I’m a Stay at Home Mum Because…I’m Lazy

So, what do you think? Does this look like your day, lazing around? Ha! I didn’t think so and it’s definitely not mine either! But a lady I overheard the other evening seemed to think so!

I had to write a post to share with you my frustration over a conversation I overheard the other night at a BBQ. There were very few people I knew at this BBQ and because we brought Elliott along with us (apparently it was ‘kids’ invited but Elliott was pretty much the only child) I was nursing him most of the night because he wouldn’t sleep and was very unhappy. While I was sitting in a chair nursing Elliott to sleep away from the noise, I overheard an older woman talk about one of her 20 something year old sons. Her comment was “Matthew wants to be a Stay at Home Dad when he has kids. I said it’s because he’s lazy.”

Now I don’t know this lady and it was the first time I’d met her so I do not know her history or if she was a Stay at Home Mum, but her comment really irritated me and I couldn’t get it out of my head the next day! Whether it was a bit ‘tongue in cheek’ or not, it’s comments like this that build the negative stigma around being a Stay at Home Mum and that SAHM’s sit at home with their feet up drinking coffee (just like me in the photo…I had fun doing this)! No bloody wonder I get an attack of the guilt’s when Mr. G comes home from work and the place looks like a cyclone has it it. No bloody wonder it was hard going from a working Mum to a Stay at Home Mum because of these types of comments. Since Elliott was born, I have felt on a number of occasions that I’ve had to defend my reasons behind choosing to be a Stay at Home Mum, but it’s funny, I also felt like I had to defend my reasons for working and putting Elliott into daycare too. You just can’t win being a Mum.

What I’ve found through this parenting thing is that, opinions fly everywhere and are all based on peoples different experiences of parenthood and possibly because they envy something they didn’t get to experience themselves. But, as a person who has always had a weak spot for worrying about what others think, I’ve found that opinions on parenting have really got the best of me at times, they’ve made me feel quite lost and not sure about what it was that I really wanted because I was always thinking about the opinions of others, I just didn’t want to be criticised. 

On the work front, trial and error has really been what has helped me figure out what’s best for me and my family, I’ve tried both the working thing and now the SAHM thing and I’ve had good, strong reasons for both. All I know is that for me, the decision I made a couple of months ago to be a Stay at Home Mum was the best I’ve made for my current situation. I tried the whole working thing a few days a week and then one day a week, this is what I always thought I’d do, but it just didn’t work and I had to come to terms with that.  I closed my business so I could focus 100% on Elliott. I knew being a SAHM was going to be tough work, I knew I was going to get cabin fever and drive myself crazy, I knew that I was going to be constantly looking at the mess in my house wanting to get it clean every day (which doesn’t happen by the way) but I knew it was definitely worth dealing with this to be with Elliott, to have 100% focus on him. It took me a while to think this way, but I just keep reminding myself “do what’s right for you and your family.”

So whether as a Stay at Home Mum people think I’m lazy or not, the only thing I care about now is that I get to spend valuable time with my son, and as I write in a previous post, I’m very lucky to be able to do so.

What irritating comments have you overheard or received about being a SAHM or Working Parent that irritated you?

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Eva Lewis (The Multitasking Woman)

Eva Lewis (The Multitasking Woman)

Eva is the Editor and Owner of The Multitasking Woman. She always has her fingers in many different pies but wouldn't have it any other way. Eva is a freelance writer, a social media manager, a Mum to her six-year-old son, one-year-old daughter, six chickens and Benny the dog and wife to Mr G. They all live happily in their little worker's cottage in Ipswich, Queensland, Australia.
Eva Lewis (The Multitasking Woman)

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  1. September 25, 2013 / 10:43 pm

    I haven’t heard any comments but I do know I copped a fair bit of flack for going back to work when K was 3 weeks old. But that was what was right for us. I think so long as you are comfortable with the decisions you have made – you should tell everyone else to bugger off because it has absolutely nothing to do with them.
    Have the best day !

  2. Anonymous
    September 25, 2013 / 10:44 pm

    I got from my grandmother when i went back to work that i was abandoning my kid (she didnt think ask who was watching him) for someone else to raise. My family & friends looked after him while I worked parttime. Kid #2 arrived & now my grandmother comments on me working at night so i am home with the kids… cant win!

    Husbands family think I am like your picture… but they never visit so no idea what I do. My SIL on the other hand is like your picture & her now school age kids have no respect for anyone or thing.

    • September 27, 2013 / 10:44 am

      Isn’t it so annoying when people have opinions but don’t know the whole story! You never judge a book by it’s cover, so the same goes with judging parents!

  3. September 26, 2013 / 12:09 am

    It is so weird how women can’t win these days. Whatever we do, there is societal pressure to do something different. Thanks for sharing 🙂

    • September 27, 2013 / 10:45 am

      Tell me about it Chelsea. I was completely oblivious to the parenting opinions before becoming a mum and now I’m still trying to figure out why people feel the need to be so opinionated instead of just minding their own business.

  4. September 26, 2013 / 2:19 am

    I definitely think that some of my childless friends think that’s what I do all day. Especially when they phone and assume that I can chat for half an hour (or in the case with family, sometimes much longer). Don’t get me wrong, I love that they phone, but seriously, there’s no way I can tell the kids to just play by yourselves quietly while mummy gives all her attention to the phone she’s holding up to her ear for anything more than a couple of minutes tops. What really gets my goat though is the negative comments I get from family because I allow my second daughter (who has only just turned one) to have a sleep at the same time each day and so sometimes don’t turn up to events where the time clashes, or else I turn up and end up sitting in the car the whole time while she sleeps. They seem to think that I can just wake her up. And then, if heaven forbid she does get woken up and then whinges all afternoon, they ask “what’s wrong with her today?” – she hasn’t had her nap of course! argh…

    • September 27, 2013 / 10:49 am

      If that were me and my family made comments about my sons sleeping schedule and not turning up to events, I would really voice my opinion. I have always been the same as you Danya, my son (and many children as I understand) sleeps best when we’re on a schedule and I always made this very clear. Luckily they were very understanding but I really do feel for you. Don’t they understand that children love structure like this? Once you throw it out, that’s when it all goes to s#@t! and the parents are always the one to suffer (and the children)

  5. September 26, 2013 / 3:52 am

    I don’t know how working mums of under 5s juggle it all , I have done a little work at home but I don’t see around much…try telling my hubby.

    • September 27, 2013 / 10:51 am

      That’s exactly what I have thought Trish, how on earth to working mums do it. When I was working not long ago, I was working from home so I guess I did have the luxury of being able to put the dinner on etc. but to not be able to do that, I haven’t experienced that yet and it sure takes determination and positive energy.

  6. September 26, 2013 / 4:22 am

    I haven’t had any comments. But I think that having four kids, people (even the ignorant lol) know that I am a very busy SAHM. But as you say and it is very true, you do want is right for you and right for your family at the time. 🙂

    • September 27, 2013 / 10:52 am

      Four kids would definitely keep you super busy Melanie! That’s right and we will never know what everyone’s situation is.

  7. September 26, 2013 / 4:47 am

    Before I started working from home I was so bored of the cleaning and boring nature of looking after a child non stop that I found working helped keep me sane. I NEVER ever watch TV on my 2 days being a SAHM. I shop, wash, iron, clean, sort, do paperwork, chase errands, be a taxi driver and catch up on emails when I drink my coffee. Oh and I forgot do the gardening. Sitting on the lounge – never…….

    • September 27, 2013 / 10:53 am

      Eleise, this sounds exactly like what my days were when I worked from home a few days a week. They’re not really ‘days off’ are they?

  8. September 26, 2013 / 7:26 am

    Grrr why don’t people mind their own business!

    I was a SAHM for 9 years with our kids and that seems to be REALLY unusual these days – even more so than when I was home. It’s ten years since I went back to work (part-time) – funny how life comes full circle – I know run my own business from home and love that I am here for my kids even though they are now 19 & 16!

    • September 27, 2013 / 10:55 am

      I bet your kids love that you’re home Janet! Yes, my mum was a SAHM for quite a while too and there’s not many people I know that are now, it’s just so hard to do so in these economic times unfortunately and I know I’m one of the lucky ones.

  9. September 26, 2013 / 12:21 pm

    I am lucky if I get to sit on the lounge during the day, and when I do it’s with either one of the girls, or both, sitting or climbing on me. As for watching anything adult on the box…yeah right!

    • September 27, 2013 / 10:57 am

      I hear you. If I sit on the lounge during the day, it’s watching Thomas, Peppa Pig or Giggle & Hoot. Adult time is at night when I’m knackered and I really should be doing something more constructive.

  10. September 27, 2013 / 3:50 am

    I don’t think that I have heard any irritating comments, but just had to say, I have never spent less time on the couch in my life than since I became a SAHM (with the obvious exception of the newborn stage, and anyone who thinks that that couch experience is a leisurely one needs their head read). People really are judgemental in all kinds of different ways.

  11. September 27, 2013 / 3:58 am

    Sitting? PFFFFFT! My mums’ group is the best – I’m the only one still at home, and the others see ME as the one with less time. Some of them freely admit to going back to work not because of the importance of the work itself but because they wanted to escape the home and not spend 24/7 with the kids. It’s. So. Difficult. Sometimes. x

  12. September 27, 2013 / 4:12 am

    I haven’t heard any annoying comments like that, but my friends have. You’re right though, you do feel as though you have to defend yourself no matter what you do. One thing’s for sure, being a SAHM or Dad is not a walk in the park!

  13. September 27, 2013 / 4:14 am

    I haven’t had many comments about being SAHM, but I’ve had plenty of comments about one having one child.
    It amazes me that people feel that they have the right to judge, the comment on the choices that other people make – when in fact many of them are not “choices” at all, but done out of necessity.

    My little girl is asleep right now, so I reckon I might make a coffee, sit on the couch with my legs up and read more of your blog posts…lol (how lovely would that be!)

    • September 27, 2013 / 11:04 am

      Oh the one child thing! I too can’t understand why people are so fixated on having a second or a third and the assumption that there will be a 2nd. When people ask me I just feel like ‘why should I give a reason as to if or when we are going to have a 2nd’. There are always varying reasons for people to not have a second or delay it but it’s no ones business. Enjoy your coffee and reading! Sounds great.

  14. September 27, 2013 / 4:50 am

    Mums always seem to be up for criticism no matter what we do. I’ve done both stay-at-home and work part-time (almost full-time) and it’s all hard. At the moment I’m kind of experiencing the opposite to you. I have a SAHM friend who seems to think that because her family can manage on one salary that everyone can and that any mother who chooses to work must be selfish and materialistic. I don’t know why women have to be so hard on each other – shouldn’t we be celebrating the fact that we have choices now that perhaps our own mothers and grandmothers didn’t have??

    • September 27, 2013 / 11:07 am

      Hmm, it seems your friend has some insight into everyone’s family and financial situations that no one else does! That’s the thing, people seem to make judgement without knowing the story, you just can’t judge people that way. We certainly should be celebrating, I know that when my grandmother brought up my mum, uncle and aunt things were really tough, they were so poor and if I were in that situation, I just don’t know how I’d do it.

  15. September 27, 2013 / 6:48 am

    I was reading this nodding!
    I too do not like at all the stigma the stay at home mums are lazy.
    I decided to be a stay at home mum and it works for me and my situation and I am very happy in my heart with it xx

    • September 27, 2013 / 11:08 am

      I’m glad it struck a chord with you Rebecca. I think my decision to be a SAHM was the best I’ve made and it’s working for me too. I’m so glad you’re happy.

  16. September 27, 2013 / 9:36 am

    I was a SAHM for two years with two kids and LOVED every second, didn’t feel guilty because I was doing other shit. Then a former journo colleague offered me some writing from home and I was stoked – I could have it all. But quite frankly being at home with kids, working or not, is WAY harder than being able to leave the home to work each day – it’s my opinion but SAHM’s have it WAY harder, especially mentally! At one stage I had 3 under 3.5 years and I would have LOVED to have heard someone say I was lazy – I would have eaten their head off!! Em 🙂

    • September 27, 2013 / 11:10 am

      Emily, I had to bite my tongue so hard not to say something to this lady which is why I vented in my post. Yep, I agree with you. You just can’t escape when you’re a SAHM.

  17. September 27, 2013 / 10:15 am

    Those kind of things really annoy me too. What are people thinking! They can be so short sighted. I love your picture by the way.

    • September 27, 2013 / 11:11 am

      Yes, possibly she wasn’t really thinking straight when she said it. Oh thanks, I had fun taking the picture. I had to do it quickly while my son was asleep. It’s definitely not a reflection of the usual me.

  18. September 27, 2013 / 1:01 pm

    I’m lucky not to have received any negative comments on being either a single mum or a full time working mum. But I know that many people do get these types of comments and I think it’s really sad – no one should have to feel like they should justify their life choices. And put anyone who thinks a SAHP is lazy into a house full of kids and chores for a day and see how lazy they are!

    • September 28, 2013 / 11:15 pm

      You’re exactly right Emily and I’d love to throw those people into the situation too. And a single mum, well I admire single Mums!

  19. September 28, 2013 / 2:10 am

    It is a shame that people say things like this, I think often it is because they wish they could have stayed home with their kids or feel they missed out on something, maybe their parents didn’t stay home with them even. But I do love your picture!

    • September 28, 2013 / 11:16 pm

      It sure is and that’s exactly what I think! Glad you love the picture, I so wish I could do it more often! p.s the mug was empty and the TV wasn’t on! 🙂

  20. September 28, 2013 / 11:14 am

    That picture makes me laugh! I feel guilty sitting down for a cup of coffee when there’s so much to be done at home, but when I worked full time with no kids I always found plenty of time to hang around the kitchen making cups of tea and have a little break 🙂 Funny isn’t it?

    • September 28, 2013 / 11:18 pm

      I’m glad it made you laugh Kate. When I decided to write this post and just had an urge to set up this photo because this is truly what some people think we do (unfortunately). The guilt thing is the worst isn’t it? Yep, I remember doing that with no kids too, what on earth did we do with our time. I prefer life with kids much better though!

  21. September 29, 2013 / 1:32 am

    I’ve heard lots of comments from my partners family about when I’ll go back to work (I have a 6 month old & a 4 yr old, he has a business run from home & I’m still studying) I just say that I’m lucky that He has the financial stability & would rather I raise the kids instead of paying for care.
    We both understand how important the early years are & for us we set it as our one chance while they’re little so we’re not passing it up because of others judging.
    It’s extremely difficult & sometimes you need adult company with no kids, a break and to do something away from the house otherwise you would quite possibly go mad lol

  22. September 29, 2013 / 3:39 am

    I’ll never get why Mum’s don’t just support one another 🙂 Great post

  23. September 29, 2013 / 1:05 pm

    Sounds like that was a very long night for you (and Elliott!). I love being a SAHM but I agree there is a common misconception that it’s cruisy – I barely get time to eat most days let alone watch TV 😀 I am lucky that my family is mostly supportive, our situation with two special needs children means that one of us has to be home for the appointments and therapies, but even without those commitments I would be at home with them because it’s what works for our family. I have friends and family who are SAHMs and other who are working Mums, and they are both tough but rewarding gigs!

  24. September 30, 2013 / 12:01 am

    So right! You just can’t win being a mom sometimes.

    I started off going back to work after my first, and it just didn’t feel right for me. I thought long and hard and at the end of the teaching year, I became a SAHM. I have been thankful for that decision every day. It was what was right for our family at the time.
    I get a lot of stares and I can just read the “you have a master’s degree and you are wasting it????” thoughts in people’s heads sometimes.
    Being a SAHM is definitely NOT for the lazy! It is the hardest job I’ve done — but also the most rewarding, as said above.

  25. September 30, 2013 / 1:41 am

    Haha. That first pic is gold. I think people judge no matter what letters you attach to it. WAHM SAHM WM. I’ve learned to just let it all roll of my back and stick to what is best for my and my family. x

  26. September 30, 2013 / 5:41 am

    I loved this article. I feel judged all the time because I am a SAHM, but funnily enough- no-one has ever called me lazy.

    More often than not the comments make me feel like others think I have no substance as a person/professional because I stay home with my kids.

    I haven’t returned to work since having my daughter, but I love that you’re in a position to write this post and fully understand that women and mothers make decisions for their family. I think that is the most important thing for every mother to understand.

  27. SAHD
    September 30, 2013 / 8:25 am

    I actually think her comment may have been less about them thinking that every SAHM is lazy, but rather a SAHD would be lazy because they can’t imagine a man doing all the cooking, cleaning, shopping, etc. I think these type of comments say more about the person making them and their relationship with their partner than anything else. I am a SAHD and regularly get asked from women if i do the cooking and cleaning. I don’t think any SAHM’s get asked that. It doesn’t bother me anymore since it just shows that their husbands (or children in this instance) clearly don’t do anything at home to help out. I constantly feel people judging me as a SAHD, but for our family it works perfectly, my wife and I couldn’t be happier.

    • September 30, 2013 / 10:00 am

      SAHD, thank you so much for your comment. I completely get where you’re coming from and agree with what you say, I really didn’t think of it this way. It’s such a shame that you get asked that you get asked if you cook and clean. We have a SAHD in our playgroup and I honestly haven’t thought twice about it, we’re just all the same, parents looking after our kids. I’m pretty sure that if the tables were turned and it made more sense for my husband to be at home, we’d certainly do it. It’s definitely all about what works for your family. Thanks for your comment. –

  28. September 30, 2013 / 11:40 am

    I so wish that photo was my day hehe! You definitely can’t win … I once got told that at least my twins would be less stressful to look after because i stayed home…not really sure how that works!

  29. October 1, 2013 / 6:06 am

    Stay Home Mum and Lazy don’t even go together! These people don’t know what they’re talking about! Unless they’re a stay home mum and still have a nanny to watch the kid(s) and cleaner to clean the house (I do know someone like that) – in that case, the fortunate person can then really laze around I guess! Lol I’m like you, if I hear a comment that irritates me, I can’t get it out of my head for a while!!

  30. October 2, 2013 / 7:47 am

    I wonder if the woman would have had something different to say if it were her daughter wanting to stay home with the kids rather than her son? I know there is still a lot of flack about women ‘just being a mum’ but I think men cop so much more crap when they decide to take time from their careers to stay home and look after their kids… and it bugs me no end!

  31. November 30, 2013 / 10:48 am

    I have been a SAHM and then a mum working full time. We were fortunate to be able for me to be a SAHM for 5 years then my husband a SAHD for another three years. We did that cause it was our desire to have a parent at home with the children. I must admit we definitely had lots of spare time as SAH parents after cleaning etc. It was the same cleaning that still had to be done when we were both working full time again. Housework is there whether you work outside the home or stay home I’m not sure why SAHP would think their workload any harder. Difference was, as stay at home parents that spare time was totally absorbed by the children – the reason for us being there instead of this spare time being allocated to a childcare worker while we worked outside the home.To us the difference was time available to nurture our children.

  32. December 1, 2013 / 5:48 am

    oh the dilemma of the SAHM!!! love the photo and had a giggle as it certainly is not all sit back and relax! The best approach is to be happy with your own decision and what works for your family!