So, here I am again! and yep, I’ve got something that I want to say…….
I was having an online conversation with another mum the other day about being a SAHM (a Stay at Home Mum) and how she felt that she is being judged negatively by her peers for being one and also how she feels pressurised into returning to paid employment as a means to somehow justify herself as an equal.
Wow! this really struck a chord with me. How on earth can a woman or group of women in this case treat a mother so appallingly because she is just that; a full time mother?
So it got me thinking.
Now, I know that being a SAHM just isn’t an option for everyone and that some people have no choice other than to return to work after having their babies and I’m certainly not critisising that in any way, shape or form. Lets make that perfectly clear from the start.
What I am getting at, however, is how some of us, myself included here, have been made to feel like second class citizens because of our decision to stay out of the workplace in order to concentrate on our family life.
For me, family life is my priority now and its a decision myself and my husband made just before our second round of IVF. As many of you know, we struggled for many years in our quest to have children of our own so when we were finally blessed, I knew that I wanted to stay at home and raise the children rather than return to my career in the law. I feel incredibly lucky to have been able to make this decision and it was just that a decision, however, I do still sometimes feel that I am somewhat almost pitied by others for it.
My friend explained that she felt exactly the same. We are both educated ladies with degrees behind us, yet we both said that in group conversations we were suddenly made to feel like our opinions no longer mattered. That somehow we lost our ability to partake in any form of educated debate or discussion because we swapped our power suits and designer handbags for “Mum Dungs” and a baby changing bag!
We then got to thinking about our own families and past generations and how in years gone by it was just a given that a woman would stay at home and raise the family and hold the fort if you like while the husband went out to work. Of course, things changed over the years and women “came out of the kitchens” and proved themselves to be equal to men in the workplace and all of that is fantastic of course it is, but why should a woman who makes the decision to stay at home be treated like she is doing an injustice to womankind?
Its not really like that at all is it! as I said to my friend yesterday, I am extremely proud to be a SAHM. Its undoubtedly the hardest job I’ve ever done, but yet it is also the most rewarding.
So next time you meet someone new and you ask them, “so what do you do?” instead of saying “oh” and giving them a disparaging look when they explain that they are a stay at home mum (or dad for that matter really), remember that this does not make them any less of a person and in fact they may of had a rather illustrious career before becoming a full time parent, don’t just assume you know all there is to know.
And if you’re a SAHM(D) who dreads being asked the question, well next time you’re asked reply that you are in fact doing the most important job in the world as you’re Raising the Future!!