This is a big high five to all of the stay-at-home mummas (and dads, although for simplicity I’m going with mumma for the most part here because that’s what I am) out there who worry that they’re trying and failing to juggle so bloody much, that they’re being judged, who feel that they’re not allowed to be annoyed with or complain about anything ever and who feel like they must be the only mother in the world who isn’t the epitome of Mary Poppins.
Do you ever feel like you’re fighting a losing battle between getting your housework done to prove you don’t just ‘sit around all day doing nothing’ and devoting a decent amount of your time and attention to your children?
Do you ever feel resentful that your partner gets to go out and interact with other adults, take breaks to drink warm beverages and eat yummy snacks without them being pilfered and pee in peace?
Have you ever felt a dig coming your way that you don’t earn the money anymore or that somebody else is keeping a roof over your head?
Does it sometimes feel like your partner gets to go to work and then that’s where their responsibility ends and you’re responsible for everything else all of the time with no clocking off time?
Do you ever feel judged by other parents or your own friends/family members?
So, partners of the parenting world, here’s how it is…
Yes, we get the sweeter deal. We get the time with the kiddos. Please don’t think for one second that we don’t appreciate that, that we’re moaning about that but don’t you dare to think that it’s always plain sailing because stay-at-home mother doesn’t just mean mother does it? It usually means a combination of that and also some or all of the following – cleaner, tidier, chef, launderette, ironing service, bills organiser, personal shopper.
Jeez, if it was just the ‘mother’ element we would be absolutely blessed and maybe then you could tell us never to complain but sadly it’s not and that’s OK, we don’t really mind doing what we do but for goodness sake, please recognise that we are actually doing it!
We work too, we are equal to you, we do our share of work we just don’t leave the house and go and work for someone else like you do.
We work for us, for you, for our children, for our family.
And I’ll just put it out there people. The ‘M’ in SAHM is for ‘MOTHER’ not for ‘MAID’.
And sometimes it doesn’t all get done because our children need/want us more than usual.
And ‘sometimes’ may run in to what seems like ‘all of the time’ but it’s not forever so just bear with us.
There’s a reason we’re called stay-at-home mums and that’s because whilst we do so much more than just mothering, that is the main reason why we’re there, that is our priority and that comes first.
And you know that don’t you?
And deep down you’re glad that we put our little ones before things like laundry, freshly-cooked meals and tidy living rooms.
But you don’t always show it and that’s OK as well. It’s normal to be frustrated when the nice, comfortable home you’re expecting to return to looks more like a pig-sty with toys littered all over the floor and washing everywhere but (most of the time, apart from when we just give in completely) we haven’t planned for it to be that way.
It’s not like we’ve let it get that bad just to piss you off.
We’ve probably tried tidying it up just to turn around and watch it be thrown all over the shot because THAT particular toy they didn’t want 5 minutes ago has been placed at the bottom of the toy box.
It’s like you printing off all of your work without saving it and watching your colleague put it through the shredder. What a waste, why did you even bother?
And then your boss comes in and would like to know what you’ve done all day and what you have got to show for it? A waste paper bin full of some monochrome confetti.
What I’ve done all day is occupy our small person. I’ve kept her bottom dry and comfy. I’ve made sure she’s eaten well and had lots to drink. I’ve got her dressed and undressed again, I’ve given her a bath and washed her hair. I’ve helped to develop her mind by playing games with her, I’ve kept her active by taking her to the park/soft play and I’ve drawn out her artistic side by drawing, painting or doing something crafty. I’ve answered all of her questions and followed her around the house at her whim. I’ve given her all of the cuddles she’s asked for, wiped her tears away when it all got too much but she still didn’t want to nap and stroked her hair until she was finally ready to give in to sleep.
We love being at home with our children. We know we are lucky and we know we are privileged but the responsibility never goes away, a break is never guaranteed and we are allowed to be fed up every now and then, OK?
We are as frustrated as you are but there is no scoreboard, this isn’t a competition and there is no blame either way.
And as much as we moan, as much as we take our frustrations and feelings out on each other, we wouldn’t have it any other way would we?
This is our life, in some respects it is harder now but it’s also more rewarding than it’s ever been.
You work hard, we work hard, we are all just doing our best for each other and our children. Feelings and emotions run high and low, sometimes it’s too much for you, sometimes it’s too much for us and it’s all OK in the end.
You know sometimes it’s easy to think that you swan off to work and we don’t think about how hard it can be just like you don’t always think about our side of things either.
Sometimes you might come home to a stack full of perfect papers and sometimes it’s gonna be the monochrome confetti.
Throw it up in the air, dance in it, kiss me and tell me that I’m doing a great job.
Because confetti is for celebrating and that’s what we should be doing every day because this life is wonderful.
We made it through, we did the best for our children today, we are thankful for them and for each other.
And that’s all that really matters.