How often have you heard a woman say, ‘I’m just a mum,’ or something similar when asked what she does. I feel the position of mother is greatly underrated in today’s society. When you think about all the responsibilities involved in being a mother, it is overwhelming. A mother needs to have many skills and it certainly isn’t a 9 to 5 job.
Fathers have an important part to play in bringing up children and there are more full time dads these days than in the past. Working fathers can also be very involved with their children. However, this brief article is about the stay at home mother who says she is ‘just a mum’ and undervalues herself.
The Stay At Home Mum will probably answer, ‘No,’ to the question, ‘Are you working?’ This always makes me laugh. Are you kidding? If being a full time mother who is doing the best she can to look after her family isn’t work I don’t know what is. Yes, it is (hopefully) done with love and will bring many rewards.However, it is work.but without the 'knock off time', lunch break, annual holiday or long weekend to provide a break.
Being a mother is different for each woman. Factors affecting the experience will include the age, experience and personality of the woman. The personality, health and any disabilities of her child or children are major considerations. The amount of support available from a partner, other family members, neighbours and friends will influence how a woman copes with motherhood. Household income, the community she lives in and the mother’s health (physical and mental) are other important factors.
Motherhood often isn’t ‘a bed of roses’. Society can have high expectations of mothers without providing much support. People can be critical, blaming the mother for any accidents the child has. A child’s behaviour may be judged and seen as the result of poor parenting, without any consideration of health or disability issues.
Media and entertainment can push the idea of the perfect mother. The so called experts will give conflicting advice. A woman may suffer post natal depression and not receive much understanding from those around her. Perhaps a woman isn’t able to breast feed and feels under pressure from other women and the medical professional. Women can also have high expectations of themselves which are unrealistic.
Have you ever thought about all the roles that being a mother can involve? .As a mother you may act as nurse, counsellor, teacher, mediator, taxi driver, writer, coach, cook, accountant, seamstress, dietician and so much more.
Women who combine motherhood and paid work are also under much pressure. Some feel they have no option, for financial or other reasons, but to return to paid work while their children are young. Hopefully, whether you are a stay at home mum or a mum who is also in the workforce, the joys of motherhood will outweigh the stress and tiredness.