An open letter to stay-at-home mums: Why you’re not doing a real job
Because "your work is around the clock, 24/7, tough, physically, mentally and emotionally draining. You get no breaks, no promotions, no money"...
An open letter to all stay-at-home mums,
You must hear it a lot: stay at home mums don’t do “real” jobs. You know what? I have to agree.
A real job starts and ends at a certain time. People doing such jobs come home, switch off, wind down and relax.
You, on the other hand never stop working. You are up several times a night feeding your sweet baby. If you are lucky, you get a few hours of sleep before you are woken up again by your toddler, prising your eyelids open.
Oh, and of course there’s the primary schooler.
So, with a baby in the sling and another child at your feet, you pack lunches, wash sleepy faces, brush tiny teeth, help your six-year-old get dressed (saying, “no, you cannot wear those sparkly shoes to school”) and do what seems like a million other chores, all before 8am.
You wish briefly that you did a “real job” just so you could take a breather. But you can’t – there are little mouths to be fed, pigtails and shoelaces to be tied and lunches to be cooked.
A real job gives its employees leave when they are sick.
Your job, dearest SAHM, is not like this. You might be feeling like Death warmed over but you still have to work.
Those tiny people for whom you work for have needs and demands that must be met, and so, you soldier on despite the fever, the cough, and the incredible tiredness that permeates every cell of your body.
A real job comes with bathroom, lunch and coffee breaks.
You’re not that lucky. When you need to use the toilet, it’s highly likely you have an audience either giggling, staring at you with saucer-eyes or asking you unanswerable questions.
Even if you manage to do your business behind closed doors, you’ll probably see little sausagey fingers wriggling under the door like they’re trying to touch the atmosphere around you, and at least be with you that way.
And forget about taking that shower. Poop in the hair shall be the name of the game today.
Let’s move on to… and rapidly away from... coffee and lunch. Because when you grab that cuppa or bowl of rice since the baby is finally sleeping, you know that in two minutes your baby is going to wake up.
A real job pays their employees. In money.
You work for no cash, even though a Forbes article thinks SAHMs should be paid an annual salary of at least US$ 115,000 and Evilee Ebb, general manager of Salary.com says:
“We see [Mom] as the compilation of 10 jobs in one person. The breadth of Mom’s responsibilities is beyond what most workers could ever experience day-to-day. Imagine if you had to attract and retain a candidate to fill this role?”
Your work is around the clock, 24/7, hard, physically, mentally and emotionally draining. You get no breaks, no promotions, no money.
Even with all this, some people still tell you that you don't have the skills that are needed for a “real” workplace.
But just think about it. Through the work that you do, you gain and now possess the ultimate skill-set any employer would kill to have: you are responsible, efficient, compassionate, firm when you need to be, a multi-tasker to the hilt.
You are mentally and emotionally strong like no other. How can you not be when you see your toddler’s little finger getting almost severed by a slamming door and rush him, covered in blood and willing yourself not to faint, to Emergency in the dead of the night?
You, dearest SAHM, are in reality, the dream employee.
And you might not get paid in paper money. In fact, you may often think that the only remuneration you get comes in the form of tears, poop, aching breasts, back and feet, and vomit.
But when you dig deeper, you know that you get paid in love that is heart-bursting. In pride that is limitless. In joy that is soul-warming.
The work you do defies the boundaries of what is involved in a regular "real" job.
So, no, you don’t do a real job -- you do what you need to do, every day, every month, for years and years because you are motivated by pure love.
We'd love to hear your thoughts about this open letter to all stay-at-home mums. Do share them in a comment below.