Are you JUST a mum then?

It’s always daunting going to a play group or soft play centre. I go for Baby L but I also go for myself as well. I go in the hope of meeting other mums’, to have a chat with an adult for an hour, to maybe develop a friendship. But it’s quite a scary environment to put yourself in to sometimes. It’s like dating all over agin but for friends and not for life partners. The normal questions will arise, how old is your little one? Are they sleeping through the night? But then the question I dread, so when are you back to work then?

Of course my answer is that I am not, not for now anyway. I am a full time stay at home mum. Sometimes that’s just enough, even if I do try and justify myself unnecessarily by saying I have started a business from home and I write a blog (which sometimes presents a whole new host of questions). But sometimes to just say you are a full time mum isn’t enough because you are presented with a reaffirmation from the person you are chatting to, are you JUST a mum then?

Well yes, yes I am, queue me trying to do the whole justification thing again.

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I understand we live in a modern world. I do. And if I’m honest I probably would work if it was worth it. You see the job I have done most of my working life was in car sales, and now that I have a family I don’t want to work till 8pm most nights and every weekend. I would never see my boys. My alternative was to work in the office but yet the salary against full time childcare left little to be desired, without any funding from the government I wouldn’t be working for much, so what was the point?

Someone asked me this exact question today, with no hurt or hard feelings behind it, and it sort of got me thinking.

What’s so wrong with just being a mum anyway?

I can’t say it’s the easiest thing I have ever done. Being solely responsible for this little boy each day without any help is tiring in itself. Sometimes I feel like I may have sang twinkle twinkle little star until I am blue in the face. Some days my brain feels like it has turned to mush because I have been subject to yet more Peppa Pig, and really how does Miss Rabbit have all those jobs anyway?

Most days I cry because the boss (Baby L) is giving me a hard time. The pasta I have cooked him is just simply not good enough and not even worth trying, the moment when he knows he is tired but yet sleeping is for wimps, the endless putting of toys away only to walk away and find the other room you just tidyed a mess again. I could go on.

It’s tedious and repetitive, like most jobs. Some days are better than others. You improvise, you become a clown, you are the shoulder to cry on, you are the target to be thrown at.

But just being a mummy is one of the best things I have ever done.

Every circumstance and situation for each and every family is different. I am extremely lucky that I didn’t have to go back to a job where I wouldn’t see my family to just make ends meet. However if I had a career or job I loved I would have gone back to that whether we were in our fortunate position or not. This isn’t about stay at home mums’ versus working mums’ because we are all JUST mums’ at some point of the day.

I just wish I didn’t feel the need to justify myself.

Have you ever felt this way?

Thanks for reading

The L’s Mum

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39 Comments

  1. Emma's Mamma May 19, 2015 / 6:09 pm

    Been there.. My job situation is so complicated (I’m an actress who technically has gone back to work but I only work if I get work so most of the time I’m a stay at home mum) and sometimes to avoid awkward followup questions I lie and say I’m not going back to work YET. But the best thing is to stop justifying oneself. Say your a stay at home mum and take pride – because you should! x

    • admin May 20, 2015 / 7:05 am

      Thank you for your kind comments, gosh that must be difficult to explain. You are right, it shouldn’t be about justifying it, i don’t know why i feel the need to sometimes. Definitely should take pride in the decisions I have made though. Thanks for reading and commenting :)

  2. beamfrost May 19, 2015 / 6:50 pm

    I feel that if it comes into conversation that I have to justify it and yes I do end up saying I am just a mum – I love being a mum and chose to be one same with staying at home

    • admin May 20, 2015 / 7:03 am

      Great opinion and it is something to be proud of. It’s just strange how we have this need to justify it when it’s no easy task being a mum anyway whether working or staying at home. Thanks for reading and commenting :)

  3. mumtoamonster May 19, 2015 / 7:00 pm

    I work to keep my sanity. I take my hat off to all you JUST a mum’s, i couldnt do it

    • admin May 20, 2015 / 7:02 am

      Aw thank you. I definitely didn’t want the post to come across as a “we have it harder” kind of opinion, to be a working mum is just as tough because you are away from your family doing a job. I do envy working mums sometimes though. Thanks for reading and commenting. :)

  4. Kerry May 19, 2015 / 7:48 pm

    I hate this too, I actually feel the ‘need’ to tell other men/my partners friends more so than other mums as I hate them thinking I am ‘just a mum’ and laze around all day.. they don’t know what it’s like being a full time mum and never will! haha great post xx

    • admin May 20, 2015 / 7:00 am

      I understand where you are coming from. Its a justification, the whole we don’t sit down and watch Jeremy Kyle all day and drink tea. Men definitely don’t realise what it’s like. I often say to my hubby I would love him to be me for a week and then see how he feels. He laughs and jokes about how easy it is, purely to wind me up haha. Thanks for reading and commenting :)

  5. Alexandra @dontcallmestepmummy May 20, 2015 / 5:02 am

    I had a choice about a year ago, I made the same decision as you. I genuinely believed I made the harder choice, because I wanted to invest in my children. Going to work would totally have been the easier option, I don’t know why people don’t understand that. At work people expect me to do what is normal for one person to do, at home I am stretched beyond my capacity pretty much every single day with no days off and trying to give my best. Often without a tea break or even peace in the toilet. Definitely the more difficult job choice for me was to be with my little ones, but I chose it because they’re worth it. You’re amazing!!! Be confident in your choice, we each do what’s best for our family in our individual situations. WAHM, WM, SAHM we’re all in this together xxx

    • admin May 20, 2015 / 6:59 am

      You are exactly right, we are all in it together. We are all mums’. I envy the working mum sometimes, but then I realise I am so lucky to experience this which is something I would never experience again. You are so right at home we are stretched, we have to be a number of things and often all at once. Thanks for reading and commenting. :)

  6. Kirsten Toyne May 20, 2015 / 6:06 am

    Being a full time mum is not the easy option. I did it and with my boys at school I am back to working. There is no way I would do it differently. I have years ahead of me to work now and I will never regret that. It gave me time with my children that I will never have again and I feel lucky to have had that.

    It is funny because my post is on a similar topic but more about what to say when asked what you do. If you are interested visit The Guilt Free Guide co uk

    Great post. Value the role you do. You are shaping another persons life and there is nothing more important than that.

    • admin May 20, 2015 / 6:58 am

      I know I have just read your post actually and love the way you describe it and the different approach. It’s just a difficult situation as we seem to live in a modern world where most women will return to their careers because they love it or have to financially, but sometimes our only option is to stay at home. Sometimes I envy the woking mother, but in a way I am so fortunate and lucky to experience this, something i will never experience again, when I can work at anytime in the future. Thanks for reading and commenting. :)

  7. All about a Mummy May 20, 2015 / 7:21 am

    Such a shame we feel the need to justify one of the hardest job in the world! #MMWBH

  8. Steph Martin (@mummyplus2) May 20, 2015 / 8:49 am

    I can totally relate to this and it is such a shame that we feel the need to justify our decisions. After nearly 4 years of being a stay at home mum I am beginning to just let comments go over my head. I have spent so much time being upset about silly ignorant comments from friends, family & strangers about my choice to be a stay at home mum and it really isn’t worth it. It suits our family, my children are thriving and I know how much I do everyday! Great post :) x

  9. Louise (Little Hearts, Big Love) May 20, 2015 / 11:58 am

    It is a shame that we feel that we need to justify being a mum – if we were paid for looking after children all day would we feel the need to justify it? And yet as mums we are doing the most important job ever – we are bringing up the next generation and helping shape and encourage them, teaching them and helping them to grow and become the wonderful little people they are. Yes, it is tedious and repetitive at times (and I have days when the thought of going out to work is a very appealing one!) but those moments when they give you sticky kisses and say “I love you Mummy” make all those challenging moments worth it.

  10. motherhoodtherealdeal May 20, 2015 / 12:15 pm

    Love this post. And the answer is – Yes always! But then I try to hang around with people that don’t make me feel like I need to justify myself and that seems to solve the problem until the next need to justify myself! #sharewithme

  11. entertainingelliot May 20, 2015 / 4:17 pm

    I sometimes feel that mums who want to stay at home and bring up the kids are kinda frowned apon, it’s seen as a bit old fashioned! And I’ve had the occasional “Your son doesn’t go to nursery?! But he’s missing out on essential learning!”…he’s 2, he’s very bright and he’ll be going to pre-school next year! I love being a stay at home mum and I feel very fortunate that I can do this :)

  12. Ashley Beolens May 20, 2015 / 4:42 pm

    What is wrong with “just” being a mum? I’ve never understood people who look down on what others do (although I make exceptions for looking down on politicians), we all make choices in life that are not what others would do but that doesn’t make them any more valid.

  13. Tarana Khan May 20, 2015 / 6:53 pm

    Yes, I’ve felt this way! When you tell someone you’re a stay-at-home mom, they pause, expecting you to add something. But it’s such a tough job, don’e people realize that?

    • moderatemum May 21, 2015 / 5:34 am

      I just stare that silence into submission! :)

  14. gemmacapocci83 May 20, 2015 / 7:34 pm

    I absolutely relate to your post! I have been a stay-at-home for pushing three years and sometimes I still say I am a freelance PR, because I feel like I’ll be judged if I don’t. That I’m not a feminist, that I have given up my career or that I am somehow less interesting for being “just” a mum. Whilst my brain is most definitely not as it was, I am not suddenly devoid of personality because I spend a lot of my time wiping bums. It’s complicated, but I know from my working mummy pals that they have complex feelings about it too.

  15. orana May 21, 2015 / 9:27 am

    Just today I was having a conversation with a friend who has been trying to convince me to get back into the workforce and start doing Bridal Makeup again. Every time he says it, I cringe at the idea and say yea yea I don´t know, maybe later. And he says, but you need your independence you can be JUST a mom forever! I always shrugged him off, changed the subject. But today I made the decision to tell him that no, Im not going back to doing Bridal Makeup or any makeup that means going to work. If he wants to do a fun photoshoot and have me with him, I can do “makeup” with goldleaf or some watercolor pencils. It was a strong moment for me, my personal art projects need to be given importance and telling him that I was done with makeup as a job was really fullfilling. ok rant over. Nice post btw. I also suffer the “I just cleaned that” moments and try not to cry, although I do, A LOT.

  16. John Adams May 21, 2015 / 9:33 am

    …and then there are us stay at home dads to contend with! For us just getting a mum to talk to us can be a challenge. Once it happens, however, we talk about the same things; potty training, schools, homework etc. And yes, starting a blog and cottage industry does lead to many other questerions. #MMWBH

  17. Leanne May 22, 2015 / 5:25 pm

    You should never have to explain yourself! It is a modern world which means mums and dads have the freedom to choose how they want to manage the home/work balance – & there’s nothing wrong in choosing to stay at home, you definitely don’t have to justify it! Xx

  18. mummyofboygirltwins May 23, 2015 / 12:25 pm

    Oh yes I have felt like this! I left a good job, career and very responsible position to be a SAHM and yet it never feels as good saying that I am ‘just a Mum’ when people ask what I do!! Although I don’t care. It took me years to have the twins and now here they are and I wouldn’t swap my life for the world! It’s one very important and difficult job! Jess x

  19. Jenny @ Let's Talk Mommy May 26, 2015 / 1:00 pm

    I have read a few posts this week declaring our “just a mom at home” status. I love it. The modern world you would think would have caught up by now. I still had saying I am a stay at home mom to certain people in public settings. While now I work fulltime from home with the kids I should have never felt like that. Great post. Thank you so much for linking up to Share With Me. Hope to see you again tomorrow. #sharewithme

  20. Debs @ Super Busy Mum May 26, 2015 / 8:41 pm

    When people say something like “So, you’re just a Mum then?” clearly have no idea what being a Mum involves. Fools. Rise above. Mums rock! End of. Fact! 😉 Thanks for linking up with #MMWBH x

  21. Olivia June 14, 2015 / 10:11 pm

    I think that there is s huge problem with today’s society that being ‘just’ a mum is not good enough. As though we have been replaced by washing machines and dishwashers. As though we should run ourselves ragged trying to work all day and then clean, cook or have a few minutes to guiltily play with the children before bedtime. It’s wrong, it’s all wrong! Never apologise for wanting to be where you are needed most!! You are irreplaceable to your children and these short years are irreplaceable too. People always ask me why my two year old isn’t in nursery, as though other girls with some level 1 childcare qualification could do better than me.
    Have faith in yourself, you are doing the right thing. It is a real real shame that society views it differently in this current world.

    • admin June 15, 2015 / 1:31 pm

      Thank you so much for reading and your lovely comments. I also get the nursery question as well. I definitely feel like we made the right choice for us, and thankfully having more faith in that decision. :)

  22. RachelInRealLife June 17, 2015 / 6:29 am

    I absolutely understand this, as a stay at home mum of a child who is in school, I often get asked when I will return to work. At the moment, I don’t have an answer due to my health. I might not ever be able to return to work, in the traditional sense but the job I do as a stay at home mum is far tougher some days, particularly on my worse days. It’s frustrating that whatever choices we make in life we feel we have to justify them.

  23. yellowbelly mummy July 16, 2015 / 10:15 am

    Great post – and I totally agree, why do we need to justify ourselves? As if looking after small people and ensuring their survival isn’t enough. When I was little my mum, and the majority of other kid’s mums stayed at home to look after them – there was no pressure on them ‘to get back to work’ and in all honesty, I think the world was a better place for this. A great thought-provoking read.

  24. Kirsten Toyne July 28, 2015 / 4:17 pm

    I used to say full time mum although I had other stuff on the go because I wanted to own the fact that what I do 98% of the time is being a full time mum. It is different now my boys are older but back then it was easy to feel the need to justify or feel a bit uninteresting. Stick to your guns. Knowing your own value is what counts. Kirsten

  25. The Uncheshire wife August 6, 2015 / 11:21 am

    I never feel the need to justify myself as a SAHM but I was 40 when I had my boy.(15 now). I have loved being at home for him after school and on holidays. When he was 13 I was approached about a fab job in a museum, it’s only a couple of days a month but I still hate it that I’m not in when he gets home, but of course he loves it. Do what you want and are able to do x

  26. Laura Pilkington August 17, 2015 / 7:32 am

    What a brilliant post and I can 100% understand it. I’m a SAHM and feel like I have to justify it ALL THE TIME. When I meet new mums out and about I always dread the question of ‘when are you going back to work then?’, my answer is always a mumbled ‘I’m not’ and then they always ask ‘what do you do all day then?’ With an added look of shock – I actually never know what to say to this, what the hell do they think I do? I look after my child. I don’t just sit around all day on my backside, which I think is what half the mums I have this conversation with think I do.

    My partner and I decided we’d be better off if I stayed at home and I was more than happy with that. My wage would have paid for me not to see my little boy for five days a week and they’d be nothing left for anything else. We don’t get any government help and we also don’t have any family nearby to help with childcare (both our families are four hours away).

    So the northerner in me sometimes comes out and I tell them all of the above but still they don’t seem to get it.

    I actually think some mums are a little jealous and wish that they were able to stay at home with their children. This is what I tell myself anyway. But at least I’ll be around to experience all my little ones firsts. They are only little for so long and I want to be around to see them every day and know that when I’m older I can turn round and say that I was there for all of it,

    Both my mum and my partners mum stayed at home when we were little. It just doesn’t seem to be the ‘done’ thing anymore.

    Anyway, there’s my justification and little rant.

    Thank you for writing that post, I’m so glad it’s not just me that feels like I do.

    Laura x

  27. min1980 September 6, 2015 / 7:24 am

    I agree with the comment above, that some mums may be a bit jealous, because as a working mum I AM a bit jealous! As a single parent I have no choice but to work full time, and I often wonder what I would do if things were different. Everyone makes the choice that is right for them and their family, and no one choice is more valid than any other. You don’t have to justify yourself to anybody.

  28. kayli September 8, 2015 / 8:22 pm

    Hi, I am going back to work full time next March but my mam was a stay at home mam and I loved it!I loved always having someone there when I got home from school, or someone always there to play with before I started school. I think my mam had a harder job being a stay at home mam than my dad did going to work and I do admire everyone who can stay at home full time.
    I would stay at home if we could afford it but with the mortgage and bills etc it’s just not possible as I earn more than my husband. As it is I do feel guilty going back to work and not because of what other people think but because I think I should be at home with baby and making sure she is getting the stimulation and care that she needs.
    I am sorry that you feel you have to justify yourself sometimes as I think it is wonderful what you do
    Xxx

  29. bubbablue September 21, 2015 / 10:43 am

    If you made the choice and are happy with it then I don’t know why you should feel guilty about that, whatever people ask, when really it’s none of their business.

    I work full time (ideally I’d do a bit shorter hours, but I took a big paycut to get this job which is 10 mins commute vs 1 hour commute). I work because I’d go spare, my OH would expect me to do housework all the time (vs now, when he still expects me to do it, but I don’t because I’ve better things to do with my time like spend precious weekends and evenings with N). But also for the adult conversation, responsibility and the money. Because I earn more than the OH, who’s self employed and has sporadic money in being a farmer, and if I was a SAHM, N is now at school, but I wouldn’t have the money to see my friends all the time.

    I have a couple of friends who’re SAHM, and some who work part time (and in my view have the best of both worlds). Round here, it’s not really seen as normal to stay at home – certainly the school don’t cater for the fact that most mums in this day and age work. I have to say, I’m not sure what my SIL does all day (other than occasional accounts for the farm, cleaning, and some reading in school, now both her sons are at school. I could happily spend my SAH time if I had it, blogging.I can definitely understand it during the younger years, and being able to do volunteering and school runs etc, but I know it wouldn’t be for me. I’m just not hard-core enough to be able to stomach children (even my own) and the house 7 days a week.

  30. Kyles September 21, 2015 / 12:55 pm

    I have a toddler and a baby and teach casually at a university, so for parts of the year I work and for other parts I don’t. There is judgement either way from other people. I find myself justifying my decisions in ridiculous ways. When I started a teaching semester when my second baby was just three weeks old, I would say to people “I’m working so that I can be a stay at home mum.” It made sense in my head because working that job meant that I was in a better financial position in terms of being a SAHM for the majority of the year. Also I was very, very tired all of the time so sometimes crazy things made sense and sensible things seemed crazy. For me, there are pros and cons of being a SAHM and of being a working mum. You just have to know that the decision is right for you and not worry about what anyone else thinks. Easier said than done!

  31. Sarah September 21, 2015 / 8:27 pm

    Great post and so true! Great post- this is such a divisive issue that saying ” I stayed home to be with my child/children as it was the best thing for our family” is the truth, but often cant be said as it seems to be a judgement on others (its not btw!) I totally respect the choices of women who work and who stay at home and wish this was less of a hot potato. As one friend of mine always says, everyone is making tough choices.

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