"What do you do?" What I think of being a stay-at-home mum
A real account of a stay-at-home mum: The kids just went to bed at 8.30 pm, one hour later than usual, with my husband accompanying them to sleep. I spent the next one hour cleaning the kitchen up, posting some stories on One Eco Step Instagram, and taking the brownies out of the oven.
If you're wondering why on earth was I baking on a Wednesday night at 9:28 pm, I'm with you. It's a terrible idea. The truth is, I've been screaming at Ely the whole day and I felt guilty so I told her that she could bake chocolate brownies with me after if she would please have her dinner. I envisioned the act of baking together as a redeeming moment, but I screamed at her *yet* again for spraying the floor with flour, and again for eating baking powder. And at the end of it all, I felt so defeated and guilty. And tired.
What I think of being a stay-at-home mum
I don't respond to texts anymore
Because I never have time to check my phone in the day. By night time, I'm too exhausted to engage in a conversation or even to hit a quick reply.
Always busy & never alone
From the moment I wake up, it's non-stop. Just to break it down into main components to give an idea, this is what it looks like (minus the tantrums):
1. Make breakfast
2. Playtime: read a few books, scoot around in the living room pretending that I'm the traffic police, play dough, and colouring
3. Nap #1 for Laina (1-year-old)
4. Make Lunch
5. Force Ely (2-year-old) to eat her lunch
6. Bath time
7. Nap #1 for Ely (they are not on the same napping schedule because Laina would have just woken up not too long ago. And Laina still needs her mid-morning nap)
8. Play with Laina while Ely is napping: Read more books, watch her play, play with blocks, and sometimes FaceTiming with her grandma
9. Nap #2 for Laina
10. Ely wakes up - screen time for her while I exercise, do laundry or attempt to fold clothes
11. Cook dinner
12. Force Ely to eat her dinner
13. Clean up
I'm always worrying about their meals
I feel like a chef. Always cooking, always making something for the kids because they are so damn picky! They don't want to eat, so I'll make breakfast #2 or lunch #2 or even dinner #2. It's always in the back of my mind that they should be eating more fruits/veggies:
"Did Ely have her kiwi at 3 pm? Did Laina have enough veggies for her lunch?" This cycle is mind-numbingly painful for anyone!
I have been told numerous times to let the kids be when they refuse food. And that they will eventually eat. I tried this approach for one day - I watched Ely eat 1 x kiwi and 2 x corn thins for the whole ENTIRE day. And I gave up.
I *sometimes* feel like an unemployable has-been with no professional relevance
On odd days, I may question myself if employers will see me as someone who quit her job and put a halt on climbing up the corporate ladder.
I feel more stressed about family spending
That two-person income just got cut down to one paycheck. I no longer shop whenever I want to. I wait for a 50% discount + further 25% off to shop for clothes. Take-aways have to be drastically cut out and we mostly cook to save on costs.
"But you're living the life!"
Most people think we're living the life of luxury with no job, no boss, and no workplace stress.
But let's shift our perspective.
As a stay-at-home mum, you can argue that I'm doing the SAME type of work as the paid carers AND chefs in daycares. These jobs are paid work.
Regardless if it is paid or unpaid work, the nature of work is the SAME. In fact, we're doing 2 or more people's jobs.
All in all, I just want to say that being a stay-at-home mum is really hard work. Playing with our kids is consuming and it can be more tiring than a workout session. And we do this 12 hours a day. 7 days a week. With no sick leave.
I think as mums, we can appreciate and respect one another’s choices and decisions. Many women want children and a career, and they shouldn’t be made to feel guilty because of it. And many other women want children but have no desire to have a career, and they shouldn’t be made to feel guilty about that either. We are legends.
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