Bad Mum

Magazine

12 June 2017

Labelling Motherhood

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?

When my close family and friends ask me these types of questions I immediately get this sinking feeling in the bottom of my stomach.  I hate questions like this, and I constantly find myself having to justify my choices. Honestly, sometimes I wish I could just avoid such conversations. 

People began to ask me these types of questions when my son reached the age of one. As a first time Mother, I found myself becoming quite defensive in my answers. I would answer most of the time with, “Oh I am just a Mum.” 

Four years on and two children later, when I am now asked such questions, I really feel like throwing something at the person asking me (obviously that would be highly inappropriate.) Other times, I want to tell them that I sit in my lounge with my feet up, eating popcorn and watch Netflix all day.

Peoples questions tend to revolve around my job status. I’ve often at times 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. I always wonder why there’s an assumption that it has to be my day off. Maybe I do not work, maybe it is my day off, maybe I have recently been made redundant or maybe I work for myself. The list of answers seem endless to me. There are so many choices and options in today's day and age that no one really needs to be categorised. The questions and maybe even judgements 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.  
I want to use this blog to share with you my thoughts on labelling motherhood. To anybody reading this, please realise I do not mean to criticise or offend anyone; these are just my interpretations and opinions on certain aspects of labelling motherhood. 
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 Mum” - I’m sorry but what mother is ever a part time mum? 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 mum”?

Another term that I hear regularly is “is she a working mum?” Just because some mothers are in the situation where they aren’t going to a work place, does that mean they are not working?  Working does not always have to be a 9-5 paid role does it?  

“She is a home maker/housewife”.  This one I will never understand, does this mean that people that 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 confirm to labelling and if I were to categorise myself, at this stage in my life I suppose the stay at home mum (SAHM) term would apply.

Presently, I am a stay at home Mum 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.

I may not have a ‘traditional job,’ but in my role as a, "stay at home mum," I work tirelessly to explore the world with my children. I work continuously to teach them and play with them.  I am committed to supporting my husband with his business ventures, I am also trying my best to handle my home and provide the best environment for my children to grow up in. In addition to all these things, I work towards trying to take care of myself so I can be the best role model possible to my sons. In this role of a, “stay at home mum," there is no salary, no trips alone to the bathroom or a luxury one-hour lunch break. 

Whatever I choose to be or whichever category or label the world decides to slot me into, I have realised 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. 

Awkward questions, criticisms and judgements, I feel can really have a negative effect on a mother who is just trying her best.  Other people may question us but as mothers we need to empower other mothers to feel good about the decisions we make our families and ourselves. Self-esteem and confidence are so important when it comes to raising happy healthy children.  

Since joining the community of parents on Instagram and other social media outlets, I feel so much more confident in my decisions and choices as a mother. People from all over the world are able to connect with each other and are truly supporting each other, 
Within our Instagram community, working mothers are supporting stay at home mothers, part time working mothers are supporting mothers who run their own businesses and single mums are supporting full time dads.  There is enough love, support and encouragement to go around and it really is inspiring. This platform has given me a new outlook on motherhood, whilst also helping me build the confidence I need to not be affected by people's judgements or questions.

At this stage in my life I am caring for my children, but who knows what the future holds.  This label of mine may change or it may not, but for now I have realised even though it can be hard at times, I am happy in my own little world with my two boys. 

Lots of love,


Mum to boys @mum_to_boys 


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