There are so many misconceptions about stay-at-home-moms (SAHMs). My mom stayed at home throughout our growing up years. She had periods of employment but she defaults back to the home. But I never heard anyone speak down on her because she stayed at home with us.
I became a SAHM when our first child was born and I realized it was not easy. It’s very challenging, hairpulling at times! Imagine how difficult it is to have a crying baby and a dirty kitchen. Then, people throw comments like, “Oh, so you’re just a housewife?” So, let’s draw the line and look at these misconceptions about stay at home moms.
1. SAHMs Don’t Do Anything All Day
“Sarap naman ng buhay mo, wala kang ginagawa.”
The sassy me would love to retaliate with, “Are you seriously saying that to me right now? Do you want to know what I do all day?” But of course, I won’t do that … just to a chosen few! Kidding!
I saw a post on Facebook recently that moms are the first to get up in the morning and the last ones to sleep at night. By that statement alone, can we judge SAHMs as not doing anything all day? We do everything around the house. Name it we do it all. It’s great if you have a helper but you still oversee the home, right?
If a stay-at-home-mom raised you, look back to how your mom’s day was. You don’t remember because you leave school in the morning and you come home late in the afternoon. A few hours later, dinner is magically served on the table. How did that happen? Go figure!
2. SAHMs are Lazy and Have No Ambition
“Wala ka bang ambisyon sa buhay? Bakit nasa bahay ka lang? Sayang naman pinagaralan mo nasa bahay ka lang.”
Stay-at-home-moms choose to be with their kids because they want to. Although, some may have no choice because of caregiving issues. But they found a way to work from home. When I ask young moms why they choose to stay at home with their child over their career, their answer is simple. “They are at this stage once, and I don’t want to miss that.”
Although, some moms go back to the workforce when their child reaches schooling age, and that’s okay. The shift doesn’t make them less of a mom either. Others commit to being a full-time mom while pursuing a business or a career at the same time.
3. SAHMs Don’t Have to Work Because their Spouses Earn Well
“Siguro ang laki sweldo ng asawa mo kaya full time ka sa bahay.”
Raise your hand if you married a prince and live in a castle. Yup, I thought so. Most of you are probably like me. We did not marry an heir to the throne of England. Our husbands are simple and we live simple lives.
I admit to having financial difficulties at times because of this decision. But the Lord provides in ways I cannot. If I gave up on being a stay-at-home-mom and pursued a different career, then I would not be able to discover my gift in cooking and start our small business. I would not also rekindle my love for writing and honor God through it. I would miss the magic moments I have with our now teenage kids. No amount of money can replace that.
4. SAHMs Don’t have Mom-guilt
“Naku, ikaw na. Ikaw na ang perfect mom.”
We spend most of our waking hours at home. But that doesn’t mean we raise perfect kids, cook perfect and healthy meals, and live in spotless homes. Ask any stay-at-home-mom and they will tell you that mom-guilt is so real. We feel we are not good enough. I guess all moms have that, not only stay at home moms.
When our child misbehaves or disrespects us, we ask the proverbial question: Am I a good mom? When we are too tired to prepare dinner and order take out, we feel guilty. When the home is not spick and span, we feel inefficient. When our pet is sick, we blame ourselves too. Stay-at-home-moms have mom-guilt too. All moms do.
5. SAHMs are Just Moms
“Ah, so sa bahay ka lang?”
Moms are teachers, caregivers, chefs, nurses, doctors, counselors, drivers, house cleaners, laundrywomen, iron ladies (we iron your clothes), events planners, dog trainers, Bible teachers, dance instructors, ghostwriters, sports coach, designers, art directors, menu planners, errand girls, referees, cheerleaders, singing coaches, gardeners, recyclers, dog walker, bathroom cleaners, dishwashers. seamstresses, handywomen, trouble-shooters, problem-solvers, snot wipers (taga-punas ng sipon), security guards, storytellers, accountants …
So, yeah, we are just moms.
6. SAHMs Can’t Say NO
“Bakit hindi ka pwede, eh nasa bahay ka lang naman?”
Please refer to misconception #1 and #5.
Most of the time, stay-at-home-moms are too exhausted to go out. If they have some downtime, they would rather take a nap or spend a few minutes to do catch up on pending chores. They take advantage of the time their kids are sleeping. Also, going out can be such a hassle. So they would rather stay at home.
7. SAHMs Don’t Need Help
“Kayang kaya mo yan, ikaw pa!”
We get tired because of the many roles we play every day. More than the physical fatigue, it’s the emotional, emotional, and spiritual exhaustion that zaps the energy. When the kids were younger, I find myself crying in one corner. I was mentally drained and emotionally shaken. I couldn’t call my husband at work. But I have managed to bounce back after being alone with my thoughts and accepting that this too shall pass.
To help myself, I found release in blogging/writing. This exercise gave me permission to acknowledge my feelings and name them one by one. My husband also supported me when I needed a break. Being in the company of other imperfect moms helped me until this day. It is so important for moms to have a good support system. Isolating ourselves from the world or other moms is unhealthy. We need each other. We have to humble ourselves and acknowledge that we are not okay and we need help.
Being a stay-at-home-mom is never easy and neither is a mom who works outside the home. I am sure working moms have their struggles too. Neither choice is better than the other. At the end of the day, it’s about what works for our family and not what other people say.
I hope this sheds light on what stay-at-home-moms do on a daily basis. Instead of looking down on stay-at-home-moms, let us look them in the eye and acknowledge the work they do. Let’s be kind and stop the mom-shaming.
Are you a stay-at-home mom? How do we feel about all these misconceptions? If you have SAHM friends, share this post on social media and tag your mom tribe.