Do you really know stay-at-home moms?
We asked our community for the biggest misconceptions about women who raise children full time, and you had so. Much. To. Say. TL;DR: It's hard, rewarding and fulllll of surprises.
Here are the 10 biggest misconceptions about stay-at-home moms, according to our amazing community.
That we're not feminists
“Automatically believing that choosing to be a stay-at-home mother is antithetical to feminism relies on several axioms about men, women... perpetuated by the very forces feminism fights against," Jamie Kenney writes at Romper.
In other words—saying that full-time motherhood is anti-feminist is deeply unfair to women.
See also: No one's worth is defined in any way by their job title or paycheck. By judging a woman's accomplishments by her career or salary, we're defining ourselves according to patriarchal values.
That we're lazy
Only someone who has never taken care of kids full-time could accuse stay-at-home moms of laziness. It's a 24/7, all-hands-on-deck, no-breaks kind of job.
That we can get work done while watching kids
Lots of women juggle work and babies from home, but it's not easy.
“People think that I can work from home while my daughter plays next to me! Uhhh no. I'll type two sentences at a time before running to whatever precarious situation she's gotten into."
BRB baby's eating the laptop cord.
That we can pick up all the slack
Stay-at-home moms have schedules and obligations just like everyone else—so don't assume that we can just pick up all the slack in all of our community groups.
Jennifer, a mom of three, explains:
“People think that I have time to head every single volunteer thing for every kid at every activity and school."
But in reality, she has tons of obligations. See also: three young kids.
That we're bored
Um, no. Between the antics of potty training, teaching ABCs, taking our little one to fun activities and getting to bond with these small souls, we keep ourselves quite entertained, thankyouverymuch.
One Motherly reader explains: “I get all the time, 'You must be bored' or 'You must sleep late.' HA. My kid rises at 5:30 before many are up to go to their 9 to 5. And he expects a fully participating mom who can keep up with him."
That we don't care about our careers
Most stay-at-home moms plan to go back to work someday—we're just planning to spend these years with our babies.
Millennial mothers are the most educated generation of moms ever. Full stop. And with more companies like The Mom Project and Après working to on-ramp women after their time staying at home, it's clear that mothering full-time can be a pause in our career journeys, but not the end of the line. Onward!
That we don't need breaks
Elizabeth, a mom of two, has been a working mama and a stay-at-home mom. She says:
“Either way, I feel I am busy, whether I am working or staying home with my kids. The misconception that SAHMs aren't as busy as working moms is definitely not true. SAHMs are busy, just in a different way. I am just as exhausted come nighttime being a SAHM as when I worked."
That we're "just" moms
Aside from being super offensive (what's more impressive than making humans with your body and raising them to be good people?), it's just not true that stay-at-home moms lack an identity outside of motherhood.
“Our identity isn't only in being a mama. We desire a life and identity outside of motherhood, too!" fabulous mama Cole Portocarrero explains.
That we don't experience mom guilt
Mom guilt isn't just something that working moms feel.
Motherly's video editor, Juli Williams, says that she experienced mom guilt as a stay-at-home mom... for all kinds of reasons:
“By letting my kid watch TV—a little too much—so I can get a break. By being on my phone instead of reading that book for the 1,000th time. By falling asleep during nap time instead of washing the dishes, cleaning the bathrooms or switching that load of laundry. By saying no to that play date because I didn't shower and blame it on the kids being sick. By ordering food instead of cooking at night. People think we shouldn't really feel guilty because we're supposedly at home with our babies, but at the same time, we have super-high expectations of all of the Pinterest projects we should be doing because of 'all the time we have.' In reality, we're just trying to make sure our children are alive," she says.
Aren't we all?
That staying at home is no fun
Kids are hilarious, creative, adorable and fascinating.
Reader mama Whit has this to say:
“I think a big misconception is that it's joyless. I'm sure lots of us have read the statistic that says most mothers enjoy housework more than childcare ? . I can tell you firsthand staying home with kids is sometimes SO HARD, but I feel that in order to validate our choice to stay home with our kids, we stay-at-home moms sometimes focus on how hard it is rather than how wonderful our opportunity to spend so much time with our kids is. And there are so many moments of fun and, yes, joy."
To our fellow stay-at-home mamas rocking life on the home front: Motherhood looks so good on you. You've got this.
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