. . . the opportunity and financial cost of spending time raising children and managing a household, instead of working for pay is a huge drain on a family’s finances. So because what we do is unpaid, society in general inherently, and often subconsciously, looks down on ‘Stay-at-home Mums’ as not providing value.
But we are all painstakingly aware, both from statistics, economic modelling and experience, that this work is so hugely valuable and fundamentally important. Yet, still today, the term ‘Stay-at-home Mum’ is full of negative connotations and stigma. It implies inactivity and masks the many roles a mother actually fulfils. No other job description is so multi-dimensional. In my view, the term ‘Stay-at-home Mum’ undermines the very work we do and belies the real nature of this all consuming role. So no, I was not going to write ‘Stay-at-home Mum’ on that form.
A close friend, who has the same immigration form dilemma, shared with me her struggle with the term. “It implies that you stay at home….and do…well…not much. It has symbolised the totally undervalued, horrifically hard role that I took on for a period without properly understanding the job description.