With such defined roles — that we all try to ignore in the belief that this is 2015 and we can make our own new, fresh stereotypes — the role of the stay-at-home mother is perhaps one of the great conundrums of our time.
What are you? Are you not a taxpayer? Oh …
Ostensibly a role that revolves solely around raising your own babies from birth to around school age, it has morphed into some kind of unwieldy assault course.
As anyone who has ever taken a ‘mental health day’ off work to get lots done knows, it never really works out, some *ahem* fucker always turns up at the door and essentially your day starts at 3.30 in the afternoon once you’ve signed out of Twitter.
Throw two-to-three pre-schoolers or even school-age kids into that mixture of ennui and unusual housekeeping techniques and you have a recipe for … the feeling you are spiraling within a vortex.
At the heart of it, and in an ideal world, we’d all do it if it were financially viable.
We went ahead and did it despite the fact it wasn’t. That’s a whole other blog. As is my attempt to return to work (which I have) working from home. Hilarious results.
Most of us cannot manage to drop $80k from the household income per annum, and when put like that, it’s no surprise that stay-at-home mothers are a bit of a rare breed.
Ultimately, though, this is not an argument for or against. It has worked wonderfully for me. What on earth would I do with $80,000 a year anyway? Touch up my roots every six weeks?
Have more than $20 of petrol in my car at any one time? Move on up to Nobody jeans?
At any rate the day-to-day life of a SAHM mother is not what you would think. We are incredibly efficient/inefficient machines. Since every ounce of life-force is used up on the school run (see an earlier post here) anyway, and after you have scooped down raw coffee grounds and Prozac, your day and plans are anybody’s, including the annoying series of people who try to get you to do things, because you are ‘just sitting at home’.
Can you pop down to Mitre 10 (the drive-thru part) and talk to a guy called Ray about a metal hinge and a piece of 11×2000. Just slide it sideways through the back windows. Get Charlize to duck for about 1/2 hour. Take the iPad. Lie her on the floor then. Oh I don’t know! You’ve got all day to figure it out, haven’t you?
Faisal needs his braces completely rewired but the usual dentist has moved to Hamilton. We need to use him because he lets us pay it all off in a series of instalments until our death at age 80. Can you drive him down this morning?
To which you say
Sure. I’m not doing anything. I’m a Stay At Home Mum. Let me just put my piece of chewing gum on the bedhead and my iPhone down.
And you duly put on your Girlfriend Xpress jeans and faux-suede ballet flats, and off you go, into oblivion, or Hamilton.
We should be entirely comfortable being ‘at home’ raising our own kids, if that’s what we want and that’s what they need. We should not have to explain our situation to anyone.
So, if you are a SAHM, your husband must earn …
But what do you DO all day?