The stay at home mom’s job is the most difficult job. It is a job that never ends, starts before dawn and does not end even by the time she is going to sleep. It is a twenty-four hours job and seven days a week. There is a whole family to care for, a small baby to be fed at the middle of the night, another one to attend school, a husband to take care of and not forgetting the mounting housework that never ends.
For a stay at home Mom, unlike any other job, there are no manuals to turn to when an unexpected something happens in the course of her work. In most cases, the working mom will be a new mom who has no prior experience on motherhood. She will have to learn from the job as there are no guidelines that are provided. Every child is unique and different, every home is run differently. It is up to her to make her own manual of how to deal with the unique occurrences in her day to day activities.
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The work of a working mom never ends. Unlike other jobs that start at 8.00 o’clock and end at 5.00 pm and with 8 working hours, the stay at home mum is a full-time job that does not end. The mom will only stop working because it is time to go to bed but not because the day’s job is completed. On most occasions, assuming a young family of a 10-year-old, a five-year-old and a one-year-old plus a husband, the job will start in the middle of the night, feeding the smallest of the kids. A few hours later she has to be awake early in the morning to prepare breakfast for the family. As she is preparing breakfast for the family, she will at the same time make sure the two older kids are dressed and prepared in readiness to go to school.
She then serves breakfast for the whole family. She will at the same be packing lunch for the whole family. She will then drop the kids to school, after making sure the husband has ready clothes for the day. Coming back to the house she will find dirty dishes in the kitchen sink which she will have to clear before dusting the ever dusty house. After dusting and vacuuming the house she will have to attend to the laundry for the family. By the time she is through with the laundry, she has to organize the messy children’s’ bedrooms which will be messed up one hour after they arrive back home.
Before she is through with keeping the house neat, it is already lunch time and the youngest of the kids has to be picked from the school. All this is being done while at the same time watching and feeding the baby. Before she is through with all the house work, it is time to attend to a school function for the older kid. She will attend this function as the younger kids tag along because in most cases there will not be anyone at home with whom she can leave them with. The mom will then go back home with all kids. She has to prepare dinner while at the same time assist the older kids with their homework and any other school work. Later after the family dinner, the kids are tacked into bed and she has again to clear the dinner dishes before she prepares to go to bed. Before she finally falls to sleep she has to listen to her husband’s narration on the day’s work before fulfilling any other marital engagements with her spouse. This routine will be repeated on a daily basis plus additional routine visits to the family doctor on occasions.
Moreover, there are some of the working parents who will always assume that the working mom does not have enough work loads and will unreasonably expect her to help with their own kids. There is the misunderstanding from these working parents based on the wrong assumption that working moms have all the time they need to attend to every little detail at home and that they have free time to assist with their (working parents) kids. They assume that the working moms do not have a problem with time management. This adds to their workload if they accept to assist. If they refuse to assist, the working parents will not understand and will wrongly conclude that they are refusing. Accenting to or denying giving assistance to a friend becomes a challenge for the stay at home mom.
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Unlike with other jobs there are no tangible compensations. The only compensation is the appreciation by the kids or the spouse, if she is lucky to have an appreciating and understanding family. Again, there are no promotions, no day offs, no weekends and no vacations for this stay at home mom. It’s a full-time job.
For a working mom, even sick offs are a rare luxury and only when there are strict orders from the doctor. A working mom will receive a paid sick off from her employer. The working mom’s kids are used to be taken care of by some trained child’s nurse or daycare help. She can therefore relax and recuperate when she falls sick. When a stay at home falls sick sometimes she has to work because every work that she does cannot be postponed. Her kids are not used to any other are but her own. She will try to struggle through the sickness and try to have the work done until she gets some temporary help. Even on such occasions she will have to do some work in feeding the small baby who may not be used to any other food but the breast milk. This becomes hard for the kids especially those very young ones who cannot easily adjust to someone else other than their mom helping them through the day to day duties.
There stay at home mom’s social life is limited. Her whole life is centered on the family. Unlike the working mom who attends to work-related social gatherings, the stay at home does not have the opportunity. Her opportunities to socialize will only be available at school-related gatherings with other parents who may be too busy. It is no wonder that most stay at home moms are faced with anxiety and depression related problems. This is because they hardly get anybody with whom they can share their daily challenges with.
Staying at home job is a rewarding job. Maybe not financially but through the satisfaction one gets from being available for the family. It however has many challenges. The stay at home mom will need to organize her daily duties in such a way that she will get time for herself. She can organize with other stay at home moms with whom they can organize to be assisting each other while one of them takes care of the other’s kids. They can also organize social gatherings among themselves from where they can discuss their daily challenges. This way they can learn to cope with the most difficulty job there is, a stay at home mom.