I was at a party recently and during a conversation with some fellow guests, one of the ladies started having a whinge about her friend. Or should I say “friend”. In the midst of the whinge she uttered the words “and all she does is be a stay at home Mum. I mean, what a lazy bitch!”
Wow! Apart from the fact that this lady was supposed to be a friend to the person she was bitching about, when did being a stay at home mum make somebody a lazy bitch?
I’m a stay at home mum. I have worked intermittently in different roles either part-time or casually since having children, but for the majority I have been and I still am, a stay at home mum. Long before we had children, my husband Tim and I talked about how we wanted to raise them and what was important to both of us. One of the major things we both wanted was for me to be their primary carer.
Tim has worked hard at being the provider for our family and I have worked hard raising our children and looking after the running of our household. Why does that make me a lazy bitch?
There are some women who have no choice but to work and allow somebody else the privilege of being the primary carer to their children. There are others who shudder at the thought of singing the ABC’s twenty thousand times a day and have decided it is better for them and better for their children, if they re-enter the workforce. I say each to their own. Their juggling act is indeed impressive and I’m sure they all do their best dealing with a constant full plate.
Making the decision to re-enter the workforce, whether or not that decision is a financial requirement or a personal choice, would be a tough one. There is not a working mum that I know that doesn’t suffer an immense amount of guilt about not being the primary carer for their child. Not one single mother that doesn’t feel terrible when they can’t attend a Mother’s day event at Kindy, or cheer for their child at sports day. Would it be fair of me to say that those mothers are neglectful, or selfish? That they aren’t good mothers at all?
It’s not just women who love levelling an opinion about something that is none of their business. My husband has been berated for “not wearing the pants”, of “being under the thumb”, of “being taken advantage of” by other men because he is supportive of me being our children’s primary carer and running our finances and household. We both know things would be easier financially if I went back to work, but for now that is not our priority.
More importantly, it is nobody else’s business… friends or otherwise.
Life isn’t a competition. A constant battle of who has it hardest, or who does the most work, or who is busiest. Life is about living. Making your own choices. Your choice to go back to work doesn’t make you a bad mother and my choice to stay home doesn’t make me a lazy bitch.
If you have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all…