11 Jun SHE IS NOT “JUST” A STAY-AT-HOME MOM
Last week, I went for a walk in the park with my 11 months old son. While strolling his pram,
I met an old acquaintance of mine. I was meeting her almost after a year.
She waved a big Hi and came walking towards me
“Awww…such a cute baby. How old is he now?”, she asked.
“He is going to complete 11 months in few days”, I said.
“So nice. He is adorable”
Then she started walking with me. To be honest, I was kind of happy to socialize after a long
She asked me “So, back to the office?”
“Nope. I am a stay at home mom”
“Nice. Anyways, who wants the hustle when you can just stay at home and have fun with the
Those words struck me- Well, if I don’t work outside, does it mean I am not working
enough? That makes my journey more comfortable than full time working moms?
“Mmmm… The hustle is real here as well and it’s not what you think. The reality is far away
from the expectations”
She gave a light laugh “I am pretty sure there won’t be much of work for this tiny sweetie. He
just needs fun and momma”
Okay. These words felt little condescending behind the mushy-mushy baby tone.
Truly speaking, it is quite tiring every time to hear people telling you how lucky you are that
you get to spend every second with your little one. They don’t get to see behind the scenes.
I replied, “Yeah. Very rewarding but not fun always”
“What are you saying? No, I don’t believe you”
I smiled and chose not to push it.
But against my all efforts, the discussion didn’t stop.
After talking a lot about weather change and her newborn niece, she suddenly asks
“Why don’t you guys wear twinning and matching stuff? I see mothers on Instagram who do
that and look amazing”
“Yeah. They look really nice”
“So you also do that. You are lucky that you have time to do all this fun stuff”
This had to stop.
“Honey, this little baby goes through two outfits a day minimum. I am lucky if he is even
wearing the same dress he started the day in, let alone the same colour as each other. And
it’s a victory if I am wearing the same shirt all day without his food throw games and spit
She had her next question ready.
“Why? You must be getting a lot of time to get ready. You may plan it in advance.”
So, I go for a bath when he sleeps. And that is not the only task I have to wrap up when he is
in his dreamland. I finish my food. Clean all the mess that’s made when he plays. Prepare his
next meal. That leaves me a maximum of 30 minutes to get ready and take a nap.
She definitely wasn’t ready to lose the debate here.
“That’s tough. I think you should sleep when the baby sleeps”
I was pretty ticked off at that point.
And my sarcasm-self couldn’t take it more and I uttered these golden words- yeah cook
when baby cooks? Bath when baby bathes?
She gave me an awkward smile and tried to change the topic.
“So, did you watch any new movie?”
“Why? You don’t like watching movies?”
It’s tough to go out and leave the baby for 3-4 hours”
“Hmm…It’s okay. When he sleeps at night you can watch binge on Netflix”
I guess she felt a little sorry for me and was trying to make me feel better. I responded with
a nodded and smile. But, I so wanted to tell her that by the time I finish the all-day
marathon with him, I just want to crash in the bed. Even if I start playing anything, I sleep
Finally, the discussion ended amicably. But the whole conversation made me wonder how
society imagines of SAHMs.
While she was speaking her mind, I got quite sure that many other people around me must
be carrying a similar impression about mothers like me.
Unless and until a mother is juggling between working outside home and motherhood, the
struggle is not considered real. This perspective needs to change and a mother who
becomes a dishwasher, maid, janitor, chef, entertainer, and boss definitely deserves some
more credibility. By calling it ‘the only job you have’ or ‘fun life’ disregards the hard work
And dear mommies, I know stay-at-home can feel thankless but you are not alone. There
are women out there like me who can relate to you and feel the same. Don’t be afraid to be
honest and what you do is amazing. If you don’t believe me, the proof is your baby’s smile
and little arms reaching for you.
About Shweta Berry