I hate the term Stay-At-Home-Mom. It sounds passive and weak–everything that actually being a Stay-At-Home-Mom isn’t. We need a better term, people. Something that makes us out to be the bad-asses that we are, instead of continually reviving the idea that all mom’s do at home is watch soap operas and drink wine. At the very least, this term should acknowledge that being at home with kids is WORK.
I’ve been thinking about this for a while now. In the past year I’ve had to fill out a bunch of paperwork for medical and dental stuff and setting up utilities–all the things you do when you move–and every single freaking time there’s that question “What company do you work for?” I just want to throw the entire pile of paper across the room. But I don’t, because then I would have to pick it up.
I know, I know–between the mother’s day commercials and every other mommy blogger on the block, you say of course motherhood is appreciated. But it doesn’t feel very appreciated on a day-to-day basis. Half the time it doesn’t even feel acknowledged. The problem is that when you’re doing it, nobody has any reason to notice it. My toddler sure isn’t going to notice that her clothes are always clean and put away (until she pulls them ALL out of her closet, anyways, but hey, that’s okay, because they always end up BACK in her closet eventually–one of the great mysteries of all time). The baby doesn’t notice that you’re constantly wiping spit-up off of every toy he pukes on so that it doesn’t get crusty and gross, or the fact that you’ve washed the bouncy seat cover at least 5 times in the last month because he keeps pooping out the back of his diaper. You just run around like a maniac cleaning up after people, kissing knees, making food, soothing tantrums, and trying to stop your kid from scribbling on the walls of your rental home with the crayola markers that you now know are not nearly as washable as they’re marketed to be. And then, when you finally sit down to do some paperwork that has to be done, you’re expected to write “unemployed” or “stay-at-home-mom”.
I know, I know, some of you moms do have outside jobs too. Good for you. I’m not debating who works more or has the harder job or anything like that. I’m just saying moms who stay at home DO work, and I’m sick of having to pretend like we don’t. I’m tired of stammering some “Well, I DO, but I’m a stay-at-home-mom.” to every question about my working status. It shouldn’t feel like an excuse, or some lame add-on. I’m a MOM. I work my tush off picking up the same toys, doing the same laundry, making food at the same times, doing the dishes the same way every single day. I don’t get off work in the evening, I don’t get an hour to go buy lunch and eat in peace and quiet, and I either work on the weekend, or spend the entire week trying to catch up from not working on the weekend because the entire house WILL fall apart in two days.
This post obviously isn’t going to solve anything. It’s just my rant. It’s the rant of every mom out there who works days, nights, and weekends, doing the same things over and over and over and over and over and then still goes ahead and checks the stupid unemployed box on the form because it’s easier than trying to check the employed box, and come up with a name for what she does. She doesn’t have time for that. Her kid just ran off with the markers and is either helping herself to a bath or splashing in the toilet. Either way, the bathroom needs to be mopped up.
So come on. We need a better name. Something awesome and empowering, and something that will banish the soap operas and wine definition of “stay-at-home-mom” forever.