(before anyone gets upset I also would like to acknowledge all of the stay at home dads as well!)
I was speaking to someone recently about the presumption that mums (see note above about dads!) who stay at home and do not have a job. This, for some people seems a logical presumption as they are not leaving the house every day to attend to a paid role.
This way of thinking can be so harmful to a relationship, expecting the house to be clean, dinner on the table and the kids happy and educated, I feel like I have been flung back into the 1950’s!
Whilst pondering on this subject I came across a picture drawn by 12 year old lad in Kerala. He decided to depict his mothers life and daily routine after his father commented to him that “she is just a housewife, she doesn’t work”. A thought that is still held by many people around the world. This young man was surprised by the comments as his mother had never been one to sit still. So decided to watch and see what his mother did while she was ‘not working’.
I hope you take a moment to look at the picture, its a beautiful depiction of life and the important role that our ‘stay at home’ parents play. The cooking, cleaning, clothes washing, emotional support to children, shopping, organising play dates, dealing with other peoples children, school runs, school politics, after school clubs, before school clubs, social dates, parties, nurse, financial planner, book keeper and not forgetting to also be ‘wife’.
Take a look at that picture, when did she spend time on herself? Where are the long luxurious baths, endless hours of reading by the fire, scrap that when did she have time for a cup of tea?
A persons worth is not measured by how much money they bring into the home, or in fact by how much time they spend cooking, cleaning or working. Speak to each other, appreciate what each other does to keep the family home running and above all keep talking!
It may sound like I have whipped out my feminist soap box and that is not my point at all. My point is that running a home and looking after children is a 24 hour a day, 7 day a week kind of job (and don’t get me started about covid!).
So when you get home at 5.30pm and dinner is not quite ready, or the bathroom hasn’t been wiped today, or you are asked to spend a couple of hours with your child on the weekend so the other parent can have a bit of rest, think twice before using the phrase ‘but you don’t work’!