Being a Stay At Home Mum is a job that is often undervalued
While it was never on the cards for me, I am a Stay at Home Mum (SAHM). I always thought that I would be a 'Working' Mum. But it turns out that finding a job that would fit in with my family, make sense for me to be there financially, and be worth being away from my child, just did not happen. So I decided to stay home instead.
I have a confession. When I first told my closest friends that I was going to be a stay at home Mum, I felt embarrassed.
This group of women were hugely successful in their careers. Balancing work and motherhood. I felt somehow like I was taking the easy route and I no longer belonged to their tribe.
By staying home, and my partner supporting us financially, I felt like I could never express any feelings about my role, and just be grateful for the amount of time I get to spend with my child.
One of my friends pointed out “But why would you feel embarrassed? Most of our Mums did not work until we were in primary school and we never thought anything different.”
She had an incredibly good point. It made me ask the question:
Was our parent's generation, the last generation, that having one parent stay at home be possible or common for most families?
Could it be that the cost of living, the competitive housing market and the lack of flexible part time working arrangements made the role of a SAHM rare? And therefore misunderstood.
Despite being initially embarrassed, I also love being a SAHM. It is busy, frenetic, exhausting and rewarding. I am NOT sitting around in my pyjamas watching television and eating blocks of chocolate. My day starts at 6am and does not stop until I crash into bed at 9pm. It is a full time job.
But even though being a SAHM is a job, there is a very real stereotype that stay at home parents have it easy. There is also the expectation that we should do all of the housework, have a perfect meal on the table every night and be completely responsible for the raising of our children.
This could not be further from reality. Yes there are wonderful moments of course. But it is damn hard work. Physically and emotionally exhausting. And just like going to work, we as Mums need to not be so quick to judge that staying at home or working was even a choice for a family. Or that either option is the easy option.
I am hoping that the longer time passes, the more comfortable I will be in my role. I just have to find the balance between being a SAHM and also being a successful woman in my own right. After all, success is not just driven by work achievements. Success is having a happy home filled with love.
What are your thoughts on this article and the way we view the roles of either a SAHM or a 'working' Mum? I would love to hear what you think!