January 29, 2019

Labels


Can we discuss a basic label? I think the term Stay At Home Mom/Dad or SAHM/D can sound so degrading or of little importance. The term and acronym should be changed to Raising Kids Full Time or RKFT. I once read an article that said if someone asks, "What do you do?" or, "Do you stay at home with him/her/them full time?" you can simply say, "Yes, I work full time." instead of, "Oh, I just stay at home or am a stay at home mom/dad." Full time parents ARE working FULL TIME and I can say as a parent in a city like New York, you can bet I'm not staying at home all day. We are constantly out and about! And even on days that we are in fact at home, there are a multitude of things being tended to, nurtured, cooked, fed, cleaned, scrubbed, brushed, clothed, bathed, laundered, wiped, dressed, undressed, re-dressed, packed, unpacked, entertained, encouraged, guided, corrected, repeated, played, sung, read, imagined, etc. etc. etc. 

On the flip side, I know plenty of people who are proud to be called a stay at home parent. They may have felt a calling long ago to "just have babies" and raise them and be able to be a constant and consistent nurturer throughout their children's entire childhood. They have no qualms in comparison to other professions like being a doctor or lawyer. 

I once read a Reddit thread that argued and mocked the SAHM/D role, not considering it to be classified as a "job" at all. Many people chimed in and said, that's just being a parent. So, if you work an office job 9-5, and then come home and take care of your children in the evening, cook dinner, help with homework, put them to bed, etc. that's considered the same whether or not you're doing it all day or just in the mornings or evenings, it is only "being a parent". Let's say you "stayed at home" the first 4-5 years of your child's life and then wanted to get back into the "real workforce" ie. making an income, since we all know raising our own children does not have any financial gain. The Reddit comments argued that in this instance, if you tried to put down SAHM/D as an occupation for the last 4-5 years that it would be a joke, not worthy and not considered an "occupation", just an obligation as any other parent has the responsibility of. Fair enough? Now, if you're a Nanny doing all this and getting paid, that's 100% considered a job, an occupation. So if we also got paid raising our own children, would it then be considered so? Pretty interesting.

I'm not offended when people ask or say, "Oh, you're a stay at home mom." but I do think it's fascinating how we label this extremely important and undervalued role in society. I mean, we are raising future citizens that will hopefully contribute positively to our world and society! So I'm curious? What's your take? If you are or aren't a parent and whether you are the sole caretaker of your child/children, how do you feel about your role and how it's viewed? 

✌🏼
-Angie

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