Maybe it’s just me being oversensitive.
Maybe it’s me feeling undervalued.
Maybe it’s me feeling guilty.
There are a million other ‘maybe’s but I am sick and tired of the phrase “Wow, that sound’s hectic, imagine if you had to work too? How would you cope?”
Okay, maybe they didn’t mean it the way I took it.
Maybe they did!
They probably did!
Should I be defensive of being a Stay At Home Mum?
This is normally directed at me by other working mom’s who are the parents of my children’s school friends, or from the girls’ teachers. So this rant here is to set the record straight, and get it off my chest!
First and foremost, I am very ‘lucky’ that I don’t have to go to work. My husband provides enough for our family that I don’t have to. I won’t apologise for that. We make sacrifices to make it work for us.
Secondly, I am also not allowed to work due to visa restrictions. I’m not a South African so for me to go out and get a job would involve a lot of paperwork, money and willingness from any potential employer to jump through the hoops required to get me a work permit. Let’s face it, I am not bilingual, I can only speak English (which wouldn’t be a problem in Cape Town, Jo’burg or Durban but it is a problem in the rest of SA where Afrikaans is still very widely used despite reports to the contrary). I’m not a highly skilled professional, I don’t have a degree, and I don’t have any extra special skills that employers here are crying out for, so it’s virtually pointless.
Thirdly, my family need me to stay at home, or more importantly to be available to drop everything and run for them. I do all the usual tasks that other SAHM’s do around the world, cooking, taking care of the house, managing household finances, running a million errands, keeping on top of the medical aid headaches, ferrying kids to and from school and after-school activities, and being there for my little girls.
Fourthly, unlike 90% of the other mom’s I am in regular contact with, I have NO support whatsoever. I am pretty sure most of these other mom’s leave their kids in after-care (if they can afford it), with their parents (most kids have both sets of grandparents running after them), or with their maids. I don’t do any of that. It’s me and me alone. My husband is gone for work from 05.00 until 18.00. The only time we get help with our kids is when I fly my mother in from Zimbabwe, or when we go there.
I know the image they have of me, it goes something like this: Bored housewife; spends her time at the gym, getting her hair and nails done, coffee with her girlfriends, shopping up a storm!
I am none of those things, but if I were and to those women who are, that’s great for them!
Those women who have to work, that’s great for them.
Those women who want to work, that’s also great for them!
Why can’t people just mind their own business and keep their judgmental opinions to themselves.
In this day and age when the emphasis is so high on making sure working mom’s aren’t made to feel guilty for not spending enough time with their kids and families, I think it’s time to consider the fact that the emphasis is shifting to making SAHM’s feel guilty or inferior for not being highly successful business women or good-enough role model’s to their children. Why does it have to be one or the other?
I am sure this argument fits in with the whole breastfeeding vs bottle feeding; dummy vs no dummy; home-grown vs store-bought, etc. etc.
Really! Enough is enough.
Like I said above, keep your views to yourself and lower your eyebrows ladies. We should all be supporting each other, not judging.
Rant over for today.