Metropolitan Mum – A London mum's lifestyle blog

Occupation: Mum

My current workplace

My current workplace

Surname, first name, address. Post code, telephone, occupation. Occupation?

The worst bit of my recent and otherwise lovely course at St Martins was filling in an A4 form. Or this one little box, to be precise. Occupation. Occupation. Occupation. No matter from which angle I looked at the black little line behind the trigger, the right answer to fill the space just didn’t want to pop into my mind. Instead, an array of new questions opened up in front of me.

The biggest of all: why do I have a problem to admit I am a Stay At Home Mum?

I am happy where I am. I love spending time with little L. It’s great to have the opportunity to see her growing up and really get to know her. I want to be the first person she wants to turn to whenever there is a problem. This is much easier done when I can be literally there for her, not stuck in meetings or on the tube on my way home.

The role I occupy at the moment is the most fulfilling I ever had. Even working as a paid writer didn’t make me as happy as looking after little L does. The difference I could make in any job gets nowhere near the impact I have on her life at the moment.

So why do I, like so many others, have such a problem with the term Stay At Home Mum? Or even worse, Housewife?

I was brought up to believe Housewives were a lazy bunch of undereducated gold-diggers that spent their time between hair salon appointments and ordering from QVC. Not a good start. Growing up, I never even considered staying at home after having a baby. Of course I would return to work and drop her off at nursery three months after giving birth. But being pregnant changed my view on a lot of things. And so I changed my mind.

Recently, there has been a lot of discussion about wanting it all and why women can’t get happy. During the first months at home with little L I wasn’t happy. I struggled with the thought of not earning money, not having a job and not being the multi-tasking superwoman I once envisioned myself being. But as soon as I started to let go and focused on enjoying the time with little L more, I started to be happier.

Of course, one day soon she will be going to pre-school, doing her own thing and giving me more space and time to look into the things I want to do. Maybe I can get paid work as a writer again, that would be great. Or maybe I’ll have that children’s book finished by then, another fabulous project. This blog will help me to keep in touch with myself. And until then I’ll put down:

Occupation: Mum!

24 Responses to “Occupation: Mum”

  1. James

    It may sound corny to say it, but Mum is one of the noblest occupations there is. On duty 24/7/365 for life, but the final product is an adult who knows that she was loved and cared for by……….MUM!

  2. Rose

    Good for you!

    I think it’s great that you have the blog and your interests to keep you feeling you. I do hear some Mums says they feel their whole life is the little person but not in a good way and that isn’t good for either. You and little L have a wonderful time and I am sure it will make a huge difference.

    My Mum was a stay at home Mum from your choice and there were times when that meant we didn’t have as much money as some people or such good cars but I think it helped me enormously and am truly grateful; I know her so well, she knows me so well and I have never ever questioned how much either of my parents love me.

    Mum is as bright as me, she could have done lots but she always read, volunteered and did things away from me too. Being a Mum is a huge privilege so I admire Mums who have the courage to say I am going to look after my baby as a job. That said it doesn’t work for some people and some people really can’t afford to stay at home and that’s fine too.

    The beauty of the modern world is the choice.

  3. TheMadHouse

    I used to have issues, but as soon as I reaslised it is for such a sort lenght of time, well not anymore!

  4. Marie

    What a great post. So many people I think feel the same pressures, to be superwoman and to be all things at all times. Being happy is what is really important, and if you’re happy then that is a wonderful thing. Plus I think James summed it up beautifully.

  5. NorthWestLondonGirlInTheCountry

    You are so right to just enjoy every moment, the time passes so quickly. I cannot believe my eldest is now 15, yes 15, how the hell did that happen, and your job being with little L is not an easy one……Be proud xx

  6. Carol P

    I really like your blog, you can express your fellings in a simple way. I could see myself when you mentioned that you focused on enjoying the time with your daughther you started to be happier. When I lost this point it just become painfull. Thanks for sharing this, I fell that I’m not the only one with this kind of thoughts ; )

  7. Mwa

    I feel exactly like that. Exactly. And I hate it that I can’t just wholeheartedly embrace it.

  8. Muddling along mummy

    I think part of the problem is that full time parents are undervalued. It’s an incredibly tough job but largely unseen by the wider world. All of which is crazy because we need the next generation to be brought up well.

    You’re right to be proud of being a full time mum – it’s the most important job in the world

  9. Shelley

    Great blog, Deborah -you’re not missing much in the corporate world ;-)

  10. Margarita

    I felt the same way, and when I am trying to get my own businesses off the ground I still feel silly saying that I’m a stay-at-home mom or work-at-home mom, it just doesn’t FEEL like it corresponds with a REAL job, isn’t that awful? It’s not easy being a mom, it takes special women to do it :)

  11. Lookingfabinyourforties

    You have to make the most of them whilst you can, they grow up so quickly. I missed out on all my girls first steps because I was at work, trying to keep the roof over their heads but stayed at home until Little Man was a toddler, sometimes we don’t have a choice but when we do, make the right one for you.

  12. nappyvalleygirl

    Perhaps you could call yourself a project manager, with a little blurb saying you are expert at time management, leading a team, catering to specfiic needs blah blah blah. Because being a full time Mum demands a hell of a lot of skills!

  13. Alison

    I get where you’re coming from. My moment was on a passport application form. I was all ready to put Mum, my husband told me to put writer which led to a row. I am a writer, I get paid for it, but I couldn’t support myself or my family on it because I’ve chosen to also be a SAHM. I think your attitude is great -to embrace it while it lasts, knowing that it’s a short time and so important.
    I still struggle sometimes with that but when it comes down to it, I know I’m incredibly lucky to be able to have this time with them. I’ve noticed a marked change between now and when I had my first 10 years ago. Then if you said you were a SAHM at a party, I found on a number of occasions, people’s eyes would wander round the room looking for someone more interesting to talk about, now they say ‘Oh you’re so lucky. I wish I was’. Don’t know what that says. Mabe it was just the media parties I used to go to! Now I just stay home!

    She’s really grown in that picture. Cute!

  14. Louis010971

    Occupation: Mother … like someone already posted it is a noble occupation. I grew up with my mum we had so much fun together, mornings we would watch playschool together. I wasnt just sat in front of the TV, afternoons I would watch my mum bake for the evening, which will soon be I new profession. I admire my mum for everything she can handle in one go and I admire any mum who stays at home and looks after her children. A great start in life for your little one. Be proud of what you do.

  15. Iota

    A friend of mine wanted to join LinkedIn, and apparently you can’t join without specifying an occupation from a list, and the list didn’t include Full-Time Mother. So she picked one at random: nanotechnologist. She and I laughed, because we realised how apt that was. A nanotechnologist works with very small things – just like a mother.

  16. Rosie Scribble

    I think you should be very proud of being a stay-at-home mum. I was for five years and it’s not an easy job. Those years don’t last long so savour them. Being there for your daughter has to be the best thing in the world. Ignore what anyone else says!

  17. Rose

    I thought I had commented- but anyway just spent a weekend with a stay at home Mum and she and the kids have a wonderful time and she doesn’t miss work at all. My Mum stayed at home and I am very grateful, I know it’s not fashionable to say it but I think it made me more grounded and secure. Of course it may also have made us a bit poorer- we didn’t have the best cars or holidays on our road, though we were very lucky.

    That said not everyone can financially or mentally stay at home and then it is best they work, I guess you have to find what is right for the Mother and child but certainly I think there is a reason especially when they are very young that the Mother has always looked after children.

  18. Kate

    Mum: one of the hardest, yet most rewarding jobs in the world. If you can do it, even for a while, then savour it!

  19. Kate

    Mum: one of the hardest, yet most rewarding, jobs in the world. If you can do it, even for a while, then enjoy every moment. You will both benefit and look back on your time together with great memories!

  20. Lady Mama

    I think it’s a wonderful occupation, and definitely one of the hardest. If you enjoy it, do it, and don’t feel bad!

  21. Hot Cross Mum

    Wow, it seems like those forms go a lot deeper then they would at first seem. I love your post on this and as you know, share many of your feelings about all of this. Thanks for linking back to my post and here’s to Occupation: Mum!

  22. Krystal

    interesting post! I struggle with that too because I’m going to end up having kids soon…or even the fact that I’m in a new country and not working – it’s hard to adjust to. But if I end up being a stay at home mom, I’m going to try to remember that certain aspects of society are the ones that are against it – ones that might be supported by the most important values ever! So I say rock it!

    P.S. I did not make it to that super awesome store you recommended in Paris – I was on the street even but forgot about it in my shopping lethargy! Next time I will though!

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