This was the question recently asked to me when I went to see the midwife a couple of weeks ago with regards to my occupation (yes we are expecting baby no.2, half planned-half surprise which I know sounds odd). It was followed by the comment: “a lot of mum’s don’t want to be put down as just a stay at home mum, so shall I put you down as what you did before?”. I replied: “Oh no – I’m not bothered about that sort of thing so put me down as a stay at home mum”…after all I haven’t worked as a Merchandiser for over a year and I have no intention of going back. I came away feeling rather sad, yet I could understand. There are so many women that feel being a stay at home mum isn’t an occupation, even after years…but I’m sure, like me, they’ve never been more occupied.
There seems to be endless stigmas that go with being a stay at home mum. Being a stay at home mum doesn’t mean I can’t have any of my own interests (because I have tonnes), it doesn’t mean I’m lazy (although I can be), it doesn’t mean I enjoy talking about babies (because I really don’t, I just ‘get’ how interesting they are and envy their thirst for knowledge), it doesn’t mean I love cooking (ugh), it doesn’t mean that I do housework all day (I prefer a minimalist approach to cleaning; come to my house and you’ll see), it’s not because I’m over protective and won’t let anyone else look after my child (absolutely not) and it’s not because we’re rich (if only) and can easy afford for me not to work, and it doesn’t mean I always enjoy a small person making demands on me most of the time. It just means for now that nothing is taking precedence over raising our family and it’s the set up my husband and I feel most comfortable with.
My thoughts are that there are times and seasons in our lives for everything, but in five, ten, fifteen years time – who knows what I could be doing? and if it still feels right to be a stay at home mum then that’s what I’ll be doing.
I haven’t always felt like this and I have had to make a lot of conscious, consistent effort to work everything out. I feel strongly that I need to be a happy and content person for the sake of our son and family life. It has taken me months to adapt and to feel happy and secure in my new role. It has taken me months to get the balance right between me time, baby time, husband time and family time…I have had to constantly be aware of all our needs which can be really difficult. At times I have felt pressure when people have asked me ‘what I do’ to talk about all my interests, hobbies, other ways I make money and on going projects…but really my number one occupation is being a stay at home mum and I can honestly say that now: “I’m not bothered about that sort of thing”.
Am I ready for another baby – mostly not. But let the hard work and fun times rollllll…….
p.s. I can’t believe it’s the 1st July!!!!
Well said Pest… oh and big congratulations!