I got an email yesterday from a friend that he had shared my own website with a number of his Facebook friends, whom he thought might be interested in what I need to say. His description of one of these friends got me to thinking. He explained that she described herself as a homemaker.
I am guilty
I’ve taken to using the expression stay-at-home mum to explain others and myself in my writing. Worse yet that can be shortened to its acronym: SAHM. Doesn’t it seem like that person sits around the house all day doing absolutely nothing? Yet as I said a few weeks ago between what I do for my loved ones and my writing, I’m working longer hours and harder than when I moved to an office and have paid a salary.
Admittedly, my husband gets up much earlier in the day to visit his job. But that hard-work isn’t recognised by the word stay-at-home mum. And the mum part also fails to recognise the other gifts we make daily to our families, our communities and our nations. Now I am the first to admit that I feel that motherhood (AND fatherhood) would be the single most important roles we have in our life and the very fabric of our societies.
So I’m not advocating that we minimise the value of mums, moms and moms. But what about all the other things we do each and every day; such as recycling or volunteering or even cooking and cleaning? Those roles too have significance. And what too of our job as wife? If we label ourselves SAHM, then where does this place our spouses?
What of those lucky and frequently forgotten stay-at-home dads? How dreadful for such a noble effort. The great thing about the word too is it is gender neutral. Although we may immediately assume this a feminine function unlike the conditions stay-at-home mother or dad or the proverbial housewife (nobody marries a home), this term may be used by either sex to describe the beauty of what they do.