Short answer, yes, it is. It is a hard working and emotionally tiring job that you do not get paid for. A job that you can never take a day off from, or call in sick. It’s a job where you will never get to quit. One where you are expected not to complain about anything. You wake up, hug your child and set out to do your daily chores, feed, clean, cook, tidy, clean some more and somewhere in between manage to squeeze in a coffee for your self and a loo break. Once you have done the bedtime routine and finally get a chance to eat a decent meal, you are so tired you can’t even eat that food on your plate. Instead, you go to bed half hungry and barely able to move a muscle. A few hours in, you wake up again to console your child after they wake up with a nightmare. By this point, you’ve lost your sleep and are wide awake thinking about the things that need to be done the next day. Before you know it, it’s 6am and you’re up again. So tell me, how is parenting not a job?
We live in a world where women are expected to raise their children as well as doing a full-time job. If not, it’s considered odd and improper. I know this because I see it all around me. I took a year to fully focus on getting pregnant and another to spend time raising my daughter and recovering. Having tried to get pregnant with a full-time job, had proven to be difficult for us. So personally, this was the best decision and as predicted, I got pregnant. Bearing in mind I was also dedicating a lot of my time to charity work during pregnancy and maternity leave. However, to some, this was simply not enough. I would still get questions like, “So when are you planning on going back to work?” “Have you started looking for work yet?” etc. In the eyes of today’s world. parenting is a side job that you are expected to do whilst being mentally bogged down with your professional life. No, seriously, it’s true.
Maybe some women are lucky enough to be able to take a long time off without anyone saying a single thing. For me, however, things have been a lot different. My husband lost his respect for me because I didn’t have a career anymore. Mothering is not a career in his eyes. Because he knows of mothers who work and raise a child at the same time. So why can’t I? Before we got married, I made it clear that I wanted to be a mum and have a family. At the time, he agreed to it because he also wanted a family. Now though, things have changed, society has changed. We live in a world where you have to be a mum and a career woman. If not, you simply aren’t complete.
There was a time where women who chose to work over staying at home were considered ‘bad moms’. Today, things are completely the opposite. Even with a bright light shining on empowering women to do whatever they want, staying at home is considered a bad choice. Our society’s double standard of liberating women and at the same time putting them down for being a stay at home mums is ridiculous! Don’t get me wrong, I am really looking forward to getting back into work. I’ve missed working in an office very much. Nevertheless, I think it’s time we recognise that being a mum is indeed a job.