Friday 6 December 2013

Is being a SAHM a job?

Chelsea Mamma lit the touch paper and let it her post here.  Is being a Stay At Home Mum (whatever the circumstances) a 'job'??

I know there are many different reasons for being a SAHM, you may have had circumstances forced on you, you may have chosen to give up your job.
No ones life is the same and I am sure there will be many SAHM's who will disagree with me entirely and argue their life is far more challenging than ours however this is MY LIFE I am talking about.   I am making no accusations about anyone else's life  am simply outlining how I see it as a working mum and my experiences and observations on/ with my SAHM friends.

Let me fill you in.... I'm a mum.... a working mum.  I have 2 small boys (Noah, 2y 7m and Ben, 5).  Both me and my husband have 30h a week jobs.  That is we leave the house at 7.45am and 9am and return somewhere between 6 and 9pm (depending on shifts).
We knew we couldn't afford not to go to work. As much as we would have LOVED to be stay at home parents with our boys and watch them grow every step of the way we simply couldn't afford it.
Do we love our jobs?  NO!
Would I call our jobs 'careers'?  NO!
Would we happily ditch them if we won the lottery? YES!  
Do i miss the fact the early years of my boys lives was basically missed by me because when I was at home I didn't have any quality time to spend with them as I was catching up on all the things that hadn't been done while I was at work? YES!!!

We spent hours trying to 'rota' our work around our chidlren, and then get our jobs to agree to it. For the early years of our boys lives I was at home with them 3 days a week, hubby was at home a different 3 days and on the last day they went to a childminders.
This caused the problem of  "argg Ben's sick on Childminder day which one of us will loose a days pay to look after him?"  When the childminder went on holiday one of us had to take a days leave to be at home with the boys.
  Now Ben's started school and we've had to have a work rethink.  Now I have Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays off and my husband has Monday - Thursday off.  There is always one of us at home with the children but we are by no means Stay At Home Parents.

If we want to spend any time together as a family one of us has to take holiday from work.  Even Bank Holidays can be discounted as if they fall on my husbands working day he has to go to work.

What about the rest of family life?  What about the washing, cleaning, hoovering, ironing, shopping?  Well it's done with one or both boys in tow.  Oh and did I mention we don't have a car....... so yes shopping is done online or hung on the back of a buggy!

..... how many times have I heard my SAHM friends complain about how they "don't have the time to...."  or "can't meet on x day because they are 'sooo busy'".  Stop the clock.... I can keep a house tidy, I can organise our finances, I even manage to take the kids on trips out.  
   How many times have they moaned that they "Can't fit that in this week".
                                 My favourite was when I asked my SAHM friend if she'd like to meet on Friday and take the kids to the local museum.... "no, I've already planned to take x there twice this week".... yet she didn't have any other suggestions.... I'd have been happy with a coffee and play centre.  So we didn't meet up..... I still took the boys :)

Additionally I have learnt that weekends are 'family time'.   Never ask another mother to meet up on a Saturday or Sunday as they will be somewhere exciting with their partner.

Mummy friends
  This is rubbed in my face almost constantly.   Why should I be shunned at the school gates because I work?    Apparently all the mummies in the playground know each other, they clearly meet up at baby/ toddler group a few times a week while the bigger ones are in school.    I thought Ben's party would be a great time to make mummy friends but no.... only 2 actually acknowledge/ talk to me still.  And one of them organised a meet up with other mums/ kids for next week in front of me in the playground today.

   How many SAHM's make blogging their full time job??   I've recently been outraged (no that's too a strong a word) angered by businesses who will only look twice at blogs with a massive following.... a following I will never reach as I cannot spend 24/7 working on writing my posts and talking to PR companies.
  I've been shot down so many times by the "oh yes, send us an email with some more information on" to then receive responses such as "no we're only using the current bloggers" or "your following isn't big enough".   or WORSE - NO response!!!  Whilst I appreciate why businesses want to attach themselves to those with a big following what happened to those who are passionate about advertising the brands?  If you have no intentions of working with anyone new it would be polite to say so before they have wasted an hour composing a personal email centered around your organisation and products..
       Well I'm going to give up on that chapter of my blog now, I'm going back to my original plan which was to continue to use the blog for ME!!  To post what I THINK!!  and perhaps enter a couple of competitions using it.  Yes, I may still contact companies when they ask for bloggers but I'll no longer have any hopes they may actually select little old me.

Whilst I realise the next bit bears no relation to SAHM's it is something that my friends, SAHM's or not, take for granted in their own lives so I thought I'd add it while I'm ranting :). 

Friends and Family....... I've never really made any fantastic friends in Sheffield, my friends live in Manchester or worse over 200 miles away, just as my family do and just as my husbands family do.   I can't just offload the boys on my mum while I nip out for a haircut and Christmas shopping is interesting/ creative with the recipients in tow.  I can't even take Ben to a Saturday am cinema showing as there is no-one to look after Noah., and if I take both and Noah kicks off through boredom them Ben has to leave too.

As for going on a night out..... well just today my colleagues were off for their work Christmas meal/ night out.... where was I  .... at home fighting with my boys because they didn't want to go to bed. Daddy was working late and couldn't get any holiday leave so I simply couldn't go out..... it's the same every time, I miss out on a lot because of how we arrange our work patterns.  With the price of a babysitter my and hubby go out once a year as it's simply too expensive otherwise.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing this on Archive Day Laura! Sounds like you really have your work cut out for you working and looking after the boys. I really hate that you feel shunned by other mums for working. Ive long hated the 'battle' between Working mums and SAHMs because everyone has their own reasons for doing what they do! I dont think anyone should be judged for their choices.
    I am a WAHM partly through choice and, while I would never change it for the world, it can get increasingly difficult to get everything done that I need to - but this is partly due to my OH being at work and then gigging 4 nights a week. If it's any consolation I feel shunned by certain circles because I chose to not return to my job! I dont think looking after D is a job at all, everything else I choose to do around it, however, is.
    Thanks for sharing this it is really interesting to read a bit more about your life! Let's hope that lottery win comes through for you guys x