I’m a stay at home mum

Stay at home mum - Ever-changing Life of a Mum“So what do you do?”

For some reason, I still find that tough to answer. It tends to be one of the first questions that gets asked when I meet someone new at any outing. I know it’s just polite small talk, but I always stumble on the answer.

“I’m not working at the moment. I’m a stay at home mum.”

Usually this is followed by a set of raised eyebrows to which I then find the need to justify myself.

“So you don’t work then?”

“Well, I was media and communications advisor but quit my full time  job in the middle of last year to spend more time with my family. Actually, I am a freelance writer and sometimes I do some casual work for my previous employer, but not much, plus I have set up my own blog.”

Um, excuse me? Who am I?

Why do I find it so hard to define what I do? And why do I feel the need to clarify what I do with my time to a complete stranger? And it really does make me wonder – are stay at home mums such a rarity these days?

I loved my job and it was one of the toughest decisions I have ever made to walk away from my career, but at the same time it was also one of the clearest and easiest decisions.

For me,  my family always come first, and when I felt like my husband and children were slipping away and life was spiralling out of control I knew things needed to change. As my children grow older, I feel they need me to be there for them now more than ever before. So yes, I am a stay at home mum.

But how do I explain all that to someone I have just met? And should I even need to justify myself? While I have received a lot of positive support for making such a bold move for me and my family, sometimes I still feel like I am being judged for my decision and then dismissed like I no longer matter.

Truthfully, I never thought I’d be a stay at home mum. I didn’t think I was cut out for it. However, I think enough time has passed since leaving my job for the novelty to wear off and I can honestly say I don’t regret it.

I’m the lucky mum of three girls, including a newborn who was a surprise little package that entered the world at the end of March and has slotted right into our family like she was always meant to be.

Life with a newborn can be tough and my days are quite erratic. Some days I feel like Super Mum and everything falls into place, but then there are other days when not much gets done, like nothing at all.

When I worked it was easy to fob it off and tell myself that I’m a busy working mum, I don’t have time for everything. Now that I’m at home, the guilt trip sets in and I put a lot of pressure on myself. But it really shouldn’t be that way.

At times like this, I try to step back, breathe and realise that I am doing the best I can. Both days are OK. In reality, I have the most important job of all and that is raising my three beautiful daughters to be confident, resilient young women.

I’m fully entrenched in the world of motherhood and I’m loving it! Some days I don’t even know who I am anymore, in a good way, but I’m going with it because it feels right.

I still absolutely love writing – it’s a passion I have always had and I don’t think it will ever leave me, it’s also what keeps this blog going! But I have since discovered a renewed interest in so many other things – reading, baking, yoga, craft. Last week I even bought a sewing machine … yes, a sewing machine! I don’t think I have touched one since Year 8 textiles class. And the same goes for the crochet hook and yarn that somehow came home with me on that trip to Spotlight!

Everything just feels so right. Right for me, right for my family.

So, the next time someone asks me what I ‘do’, I’m going to hold my head up high and say “I’m a stay at home mum”. The end.

50 thoughts on “I’m a stay at home mum

  1. I’m not really sure what to call myself at the moment to be honest. I decided not to go back to work after my maternity leave finished last year and so I was a full-time SAHM from July. However this year I have gone to tafe and am now there 3 days a week, so I’m never sure what to put on things that ask for occupation, am I student, a SAHM, I’m not sure. I love being at home with the girls, but I am also loving Tafe, not just because I get to spend three days in the company of adults who share an interest in my passion, but because I am equipping myself with skills that will allow me to work part-time and flexibly when I want to. I’ve never understood why people get a bit funny about people being a SAHM, it’s the best job in the world, and most of the people I know would love it, especially my husband! He would definitely be a SAHD if I had a job that paid as well as his does. He’s a much better housewife than I am, he totally puts me to shame, he really should be the one staying home!

  2. Having been a stay at home mum and a working mum I honestly think a stay at home mum is the toughest and yet most rewarding job you could do. Hold that head high beautiful – and keep being proud of what you do xx

  3. I’m in the exact same boat Erika. It’s a real life change going from full time work to full time mum and you no longer earn a wage. You’re suddenly solely dependant on your husband to provide. Being independent for so long it really was hard to get use to. You eventually realise that you’re a team, both doing all the jobs that make your family tick!

  4. I struggle with this too. I often find myself saying that I’m ‘just’ a mum. I cringe every time but I keep on doing it. I wrote a post about it a year or so ago actually. I find I am appreciating being at home more and more now.

  5. I remember being asked the same question when I was a SAHM, I really hated it and wondered why on earth I had to explain it. I think the nicest response I ever had though was when my son was in hospital and I went down to the cafe to get my coffee fix after a long night. While waiting for my coffee the cafe owner enquired about me and I explained I was staying with my son at the hospital. He asked ‘what do you do’ and I responded with ‘ah, just a stay at home mum.’ The man was quick to correct me and said ‘no, you’re not JUST a stay at home mum, a stay at home mum is a very important job, good on you.’ I will never ever forget that statement. Good on you for taking such a huge leap.

  6. Juicy topic! I actually haven’t felt judged when I’ve called myself a SAHM and I quite often now say that I’m a mother and a yoga teacher, because to me the mother part comes first. Let’s face it, being a mother is a huge and important job! You just have to watch movies such as “three men & a baby” or “the pacifier” !

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