We stay at home, us mums. We are the group known as stay at home mums (or moms for the born and bred North Americans).
But are we sahm by title only, or are we living out this label? Notice the last word…mum.
Today I sat with my three year old and watched him play as I stubbornly sat, drinking my coffee, without wanting to play with him. 6:30 is not always the greatest time to catch me in a ninja fighting sort of mood so I sat there and watched. Breakfast followed, with clean up in tow and then clearing out the house for errands in the city. Home for lunch, quiet time, dinner prep, dinner eating, dinner clean up, bath, book and…bed. Now I sit and wonder, was I a good Mum today?
Sure the house is tidied, the laundry…kind of sorted (never fully gets done in this house), the babies were fed and the pets are still alive. I also managed to move the queen mattress out of the bedroom, down the 13 steps to the back yard, knocking out a pathway lamp along the way, and left it lying strategically in the way of the stairs so my loving husband can maybe shift it to the side of the road to be disposed of. So lots done! But was I a good Mum.
I was a great stay at home launderer, a stay at home chef, a stay at home business woman, a stay at home pet sitter, a stay at home cleaner…but that is not my title. Was I a good mum?
How often do I walk past my son racing cars on the kitchen floor to get the crumbs swept up, or put down my daughter so I can pick up another basket of washing. Yes, these things need to be done but I never want my other jobs to trump my Mum job and today I felt more of everything but a stay at home mum.
Why? Why do these other moments creep in and steal our attention away from our most precious children? Is it because their growth is not as quickly seen as is the instant reward of a clean floor or an empty laundry basket? Is it because we reason we are with them all day and can therefore be doing things around them instead of with them? Is it because we have a partner who has expectations to meet and that does not always include a day out at the park leaving sandwiches on a paper towel for dinner? Or is it because we do not take seriously the speed with which our children grow, change, develop and move past their current stages of life? They are all questions, because I am working through this myself. I want to be a stay at home mum first. My children should get the best of us throughout the day, not the smears over the windows that again need to be cleaned.
Tomorrow I will be there. I will be present. I will do what needs to be done but I will not revolve my day around those things, they will instead fit into my day where possible.
We are the stay at home mums. Let’s be mums while we can and cleaners when we can no longer.
this (stay at home) mum