As upsetting as it sounds, mothers these days are categorized according to their career status. Working mom, full- time working mom, part time working mom, work from home mom, full- time work from home mom, part- time work from home mom and stay at home mom (SAHM). Seriously? I mean, what makes you think that a stay at home mother is not working? Or how are all the above categories even comparable? What is full time and part time working? In case you do not know- A MOTHER IS WORKING ALL THE TIME. 24*7 365 DAYS A YEAR. NO HOLIDAYS NO WEEKENDS.
Anyways according to the classification, I have been a part time working mom and now a SAHM. If you ask me personally there is a lot of difference between the two. And no, it is not considering the office work load, targets, deadlines or the work pressure at home. I am referring to the challenges faced from the society’s point of view. Its strange right? A mother does whatever works best for herself and her family, and yet we have people (sometimes our loved ones too) judging us at every step and every decision we take.
In this post I have penned down a few challenges/ concerns that I have faced as a SAHM.
- THE COMPROMISE- “We get it. Your kids are small and you do not have grandparents or any other help with them. It’s OK. It’s not like your career has ended. You can start in a few years”. Reality check: IT IS NOT A COMPROMISE/ SACRIFICE!!! It is a choice we make, just like the choice a working mother makes. I personally feel that my kids need my complete attention till around 5 years of age and I am ready to give that to them. THAT’S IT.
- FINANCIAL INDEPENDENCE- For me this has been the biggest challenge until now. It’s not that my husband doesn’t get me things I want and need. But the fact that he has to get it for me, I have to tell him while making transactions anywhere, the fact that I cannot spend money freely. And the fact that sometimes I have to ask him for money. That is when I miss my working days the most. Even in these modern times where husbands are more appreciative of the choices made by us mothers, you still feel hesitant.
- LOSS OF IDENTITY- being a SAHM means, thinking only about your children and the household chores. The laundry basket and the dishwasher somehow fill themselves magically. The one too many toys that you got for your child somehow love scattering themselves on the floor. And if all of this was not enough, your child decides to show you his adventurous and notorious side every single day. That is when you actually miss having a job, deadlines, and most importantly yourself. You crave for being known as YOU and not as someone’s mother. You crave for fancy clothing and not just being in your pyjamas all day every day.
- YOUR FRIENDS CONSIDER YOU A BORE- Suddenly your friends start ignoring you, you are not invited to parties and you are considered a bore. Having a little one at home is fun, teaching them things is exciting too. But when that’s all that you do all day your vocabulary and topic of interests limit to the same and that is not what your non- married and non- parent friends want to discuss. So, basically you crave for some company. Someone you can actually have an adult like conversation with. You may end up feeling emotionally alienated/ lonely.
- YOU WILL BE JUDGED- consciously or not, that’s what people do to you. Why isn’t the house clean? Why are your kids eating food from a jar? Why haven’t you had a bath? No matter what you do, you will be judged. It irritates me when our patriarchal society takes it for granted that all this is a woman’s job. I mean hello!!! I am not the only one staying in the house. And my husband has an equal contribution in creating this baby. So why not judge him for not being a STAY-AT-HOME-DAD or being a FULL-TIME-WORKING-DAD.
- And above all of this, you feel your life is MONOTONOUS. At any given time, you are a care- giver, comforter, doctor, teacher, chef, chauffer, counsellor and homemaker. Yet your work goes un-noticed and un- appreciated. You are always on- duty and your job never ends.
Being a mother in itself is a difficult and tiring job. Being a SAHM just adds up to all that in the above aspects. But there are ways which can make coping up with all of this easier.
Activities to Boost Your Child’s Developmental SkillsPlease select the age group of your child
- Remind yourself that this break is for good and is not a forever break. You will definitely get back to work as soon as the time is right or at least you feel it is.
- Expand your friend circle. Start interacting and catching up with other moms. This way you will have like minded people to share your thoughts with. And trust me having your mommy pals is a big help.
- Develop selective loss of hearing. Listen to only who cares for you, yours well-wishers. Just filter out the unwanted people and their unwanted advice.
- Take out some ‘me time’.
- Talk to your partner. Tell him how you feel, pour your heart out. He will surely understand and will definitely help.
Note to self: you cannot pour from an empty cup. Love yourself first. Make yourself a priority too. Respect will come only when you respect yourself. Start doing things that make you happy. And always remember you are doing a great job and that you should be proud of yourself.
About The Author
Gayatri is from Pune. A fauji brat and now a fauji wife. Professionally a Community Rehabilitation Physiotherapist, but now a happy SAHM to Saanvi (7 years old) and Anay (27 months old). Being a SAHM gave her the opportunity to connect with a passion for blogging and motherlymess.com. My blog is my space, where I share my thoughts on parenting, lifestyle, product reviews and much more.