Being a stay at home parent isn’t easy. It’s far from easy.
It’s relentless and exhausting, but wonderful at the same time.
It’s being woken up early, cuddling, painting, baking, kissing bruised knees, going to the park, hanging out at toddler groups and serving up lunch.
7 Reasons Why We Need To Stop Shaming Stay-At-Home Mamas
Looking after young children is a demanding job. There are needs to be met, tantrums to be survived and adventures to be had.
It’s the best and worst job in the world. One minute, you feel like the luckiest parent in the world to spend so much time with your children and, the next, you’d swap anything for just an hour to yourself.
One thing that makes parenting more difficult, is the judgement we all face from other people.
How you give birth, how you feed your baby, whether you work – all of these things leave us open to judgement, but it doesn’t have to be that way.
We have the power, right now, to say no to parent shaming, and we should. Parenting is hard enough without worrying what other people think of you all of the time.
Stay-at-home mamas (SAHM) are some of the most harshly judged, but it’s time to end the shaming. Here are 7 reasons why:
#1: Being A SAHM Is Only Part Of Who She Is
We’re all guilty of making snap judgements about people, we do it subconsciously. We take a little piece of information about a person and use it to make a judgement.
Upon hearing a woman is a SAHM, many assume she’s loaded, she has it easy and she watches television all day. These judgements hold us back and prevent us from making real connections with the people around us.
Don’t assume you know what a person’s life is like just because they’re a SAHM. Reach out, get to know her and find out who she really is, because she’s so much more than a SAHM.
#2: She’s Not Judging You
Sometimes, we judge as a defense mechanism. We make assumptions that because we have made different choices, a person may judge us and so we immediately judge them first. Doesn’t that sound like a huge waste of energy?
Most likely, she hasn’t judged you. She doesn’t care whether you work part-time or spend 60 hours a week in a high-flying job. Imagine how much nicer the world would be if we all stopped judging each other based on misinformed preconceptions and instead spent some time getting to know each other.
#3: Being A SAHM Can Be Isolating
Being a mama can be isolating, especially if you’re at home with the kids all day.
Young children aren’t exactly great conversationalists and a SAHM doesn’t get to disappear to a workplace filled with chatting, gossiping colleagues every few days.
She’s home with her kids and that’s not always easy. So reach out to that stay-at-home mama and say hi. She’s probably hoping to see a friendly adult face today and have an adult conversation.
#4: It’s Not An Easy Job
Being around kids all day isn’t easy, even when they’re your own. It can be draining to spend your day negotiating with tantruming toddlers, cluster-feeding babies and playing endless games of shopkeepers with preschoolers.
She doesn’t spend her days knee deep in glitter while she bakes perfect cupcakes in the kitchen and sings nursery rhymes to her smiling happy kids.
She wipes runny noses and dirty bottoms, and sometimes she hides in the bathroom because she wants five minutes to herself. She doesn’t have an easy job just because her work is taking care of her family.
#5: She Doesn’t Always Love Staying Home
Some days, being a SAHM is the best thing ever and she feels privileged to be able to do it. Those are probably the days when she’s had a decent sleep, all the kids are happy and playing nicely together, the house is tidy and everyone has a good day.
Then there are the other days. You know, the days which leave most parents collapsed on the couch at 7pm. The days where everything goes wrong. You wake up exhausted and short-tempered, your kids wake up evil, everything goes wrong and you spend all day in a battle of wills.
SAHMs have those days too, plenty of them, so don’t assume she’s high on the joys of motherhood just because she doesn’t go to a place of employment.
#6: We’re All Just Doing Our Best
The world would be a happier place to live if we all focused on what we were doing instead of worrying about how other people were living their lives.
It doesn’t matter whether a parent works, doesn’t work or juggles working from home, we’re all just doing the best we can for our families – and that’s all that really matters, right?
You don’t know why that mama decided to stay home with her kids, so just trust she’s doing her best and she knows you’re doing yours.
#7: We Need To End The ‘Mommy Wars’
The ‘mommy wars’ are used to sell products. It’s a theme which crops up in advertising campaigns across the globe, as though parents can only be friends with people who parent exactly like them.
Breastfeeders lined up on one side and formula feeders on the other, like the boy-girl split at a school end of term dance.
Gentle parents casting suspicious glances at controlled criers who whisper about not making rods for their own backs.
Who cares? Not me and probably not you, either. You know who cares? Corporations do, because exploiting this idea helps them to sell products.
Don’t buy into it, there are no ‘mommy wars’. There are mamas, all individuals, all doing their best, all loving their kids. That’s it.
Let’s move on from mama-shaming now and instead try to create a supportive and friendly community in which we can all raise our kids.