Stay-at-home mums - why we shouldn't be ashamed

I have been a stay-at-home mum for 14 years and in that time I've spent a lot of days feeling inadequate and unworthy 😩. Society has led me to believe I don't do anything that's worthy of praise and that I should go out and get a job as soon as possible. A job in which I can demand equal pay and show that I am a strong woman who is capable of anything a man is. 

To be honest all that stuff kind of annoys me a little, I mean I don't want to go get a job. I like being a stay-at-home mum. And you know what? Just because I've been a mum all this time, that doesn't mean I can't do other things too. 

At a time when being a stay-at-home mum allows you to explore who you are, when you can spend hours online learning or looking into the things that you love, why on earth would you want to go out and get a job if you can afford it? Because I've been a stay-at-home mum I was able to find the thing I love doing - writing - and I've been able to do that on a daily basis while taking care of my children and being here for them. I do something I love every day as well as being a stay-at-home mum. That's pretty awesome right? 🎉

So I'm here to say stay-at-home mums are AWESOME! Not only do you take care of your family and home but you can take time for yourself too and maybe even create a business from nothing! 

On "Luxury"

I saw an article headline in The Independent a while ago entitled "Stay-at-home mums spending all day with the children is a luxury few can afford". Now before we get started I want to say that it's not the article itself that I have a problem with, it's the title. 

Staying at home with the children all day is not what I would call a luxury. A luxury to me is a lovely spa day, or going shopping (for clothes not food) without the kids. Having to clean dirty nappies, or tidy up a million toy cars, does not sound like a luxury.

A woman lays on a massage table in a spa.

On the other hand I do realise that not everyone can choose to stay at home with their children. And as a consequence they may see it as a luxury. Yes, we get to be at home with our children but it is hard work, we don't sit all day and watch TV and we certainly don't have the Instagram-perfect lives that everyone believes we have.

As stay-at-home mums we have to deal with the fact that people think we have the perfect life. We get to stay at home with our children while getting to do all the things we love - and someone else works hard for us to do that. 

Of course we know it's not true, we work hard too. And even when our children go to school the work doesn't stop, because then there's the having to deal with homework and lunch ideas. But the grass is always greener isn't it?

On being boring

Being boring is always something that bothered me, I thought I would never have anything interesting to say because I didn't go anywhere or do anything other than be with the children, but this is UTTER NONSENSE.

I watch the news every day, I read books and magazines, and I have opinions. Just because I spend my days taking care of children (or did when they were younger) and keeping the house clean doesn't mean I have nothing interesting to say. 

To be honest dinner conversations was the worst bit about being a child and listening to the boring people around me. 

Prince Harry

In fact us stay-at-home mums have some great opinions to share.

Okay so some of our early days are filled with Peppa Pig or The Little Einsteins (I still remember the theme song 12 years later!) and that can make our brain feel like mush 🤯. BUT even watching these programmes with our children can spark ideas and conversations about real-life things.

Stay-at-home mums are not boring!

On going "back to work"

Oh boy don't get me started!

I know some people have to go back to work. Some people choose to go back to work. And these people are cheered on and even praised for making the difficult decision to to go back to work. These people are strong, working hard for their family. 

Do stay-at-home mums not work hard?
Are we not strong? 💪🏻

I chose to stay at home to be there for my children. The Hubby earns enough that I don't have to work, but that doesn't make me less worthy. I have been a stay-at-home mum for nearly 14 years, it is how I identify myself, but that doesn't mean I've done nothing for 14 years!

A macbook, coffee, and phone sitting on a wooden table.

I have more skills now than I had when I finished work to go on maternity leave all those years ago. I could quite easily go back to work if I wanted to - but I don't. I am capable, I am strong, and I am hard-working. 

And while we're on the subject - being a stay-at-home mum IS work. We do a million jobs a day and never get praise for it. When a job doesn't get done, or is does less than usual, it's noticed and we end up feeling like a failure. We work 24/7, we look after our children and that work never stops. So do we really need to be asked when we are "going back to work"?

On justifying being a stay-at-home mum

Yes, my children go to school, and yes I am still a stay-at-home mum. 😱

I like being here for my children. Yes, they are at school, but that doesn't mean they don't need me. 
I like being being home.

What I don't like is feeling like I have to justify my choices to those that make different choices. I make the choices for my family and what I think is best. Whether or not someone else agrees with those choices is irrelevant. 

The stigma attached to being a stay-at-home mum is shocking. I never realised how bad it was until I was the stay-at-home mum. I grew up believing my mother didn't do anything while I was at school, I thought she stayed home and watched TV, but I was wrong. She cleaned the house, she cooked, she made sure we had a home to go back to at the end of the school day. It's such a shame it has always been this way, and I think it's about time we started to shout from the rooftops that us stay-at-home mums are just as capable of being strong and hard-working as those who go to work every day.

We work hard every single day, sometimes long into the night, and we are still judged - yet we continue to put our family first and stay home.

On judgement

Despite being strong and working hard every day we constantly feel judged. We feel like what we do isn't good enough and I hate that

I feel like when people judge me they're not judging me, because they don't know who I am. 

Gisele Bundchen

We are judged on everything. 

Whether the cleaning is done.
What our children look like.
Whether we have fun.
What clothes we wear.
What we look like on the school run.

It's never-ending. 

And yet, we continue to do our jobs. We continue to try harder - all the while punishing ourselves for not measuring up.

On being a stay-at-home mum

For a long time I was ashamed of being a stay-at-home mum. I saw it as a cop-out, a way of getting away with not going to work but not really working hard. Oh how wrong I was!

Stay-at-home mums don't put themselves first - ever.
Stay-at-home mums work hard, every single day (including weekends).
Stay-at-home mums don't get a minute of peace.

Those that go out to work get to have adult conversation on a daily basis, they get to drink hot coffee and eat lunch without sharing. Stay-at-home mums have to cling to sanity while having conversations with their youngster about Peppa Pig's latest antics. We wash clothes, we clean the house, we nag teens to have showers, we help with homework, we create fun and tasty lunches, we make healthy family meals.

And once or twice we get to do something for ourselves. Whether that's learning about that thing you once found interesting or igniting a fire within that gets you started on a journey with a new business venture. Or, we get to enjoy that hot coffee.

You shouldn't be ashamed of being a stay-at-home mum - YOU ARE AWESOME!

You are doing an amazing job.
You are AWESOME!

Tell me why you are awesome.

My Random Musings

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