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!!