I’m going to write this article on the assumption that EVERYBODY knows being a stay-at-home mum (aka housewife) is single-handedly the hardest job going.
This article is a refresh in case anyone has forgotten!
I cannot (and choose not to) believe that there might be people out there that think housewives have it easy. If twenty-something girls, husbands or anyone think we watch KUWTK, eating ice cream or sunning ourselves all day long, couldn’t be further from the truth.
Narrow-minded people may think housewives are lazy. I can only conclude these people have never been exposed to the life of a housewife and don’t know how difficult and challenging days can be.
Let’s just say you were taken from your 9-5 office job five days a week. Put into a house with three kids to be a stay-at-home mum. Your mummy duty starts around 5:30am, straight into making the kids’ lunches, breakfast, clean kitchen, get kids ready for school, make all the beds, tidy the house while trying to get everyone dressed, brush their hair and put their shoes on.
No time to get dressed yourself, on go a pair of tracksuit pants and out the door, hair looking like an absolute bird’s nest. Kids school drop off, carrying crying toddler. Take toddler to playgroup, run around after him and home for lunch. Toddler naps for a couple of hours while you prepare the dinner, do the washing and some cleaning. Why are we preparing dinner in the middle of the day? There is simply no time when all the kids are home from school.
Time to get back into the car, pick up kids, go to after-school sport. Get home, homework to be done, dinner to cook and play with kids. Washing back off the line, all sit down to dinner. Clear up from dinner, sweep floors again, kids showered and in PJs. Reading, watching TV and more brushing teeth. More stories, hand-holding, singing and finally all kids asleep at 8pm.
Any average person who hasn’t been exposed to the mummy world would sh*t themselves and never complain about their job again, I’m sure.
We deserve to be acknowledged for our hard work, not used as a joke or an elbow in the ribs, “oh ha ha my wife watches TV all day.” That’s not funny to us. A simple, “you’re amazing” and be on your way is enough.
So without further ado, here are 7 reasons why it’s harder to be a housewife than people think.
1. You’re by yourself most of the time.
When you go to work, teamwork is paramount. You have colleagues around to support you and you lean on them in difficult times. Housewives work alone, if by some reason the dinner does not get cooked, who is there to help? No one, no one to talk to and no one to lean on when it all goes south. And believe me, it always does.
2. Work never stops.
24/7 — from the moment you open your eyes till you close them at night, then open them again when you get woken up throughout the night — for tucking ins, drinks of water, cuddles and more cuddles. The morning routine starts with kids, housework, running around and everything else in between. And when all that is finished and you’re ready to sit down and have a break from being mummy, it’s time to hang with your husband. Most of the time, you can’t be arsed because you’re too tired. However, he reminds you, he’s the one that has been at work all day. Bah!
3.You have a terrible boss.
You! Mums are so hard on themselves when something is not perfect. Home and family are generally your responsibility and when something happens, you can’t help but take it personally. I remember when our firstborn toddler was going through that falling over stage. Always bruised and battered for bumping his head, falling off this and that. My husband scolded me for not taking better care of him and wondered why he was always falling over in my care. I was devastated that he possibly thought I wasn’t being a good mum. By child number three, I grew a pair and told him he was in my care 99.9 percent of the time. Sh*t happens.
4. No salary.
While most work hard all week, they know why they are working — money. Job well done. Here’s your pay check. Housewives have no pay day. Nothing to give them any sense of encouragement or a pat on the back for getting through a very trying week. But people will say, “Oh you get paid in hugs and kisses”. Yes, we do, but that does not buy a nice pair of shoes or a trip to the hairdressers when we look like we’ve been dragged through the hedge and back.
5. It’s lonely.
Human beings are social creatures and being social is important. Hubby goes off to work and has all that fulfilled for him at the office when he sees his mates. They chat, joke, laugh and go out to lunch.
Housewives get much, much less of that. Most of the interaction we get is with our kids and the Teletubbies or Bob the Builder. We too need real conversations during the day.
6. No holidays.
You have no annual leave whatsoever. The only time you get to take your leave is when your husband decides to go for a family holiday during the school holidays. Even then, it’s like a working holiday for you. Same sh*t, different environment. However, it is nice to be out of the school routine.
7. No one praises you.
The kids hate you for making them brush their teeth, hubby thinks you nag a bit and wonders what you do all day. So who tells you what a great job you’re doing? Other mums do, that’s who, because they are in the same situation. But that is not enough, you really want recognition from your husband. While he does go off and earn the money, you too are doing an equally important job, if not more important — looking after his kids.