Just a Mum?

Written by Karina Davies on. Posted in Parenting

Some of you may know already that being a parent wasn’t exactly my life plan but now that I am, I’m pretty much into this parenting lark. Since having Isabelle I have found myself attending all kinds of groups, play dates, playgroups and children’s parties. I’ve been immersed into the world of being a mummy, spending time with and chatting to other parents, albeit in real life or even forums and online parenting communities. I never thought I would be that person, the one that enjoys going to playgroups and interacting with other mums, the one that coo’s and becomes broody when she see’s other babies, the mum who’s ovaries burst when her daughter does something incredibly heart-warming and cute like looking after her sick teddy and those out of the blue cuddles and kisses. I’m very much happy to be a mum and I would not have it any other way.

I spend a lot of time in a world where you can do no right, there is always going to be conflict and strong opinions when it comes to parenting but the one thing we have in common is that we are parents and nothing can change that. No matter what route we take and what choices we make, we do what we think is best for our children. I’ve witnessed all kinds of debates on breastfeeding parents being called disgusting for doing it in public to formula feeders being called lazy and poisoning their children. There are so many stereotypes and its difficult to abide with what society deems it acceptable.

I’m a mother and I do things in a way that suits us all as a family, it works for us, we are happy and my child is happy. I don’t judge others for how they choose to raise their children and would never consider their own style of parenting wrong if it was something that worked for them.

What I do no agree with is being labelled as “just a mum” What the hell does that mean? You don’t hear others saying “I’m just a doctor” or “I’m just a teacher” these people are the ones who are helping shape our children’s future and ensuring that they are healthy, just like you, as a mum does.

I choose to stay at home with my daughter, that’s my choice, it’s not that I’m lazy and I do not want to go out to work. I want to spend as much time as possible with my daughter before she goes off to school. Right now her parents are her world and nothing is more important that them. I’m lucky in that I work from home for myself, I provide an income as well as the Mr does, ok it’s not as much but I can only work when the little one is tucked up in bed. I have ambition just like every other parent and mother, just because I’m not out there working my way up the career ladder doesn’t mean that I am any less successful. I have a beautiful family and my workload is enough to keep me busy but also allow me to spend time with my family.

What I don’t like is when people refer to themselves as a full time mummy, for those that work does that suggest that they are simply a part time mum? Are they no longer a parent when they leave for work? As soon as your child enters the world, by whatever means, YOU ARE A PARENT. No matter what your choices are and when you decide to return to work, you are a full time parent.

It doesn’t matter  when your maternity leave ends, or if you decide to stay at home with your child it doesn’t change a thing. You are a parent and as a parent you do the absolute best by your child. When you are not with your child it does not mean you are not thinking of them, I know from the times I have had to leave my daughter for business or simply when the Mr and I have gone for a meal, she has always been on my mind. I wonder what she is up to and I worry about her safety.

The same goes for those that choose to become a stay at home mum, for whatever reason that may be, it doesn’t mean that you should label yourself as just a mum. You are more than that. You are helping your child thrive, nurturing them and shaping them into the adult that they will one day become.

I have been judged for choosing to stay at home with my child, because I do not go out to work but what they do not understand is that I do work. I take care of my child 24/7, I’m there for her all the time. I’m self employed and work for myself but others do not see that, as soon as Isabelle goes off to bed in the evenings, that is my time, my time to catch up on work. Being a stay at home mum doesn’t mean I am inferior or do any less that a mum that goes out to work. I’ve often been asked “What do you do all day?” and I find it disrespectful. I don’t spend my day lazing around or lunching or shopping. We play, we learn and when I have a spare few moments we work.

I see the amazing work that mums put in, they look after their home, children and family and I would never make any naive, sweeping statements about how anyone choses to parent but it does upset me when I hear people say “I’m just a mum”.

When I’m not looking after my daughter, I have my business, my hobbies and of course the Mr. They are also what define me, being labelled as just a mum doesn’t quite cover it. I’d be sad to hear if others say that they are just a mum. You don’t need to justify your choices as long as you and your family are happy and healthy. I would hate to think of a parent having to explain their choices or even feel guilty over their choices.

You are never just a mum, you are the centre of your children’s universe and I would find it disrespectful for anyone to suggest otherwise. This is not some feminist inspired post I’m just somebody who is irritated,

Its disrespectful and derogatory for mothers to be made to feel that they are inferior in any way and calling the or yourselves “just a mum” is like saying “oh I’m just a waitress” until something better comes along. Being a mum is a role that should be cherished not played down. Don’t act like it’s not a big deal, being a mum/parent is a huge deal, HUGE! We are there to lead the next generation, to learn from our mistakes and shape our children into decent human beings.

It’s not something that should be taken lightly or for granted, yes you are a mum but it’s certainly not the easiest role in the world and I challenge anyone to say any different. Remind me again what job in the world is more important than a parent, the people that brought you into the world, the ones that provided you with encouragement and made you the person you are today?

Be proud of who you are, show your children the importance of the role that you play. It’s a huge role and one that is immeasurable on any scale.

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