obviously this comment didn’t come from someone living in Auckland! The city of sails is now better known as the city of million dollar suburbs. Renting an equivalent property in Auckland will cost us as much as the mortgage, so we may as well struggle to own our property than struggle for someone else’s gain.
Keep calm and carry on.
And do little bits of DIY home reno to add value to our home.
Even though I stayed home for a year the first time around, this whole stay-at-home mum /housewife thing is still uncharted territory for me – I mean, what do you do with an almost-2-year-old inside school hours and around nap time (which isn’t a lot of time)? I’ve never had to do it before! And there’s only so much Peppa Pig or Wiggles a mum can handle in a day! In between parenting, we do little pieces of DIY home reno, also on a shoe-string, so as you can imagine, it is a looong slooow process…
Our favourite thing to do is go on little ‘adventures’ around Auckland! We hunt out fun (and ideally free) things to do, and revisit local hotspots regularly – you can catch snaps of these places while we’re out and about on Snapchat (withthefoxes). The toddler and I tend to stay closer to home during weekdays, and venture further afield on family adventures in the weekends!