Being a SAHM is NOT a job.

Being a SAHM is NOT a job via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

** Just before you start reading, I want to make a little note: I’ve written this from my point of view, obviously as a woman and a mother, but in doing so, I’ve done the one thing that annoys me – forgotten the dads. I just wanted to post a little edit to say this is written about being a Stay at home mum, but my thoughts and feelings extend towards being a stay at home dad too. In hind sight, I should have titled it and written it as SAHP (parent) to be more inclusive. So in response to a few questions I’ve had I feel the same about SAHDs. **

………………………………..

I just going to throw this one out there right off the bat: Can we STOP calling being a stay at home mum a “job”?

Please.

Being a stay at home mum is not a job. Sorry, not sorry.

Being a stay at home mum is damned hard work. Harder than any job I have ever held, but it is NOT a job. The very definition of “job” is to be employed, and therefore paid for work. You can get “job” as in an odd job, but that is also usually only considered “work” if you are paid. End of.

Here’s the thing,Β there is a growing trend in women putting their occupations as “full time mummy” and I’m going to tell you right now, that I find that insanely offensive. Why, I hear you shout in horror? Because it implies that by working, I’m not a “full time” mummy, I’m somehow a lesser mummy. A part timer.

I’m not a part time mummy. We are all full time mummies. Some of us work. Some of us home make. Some of us work FROM home. But none of those things make us any lesser a mother than the other, nor do they make you any more a mother.

This is the very reason that the whole “full time mummy” bullshit needs to go. It is one more way of pitting women against each other and, specifically, mothers. Being a mother is not your occupation, it’s your choice. It is a lifestyle choice and is one that should be respected to the max, but it is not a job. You don’t hear people who don’t work and are childless going around telling people that they are full time leisure pursuers do you? No. If you are a stay at home mum, you are a homemaker, but your “employment status” is unemployed and your title (if you want one) is homemaker.

One thing I don’t want is for people to think this is in any way a “diss” of SAHMs, it isn’t. I’ve been one myself, and as I said before, it was the hardest thing I ever did. I’ve written about the loneliness of being a SAHM (or really a stay at home parent), and I’m well aware of how much they do. Your roles are to cook, to clean, to maintain, to entertain, to raise, to love, to cuddle and so much more that can’t be put into to words, but these roles are NOT your job. They are your choice and to call them a job, in my opinion, diminishes what you do and what the millions of mothers who either can’t stay at home or choose not to stay at home, do. Being a SAHM mum is not your job. It’s your lifestyle.

Further to that, calling yourself a “full time mum” implies that when you head out to work, you have a break. You don’t. Your child is NEVER out of your mind, your heart or your soul. There isn’t a moment when you’re not subconsciously thinking of them or feeling guilty that you aren’t with them. You are still a “full time mummy” but instead of being able to manage and maintain ALL the aspects of your home, you are managing an external work load, whether that is as a retail assistant part time or as a doctor working 90 hours a week.

So can we cut it out with the full time mummy thing now please?

H x

88 Comments

  1. March 18, 2017 / 8:39 am

    Looking after small children is a job that needs to be done. They can’t look after themselves. Whether you do that job yourself or you pay someone else to do that job, it’s still a job to be done. In the same way that cleaning the house is a job to be done whether you do it yourself or pay someone else to do it. I believe that staying at home to look after small children is a job. Granted it comes with no pay, no holiday, no boss in the conventional sense. But how can it be classed as a job when you’re paying someone to do it and a ‘lifestyle choice’ when you’re not? I believe SAHPs should be proud to say their job is looking after small children (in the same way a nanny, childminder or nursery worker would) and not that they are unemployed. Mums are many things outside their job, they are sportswomen, gardeners, singers etc. They are not labelled by their parental status or their job. They are women. Their job is not what defines them, it’s what they happen to do, day to day. SAHPs do have a job, they look after children all day, they are not unemployed.

    • Harriet March 21, 2017 / 9:14 am

      I think you’ve totally missed my point Lucy – I’m not a nanny or an au pair. I get no break from parenting, even if I am at work I do not suddenly cease to be a parent. Referring to parenting as a “job” not only devalues it, but it divides us further. Ultimately, you are unemployed – there is no shame in that, in fact it is telling of society that we feel the need to make excuses for what we do with our time if we aren’t gainfully employed, do heirs to family fortunes do this? How about society people? No, the only members of society that are asked to give themselves a job title, or judged for not having one, are parents. Saying being a stay at home parent is a job not only devalues and divides but it also allows society to continue to make us feels that we need to justify what we are doing: we don’t.
      SAHP work hard all day, there are fewer breaks than in employment and it’s HARD, just as hard as being an employed parent. It’s not a job.

  2. February 27, 2017 / 11:36 pm

    An interesting post that has definitely sparked debate. I see where you are coming from and I appreciate that you’ve clearly said that you think SAHMs work hard, but I personally think that your conclusion about SAHMs being unemployed is wrong. Just because I’m not paid for what I do doesn’t mean I am unemployed . Surely employment means that you contribute to society? That you are engaged in something meaningful and productive? I guess you could call me a volunteer (just like the lady behind the counter at the Oxfam store, or the youth group leader – would you class them as unemployed?). I am making huge personal sacrifices to do something that I feel passionately about, by choice. Not because I am lazy or unemployable or unskilled. #blogcrush
    Lucy At Home recently posted…Blog Crush #2: 24th February 2017My Profile

  3. February 25, 2017 / 8:41 am

    Even though I’ve called it a job in the past, its not a job per say. It’s hard work definitely, but not a job. There’s no break time either or shifts it’s 24/7. But it was my choice, although I wasn’t sure what I was getting myself in for haha. Another great post from you. Love your honesty always. It’s what blogging is for. Also enjoy your instagrams haha. I have an almost 6 month old and looking forward to the adventures and memories he will bring, be there good, bad or funny xxx

  4. February 25, 2017 / 8:29 am

    I’m a SAHM having recently given up a career to take care of our daughter. I have never really put any labels on myself nor have I given it much thought. I don’t think people who call it a job or call themselves full time parents are doing so in a hurtful or competitive fashion. That’s just the label they have decided to apply to themselves and I think they should be able to call themselves these things. We know what they mean when they say these words. They are not misleading us to belive that they are brain surgeons. As far as the actual definition of a job goes, staying at home with the kids might not bring in a paycheck but maybe some people feel that the money they save by not paying for daycare is like their salary. In a way it’s like being your own customer. #BlogCrush

  5. February 6, 2017 / 5:15 pm

    I think this has come about because some people, particularly non-parents look at stay at home parents as slackers or that parenting isn’t as value laden as having a job. It’s not really meant as as anytning competitive with other parents or saying those who work aren’t as good, it’s simply a retort to those who think staying at home with your kids is some disneyland slackers paradise and doesn’t have as much value or means your not working as hard as someone who goes out to work. It’s BS but it’s becuase so many do see stay at home parents as not pulling their weight or having an easy life.

    • Harriet February 9, 2017 / 12:38 pm

      I can totally see that Adam, but I do have to say I disagree that we should then try to dress it up – by doing so, we’re allowing people who have very incorrect ideas about stay at home parents to feel like they are warranted in their approach. It’s NOT a job, it shouldn’t have to be considered so and by changing OUR view to meet their argument, we give them the credit they don’t deserve. Personally, I would be proud to say “I don’t have a job, I’m at home raising my children” without feeling the need to pander to someone’s outdated and foolish beliefs that that makes me a less member of society.

  6. Duncan
    January 29, 2017 / 4:31 am

    As much i would love to be able to go to work and be able to provide for our family. It’s not currently possible in our circumstance. To be honest I love being at home with our son. For all his 1st that he has done, I’ve been home. I would of hate to of missed any of them. I don’t class it has a job, as a father to our child, what I do at home, I should be doing anyway. Am a full time father, what I provide for our son In love, time, warmth, care. There’s no ‘job’ in the world, that I belive could provide any of that to him. Even when my partner does go back to work, I’ll be staying at home, it’s the lifestyle that we have chosen and it works for us. To some we may not have much, we may not be both in work but we all are happy and enjoy what we have got…

  7. January 11, 2017 / 5:34 am

    Just playing devil’s advocate here but I think the reason stay at home parents refer to themselves as ‘full time mummy/daddy’ is because without an actual job you can suffer from a lack of self worth. I know I did. I totally get where you are coming from and how this term might be deemed offensive but I guess it’s easier to say than ‘I’m unemployed’. I’m back to work part time now but I seem to struggle with whatever I do. I stay at home and I feel a bit unimportant, I go back to work and I feel guilty and like I’m missing out.

    • Harriet January 12, 2017 / 1:45 pm

      I can see that Emma and it’s a really good point, but one that I find so sad. Why should someone be made to feel like they lack self worth because of unemployment. I find it to be such an annoying societal flaw that we would see a young unemployed man who’s family have earned the fortune he sits back on as ok, but a woman who’s family isn’t earning mega bucks but who is perhaps living from her partner’s wage in order to stay at home with her children, should be ashamed to say she’s unemployed. Does that make sense?

      • Cassie
        February 7, 2017 / 4:12 am

        *whose

        Not who’s

  8. August 5, 2016 / 10:20 pm

    Just read your post there and some of the comments and I just can’t belive what I’m reading to be honest. Here’s the thing, Why choose to be a parent/s if you are going to keep calling it a “job”? Like, it’s hard work being a parent and it’s not something people do Lightly, we choose to be parents, we go through with it so why even talk about it like it’s a bad thing? It’s amazing! It’s hard, it’s harder than any job I’ve ever heard of. It never stops, for the rest of your life you are a parent wither you go out to work or not…. everyone’s in the same boat here so I don’t see why anyone would be looking down on another for their choices…. I just don’t understand the aggressiveness from some people. Everyone is allowed an opinion, just happens you don’t like a term that others use. It’s like, that’s never happened before right? *cough, cough* well done for standing your ground though, personally it doesn’t bother me, I just don’t think about it but I understand why it would annoy others.
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    • Harriet August 7, 2016 / 9:57 pm

      Haha thanks Jordanne! I know, some of the comments are a bit OTT but I expected that as it is a very emotive topic. I hope I managed to convey that this wasn’t written as a dig at SAHP but rather to say we need to think about the other side and how we word things.

  9. March 11, 2016 / 5:59 pm

    My goodness, some of these comments! Why do these people read blogs if they don’t want mummy bloggers sharing their opinions? How boring would blogs be if everyone agreed on everything and shared the same opinions!

    I am a mum and I work part time, so agree with your opinions. I am in no way a part time mummy even though I have spent time away from my daughter since she was 2. Are Dads that work ‘part time Dads’, I doubt very much that they ever get labelled as such.

    I have lots of respect for SAHMs because I know I would find it hard. However, I think that a lot of them label themselves as “Full time mummy” not to cause offense to the rest of us, but to try and prove a point about how busy and knackered they are.
    Sarah | Digital Motherhood recently posted…10 Things I Want My Daughter To KnowMy Profile

    • Harriet March 11, 2016 / 9:29 pm

      Thanks Sarah, I couldn’t agree more – maybe it was a slow day at home. *meow*

      I’ve said so many times that I have the utmost respect for SAHMs and also that I don’t think it’s a phrase we use to hurt, but more because society doesn’t have the respect for the them – but I think that in itself makes more of an issue, it’s playing into the perception that SAHMs should dress up what they do as a job in order for it to get respect. You don’t need a “job” to be worthy of respect. Thank you for your lovely comment xx

    • Harriet March 11, 2016 / 10:18 am

      Thanks Jenna – very much how I feel πŸ™‚ H x

  10. March 10, 2016 / 1:17 am

    Sorry you get so upset over the term Full time mum. I consider myself a full time mother and never saw it as such an offensive thing to say. Being a mum for me is hard work as is being a professional blogger and I guess I’ve never really been upset by this or seen an argument over it. In my opinion all mothers are full time mums, if our children live with us, whether we work or not and even if our child shared residence elsewhere we ares still mums. I think it’s a silly thing for everyone to be upset over.

    • Harriet March 11, 2016 / 10:22 am

      I see your point Angela, I really do, but I have to say I think that it might seem silly to you to be upset about it but it’s about moving with the times. There are a lot of terms that people don’t think are offensive but are, take for example many of the everyday sexism comments that people just don’t think of as offensive, but they divide and therefore are. Thanks for the comment πŸ™‚ H x

  11. March 9, 2016 / 4:45 pm

    Fantastic post. Amazingly written and yes I agree.
    I’m a stay at home Mum, I blog and have a small jewelry business so I guess if pushed I’d list either of them as my occupation. I do not work at Mum, I am Mum, Mum is my life. Same as every other Mother, in employment or not.
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    • Harriet March 9, 2016 / 8:20 pm

      Thank you so much Nat, that is really kind of you to say. H x

  12. March 9, 2016 / 3:57 pm

    Ahhhh I can’t believe some of the comments above – I just don’t get what is offensive about this post. I work part time, but I don’t say I am a part time mum. When people ask what I do, i say I work part time and look after the boys the rest. When I didn’t work, I said I didn’t work and that I looked after my boys. I agree with you completely that a mum is not an occupation or employment and as you said, we are all full time mums – if you work then it is often because you need to provide for your kids and that is part of parenting and so you are still being a mum full time. If you don’t have to work for financial reasons and you choose to, it is because you want to raise your kids to be who they want to be and by choosing to work, you are being who you want to be too. If you choose to not work, then you choose to parent in that way – I only work 5 hours a week and I am in NO way offended by this post. I actually think people haven’t really bothered to take in what you are saying and are just wanting to feel offended. I hate labels and some people give themselves a label and then are offended by the fall out that brings. Sorry for the epic comment – and hope it has come through this time xx
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    • Harriet March 9, 2016 / 8:23 pm

      THANK YOU Amanda. I really think you get where I’m coming from – this is in no way a diss of being a SAHP, ever. It’s about saying, look can we stop dressing it up as something it isn’t – one it’s hurtful to people who actually are employed to think they are somehow lesser parents because, well, you’re doing it professionally right? and two it’s demeaning to what you actually do as a parent. There are no breaks, no remuneration, no holidays, no pension… the list goes on. There is no way you would work in this kind of job because it goes above and beyond that. Thank you for the lovely comment πŸ™‚ H x

  13. March 8, 2016 / 11:49 am

    I have to say starting to read this I got a bit sad because I felt I was being belittled as a stay at home mum. I love staying at home with my son and I wouldn’t have it any other way, but equally I don’t have the choice for another way as the price of childcare is so expensive we would be financially worse off for me to work! (Ridiculous right?)
    But as I continued I think I get the point and I do agree. I don’t see this as my job and I don’t see this as my career but the tricky thing is when I bump into friends from school/university and they say “what are you up to now?” I feel a bit embarrassed and end up saying “oh I just look after my little boy” as if it’s something to be ashamed of because it isn’t a job in any way and because I do feel a bit stupid saying I’m a SAHM or a full time mum (which I have never said in my life because I completely agree with your point of no mum isn’t a full time mum)
    I agree this needs to stop being how we describe our employment, but equally I feel I need some way of being proud of our role as an individual. X

    • Harriet March 8, 2016 / 12:04 pm

      I think thats the way a few people have felt Jenn and I’m sorry for that, but pleased you kept reading to the end to get my point. It’s not a dig at being a SAHM, ever. Never ever. It’s my way of saying, let’s stand together, drop the whole “full time” malarky and stop allowing society to make us feel ashamed of what we are doing to the degree where we feel we need to justify it as a job. Christ, we wouldn’t see a multi-millionaire’s child who has never had to work justifying their lifestyle would we?! No. We allow society to make us feel embarrassed and thats not ok, you should be so proud to be a SAHM, you are moulding the next generation – something I have to have help with as a working mum because I can’t be at work and caring for my kids at the same time. Not only that but you do so much more than you are given credit for, and we need to stand together and say proudly that we stay at home, or work, without trying to dress it up as anything it isn’t. You really should be proud of what you do, because it is so so important. x

  14. March 8, 2016 / 10:56 am

    I cannot bear the argument between SAHM and working mums, it’s just ridiculous. As you pointed out, we’re all ‘full time mummies’ (that expression makes me cringe) and no, it’s not a job. Fact. While people might disagree with your point (I read the above comments by one very upset person, who told you not to overthink the small stuff but seems to be overthinking this post a lot!), they can’t argue with fact, and this post is fact; A job is being paid by an employer and a SAHM isn’t get paid and doesn’t have an employer. I can see that you have tried to write this post in the least inoffensive manner possible, and you have acknowledged how difficult being a SAHM is, so why are people so upset? Sorry if I sound arsey to anyone reading these comments, I just don’t get it myself. It’s Harriet’s blog, it’s Harriet’s opinion and it’s based on fact And I, as a SAHM, will never call myself a full time mummy or class it as my job.. So there! (I don’t know why I’e got so passionate about this post!!) xx
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    • Harriet March 8, 2016 / 11:41 am

      Thanks Ally, I couldn’t be more pleased to see that you get exactly where I’m coming from – it was done in the most diplomatic way possible and, of course people are welcome to disagree, but that doesn’t mean they can get nasty or slam out opinions without reading the article. You can’t comment if you don’t read! Don’t go off a title and all that! H x

  15. Helen
    February 28, 2016 / 10:55 pm

    I’m a full time working mum and my sister who is a STHM sent me this message, I have not edited it to say it upset me is an understatement
    “I love being a stay at home mummy !!!!
    You get to see all those magical moments in their first two years”
    I love this article as I’m not a part time mum I’m a full time mum who has a job and I do get to see all the magical moments which are so special.

    • Harriet February 28, 2016 / 11:17 pm

      Thanks Helen – that is really a shame. It’s done without any malice, but it’s something that we do’t realise divides us If someone is “full time” some has to be “part time” and thats not true. H x

  16. Natasha
    February 24, 2016 / 10:48 am

    I agree. 100%. I’m a stay at home mum, and I would never consider it my job, I think it’s sad when people do. Your children are more than just your job. And as for removing the post like someone suggested? I’d respect you less if you caved in to Internet bullies and keyboard warriors just because they disagree with you…

    • Harriet February 24, 2016 / 2:59 pm

      Thank you Natasha! I have no intention of retracting the post, I’m entitled to my opinion, just as people are entitled to disagree. H πŸ™‚

  17. Frankie wright
    February 23, 2016 / 12:13 pm

    Ok so you have an issue with wording. Well please do give me a better way to describe what I do then because I’m not a stay at home mum either, my shoes are on, coat is on, me and my daughter are about to LEAVE the house! Shock horror!!!! CHOOSE NOT TO SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF!!! LIFE IS TOO SHORT!!! X

    • Harriet February 23, 2016 / 12:27 pm

      Someone suggested household engineer on Facebook though I don’t think that really describes parenting at all? I can fully appreciate what you are saying there – another point that had been raised and maybe you could argue that SAHM is just as offensive because it implies you are in the home all day. I hear your point, I get you. It’s near impossible to give it a title because you do SO much, but ultimately I still don’t feel it’s a job/occupation, still not keen on full time mummy. I think “mother/mum” would just suffice to be fair, anyone who knows what its like to be one would get that you are unemployed and choosing to dedicate your time to raising your child/children without the additional requirements of an occupation.

      We need to get over the stigma of unemployed – it doesn’t mean you are seeking work, it doesn’t mean you are sponging or taking benefits. It just means you are unemployed and choosing to do other things with your life.

      • Frankie wright
        February 24, 2016 / 9:14 am

        Fully disagree with you again. Words were created to communicate. To pass information from one person to another. When someone asks me at a baby group what I do I believe if I were to answer with ‘I’m a mummy’ they would probably feel I’m up my own butt, not friendly and probably a whole can of worse negatives than I’m a full time mummy. The term hasn’t been created to offend, it doesn’t mean people who use it think others that work aren’t mummies all the time. Do you take everything literally?!?! I explain that I am lucky enough that I get to stay and look after my baby and not work. Even then I feel why should I say lucky? Why should I have to explain? Some days I don’t feel lucky! The reason I slay it is cause I feel like I need to protect myself from people that judge. People that are up for drawing lines in the sand. People like you. You can’t see it but you are not spreading love. You are spreading nastiness. And I’m sure if u could see that u would remove your blog. Because it’s offensive and narrow minded.

        • Harriet February 24, 2016 / 3:10 pm

          Sigh. Ok Frankie, I’m going to put this as bluntly as possible because you keep coming back with the same argument, and I feel like we’re at a cross paths. It’s only offensive to you because you disagree. Strongly. Everyone has an opinion and I am entitled to share mine, irrespective of the offence it might cause. Just as you are entitled to disagree. I fully appreciate where you are coming from, but in my mind, the only reason that you feel the need to “justify” what you do with your time is because YOU are insecure with what you do. There is absolutely no judgement at all in this post. I have pointed out that I feel SAHMs do a tonne and need to be recognised for that, but you need to be secure in the fact that you are unemployed and spending your time in other valuable ways. You have mentioned you have given up a career, so I suspect that has a lot to do with why you find this offensive, and as you said yourself, sometimes you don’t feel lucky, which is understandable if you feel you have “given up” something to be a mother. I realise this is a very literal way of taking the term “stay at home mum” but as you can see from the comments, it’s a common thought amongst many women, not one I’m alone in.

          The truth is, no one makes you feel the need to elaborate what you do other than you because YOU have an issue with what you do. Not me. By stating that you feel a woman saying they are a “mummy” instead of trying to dress it up as a job and make it a “full time” thing makes them sound “up their own butt” is in fact YOUR judgement on them and yourself.

          I’m not saying you are wrong for the way you feel, I’m just saying I differ, and I will not be removing the post, writing a retraction or anything else, based on the request of one person that disagrees.

          • Frankie wright
            February 24, 2016 / 6:10 pm

            Ok I’m sure u are getting as bored as me about this so I’ll make it a quick one! BTW I’m not a bully or a Internet warrior, just want to make that clear. You set out to try and stop something that u found offensive and hurtful. In doing so u have done the same. Maybe there is no ‘right’ way to be, no ‘right’ thing to say. Please don’t pick me apart, you don’t know me. Nor do I know u. I just know that I clicked on to be inspired and to feel part of women coming together and supporting each other and I’ve never felt so the opposite. No hard feeling tho x

          • Harriet February 25, 2016 / 9:35 am

            I’m sure you’re not Frankie, and I never said you were. I think we just have strongly opposing opinions – maybe we can agree to disagree on this one and in future I hope you feel inspired and enjoy the posts the way I have intended to write them πŸ™‚ x

        • Kelly
          February 24, 2016 / 6:20 pm

          I don’t find it offensive or narrow minded. That’s just your opinion, but like this is hers.

          The only thing that annoys me about seeing full time mummy on Facebook is that it’s grammatically incorrect, “works at full time mummy”. I don’t really care what other’s call themselves and don’t see it as a reflection on me, I do agree it’s not a job and being on mat leave felt like a good holiday to me after working 90hrs a week…

          • Harriet February 25, 2016 / 9:38 am

            Yes Kelly, I turn into the grammar police all the time – hubs says I’m a right douche with it! I correct him all the time and he just ignores me, swear he does it for fun now! I think I must have been doing something wrong when I was on mat leave, it really never felt like a holiday to me, though now working full time hours (annnnnd the rest) I feel exhausted and drained, especially doing it from a home office when E is with me and not in childcare. I’m lucky to have so much help from my mum otherwise I feel I probably wouldn’t be able to do as much as I do. H πŸ™‚

          • Harriet February 25, 2016 / 9:38 am

            P.s – Hubs used to work 90+hrs a week as a hotel manager, I feel you!

  18. Frankie wright
    February 23, 2016 / 10:38 am

    Having decided to read your full blog and the comments made, i think you would gain some respect back from alot of your readers by either deleting and apologising or rewriting and asking for opinions from friends / family about your article before re posting. I think you are having problems seeing past your own issues and have got blinkers on, you aren’t able to see how offensive this is. It’s a shame because u seem like u want to help people but your own issues are creating issues in others and worse still sadness and upset in others.

    • Harriet February 23, 2016 / 11:03 am

      Thank you for taking the time to read the comments. I won’t be deleting the post, apologising for my opinion or seeking additional back up for my opinions. They aren’t changing. You are not the only person to disagree, you aren’t the only person to be offended either, but if you truly did read the comments (and possibly took a look at the Facebook comments on the page) you would see that a lot of people, both SAHMs and working mums, agree with me. It’s a matter of differing opinions and everyone is entitled to voice theirs. You have stated that I have blinkers on, however judging by your previous comment about how hard you have found moving/leaving friends and adjusting to your own lifestyle, is it a stretch to feel that you are so offended by the post because of your own blinkers and wish to validate what you do with your life? Please try to see I’m not knocking what you choose to do as a stay at home mum, I’m not devaluing how very hard it is, how valuable SAHMs are to society, but I strongly and unapologetically feel that to call motherhood a “job” devalues it and the statement “full time mummy” is something we need to ditch.

      I hope you can see (and respect) my point of view, I do appreciate yours, I just disagree with it. H

  19. Frankie wright
    February 23, 2016 / 7:41 am

    I couldn’t even read your article because it made me so upset / angry. I say to people when they ask that I am a full time mummy. I don’t say it to upset anyone else, I have had to move 4 times since my daughter was born for my husbands job. He earns more. I’ve left my work / career / all friends behind. I’m adjusting but finding it tough. I say for want of better words that I am a full time mummy. Never to pee on others people’s lives / decisions. U say we should all support each other and not piting ourselves against each other. Well maybe u should lead and others will follow. Don’t write rubbish on blogs and instead think the best of others instead of the worst.

    • Harriet February 23, 2016 / 10:58 am

      I have said countless times Frankie that I fully appreciate it isn’t done in malice or with the intent to upset, but as you could see from the comments (when you read them, I know you’ve commented again to say you have now) I’m not the only one that feels this way. By far. Thank you for taking the time to comment, I’m sad to feel that I have offended/upset you, but what I feel you need to realise is this is just one opinion – I firmly believe motherhood can’t be reduced to a job, and I firmly believe that calling yourself a “full time mummy” implies that someone out there is a “part time mummy” and they aren’t. I think the important thing is that you can respectfully disagree (which some have) but I do feel it’s time we stopped trying to dress up being a SAHM as an occupation – it really isn’t (again, 100% my opinion and of course people will differ on that) and we need to stop being ashamed of the fact that we are staying at home and effectively unemployed.

  20. February 23, 2016 / 12:33 am

    I’ve just finished reading everyones comments, while everyone has really valid points and opinions on this topic. I find myself at a stand still. I have said when asked what i do for a living in the past when i was a SAHM. I’d openly say I am a SAHM without even a second thought. Now that I work part time I say I am a part time working mum. I guess its just a matter of opinion but i don’t find mums who say their job is being a mum a problem. Because that’s what they are doing with their life, Although not employed I still view it as working I suppose because they still work just as hard if not harder than anyone else. xx
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    • Harriet February 23, 2016 / 10:53 am

      I don’t think there is such an issue with SAHM Lorraine, more that I see ‘full time mum” as a poor choice of words… to say someone is full time, implies there will be someone part time in my eyes, and none of us are. I absolutely 1000% recognise how hard they work to fulfil their role, but to say it’s a job to me just diminishes it! You are right though, everyone has an opinion and thought I didn’t want to offend anyone with this post, I do expect that some people will disagree – I never expected anyone to see it as a dig at SAHMs though, purely because I’ve said I recognise how hard it is. I just don’t feel it is a “job”. Thank you for taking the time to comment lovely πŸ™‚

  21. February 22, 2016 / 9:49 pm

    Oh this really gets on my nervous when I see it at as occupation. I chose to be a stay at home mum I never saw it as a job of a chore it’s just silly x
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    • Harriet February 23, 2016 / 10:48 am

      Thank you so much Amy. You get where I’m coming from and that this isn’t a dig or a way of saying SAHM’s don’t have it hard – anyone who has done it knows they do – rather that it isn’t an occupation and we need to let go of trying to make it so. Thanks for commenting πŸ™‚

  22. February 22, 2016 / 7:35 pm

    I have been a full time mum, a part time mum and now a full time mum even though I work (my son comes to nursery I work in) all 3 were tough in their own ways but I loved every single minute and if anyone wanted to label me for my choices then thats their choice. Labels don’t bother me and I can see some people are upset my this post but everyone has an opinion
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    • Harriet February 23, 2016 / 10:47 am

      I think that’s the main thing to remember, everyone has an opinion. The post isn’t intended to upset or offend anyone – of course with such an emotive topic, it always will – but I do feel that sometimes we use phrases such as “full time mum” without really thinking what it implies about others. I don’t want this to feel like a shame of any one group – rather a way of pointing out that we could think more about the language we use and stop trying to put motherhood across as a job – it isn’t. Thank you for taking the time to comment Michelle πŸ™‚

  23. February 22, 2016 / 12:47 pm

    I have no issue being labelled as a full time Mum, my role is not a job, but a lifestyle choice. I have been the parent that works full time and then has to come home, do homework, manage the house and cram quality time into evenings and two days off. Being able to be at home with the kids as they grow maybe challenging at times but is a priviledge.
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    • Harriet February 22, 2016 / 3:33 pm

      Couldn’t agree more Kara, such a privilege and a challenge in equal parts! Thanks for the lovely comments!

  24. February 21, 2016 / 11:52 am

    Yes!! You are singing from my Hyme Sheet! It’s drives me potty all this “full time” mummy nonsense. This post doesn’t disregard the importance of either working mums or stay at home mums either like some other commenters are stating. I have to work, I have no choice. But I do love my job. My Husband will be doing the care whilst I work, as will my mum. We are fortunate that the Hubby does shift work and I work part-time school hours so he will be cared for mostly buy his family. Makes me feel shit if I’m labelled a part time parent. Fuck off (sorry, I get quite animated in this debate!) xxx
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    • Harriet February 21, 2016 / 1:10 pm

      Ahh thank you Kay! I fully appreciate you spirited reply haha, it’s something I’m passionate about too. We need to think about the language we use and how it refers to others. I’m pleased someone else can see that this isn’t a dig at SAHMs its about celebrating BOTH without using language that implies one is lesser than the other! H x

  25. February 20, 2016 / 10:22 pm

    I think that being a Mum isn’t really a job as if your a parent you have a child it just changes depending on your personal situation whether your at home with your children all day, a few days a week or at work full time. I’m not the biggest fan of the “full time mummy” expression personally but again it’s a personal choice x
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    • Harriet February 21, 2016 / 1:11 pm

      I agree – always a parent! H πŸ™‚

  26. February 20, 2016 / 1:37 am

    Hmmm I think you’re overthinking it.

    Stay-home parents and working parents both suffer stigmas. I was a SAHM for 7 years and have had my own businesses for the past year. I was very fortunate to be able to care for my children during this time, but it was bloody hard work. Harder than I ever imagined. Only now that my youngest is in nursery and my boys are in school can I sit back and realise how hard it was. Harder than being employed in many ways and harder than running my own business. I was a full-time parent, because that is how my time was spent. I find it difficult that this term causes so much offence. It is a descriptor, it has not been thought over long and hard in order to offend working mothers.

    As a working parent who is self-employed, I’m still there during the holidays and I’m still there at school pick-ups and drop-offs. I fully appreciate how difficult it is for parents who work and I empathise, but fighting over terminology is a waste of effort. Instead of taking a hump that other women call themselves by a word you don’t like, own what you do and who you are and have confidence in the choices you’ve made in your life. What other women call themselves really doesn’t matter and it doesn’t affect you. I just think you need to say, “this is who I am and I’m freaking AWESOME!” When you have that attitude these little things really don’t matter.

    Also disagree that having a job means you must get paid. That really isn’t a definition of the world “job” – that’s the definition of being in employment.

    • Harriet February 21, 2016 / 1:14 pm

      I fully appreciate where you are coming from, and I’ve tried to really get across that this in no means demeans SAHMs rather I’m trying to say 1.) calling motherhood a job undermines how hard it is and 2.) full time mummy is a way of pitting us against each other, not building each other up. I do agree it could be over thinking it, but I feel like they used to say that about homophobic slurs or causal racism. If it unintentionally hurts someone or makes them feel lesser then that’s worth addressing. Thank you for the great comment! H πŸ™‚

  27. February 19, 2016 / 7:09 pm

    Oh this is an interesting one, I haven’t read all ththe comments the above but I’m sure it will have really hit a nerve with people. I’m really not too hung up on labels and what we call ourselves we are all doing our best with whatever approach our life circumstances allow us to choose.
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    • Harriet February 21, 2016 / 1:16 pm

      Thanks Sarah! It did strike a nerve with some, and I think it did (unintentionally) upset some, but my intention was to say let’s try and think about how what we say affects other people and let’s not demean motherhood to a job – that Implies breaks, pay/reuneration etc… its so much more than a job!

  28. February 19, 2016 / 4:08 pm

    Here here! It’s such a strange thing to say. I work part time and have to try and squeeze all the other homely jobs in to my Rosalie days. I long for the days when I was on maternity leave. Hopefully I’ll be a SAHM again soon!

    • Harriet February 21, 2016 / 1:17 pm

      Thanks for the great comment Sarah! I did love being a SAHM, found it hard for so many reasons, but I loved it!

  29. February 19, 2016 / 3:58 pm

    Oh ouch. I guess it’s hard to read tone, and I do always try to read things in a positive way, but this post has made my heart race as it has come across as slightly angry (to me, I’m sure it wasn’t written with that intention at all and I always enjoy your posts otherwise!)

    Having been a working mum, a stay-at-home mum and now a work-from-home mum I have never felt inferior or superior to any other parents, and have never compared to or felt judged by any of my friends who are also parents. But reading this has made me feel quite sad.

    As an aside, whilst I have never liked to use the term “full time mother”, when I registered my second son’s birth I wasn’t working at all and the registrar said that my occupation WAS “full-time mother” and put that on his birth certificate. She said I couldn’t have accountant as my occupation because I wasn’t working as one at the time, but equally I was not unemployed.

    Anyway, interesting to read your views on it. It has certainly made me question what my friends must truly think of me x
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    • Harriet February 21, 2016 / 1:21 pm

      Oh I hope it hasn’t upset you Sian. What I’m trying to get across is that the term “full time” implies someone out there has to be part time. It is also one of those things that I feel very strongly about and as such have written quite abruptly about it. I think that to say motherhood is a job really puts it down a peg – it is so much more and so much harder – for all of us! I also feel that lately as a work at home mum, I’ve had a bit of a marring experience – I usually get to do the school runs but my mum has been off work of late and very kindly said to me, “I’ll take and collect the kids – you get in the office”… when I have collected the kids I’ve had “ohhh I didn’t know you still picked up the kids” and mum has been asked a few times on a morning if I’m even up.

      I work, therefore I am part time at motherhood (something someone has actually had the brass balls to put in her comment above). No thanks, I’m still just as full time as anyone else – and thats where I get offended. I don’t at all think it’s intentional or done to divide on purpose, but I do think it does divide us as mothers. H πŸ™‚

      • February 22, 2016 / 10:26 am

        I never get why people have to make underhand comments like the ones you’ve experienced on the school runs. It’s so unnecessary and it always makes me think back to the bullying talks we’d get at school – you know when they say that bullies are probably insecure or jealous. No you haven’t upset me, bless you, don’t worry. I was just taken aback slightly but it’s easy to understand why you feel so strongly. It’s easy to understand why any mum feels strongly about this topic whichever angle it’s written from x
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        • Harriet February 22, 2016 / 11:35 am

          Ahh that’s good! it was one of my first strongly written posts that is on a really controversial topic, I rarely feel this way to be fair so it’s not my usual style! I totally agree, bullies are just insecure, it still digs at you though doesn’t it?! H πŸ™‚ xx

  30. Jessica
    February 19, 2016 / 2:05 pm

    I found this a pretty hard read as in my opinion I think it does the opposite of what I think your trying to say. I totally get the phrase ‘full time mum’ being offensive to working mums as u say can give the impression that they aren’t mums all the time which they certainly are and I think us mums (or parents sorry to generalise) wether stay at home or go to work are doing our best for what we think is best for our families.
    However, being a ‘stay at home mum’ I find increasing hard when someone asks me what I do for a job or for a living I say I look after my little boy ( and awaiting arrival of number 2). I’m made to feel most of the time like a lesser being for looking after my own child As apposed to paying someone else to.
    Everyone has different circumstances and im ‘lucky’ to have the choice as my husband has a good job than I can do this and know that some mums HAVE to go back to work. If I went back to my old job which I did part time for a little while I would only be paying for childcare and so made the decision of me looking after my child rather than someone else. This is where the choice of being a mother and it being a lifestyle I totally agree will.
    The thing I think I don’t agree with I see plenty of posts supporting mums who go to work but not enough or equal of those about recognising the hard ‘job’ stay at home mums have TOO. And I know u always want what u don’t have and people always think they hsve the raw end of the deal. There’s pro and cons for both which I’m sure both will argue I just think the main message is big up to us all. We all have a really tough job and job hope we r doing the best for our children. X

    • Harriet February 19, 2016 / 2:38 pm

      Thanks for commenting Jessica. That I can understand, there is little in the way of supporting SAHP – I am trying to point out that we should respect SAHM without needing to try and make it something its not – its a wonderful, valuable and impressive thing to be, not something we should dismiss. I also feel that it is so SO much more than a job. To say it’s a job indicates that you would get time off, paid leave etc – you don’t. It’s so much more.

  31. Jessica
    February 19, 2016 / 1:39 pm

    Wow! Someone has guilt issues

    • Jessica
      February 19, 2016 / 1:45 pm

      Obviously couldn’t hack it yourself! You know what I’m sick of? Mummy bloggers who think they’re the only woman ever to have produced off spring and think we all want to hear their thoughts about it – we really don’t!!!!

      • Harriet February 19, 2016 / 2:49 pm

        Yet you took the time to comment twice. Interesting…

    • Harriet February 19, 2016 / 2:50 pm

      Bringing down a Working mum right there. That is what sparks this kind of post – SAHM thinking they are ‘better’ than working mums… I’m pretty confident you’re the one with ‘full time mummy’ spread everywhere WITH the intention to belittle others.

    • Elena
      February 19, 2016 / 2:54 pm

      This is an awful comment and if you wanted to make it look like she was bad for writing the post then you didn’t you just look nasty and as a working mum I think it’s an awful thing to say and is that exact reason she feels “full time mummy” isn’t a good phrase.

      Couldn’t agree more with this – calling motherhood a job is insulting. I’m so lucky to have my kids, and I adore them. How mean to call them nothing but my job? They are my whole life and world.

      • Harriet February 19, 2016 / 3:01 pm

        Thanks Elena, she does look a bit daft doesn’t she? I do feel like the phrase is used inadvertently most of the time.

  32. Amy
    February 19, 2016 / 1:33 pm

    Once again, another blog aimed at dividing all us hard working Mums into two camps… I completely disagree with dredging this argument back up again and again…. the definition of ‘job’ isn’t just ‘paid employment’. At preschool, the children are often asked what ‘job’ they would like to do today… painting, sand play, etc… that is not paid employment? I also know many mums (in employment and stay at home) who have described being a mummy as the ‘best job in the world’ so are you going to ban that phrase too? ‘Job’ is just a word!!! Please stop finding petty arguments to set us mums off against each other- we should be sticking together.

    • Harriet February 19, 2016 / 2:49 pm

      I don’t think it’s petty to a lot of people Amy. Take Tracey’s comment below/above – she clearly find it offensive. To say “oh it’s just a word” is similar to saying anything offensive is ‘just a word’. Its about thinking about how what we say can divide us as opposed to build us up. “full time” implies that to not be so would make you “part time” and, call me a sensitive sally, but that makes me feel sad and ashamed to work. I am trying to point out that no matter what your lifestyle choice, we’re all (working or stay at home) equally valid and important. We should be proud to say ‘Stay at home’ and not dress it up as a job – it devalues what you actually do. You don’t get a break, you don’t get paid, there is no stopping… thats not a job, thats a full blown lifestyle.

      Thank you for your comments, they have most certainly been taken on board. H πŸ™‚

  33. KJS
    February 19, 2016 / 12:30 pm

    Ok, where do I start with this?! Firstly, you’re not doing a full-time parenting job if you’re at work 40+ hours a week. That is in no way equivalent to being at home doing constant nappy changes, feeding, playing etc – the very things you PAY somebody else to do BECAUSE you’re at work. To use your analogy – because you’re thinking of your children whilst at work, this is full-time parenting. Well if I’m at home doing the job of looking after my children 24/7 but THINKING about working in an office, does this mean I’m doing the equivalent of working in an office full-time? Of course it doesn’t,

    Another point – the definition of a job is not always to be paid for it. Think volunteers, working in charity shops, for example. Still doing a job, but not being paid for it.

    And another – the term ‘homemaker’. I’m surprised given that you mention you have looked after your children full-time, that you use this term. Anyone who looks after small children on a full-time basis has very little time to make a home, as tidying and cleaning often are bottom of the list of priorities! Using that term is to devalue what parents do, and add to the media conception that people who choose to stay at home and look after their children are lazy or yummy mummies who have nothing better to do than coffee dates and keep the house looking nice for hubby arriving home from work.

    So PLEASE can we stop trying to defend our own parenting decisions by devaluing others? Sorry, not sorry.

    • Harriet February 19, 2016 / 2:45 pm

      I feel like you missed my point Kerry. I’m trying to point out that parenting is a united thing – there is no such things as a full time mummy because there are no ‘part time’ mummies – we are all full time, and I think saying that you aren’t is very unfair to people who do work. Full time mummy just divides in my opinion, unfairly and quite pointlessly.

      I also feel that by calling motherhood a job it devalues it. It makes it sound like there are breaks, some kind of remuneration or benefit to being a parent that is additional to BEING a parent. Its a blessing, a privilege and far, far more than a JOB.

      Thank you for commenting, despite your disagreement, I appreciate it and value your feedback.

      • March 9, 2016 / 3:44 pm

        A definition of a job is a paid position of regular employment, taken from the dictionary so let’s scrap that argument right there.
        A mother who works is definitely still a full-time mum, because they’re at work to earn money to provide for their children.
        And lastly, I am a stay at home mum and my house is spotless thanks.
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        • Harriet March 9, 2016 / 8:29 pm

          Ha Ally, I was trying to be diplomatic but I’m afraid my home was pretty impressive when I didn’t work – the kids messed it up again within seconds but I set myself daily tasks – I did laundry, tidied, swept, mopped, did dishes and found I had time to make myself an extra list of what I wanted to do. I’m not saying that way easy, I had to do it around the kids and with a baby on my hip half the time but I could still do it. This time with going back into self-employment at 2 weeks, I can hardly manage to do any of those things on most days – they get done eventually but it’s harder to do them. I also agree with the comment that a mother is still a full time mum if she works – that is just a spiteful comment… H x

  34. Kyla Wapshott
    February 19, 2016 / 10:04 am

    You’re not ending the ‘mummy wars’ with this jab at SAHP. Do some reading about the importance of unpaid care work in economics and then we can discuss whether ‘homemaker’ or whatever is a job or not.

    • Harriet February 19, 2016 / 2:40 pm

      Not a jab at stay at home mums at all – rather suggesting that what they do is far beyond a job. To call it a job implies that you get time off, get payment or some kind of restitution – none of those things happen with motherhood. We are all full time mums, we are all doing something that goes above and beyond a mere job. Thank you for the comment, I appreciate it even though its in disagreement. πŸ™‚

  35. Beka Wylie
    February 19, 2016 / 9:07 am

    I agree with most of this article but I think it is similarly offensive to sahms to suggest that they are “unemployed”. That word suggests they have nothing to do and are not gainfully occupied. I think it is similarly offensive to use it in relation to someone who stays at home to care for a disabled person or elderly person.

    • Harriet February 19, 2016 / 2:39 pm

      Thanks for commenting Beka, I don’t think of unemployed in that light, rather that you just don’t have an occupation. It’s another stigma I’d like to see gone. Unemployed doesn’t equal a negative thing and we need to let go of that.

  36. Tracey
    February 18, 2016 / 9:20 pm

    Yes!! Thank you. Been reading your posts on & off for a while but my goodness you have SO pushed the right buttons for me with this. Thank you thank you thank you. I work full time, as does my hubby, and we have 2 kids under 5. By CHOICE. I hate the implication that I am less of a mum or ‘part-time’ mum (or a ‘no-time’ mum if working full time??). Good for you for speaking up x

    • Marie
      February 19, 2016 / 2:57 pm

      I agree Tracey. I always feel like a part timer when I hear mums banging on about being full time. Can’t we all just say we’re full time and be proud of each other. Why do we have to pick a phrase that makes some one lesser. By turn I wonder if all these “full time” mums have dads that are “part time”… thats not how I think of my partner, he’s just as much of a parent as me.

      • Harriet February 19, 2016 / 3:04 pm

        That is another point Marie, is the person that doesn’t stay at home with the kids the lesser parent. No, of course not.

    • Harriet February 19, 2016 / 3:03 pm

      Ahh thank you Tracey! It is good to know I’m not alone. It’s in no way meant to be a ‘diss’ of SAHM/P but rather to say can’t we all agree that motherhood is MORE than a job and we are all ‘full time’. Thank you for the lovely comment πŸ™‚

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