Stay-at-home mums it's time to start #MumWinning

People who go to work measure themselves by either how much they get pad or their job title*. Some even value the job title above all else. But as a stay-at-home mum how do you measure yourself? You don't get paid, so if you were to measure yourself by your pay... that would be quite depressing. And your job title is what? General Dogsbody? All rounder? Or simply Mum? As a mum myself I know what jobs a stay-at-home mum does all day but when you tell people what you do (I'm a mum as opposed to I'm an Office Manager) they assume you don't do much. As a result you're left feeling worthless, inadequate, even unnecessary.

Morgan Prince not smiling. It is raining. It is time to start #mumwinning


When I worked (more than 14 years ago!), before I had the boys, I was an Office Manager. I didn't manage any people but I did take what was basically a room with a computer and turn it into a fully functioning office over a number of months. I used the computer to order a telephone, filing cabinets, and shelving units. I organised paperwork, I answered the phone and directed calls, and I controlled some of the accounting side too. I liked my job, and I even began suggesting ways in which the company could be more efficient. Just before I was due to leave for maternity leave I attended a meeting with the heads of the company to talk about a more efficient way of communicating with head office about the accounts. I was proud of my job despite not being paid much and I had the confidence to speak up when I thought something could work in a better way.

Success is almost totally dependent upon drive and persistence. The extra energy required to make another effort or try another approach is the secret of winning. 

Denis Waitley

Being a mum

Fast forward 14 years and that sounds like a completely different person. I'm certainly not confident, about anything, and there's nothing tangible for me to be proud of. At least that's what I think a lot of the time.

I am a mum and I measure my worth by how tidy the house is and how ready for school my boys are in a morning...

uh oh.

Now I see why a lot of the time I'm feeling like I'm not worthy. When you get paid a certain amount or do a job you can point at something and say "I did that." but for me, and you if you're a stay-at-home mum (or dad),  it's more difficult.

A close up of an iron being used on a blue jumper. An example of #mumwinning.

We could point at the pile of washing that has reduced a little but that doesn't help because you know that before long it'll be topped up again and it'll be like you started over.  We could claim victory every time the house is tidy but we know as soon as the kids get in from school it'll be untidy again.

So what do we do?

First of all we need something we can win. Not like a prize, although that would be awesome, but things we can do that make us feel like we've achieved something. Little wins.

Clean/tidy the lounge = 1 win.
Put a load of washing in the washing machine = 1 win.
The kids eat the meal you cooked = 1 win.
Put the dishwasher on = 1 win.

Okay, so you get my drift. 

By giving ourselves these little wins we'll feel like we've achieved lots of things. You could even take photos to document your wins, post them on social media, tag friends in the same boat, and start a new revolution! #mumwinning

The point is having those things you can point at every day and say "I did that.". No, it won't stay tidy and you'll have to do it again tomorrow, but you did get a win.

Winning takes talent, to repeat takes character. 

John Wooden

And maybe, just maybe, everyone else will start to see your worth too. Because when these jobs don't get done the house descends into chaos.

With all this in mind I want to hear about your mum wins. I'm going to start posting mine on Facebook and Twitter tagging them with #mumwinning and I want to see yours too.
Show me your ironed pile of clothes, your empty plates after the kids ate a cooked meal, the empty washing machine after doing a load - I want to see you WINNING.

A tidy lounge with a brown leather sofa and wooden coffee table. An example of #mumwinning.
My lounge. The boys are at school and I tidied up. See, it can look tidy!

It might sound silly to celebrate that you put a load of washing in the washing machine but it's a psychology thing. If you celebrate, your wins you'll realise how much you do during the day. You will start to realise that you are awesome. You will see your worth.

It is so easy to do these jobs day in, day out, and convince ourselves we're not worthy. We wash and iron the clothes, we cook the meals, we tidy the house, and we take care of the children, and we still think we're not worthy. Which is why celebrating your wins will be good for you.

Take the time to photograph your finished ironing pile or the dirty plates after an eaten meal, and then when you get a minute where you're wondering what on earth you do all day - take a look at those photos. You do more than you realise and you are definitely not worthless.

Stay-at-home mums it's time to start #mumwinning - let me know what your wins were today.

What were your #mumwinning things today?

If you enjoyed reading this you might also enjoy Why I give my children chores where I discuss the kinds of jobs my boys do and why I think they should be taught about household chores. If you're after something a little less "evil-mum like" and a little more Mary Poppins check out Why it's awesome being a mum to teens and tweens where I talk about the great things about being a mum to older children.

I'm talking about chores for children over on my Facebook Page today - do stop by and say hi!

As a stay-at-home mum I'm always looking to connect with other stay-at-home mums. I write weekly emails featuring parenting issues, cooking lovely family meals, and how to cope when your children go to school, and I'd love you to get these straight to your inbox. You can do this by visiting my page helping stay-at-home mums - you'll make my day by joining me.

*This is a massive generalisation to make a point - I don't actually believe this is what people do.