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!