“I’m a stay at home mum”….I happily state but then usually qualify that with a load of nervous words like…”but I’m starting to write, start a business, thinking of going back to work at some point, decided to stay home as it was more economical…”
Oh! I annoy myself when I do this. I feel like as soon as I say Stay At Home Mum I get given a look, a raised eyebrow, a smirk. Maybe it’s all in my head, maybe no one gives it a 2nd thought. Although sometimes I feel a need to defend our family’s parenting choice. I feel that it’s socially acceptable to be a stay at home mum but to only until your kids are in school. I do have a separate little business that I have started but all in all my family consumes my time and that is where I feel my focus should be, at this moment in time.
Times have changed, even in the 40 years since I was a child, it was the norm back then for mums to stay at home and now it’s the opposite, mostly due to financial needs. But because of this, should I now feel guilty for being able to stay at home with my boys?
When leaving my job I did think, am I doing the right thing? Should I keep my job? But it was just that, a job. A job, not a career. Nothing I could see myself growing with and, at the end of the day, with childcare costs, I wouldn’t be bringing that much home with me anyway.
Those who think stay at home mums sit on their backsides all day and eat cake – need to get a life! I am definitely not lazy, I wish I could prop my feet up and snaffle some chocolate cake at times; believe me! 🙂 I have friends who have gone back to work and are miserable and I know they want to be at home but necessity means that they have to work. I have friends who are happier working and know that they couldn’t be at home all day. I know some friends who like the balance of both: part-time work and being at home a couple days a week. At the end of the day we are all trying to be the best mothers and parents we can be! I have friends who have gone back to work and their husbands are the stay at home dads. I have a good friend from Uni who is a stay at home dad and I can just see the happiness in his face that he gets to do that. I know my husband misses our boys so much when he is away working. He relishes his precious weekends with our sons but when it came down to it, he earned the most money so it made sense for me to stay at home.
Have the boys gained anything more from me being at home? I can’t answer that as I have never not been at home. It’s all we know. My mum was a stay at home mum and I did like the fact that she was there after school for me, available for every school event (as my Dad was never able to attend due to work commitments). It was nice to see her beaming face in the crowd.
Do I miss my own identity and my own money? Yes, at times of course! I confess that I lost myself for a couple years and forgot who Steph was, but getting to write and create again has given me back a much missed spark. I miss not being able to treat my husband and not feeling guilty if I want to buy something for me. My husband has never said that I can’t buy something or that it’s not our money. But I am aware that we have a budget and fun and frivolous items can’t always be part of the norm.
I hope I have been concise in the point I have been trying to get across, which is: ALL of us parents are just doing the best we can! Don’t judge another person for their parenting choice, styles etc. All that matters at the end of the day is a happy and healthy child and….
SAHMs are NOT LAZY! 🙂