What is a Stay at Home Mum? Modern day meme’s define her as a Housekeeper, Chef, Personal Assistant, Teacher, Chauffeur, Nurse, and all round multi-tasker. Most even describe her as Wonder Woman.
Motherhood is ever evolving, consistently changing. Motherhood is not staying still for long. What I want to ask you is, when you first became a Mum, did you feel like you were making a contribution to your family? When your job is emptying the dishwasher, making dinner, doing the washing, cleaning the house and much much more, but you used to do all of that and work full time anyway, how do you feel productive or valued? Thanks are hard to come buy and money doesn’t appear in the bank account anymore, so how do we feel successful, or like we are doing anything right?
When I worked full time, I would leave the house at 6am in the morning, fully made up, work from 7.30 till 4pm and some nights later. I would get home anywhere between 5pm and 7pm, make a healthy (and sometimes not so healthy and just amazing comfort food!) and delicious dinner that would take me anywhere from 15 mins if I had pre-prepped the night before, to an hour to make, the dishes would be done, the house tidied and I had some quality time with my husband. One night a week I would also do the washing, it would take three loads and I would bring it all in for folding and sorting on Saturday morning. The house would get a thorough clean on Friday nights before my husband got home from work and it was immaculate. On weekends, every now and then I would get stuck into the backyard when I could, trying to grow my own veggies and herbs, trying to keep it from looking overgrown and overlooked. I’m not trying to talk myself up here, I am positive every woman running a house gets this done during the week, I’m even banking on the fact that she doesn’t even realise how much she’s actually doing.
Now I still do all of this. Not as well, but none of the duties have changed. Except we’ve removed the 10 to 12 hours of my day where I was making money. And contributing financially. Now, this is all I do. It’s everything I did before, but now it is expected to be my job because I do nothing else. And if I don’t deliver, I can’t help but feel like I’m failing at the only thing I have to do.
How many of us go from working full time and running the house to – raising our children and still running the house?
How many of us find that now, once we are home all the time, the house isn’t as clean, the meals not as inspired, the laundry not as regular and the days aren’t as organized?
This is not what we expected right? We are home all the time. We are able to be cleaning and cooking and available for all these things to get done day in and day out. Well this definitely isn’t what I expected, so I really want to hear what other Mum’s think.
Children take up a lot of time. A lot of what I do day in and day out is be present for my little boy. Reading to him, playing with him, feeding him and teaching him. But how can this be work? Most days I get to watch something I’m so proud of I could burst, when he says something so beautiful and cute I’m usually wiping away tears of happiness and we laugh. We laugh all the time. This is not a job is it? I get that it is tiring as some jobs are, physically and emotionally draining as some jobs are also, but not to the same extent as my husband’s work which is running his own carpentry business, surely?
It’s really been playing on my mind lately (now that I have a child that sleeps!) that I have the best job in the world. Although it doesn’t feel like a job. Especially not when I get to do the ironing while watching my favourite TV show, or clean the house with the music blaring, or that the biggest part of my job is watching my son grow, guiding him along the way and that brings so much happiness to me.
How do Stay at Home Mums feel like they are contributing? Or how do they feel valued like you would in a workplace? There are no pats on the back to say ‘good job!’ No KPI’s set to show that you are either meeting the expectations of your role or falling short. The way we feel like we are contributing is really solely based on whether we think we achieved something that day. Whether we think we didn’t lose our patience too much, or the miracle that is getting the dinner on table at a reasonable hour without someone losing the plot.
Because – we all did this before. Let’s be honest, we were all running a house, being a housekeeper, gardener and wife, as well as working full time before. And we did it better right? My house was certainly cleaner, my garden less overgrown, my groceries weren’t ever forgotten or too hard to collect then. And I was away from home, working for someone else for 10 hours of the day. And I had a lunch break. I answered emails on time. I. Was. Present.
How are you feeling about what you get done day to day as a Stay At Home Mum? Coz I’m really struggling to find my self worth in the home, and I’m wondering if it’s something we are all sweeping under the rug, like how much our baby sleeps, and how many drinks we have on any given weeknight :)