Since becoming a mother I have noticed how people love to ask questions:
- So what do you do?
- Is it your day off?
- Are you working part time?
- What do you do all day?
- When are you going back to work?
I hate questions like this, and constantly find myself having to justify my choices.
Why do these questions revolve around my job status? At times I’ve found myself waiting in line to pay at a coffee shop or supermarket only to be asked in a general conversation if it’s my day off today.
Maybe I don’t work, maybe it is my day off, maybe I have recently been laid off or maybe I work for myself. The list of answers seem endless—and frankly, none of their business.
There are so many choices and options in today's day and age that no one really needs to be categorized. The questions and maybe even judgments never seem to stop.
I do not understand why we live in a time where everything and everyone always needs a label or has to be placed in some category.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s natural to fall into certain categories, but the problem I have is when other people decide to question me, label me and then make judgements on my “role.” Only I should be able to label myself, it is my prerogative.
I regularly hear mothers saying; “Oh she is a part-time mom”—what mother is ever a part-time mom? When you are not with your children do you suddenly stop being a mother? Regardless of whether you’re at work or on a beach with your girlfriends, being a mother isn’t like having an on/off switch, so how is anyone a part time mom?
Another term I hear regularly is working mom. Does that mean that mothers who choose to stay home are not working (because it sure doesn’t feel like a vacation)? Working does not always have to be a 9-5 paid role does it?
“She is a homemaker/housewife.” This one I will never understand. Does this mean people who work full-time or part-time are not homemakers? Surely they work and also look after their homes. All of us that have homes, in my eyes, are homemakers.
If I were to categorize myself at this stage in my life I suppose the stay-at-home mom (SAHM) term would apply. But truthfully trying to stimulate and entertain two children under the age of four means I’m hardly ever at home. So to me, this label seems incorrect. I try my best to be out with my children as much as I can. Stimulating, caring and ultimately teaching my children at home all day is one of the hardest things I have ever had to do.
Whatever I choose to be or whichever category or label the world decides to slot me into, I have realized that nobody has the right to judge me, nor should I care.
People make choices. Some mothers are at work (out of choice or due to circumstance) some work from home, some may be at home caring for their children, but at the end of the day we are all mothers and instead of questioning or judging one another, I feel like we should be standing side by side supporting one another.
Other people may question us but as mothers we need to empower other mothers to feel good about the decisions we make for our families and ourselves.