At some point in time, do you fellow stay-at-home moms feel like there’s a stigma attached to solely taking care of your kids? From what I’ve experienced, there is. There are times that I find myself defending my decision to be a stay at home mother to people whose opinions shouldn’t even matter. I often have to reassure people that I’m not a sad woman in a sad situation and that I’m doing what’s best for my family. I internally cringe when I meet another adult and one of the first questions they ask is…are you working? I mean it happens so often especially at school. And the look of pity or disappointment on their faces at my response makes me want to run far, far away.
Most of our mothers and grandmothers were homemakers, so why does being a SAHM mother in this era such a condemned thing? Why is it equated with being uneducated and lacking in skills or productivity?
It was never my intention to be a SAHM when I was younger but when you start a family, things change, priority changes and the factors affecting your situation will mold how you handle your lifestyle. People’s behavior also changes toward you and around you. You’re treated as if you have nothing important to say, as if you’re limited in your knowledge and thinking.
From my observations, these are the most common misconceptions about stay-at-home mothers:-
- No education. People often associate being a SAHM with a lack of education, because clearly all we can do are domestic chores. Despite having gone to college prior to having children, people treat me as though I’ve never seen the inside of a college nor do I understand what’s happening there.
- Lowly status. Yes, I do feel looked down upon and talk down at because I’m not sitting in an office from nine to five. Somehow I’m less of a person and not really doing anything in life that matters.
- Welfare dependent. Automatically you’re considered to be milking tax payers money dry to live on welfare with your multiple kids.
- No knowledge of the workforce. Because you’ve been a SAHM for years, people think you haven’t worked a day in your life and you’ll never venture out to work again. There’s absolutely nothing you can do other than taking care of children and doing domestic chores.
- No skills. Well I’m a SAHM but writing is a skill, is it not? I’ve seen many SAHMs doing successfully with their online stores, blogs, whatever creative skills they have and many use it to make some extra income.
- Submissive or boring. It’s a common misconception when you see a mother wrapped up with only her family life to believe she doesn’t have more to her or want more for her life. We do have our own personalities and dreams and we don’t just submit to our lifestyle but being a SAHM is a full time job and it’s what comes first. When we can squeeze in the extra time, we’ll get other things done.
As a SAHM I’ve definitely had my share of disrespect, even at my kid’s preschool. People degrade you in their way of speaking, thinking you don’t know much and can’t convey much. At the end of the day we’re doing the most rewarding job although it may be overwhelming at regular intervals but it doesn’t take away from who we are as people. I myself used to believe all SAHMs know how to do is cook and clean until I became one…and let me tell you…I’m no chef in the kitchen. I’m screaming my head off, sighing and tired most of the time just like you.