Monday, September 5, 2011

The Stay at Home Mum.

Recently I was asked by a newly acquired acquaintance about what it is I 'do'.
'Oh,' I answered with a smile, 'I'm a Mum'
'Yes, I know that' said the acquaintance, 'But what is it that you do?'

I was baffled. I thought I had answered the question perfectly well the first time. I am a Mum.

I had never actually planned to become a Stay at home Mother. It just sort of happened. Admittedly my career aspirations weren't overly high to start with. All I really wanted to do was to write stories and maybe get married and have children.

It wasn't long however before the having children aspect took over every other longing I've ever really had......and I couldn't of been happier.

I can't say I'm one of those people that have had trouble taking to Motherhood....I guess my years of bossing around my younger sisters and cousins had set me up well for the changes. I also had my first child fairly young (23) so for the past 9 years it's all I have really done.

Mothered. Mothering. Motherhood.

Sometimes I feel sorry for Husband. He works very long hours to provide for us all. Sometimes I feel that maybe I 'should' be working to help him out a little. So the pressure is off  just a bit.

Every time we discuss the possibility it is dismissed rather quickly. Juggling four children and work would be a hard task for anyone (and I applaud those that do it) I have enough trouble juggling four children, the housework, the taxiing around and any other extra-curricular activities. Admittedly I do a 'little' bit of work for Hubby at home but this only adds up to a couple of hours a week so it really can't be conceived as work as such.

So, the assumption that I sit around watching Oprah and drinking tea is a myth. Although I do drink a fair amount of tea, I haven't watched daytime television since I was pregnant with baby#1. I simply don't have the time....or the inclination.

There is the morning chaos getting ready and the school run. The typically four loads of washing a day-hanging out-bringing in- and adding to the pile that is Mt Koziwashko (which occasionally I may even fold). The breakfast dishes. The vacuuming (and yes, this needs to be done daily) Miss TT needs snacks, cuddles, attention and games. Food is baked. Bedrooms are tidied. Bathrooms are cleaned, the toilet needs doing each day (boys and wee...eeewww!) Sweeping, mopping and general putting away. After the next round of school pickups, followed by sport, it is homework, dinner to cook, baths, dinner, dishes, teeth, hair, stories, bed and then all the cleaning up to do once they are all asleep.

And I write. Yes, I do spend typically an hour a day (while Miss TT naps) writing. I write on here and I write other things, my stories, things for my husbands work. Whatever I feel like really.

The thought of navigating the minefield that is Child Care, the cost of having four children attend, (diabolical!) and the guilt I think I would feel leaving my babies is simply not worth it - and once I pay all the fees, it would barely make much of a difference anyway.

I may sound like I'm justifying my decision. My choice to be a full-time Mum...and maybe I am. Society has such expectations for Mothers nowadays....we are supposed to 'have it all'. But frankly my dear, I don't give a damn what 'society' says.

I'm doing what it is that I've always wanted to do....and that's to be the best Mother I possibly can be to my four children.........Because if I screw this up nothing else I do will matter much.

Footnote; This is in no way meant to be a dig at working parents. I think people who manage their families and work are inspirational. It just doesn't work for our family and our situation.


  1. Hi Lene. And who was the very thoughtful (pfft) person who was hinting in that conversation that being a mother is not something you "do"? A mother themselves? I'd be very surprised!
    I was going to say, you don't have to justify your decision to anyone! Then I read your second last paragraph.
    Being a mum is the most IMPORTANT job in the world, and you can't understand that until you are a mum yourself. I don't know how you do it with four, honestly, I only have one and I find the home stuff overwhelms me often.
    I wish I could be a stay at home Mum. It's a time you'll never get back if you're working. Unfortunately for us it's just not feasible.

  2. well said! I decided to be a SAHM (my hubby has his own business and I do the books) at one point I was offered myold job and I took it thinking I could do it easily eough as I have one child only. Pffft... It was hard. out the door by 7:30 and not home till 6:30 (a lot of travel) luckily my husband could ick up the slack for me but it was stressful for us both!

    I quit the job and am at home, I can now pick my hours for hubby we chose to keep our days at daycare (naughty, naughty... But it works for preparation to school next year) I have just started a writing course and I am really happy for the first time in along time!

    Now when they ask what exactly I do all day, I tend to tell them it is really busy going out to the shops and drinking coffee ALL day LOL. I now think they are secretly jealous of me because it takes a certain type of woman who can be a SAHM, it just took me returning to work to realise what I really wanted!

  3. Hi Lene. I love the way you think. I've been exactly the same. Being an older Mum, I had such grand expectations of what life would be like as a parent and boy, was I wrong! It hit me like a ton of bricks. All I wanted all my life was to be a Mum and when it happened I hated it. I wanted my cake (ie clean, tidy, organised home, homegrown vegies, everything baked from scratch and clothes and homewares homemade) and to eat it too. Didn't work. I barely coped with day to day stuff with the kids (had a lot of help from social workers visiting me weekly and then monthly) and now I'm only just starting to really enjoy it.

    Since my first was born, I've probably had about 4 evening part time jobs. All was good in theory but who I was kidding trying to juggle it all. I love juggling it all now and sometimes I fail and sometimes I have pumpkin scones on the afternoon tea table (*wink wink*). I just wish I had a few more years on my side to have more (WHO SAID THAT? lol)

    Anne xx


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