Should I be defensive of being a SAHM?

Maybe it’s just me being oversensitive.

Maybe it’s me feeling undervalued.

Maybe it’s me feeling guilty.

There are a million other ‘maybe’s’ but I am sick and tired of the phrase “Wow, that sound’s hectic, imagine if you had to work too? How would you cope?”

Wait, what?

Okay, maybe they didn’t mean it the way I took it.

Maybe they did!

They probably did!

This is normally directed at me by other working mom’s who are the parents of my children’s school friends, or from the girls’ teachers. So this rant here is to set the record straight, and get it off my chest!

First and foremost, I am very ‘lucky’ that I don’t have to go to work. My husband provides enough for our family that I don’t have to. I won’t apologise for that. We make sacrifices to make it work for us.

Secondly, I am also not allowed to work due to visa restrictions. I’m not a South African so for me to go out and get a job would involve a lot of paperwork, money and willingness from any potential employer to jump through the hoops required to get me a work permit. Let’s face it, I am not bilingual, I can only speak English (which wouldn’t be a problem in Cape Town, Jo’burg or Durban but it is a problem in the rest of SA where Afrikaans is still very widely used despite reports to the contrary). I’m not a highly skilled professional, I don’t have a degree, and I don’t have any extra special skills that employers here are crying out for, so it’s virtually pointless.

Thirdly, my family need me to stay at home, or more importantly to be available to drop everything and run for them. I do all the usual tasks that other SAHM’s do around the world, cooking, taking care of the house, managing household finances, running a million errands, keeping on top of the medical aid headaches, ferrying kids to and from school and after-school activities, and being there for my little girls.

Fourthly, unlike 90% of the other mom’s I am in regular contact with, I have NO support whatsoever. I am pretty sure most of these other mom’s leave their kids in after-care (if they can afford it), with their parents (most kids have both sets of grandparents running after them), or with their maids. I don’t do any of that. It’s me and me alone. My husband is gone for work from 05.00 until 18.00. The only time we get help with our kids is when I fly my mother in from Zimbabwe, or when we go there.

I know the image they have of me, it goes something like this: Bored housewife; spends her time at the gym, getting her hair and nails done, coffee with her girlfriends, shopping up a storm!

I am none of those things, but if I were and to those women who are, that’s great for them!

Those women who have to work, that’s great for them.

Those women who want to work, that’s also great for them!

Why can’t people just mind their own business and keep their judgmental opinions to themselves.

In this day and age when the emphasis is so high on making sure working mom’s aren’t made to feel guilty for not spending enough time with their kids and families, I think it’s time to consider the fact that the emphasis is shifting to making SAHM’s feel guilty or inferior for not being highly successful business women or good-enough role model’s to their children. Why does it have to be one or the other?

I am sure this argument fits in with the whole breastfeeding vs bottle feeding; dummy vs no dummy; home-grown vs store-bought, etc. etc.

Really! Enough is enough.

Like I said above, keep your views to yourself and lower your eyebrows ladies. We should all be supporting each other, not judging.

Rant over for today.





  1. Author

    So much of yes.
    I, too, don’t have help. I am a stay at home mom all the time. My husband works from 7-3pm, and then has school full time. I am contemplating on homeschool for next year, and I constantly get the “being at home must be nice”, but I love the time I get to spend with hubby since I don’t work.You are an amazing mom, and don’t let anyone make you feel different.

  2. Author

    I was a stay-at-home-dad from most of my daughters school life.
    You think you have it bad? HA…. Try being a male and doing it.
    The women don’t like you because they see you as lazy because you are not working, the men don’t like you because of the ‘Bored housewife’ stereotype and then the teachers watch you with suspicion because I’m a male dropping off kids. (All men are paedophiles, apparently)

    I was never invited to any of the ‘coffee mornings’ the women had and I never really had any help with much in the way of kids. Although my daughter did go and play around at other kids houses, so no issues there.

    But there was a distinct idea of wrongness with a man doing a *ahem* “Womans job”. yeah, I know it’s rubbish but there you go. And then I put my foot in it by admitting that I found it to be an absolute breeze.

    TL;DR Don’t stress it. Just be you because it’s about all you can do.

  3. Author

    I have struggLed for years with these type of words from others. It’s very frustrating. There was an article a while back about if sahm’s got payed for all the jobs they do they’d be making like 6 figures or some such thing.

  4. Author

    I have been both a stay-at-home and a working mother. Both are super hard! I felt guilt when I worked and not I feel like I am not meeting some sort of goal society has set for me now that I “just” stay at home. I so agree with you – it would be so much better if we all just support one another.

  5. Author

    I’m in almost the same boat. I don’t have visa restrictions to keep me out of the work force, but our family greatly benefits from me staying home with the kids. I understand EXACTLY how you feel! I love the freedom and ability to take care of my home and children at leisure instead of trying to cram two major responsibilities (career and child/homecare) into 24hr days. Someone always has something negative to say about others. Your children will thank you for being available to them someday.

  6. Author

    Forget what they say. Let it roll over your shoulders and shake it off. Motherhood is the hardest job in the world. You are blessed to be able to stay home with your children. Enjoy the Joy while you can and don’t worry what others say. You ARE a highly successful woman, you are the CEO of your family. Blessings!!

  7. Author

    I have always been a SAHM and I wouldn’t trade that for the world. Three of my kids are grown now. I am so glad I was always there to get them off to school and when they came home from school (before we started homeschooling), to spend summers with them, etc. Their childhood years flew by and I have all these treasured memories of our time together. Most of my childhood memories are of coming home from school to an empty house and when my mom was home she still had to work so her attention was rarely given to me. I never wanted that for my kids. Mothers do so much to keep the family and home running smoothly. I know if I had to work an outside job on top of that I’d be stressed out!

  8. Author

    I stay home with our son. Hardest job I have ever had! By Far…
    There is no taking off work when sick or struggling. Family isn’t nearby to help out…
    I wouldn’t read it for anything, but damn it frustrating when people act like it’s not much.

  9. Pingback: So much going on! – Mom Of Two Little Girls

  10. Author

    Good rant. My wife and I were talking last night how kids are growing up these days with parents “too busy” or “too absent” from their kids. Children need attention. they need love… a SAHM is still a good idea! If one is fortunate to do that (husband earns well) – then do it!

  11. Author

    I am new to the SAHM territory and experiencing the comments for the first time. I closed my boutique to stay home with my son and people keep saying “So what are you going to do now? Just be a mom?” In my head I’m thinking….JUST be a MOM? JUST? cue throatpunch. Haha. But really, I’m working on my composure, keeping a smile on my face and good answer to that comment.

    1. Author

      Good for you. Part of me thinks being a SAHM is far more demanding on a minute by minute basis than working with adults!?

      1. Author

        It is! At least, with the little ones on the move. It would be like working in an office where you just chased everybody around telling them not to eat their pens and asking if they need to potty.

    1. Author

      Yes, apparently it’s just one more thing moms should be guilty for. Thanks for reading.

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