It's ok to hate being a SAHM. Ok?
I am just going to come right out and say it. I HATE being a stay at home mum. Like, poke-a-stick-in-my-eye-and-set-it-on-fire hate it.
Do I love my kids? Yep. Do I know how lucky I am to have them? Most of the time. Am I fulfilled by having spent the last 8 years and the next god knows how many staying at home for my family? Not on your nelly I’m not! In fact, I find being a SAHM boring, frustrating, thankless, unrewarding and quite frankly, totally mind numbing.
BUT, for some reason, this position is extremely unpopular. I’ve seen others who have had the “guts” to say this publicly decried, derided, and demonised. But I can’t for the life of me figure out WHY!?! Why is it not ok at say you hate being a SAHM, but it’s ok to say you hate pretty much any other job you may have had in your life?
Why, just because someone has a vagina and a couple of functioning boobs is it expected that they stay at home with their children (for a certain period at least) and that they MUST bloody well enjoy it as well?
Yes, I get that women bare the children and therefore breastfeeding (mostly) comes with that (joy), and yes, I get that the practice is embedded in hundreds if not thousands of years’ worth of history, but just because it is, does that make it mandatorily likeable? NUTS!
In an age when we are fighting for equality as a society, why should it take so much courage to come out and say to those around you – or worse, PUBLICLY - “actually, this isn’t for me” about being at home with your children?
For example, if we arbitrarily rounded up an entire race, religion, gender, or even random suburb worth of people and told them they all had to run the local newsagent for the next two and a half years surely we wouldn’t expect them ALL to like it? Some may be happy in the role, and some may not. It is unlikely however that anyone who came out and admitted not to enjoying the experience be shouted down as ‘heartless’, ‘a bitch’, or ‘unworthy’ as has been the case for some who have done so re motherhood.
Some people absolutely LOVE being SAHMs, and that is great – for them. Some people would give anything for the opportunity to BE a SAHM, but circumstances prevent them. I AM a stay at home mother because circumstances have dictated that this is best for the family, but it has taken me a very long time to be able to “own up” to the fact that I well and truly hate it, and I always have. It’s just not for me. It doesn’t fulfil me as a whole person, and I can’t “get into” all the stuff that makes a successful SAHM the wonder that she is. Kids games? Only if I have to. Tea Parties? Noooo thank you. Craft? Kill me now! It’s. Just. Not. My. Gig. K??
We are struggling with an epidemic of depression amongst new mothers, born partly from societal pressures on women to ‘feel’ and ‘act’ a certain way as mothers. Women are scared that their own experiences of motherhood don’t resemble the fairytale we are all fed, but are too afraid or ashamed to admit it - because it is still broadly unpopular to debunk parenting stereotypes. But that is just crazy, hugely dangerous, and NEEDS TO STOP. NOW. Mothers are people, not clones. It is ridiculous to expect that every one of them will love the same thing just because they all happen to have the same anatomy.
If this is you, and you think there is something wrong with you, please STOP. The only thing wrong is the fact that not enough people (though thankfully this IS changing) have come out and paved the way for mothers to be ‘real’ about their experiences. And we deserve so much better than that.
After all, if you took the above line of thinking it would be rational to say that everyone with a comb over thinks like Donald Trump…and how much of a bad thing would THAT be!?! See? NUTS!!