Stay at Home Mummy

Bathtime Kiss

Not so long ago, I was asked by a virtual stranger (in the context of being a stay-at-home mummy), what I liked to do when I wasn’t ‘sitting around the house all day’. Annoyingly, my reaction was to laugh awkwardly (I have always been one of those people who thinks of smart or funny retorts long after uncomfortable conversations), and although I doubt any malicious intent was hidden in the young man’s question, I have to admit the remark did sting a little.

You see, since becoming a stay-at-home mum several years ago, I have found questions about what I ‘do’ a bit problematic to say the least, and I’ve come to dread being asked about my occupation at banking appointments, health care visits, and during those annoying sales calls. Being a stay-at-home mum or childcare provider doesn’t always seem to cut it in terms of estimating a person’s value, and even when I worked from home as a childminder for a few years I met the odd person who asked me if I ‘worked’ as well as being a mum and looking after other people’s children.

The situation gets worse when your kids are up and off to school, when people often seem a bit bemused when asking about what you’re doing these days and when you’re planning on getting back into the workplace. I’ve been called a ‘lady of leisure’ and referred to as ‘retired’, as I ramble on about how I support my self employed husband with his admin, chair my kids’ school PTA, do my blogging and writing projects and generally run around after my children and the dog while my husband works long hours and travels regularly. Amongst all this rambling there is no defined job title, just a jumbled mashup of tasks and the realisation that I’m trying to convince my listener that no, I’m definitely not lazy.

But really, why do I feel I have to? The truth is, I know very few people, stay-at-home mums or not, who don’t want to contribute something, be valuable and make a difference in their own and other peoples’ lives. Society might tell us we need a fancy job title to be respected, but in reality I’d prefer to make my judgements of a person based on what they are rather than what they say they do. I recently watched an interview with Barack Obama in which he discussed the guidance he offered his children on how to live their lives. His message to his daughters was simple: try to be useful, and be kind. If you can be these two things, then I think the rest will follow. And while there isn’t usually a box for going around being useful and kind on occupation choice lists; just knowing that you are trying to be both is heading in the right direction.

I found myself at another appointment recently where I got the dreaded ‘occupation’ question from a slightly older lady. Funnily enough my jumbled mashup didn’t appear on her list of standard choices and so once again I told her I fitted into the ‘stay-at-home mum’, (or perhaps it was the ‘homemaker’), category. This lady, who seemed like someone who was both useful and kind in everything she did, smiled at me and said ‘oh I think that’s just wonderful’.

And do you know what? She was absolutely right.

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11 thoughts on “Stay at Home Mummy

  1. Mom Of Two Little Girls says:

    Well done you. I often get thrown into the ‘rich and spoiled wife’ pile too, which I detest! The other day a newish friend of ours who works full time suggested I take up needlepoint because clearly I have no other duties, skills or responsibilities.


  2. Bee | Better than busy says:

    I sometimes think as parents we can’t win no matter what we do! I’m the main income earner by a long shot so I have to work, but knew I only wanted to work part-time. My husband wanted to do the same, so we both worked part-time. Some said I was “lucky” to have a husband who was happy to support my career and look after the kids (they are his kids too!) some asked me how he felt about not being the provider, others told him that he was lucky to be hanging out at home and have a sugar mama to care for him. I think we should do what works best for us and enjoy it.
    I really enjoyed this post. Just for the record: being a stay at home mum is a very valid choice and I say – good on you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • welliesontheschoolrun says:

      Aww thanks so much for your comment Bee, I’m glad you liked the article. I think you’re so right in what you say – we’re all just trying to do the best thing for our families, and part of that is recognising that other peoples’ choices are just as valid as our own:) Hope your arrangement continues to work well for you x


  3. wanderlustandwetwipes says:

    YES!!!! THIS!!!!! I feel like this ALL the time, especially the bit where you ramble on about the things that you do to fill your day. I was on a plane earlier this year (By Myself – it was so fun!) and the guy sitting next to me asked me what I did so I did the classic ramble as you described it (seriously – you and I are so similar lol) and eventually he said…why didn’t you just say you’re a stay at home mum? Is that so bad? There’s really nothing wrong with it… Took the wind right out of my sails!

    Liked by 1 person

    • welliesontheschoolrun says:

      It’s good to know there are other people out there feeling the same way isn’t it? And often we assume that the person we are talking to might be judging us, when in fact it’s often not the case at all. Hopefully we can both learn to be a bit more confident when discussing our situation! After all, the man you spoke to was completely right! 🙂 x

      Liked by 1 person

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