People often theorise that the dreams you encounter in your sleep, are reflections of how you truly feel in reality. A few days ago, I had a dream that made me feel worthless and tested my position as a ‘stay at home mother’.
Ever since I became a mother, I have encountered many small minds. Plenty of people have been more than willing to voice that I had ruined my life, that I had “gotten pregnant and dropped out of university”, and worst of all, that I did nothing as a ‘stay at home mother’.
But as ignorant as those types of people are, it is hard not to be affected by what others say. As a ‘stay at home mother’, there is always plenty for us to do, and having to prove ourselves all the time is a constant struggle.
We’re usually up by about 7am everyday, some of us even 5am (that’s if we’ve even slept); feed the kids, make the beds, do the dishes, sweeping, mopping, vacuuming, washing, change nappies, run errands, drive the kids to school, attend appointments, cook dinner, and that’s not even all of it.
As we try to multi-task these day-to-day activities; we are reading to our kids, singing to them, playing toys with them, disciplining them, and trying to mediate the chaos that arises with having multiple children. If we’re lucky, we might even manage to have a quick shower or a bite of food.
The societal view that we ‘stay at home mothers’ do ‘nothing’, is most likely based on the fact that what we do is not considered an ‘occupation’; we don’t have an employer and we don’t get paid. But who is society to tell us that what we are doing is insignificant or not worth the recognition?
Consider those who stay at home and care for their sick mother. One could argue that they made a ‘choice’ in doing so, that they ‘could’ be working. But how is that when a person cares for someone else, they are compensated with the carers’ pension, yet we ‘stay at home mothers’ get absolutely nothing and are reprimanded for wanting to see our children grow up?
All those with children know that parenting is far from easy. Knowing that every word you say, every action you take; is shaping your children’s future, is a serious responsibility we always take into consideration. And that is why so many parents choose to stay at home.
Some children may not have the luxury of having either parent at home, but some do. And instead of judging mothers, or even fathers, who do choose to stay at home, think carefully about why they chose to do so. The reason does not lie in the fact that they can’t be ‘bothered’ working or studying; it’s not because they want to sit around and watch television all day.
It’s because they’ve realised the massive role that they play in their children’s lives. And that they want this role to be as influential and positive as possible.
So, to answer the question, no, ‘stay at home mothers’ don’t do ‘nothing’. We haven’t been doing nothing since the day our children were born. We do know, however, that regardless of all those people who try to judge us for what we do, there will always be a certain someone out there who will understand and appreciate what we do for them… and that is our children.