Menu

When people ask what I ‘do’ all day as a SAHM—here’s what I want to say

Stimulating, caring and ultimately teaching my children at home all day is one of the hardest things I have ever had to do.

When people ask what I ‘do’ all day as a SAHM—here’s what I want to say

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.

10 must-have registry items that will change your life, mama

The baby gear heavy hitters that should be top of your list

Calling all mamas-to-be! It's a fundamental truth of (impending) motherhood that your prepping-for-baby To Do list can feel a mile long, but really the best way to feel organized is to sort out the most important item at the top of your list: your registry. Sure the items you choose to include will end up running the gamut from nice-to-haves to absolutely essential game-changers, but mamas in the know quickly learn one thing: Not all baby gear is created equal.

So while you can and should pepper your registry with adorable inclusions that aren't necessarily can't-live-withouts (go ahead, add 'em!), you should make sure you're ticking the boxes on those pieces of baby gear that can be absolute life savers once you're in full-blown mama mode. From car seats to bouncers and playmats, your play and travel gear will be some of the most obvious important items on your list, but so can unexpected things, like a super comfy baby carrier and a snooze-inducing white noise machine. So to help you sort through the must-have options, we turned to the holy grail of motherhood that is buybuy BABY and handpicked 10 of the very best essential pieces that will change your life, we promise.

Keep reading Show less
Our Partners

Every week, we stock the Motherly Shop with innovative and fresh products from brands we feel good about. We want to be certain you don't miss anything, so to keep you in the loop, we're providing a cheat sheet.

So, what's new this week?

Earth Mama: Effective, natural herbal care for mamas and babies

Founded and grown in her own garage in 2002, Earth Mama started as an operation of one, creating salves, tinctures, teas and soaps with homegrown herbs. With a deep desire to bring the healing powers of nature that have been relied on for thousands of years to as many mamas as possible, Melinda Olson's formulas quickly grew into Earth Mama Organics. Since then, the brand has remained committed to manufacturing clean, safe and effective herbal solutions for the entire journey of motherhood, including pregnancy, breastfeeding and baby care, and even the loss of a baby.

Bravado Designs: Soothing sounds for a good night's sleep

With 28 years of serving pregnant and postpartum mamas under their belt, Bravado Designs is a true authority on the needs of changing bodies. It's true that we have them to thank for rescuing us from the uncomfortable and frumpy designs our own moms had to live with. Launched in Canada by two young mamas, they designed the first prototypes with extra leopard print fabric certain that a better bra was possible. Throughout the years they've maintained their commitment to ethical manufacturing while creating long-lasting products that truly work.

The Sill: Instagram-ready potted plants

We've long admired this female-founded brand and the brilliant mind behind it, Eliza Blank. (She even joined Motherly co-founder Liz Tenety on and episode of The Motherly Podcast!) The mission behind the business was simple: To make the process of bringing plants into your home as easy as possible, and as wonderful as the plant themselves. With their in-house, exclusively designed minimalist planters, the end result makes plant parenthood just a few clicks away.

Not sure where to start? Here's what we're adding to our cart:

Keep reading Show less
Shop

The 6 biggest lies I believed before having kids

Just about all of us had set assumptions about raising kids before we became parents ourselves.

Just about all of us had set assumptions about raising kids before we became parents ourselves. Some of these ideas might have been based on our own ideas of how we would absolutely do things differently than everyone else. Others, we believed what everyone else told us would happen would apply to our littles, too. But, that's not always the case, mama.

Below are six of the biggest lies I believed before having kids—and the reality of what actually happened for me.

1. Put your baby down drowsy, but awake

Keep reading Show less
Life