A while ago I was amongst a group of Mums. There was a mixture of stay-at-home Mums and those who juggled work and raising children.
One of the women piped up and said that she “wished she had a the luxury of staying at home with her kids.”
Now, I know this was a harmless comment, and one which many women have also made, but the wording annoyed me.
Did she say “luxury?” I thought. Surely not! Does she really think it is ‘luxurious’ staying at home looking after your kids? Trying to do anything for yourself, whether it be a haircut, shopping, a much-needed eyebrow shape or just a shower by yourself is like trying to climb Everest with a broken foot – near impossible!
This idea that we sit at home drinking coffee and watching soap operas gets my blood boiling – I wish! Maybe if we all had a paid cook, cleaner and nanny I might accept the notion, but for the every day stay-at-home Mum this is far from the truth.
I believe it is a great gift for your children to have Mum at home until they reach school age, however I realise that this is not a possibility for many families out there. It is just too expensive to raise a family for a lot of people on one income and then the Mother (or Father, in some cases) whether they want to or not, have to be in paid employment.
And I am sure that is what this particular woman really meant to say – “I wish I could afford to stay at home with my kids.”
I also realise that some women simply don’t want to stay at home all the time and would rather split their time between work and home-life or work full-time.
It’s really for every family to decide what’s best for them and what will work in their situation.
I guess then the point of this ramble is to try to illustrate the important job a stay-at-home Mum has and for society to get with the programme and realise this.
What kind of message does it send when your kids go to pre-school and you get told that if you are a working Mother you automatically get half of the fees refunded but if you are a stay-at-home Mum – No sorry, nothing for you!
Oh, but if you study you can have a rebate too!
I think it’s great that working Mums and those up-skilling are getting some help with pre-school fees – but don’t you think us stay-at-home Mums could do with a rebate too?
So next time you come across a stay-at-home Mum – give her a big pat on the back and say WELL DONE YOU!!
One thought on “The “luxurious” life of a stay-at-home Mum”
I have to comment as I could well have been that person! I’ve said that I would love to stay at home with my kids, financially it’s not an option and in terms of my career I would never work again if I took the years off work while my children are at home as I would need to retrain. I can say that when I’ve said that to stay at home mums it is because I’m envious, I would love to be in a position where I didn’t have to do all those things you’ve mentioned, have a shower, time for a haircut etc etc and get out the door by 7:30, drop my kids off at daycare with mothers guilt, stay up doing work late into the night etc etc. I think luxury is the wrong word, the opportunity to be a stay at home mum is a fantasy for a lot of working mothers. I know I certainly don’t have a cook, cleaner or nanny and still have to achieve all of those things you listed as well as work. I know for me the things I have to achieve on the days I work are hard, I would love that I didn’t have to work on top of all the other mum things. But this is the life we have chosen. I do think stay at home mums are lucky, lucky that they have all of that time with their kids. I know it’s hard work, my days off work are equally exhausting as the days at work. As for the rebate, the idea is that because of limited child care preference is given to working/studying families who require child care. Not that I agree, but don’t assume all families get government support. If the second income earner (usually working mother) earns too much then they are not entitled. So successful women are also punished too. I’m not on a ridiculously high income and one year I earned $8 too much for us to receive any government support. If Shrimpy earned our dual income on his own however, we would have been entitled (so families on one high income get more support than two average incomes). So working mothers get another slap in the face! We do get the childcare rebate but get 0% reduction in fees because as the second income earner I earn slightly too much.
Each to their own, but I don’t think any mother, working or not- could possibly say this role is luxurious! I love being a Mum, but yes it is really really hard work. If I won lotto tomorrow I would finish work in a heartbeat and be a stay at home mum. Not because it’s easy or luxurious, but because I love my children and would love to be them every day before I lose them to big school. I would think that the person who said that is envious. You should be proud to be a stay at home mum, WELL DONE YOU! and Well done every single mum who does their best for their children every single day in what ever form that may be. Us mums need to support each other, this is the most important and challenging role we can be given. Love to all the Mums!