This topic comes up time and time again amongst all the mummies I know. In fact, someone brought it up to me today. So I felt I just had to write about it! I think the comment today was:
"Stay at home mums that say it is a full time job make me sick, I have to work a REAL job and look after my kids when I get home! I have to work to pay their benefits for them to be able to stay at home!"
Now, if this mummy hadn't been a good friend of mine I have to say I might have lost it with her! I really had to bite my tongue....First of all I understand there are mums that fall into this category, but this DOES NOT apply to ALL stay at home mums! Take myself for example. I have always worked since I was old enough. I had a weekend job all through secondary school, all the time I was at uni studying full time I worked evenings and weekends to support myself. I have paid tax all my adult life. Also, I would happily work if that is what it took to support my child. Luckily though my partner works extremely hard and we can afford to have me stay at home with Holly. That being said, we are extremely careful with money, we have saved money throughout our relationship in order to be comfortable once we started our family and I'm very careful with spending. I'm not too proud to buy second hand goods and clothes either. We receive very little support from the government in terms of benefits because of David's salary, despite the fact that he has to pay MORE tax! So no, my friend does not have to work and pay tax to support me! I have paid my own way, and my partner pays enough tax towards the tiny amount of support we receive from the government. I am not saying all of this to complain as I understand why we receive such a small amount of benefits. I also understand how lucky I am to be able too see my child grow up when others have to work. Ultimately I feel I am doing the best thing for my family and I feel Holly will benefit from having me with her at home. That doesn't mean that being a stay at home mum isn't hard work as some working mums seem to suggest! Being with a child all day is draining, it can be lonely if you are limited in your contact with other adults. Your daily tasks can seem as if they are never ending and repetitive. I still wouldn't change it for the world though!
With all that said in support of staying at home, I want to say for the record that I think there is absolutely nothing wrong with being a working mum. If you have to work, or want to work I have so much respect for you! I cannot imagine how hard it must be to firstly have to leave your children to go to work and then to have to come home and work at being a mummy too! It must be extremely tiring, but if you can do it you should be extremely proud of yourself! You are setting a good example to your child/children by working and showing them the importance of hard work.
Ultimately what you choose to do as a mother is exactly that, YOUR CHOICE. Everyone has different circumstances and for that reason I feel it is not for me to be judgemental. Life is hard enough without other peoples negativity weighing you down! Whatever you do as a mother I think the important thing is that you are doing the best job you know how to do for your child and if other people don't like it then tough! If you are happy with your choice, I'll be happy for you. So whatever your circumstances, I support you whole-heartedly. Us mummies should stick together!