Thursday, November 19, 2015
The Common Misconceptions Of Being A Stay At Home Mother ♥
I will admit that when my son was first born it was incredibly easy to look after him, I'd be lying if I said it wasn't. He used to sleep all the time, I'm sure he would have loved to have slept twenty-four hours a day if it wasn't for the fact that he had to eat and have his nappy changed. He was such a little angel and my house was cleaner than it ever had been, I had everything organised, dinner made every night and even had the time to shower and do my makeup. I was becoming the perfect housewife, something which I never thought I would achieve, this mothering malarkey is easy I oh so foolishly thought.
As the months went on I found it harder and harder to get my house in order, the lack of organisation drove me mad and it still does to this day, there are toys everywhere! I now don't have the dinner ready until my other half literally walks in the door and even at that it's a 'take frozen food out of the freezer but it in the oven and bam!' job. A stay at home mother is most definitely not her own boss. In fact, my boss, my darling son, is the most demanding boss I have ever had! He works me to the bone and doesn't even realise it!
Work can start at five in the morning, sometimes he will give me a lie in until seven but it's rare, very rare... and my day doesn't end until eight o' clock that night, that's a sixteen hour day, breaks are not included in my contract. He needs everything done when he wants and not a second longer otherwise his roars become intolerable, he's certainly got a good pair of lungs on him.
I am not allowed to work on my own initiative, he has me on a strict schedule that allows for no other 'jobs' to be done, meaning the laundry basket keeps breeding whilst I'm not looking and the basket of ironing sits on the tumble-drier unloved and untouched. By the time my 'shift' ends I am exhausted, I want to do nothing but lie on the couch and chill out but unfortunately there are things to be done - school bags to be prepared for the morning, blog posts to be written and other bits and bobs which are necessary to the smooth functioning of my next working day, in reality it's a twenty-four seven job - you are always a mother, always on call, always needed.
Stay at home mothers are unable to leave the house on their own the majority of the time and this task is no longer as simple as getting yourself ready and picking up your handbag - do you know how many things a child needs when out and about? A lot! I always have to have a supply of nappies, wipes, a change of clothes, snacks and an all important 'grink', because when he's thirsty boy is he thirsty! I went on a three day holiday with my boy and had to take four big bags, four! I can't exactly remember what was in those four bags but we needed it all, that I can assure you.
Being a stay at home mother can also be quite lonely, some days go by where the only adult I get to speak to is my other half when he comes home from work. There are no work colleagues to have a laugh and some banter with, no work nights out and no company throughout the day, you're not part of a team it's just simply you and everything is up to you to get done.
A stay at home mother also plays many roles - chef, cleaner, driver, carer, playmate, teacher, entertainer, along with so many others, how many jobs out there have these many roles for one employee? People seem to think I have all the time in the world to do what I want when I want - I think they're crazy! As you can probably tell these are people without children, oh the shock they're in for when they do eventually reproduce! I want to be a fly on the wall when the thought finally hits them that being a stay at home mother isn't all it's cracked up to be.
Another misconception of being a stay at home mother, and this one really boils my blood, is that people seem to adopt the false impression that stay at home mothers sit on their arses all day and sponge off the government - the people that think this are both ignorant and wrong! I for one don't receive any money from the government, not a cent. The only benefit I get is child benefit, something which every child is entitled to and all that money goes on my son. You won't find me spending my 'dicky dole' as it's so affectionately referred to in certain parts of Ireland, down the pub on a Friday night.
One of the most challenging things in my day is entertaining my son - do you know how easily toddlers get bored?! They can be occupied for literally a maximum of twenty minutes before they need something new to catch their attention. I am constantly on the move looking for a new toy to give to my son, new activities to spark his imagination, changing the TV channel because he wants 'Daisy', not realising that In the Night Garden is only on once a day! It seems like I'm constantly moving him around the house trying to keep him happy, it's better than being at a gym!
People laugh at me when I say I have to feed my son at a certain time and need to go home, find somewhere to sit, etc. They think he'll be okay for another few minutes, he most definitely won't be. When it's lunch time it is lunch time and that's at one o' clock, the time he gets home from school. If I didn't follow this strict schedule my life would be chaos and that would most certainly not be fun.
Stay at home mothers have no time to be sick, therefore it's necessary to make sure you're in optimum health! There is no cover to take over for you, children do not and will not ever understand that mammy needs a day in bed, they're unable to fend for themselves. When people express how much they're looking forward to the weekend I just smile and nod, the weekend is nothing to me, just another day just like the rest of the week following the orders of my boss and sticking to our routine.
However, there are many perks to my job which I could not live without. I get paid in lieu of lots of cuddles, what other boss would be so affectionate? I get to play with my son, see him laugh, giggle and shriek because apparently I'm hilarious! I get to see him grow, explore, learn and be amazed by the general wonder of the world that surrounds him. Being able to witness these things on a daily basis and be safe in the knowledge that I, as his primary caregiver, am the one who knows him best and will mind him like no one else will ever do, (mammy knows best after all!) really does give me peace of mind.
Being a stay at home mother is one of the hardest tasks in the world. This vocation that I decided to undertake has been the best thing that has ever happened in my life. To be a mother... it's a feeling I cannot describe. Nevertheless, there are far too many misconceptions surrounding stay at home mothers, people really think we have it made. I would love one of these people to spend a week in my shoes and do what I do everyday, it's bloody hard work but my God is it worth it.
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