Slippers: A slipper or houseshoe is a semi-closed type of indoor/outdoor shoe, consisting of a sole held to the wearer’s foot by a strap running over (or between) the toes or instep. Slippers are soft and lightweight compared to other types of footwear. They are mostly made of soft or comforting materials that allow a certain level of comfort for the wearer. This can range from faux fur to leather. (Wikipedia)
So I’ll begin by saying that this post is slightly different to my usual posts, but it is very current and I felt I just had to write it.
This morning I made the mistake of turning on This Morning. I watched a debate about the recent budget and how it affects mums. How mum’s who go out to work will recieve a tax break to help with childcare. and how SAHMs don’t receive any such break. It’s an interesting debate thats been discussed in newspaper, on the television and of course on Twitter. It is one that is very divisive and seems to have once again put mums into two separate camps. Forget the attachment parents vs the Gina Ford devotees, now it is SAHMs vs Mums who work. (And then everyone vs the government of course ;-))
The original reason the whole debate started has seemingly been forgotten, as everyone tries to fight their own corner. Shout the loudest. Justify themselves and the reasons why they do/don’t work. The debate is an ongoing one, and whilst I agree that working mums and families undoubtedly need support with extortionate childcare costs, (it has now gone from I can’t afford not to work, to I can’t afford to work) I am hurt and deeply affronted by the suggestion that as a SAHM I have no aspirations. That I sit about in my slippers all day (yes someone did actually say that on the television this morning!) drinking tea and doing sweet f*** all else. That the budget is to help those who ‘aspire to work hard and get on,’ and that SAHMs are not seen to be doing that and how they are deemed somehow to not be as worthy of support as those who work. That SAHMs are somehow inferior and the government is not willing to acknowledge what they do or indeed reward it.
I mean, it’s not like I want a ‘chuffty badge’ (remember them?!) or a pat on the back, (or actually any of the taxpayers money!) but I, and several thousand other SAHMs out there, would at least like it acknowledged that we DO work, that we DO have aspirations, that we ARE setting our children a good example and that we ARE doing what we think is best for them. Some of us aren’t staying at home through choice, (some are sadly to unwell to work and some’s children are unwell and need caring for) and some of us work our butts off at home WHILST looking after our children. We are not rewarded, we are not applauded, and are now criticised for not having any aspirations on top of everything else. For being lazy. But I’m betting that if you asked a child if they wanted their mummy to stay at home or go out at work it wouldn’t take a genius to predict what they would say.
And yes, don’t get me wrong, I imagine there are mums out there who are lazy, and who do not look after their children even though they are at home with them all day, and are happy for the government and the taxpayer to pay for them to do so. But DO NOT tar us all with the same brush. EVER.
And what about choice? It seems in this country, where human rights and freedom of choice are shouted about so often, we are not allowed to choose whether to work or not. Those who go out to work are often made to feel awful for leaving their children, and now SAHMs are criticised for not leaving their children! When will it stop? When will people realise that being a mum is the most important job on the planet and we mums should have time, energy and support invested in us, just like we invest in our children. Whether we work or not. Since when did becoming a mum become so worthless?
I myself have been a single SAHM, a single working mum (full time), a working married mum and am now a married SAHM. Now after my third child I have asked for an extra year’s maternity leave, (unpaid obviously) because I have three children and I want to spend as much time with my children as I possibly can. Time with my children that I will never get back. I’m lucky enough that my career can technically be ‘put on hold,’ and hopefully in years to come I will go back to work and be as successful at my job as I was before I had children. But for now they are my priority. I do not want to blink and turn around only to see them moving out at 18. They need me now. And I need them. And it would be quite nice if it was recognised that this is an amazing thing to be doing. A worthwhile thing. A thing that can be aspired to. Why have children if you are never going to see them? I’m sure it’s not that black and white to everyone, but to me it is.
Anyway, I am guessing this debate will run and run, and is there ever going to be a conclusion drawn where everyone is happy? I doubt it. At the end of the day I applaud ALL mums. It’s a bloody tough job and we ALL need to stick together and support each other, and respect each others decisions.
Thank you for reading xx