The SAHM – the Stay at Home Mum – no longer exists – if we listen to how SAHMs describe themselves. Apparently, the correct term is now ‘Just a Stay At Home Mum’ – JASAHM.
“Who, me? I’m just a stay-at-home mum,” you tell anyone who asks what you do with your time. But, girlfriends, I’ve gotta tell you that you’re not JASAHM – and the interpretation of what it means to be a SAHM needs to change.
I know from my friends that a SAHM questions her choice just as much as any mother who works for an income. We talk a lot about the pressure on working mums and what they juggle, but SAHMs know just as much as working mums that it’s a situation of damned if you do, damned even more if you don’t.
The working mum/SAHM debate does my head in. Motherhood is not a competition. A SAHM has made a choice for herself and her family, weighing a number of factors, just as a working mum has. It doesn’t mean one is a better mum than the other. There is no right and wrong beyond what is right and wrong for each woman.
In fact, far from motherhood being a competition, we bloody need each other.
Here’s why I love and need my SAHM mates:
You help me appease my mummy-guilt for my school absence:
As a full-time working mother, I’ve always relied on the mums who can be there when I can’t. You take photos at swimming carnival and send them to me. You’re on canteen duty and tell me about the hotdog my kid tries to buy daily. You go on the excursion in China Town and make sure he doesn’t eat anything he’s allergic to. Things like that help me feel involved without being there.
You give me balance.
You remind me of the good stuff in the world outside of work. The daily joys of family life. The domestic wins, that have nothing to do with KPIs. And sometimes, you remind of the reason why I work – just like I sometimes remind you of the reason why you don’t!
You love me even when I’m a hot mess.
Even when I’m late to the lunch I knew I would be late to – even though we made it near my work so I wouldn’t be late. You get that my juggle and struggle is just as real as yours.
style=”background: #F8F8F8; line-height: 0; margin-top: 40px; padding: 50.78703703703704% 0; text-align: center; width: 100%;”>
Four of these chicks are my SAHM mates #blessed #squadgoals
You keep my school sh*t together.
You remind me of events. “Cas clothes tomoz, gold $ donation,” is the text I regularly get. You know that the school sports jacket has changed this year because you actually read the email. You happily pick my son up when I’m running late. You make our school-life easier.
You do meaningful non-mom stuff with your time.
You’re involved with charities and raise funds for them, and it’s very impressive. You look after your ageing parents. You occasionally make time to look after yourself – which reminds me that I need to, too.
You keep me abreast of the issues that really matter.
You’re usually around school more than I am, so you give me the low-down on everything from when the teacher’s wife had her baby, to which parents were waiting for the headmaster outside his office that morning. You text me that the hot hockey coach has had a haircut. That vitally important stuff – it makes me feel less isolated. And, especially with that last one – admittedly a little excited.
LISTEN: You don’t always have to be friends with colleagues. Georgie Gardner says she doesn’t hang out with Karl after work, and we think that’s perfectly fine…
So in return, this is what I’m going to remind all my SAHM mates out there. Your husband who supports your family with his amazing career? He has that because of you. You enable him to concentrate on his career, so you’re part of that career. He couldn’t have his success without you. That’s why Annie Lennox said that behind every great man, there has to be a great woman. Except, she’s not actually behind him; she’s beside him.
And she’s beside me, too.
Love your guts, girlfriends.