Wednesday, 17 September 2014

"What Do You Do?"

It's a question the rears it's ugly head once in a while.

It's a question that I sometimes answer with a passion. Ready for a fight that never comes.

It's a question that I sometimes answer with weakness and dread. Then I kick myself for not being proud and not fighting my corner when that question I dread is asked of me.

"What do you do?"

Such a simple question.

It should be a simple answer.

"I'm a stay at home mum" comes my reply.

It's either met with enthusiasm or jealousy...

"Oooh how fabulous!"

"You're so lucky! I wish I could afford to stay at home with the kids - they are only little for such a short time"

...Or it's met with misunderstanding or ignorance.

It happened to me again the other month.

An older brother of an ex-boyfriend I hadn't seen in years.

"So what are you doing now?" he said eagerly.

"I'm a stay at home mum".

"Ooooooh" he laughed "A lady of leisure!"

"Ha, yeah" came my feeble response as I wasn't prepared for a fight…but then I never am. "I wish!" I added on the end and then quickly changed the subject.

I'd like to think I would be ready to stand up for myself but I never am. I then spend the rest of the year month week day kicking myself for not being stronger and standing up for something I believe in. Something I love.

It makes me feel like crap.


Why should I have to explain myself?

Why should anyone judge me for giving up a career to be with my kids?

Why should anyone think that being a stay-at-home-mum resembles the lifestyle of a WAG?

I don't judge women who return to work. In fact I salute them. I'm not entirely sure I could do it, especially full-time.

But this isn't going to be one of those posts that gives all the pros and cons about working versus staying at home. It's been done thousands of times over and the same divides remain. It's quite tiresome actually.

I just know that I hate being judged for the decision I've made. I hate people thinking I swan around each day meeting friends for coffee, having my nails done or going shopping.* It can also make me feel like some kind of second class citizen. Like I don't belong if you know what I mean?

The fact remains, I hate the "What do you do?" question and I don't think that feeling will ever change.

However, I love being a stay-at-home-mum (the clues in the blog!). I love that I am here for my kids and I can watch them both grow. I know that I have these feelings on my side and all the people who are ignorant to my decision can, quite frankly, do one!

If they want to think I lead a WAG lifestyle then let them. The thing is, I lead a lifestyle far more richer than any WAG. I lead a happy and healthy lifestyle with my children and that's something I'm mightily proud of.

* I still have spa vouchers I was given as a gift in March that I haven't used yet!


Susanne Remic said...

Ha. Where to start. Having been a full time working mum, part time working mum, stay at home mum and work from home mum, I can honestly say that ALL are really hard. None of those roles are without challenges and just because you don't go out to work to earn a wage as such, it doesn't mean you don't work! Being a stay at home mum full time is not easy but it is the most rewarding in terms of investment, but like you say- its each to their own. Nobody else's business and if it works for your family then stick with it x x x x x

Looking for Blue Sky said...

After 22 years as a Mum, I've finally become a SAHM, and making the decision to stop looking for work for the foreseeable future is actually a huge relief! My son is calmer too, perhaps because he knows I'm always available now. So glad that you are still 'Loving It' :)

Natasha - The 1970s Diet said...

Hi, I wrote a post the other day "what do you do all day" (I've been a full time SAHM for 10 years) and I've documented it and will possibly do a new blog on the subject now all 3 of mine are at school. I am desperately trying to watch day time telly but haven't fitted it in yet! But I am going to fit in going to a boot camp session at a local park tomorrow and have a massage next week because I deserve it and lets face it who ever go to the end of their life and said "I wished I worked more" I should coco. I have had 4 days off sick in 10 years so people who ask can poke it!

Ira said...

AM right there with you!! i had a full time working mum,and i know the kids point of view... and i had decided long back that i will stay at home with my kids... its not like you're not capable of working.. but it IS A CHOICE! when will people understand that! you work harder! I have a friend who went back to work after trying to be a SAHM because she felt working was easier... but it is the most rewarding career, and i don't regret it.... but really! hate that question! you actually have to be multi-talented to look after a house and kids!

Camilleta said...

I think your answer was perfect. Who cares if people don't understand everything it means to be a stay at home mom? I used to be really defensive of my choices as a mom, especially the fact that I stayed home. But it really doesn't matter what others think!!

SAHMlovingit said...

No, it doesn't at all. I kick myself for not being smarter with my response but I should't - I shouldn't have to justify my decision. Thanks for your comment x

SAHMlovingit said...

Amen to that. I honestly don't have the time to WORK work. Thanks for your comment x

SAHMlovingit said...

Actually, I've had quite a few people ask me "So, are you going back to work when the kids are back at school?". I honestly don't know yet as it's not for another couple of years but again, whose business is it but mine? I love your response and I hope you have a great massage!

SAHMlovingit said...

Aw I'm so glad C. Really happy that your son is calmer too. I so need to catch up on your blog. Life is 100mph at the moment! xx

SAHMlovingit said...

I miss you so much Susanne xx


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