They discussed the stigma that is attached to the people who perform the hardest job in the world. They talked about the perception people have that they are just at home doing nothing all day.
Sure, I’ll be honest and say staying at home may not be the most intellectually challenging work, but that’s part of what makes it bloody hard. It can be mundane, boring, exhausting and above all frustrating and it is relentless. Every minute of the day is spent making sure their little ones are safe and happy.
Many mums have gone from being successful work orientated career people to bottom wipers whos highlight of the day is flicking on ABC 4 Kids and jumping into the shower for a rare 5 minutes of relative peace and quiet.
The decision whether to go back to work is judged by everyone, male and female (although I have to admit it’s not something most males really think about). If you (the primary carer, usually mum) decide to go back to work too early (sometimes at all) you are judged as a bad mother, with other mums who are staying home holding a view that their way is best. I have no idea why this is the case. Surely mums have a hard enough job and should understand and support each other’s choices and decisions.
I have heard several times that us putting Kid X in childcare (for 2 days a week) since she was about 8 months old was a bad decision. With comments like “I would never put my child in childcare” and “ohh she’s very young”. Well I have to say that this decision was one of our best, the staff at our childcare centre are great and then there is the socialisation aspect too. Kid X has just grown and grown since starting at Childcare.
Our decision to do this was driven by financial pressures and also trying to keep Wife A’s job skills up to date. However, the experience has been so beneficial to both our child and Wife A, that even if we had enough money for both of us to not work I think we would still put our child into Childcare. It also provides mum with a real break and an ability to break from routine and get back into the “real” world.