Are stay-at-home moms lazy? This idea of how stay at home moms spend their lives, has always been in the eye of a storm.
Some people have an opinion that they have an easy life – after all, how much work does one have at home? While a lot of others believe that SAHMs are making a huge sacrifice for the sake of their kids.
In this blog, let us break some myths around the SAHM life and delve into the real truths.
Are Stay at Home Moms Lazy?
A study conducted by the Pew Research Center in the US in 2012 stated that:
- SAHMs spend about 18 hours on child-care, compared to about 11 hours spent by working mothers.
- Almost 60% of the respondents felt that having a parent stay-at-home is good for the kids, as against 35% who said that working parents are good too.
Another study in 2014, found that the educational performance of kids with a parent-at-home was better than the others.
Later, a research conducted by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development with the University of Minnesota concluded that kids who spend several hours in daycare are prone to have higher stress-levels and in the process, tend to be more aggressive, compared to the ones who have a parent staying at home.
Let us now have a look at all the contributions SAHMs make in both family & Societal fronts.
|1. SAHMs manage the Household chores|
|2, Childcare & Overall Development of kids|
|3. SAHMs manage the Meal planning & Health Management|
|4. Managing Social Relationships is primarily done by SAHMs|
|5. SAHMs manage Financial Planning & Budgeting|
|6. SAHMs manage the Savings and Optimise Expenses|
|7. Shopping for everyone at home|
|8. SAHMs Entertain Guests|
|9. SAHMs Manage their own work projects|
|10. SAHMs Maintain the overall vibe of the home|
|11. SAHMs help Everyone else at home shine at their roles|
Contributions of Stay at Home Moms
So, are stay-at-home moms lazy? Is it true that they have nothing much to do other than laze around, watch TV, do their yoga, and chat with their friends on the phone day long?
Let’s set the record straight. SAHMs are busy round-the-clock with something or the other to do.
It is not an easy job being a stay-at-home mom – giving up your financial independence and looking after the entire family. Women who chose to do so cannot be termed as lazy. They have their own set of priorities and responsibilities because of which they choose to stay at home moms.
SAHMs Manage the Household Chores
24×7 stay-at-home moms are busy in home management. They need to ensure that the home is cleaned, and not in mess; ensure that all the essential utilities are working properly – things like the tap water, the plumbing lines, electricity, gas, that all the home appliances are working fine.
The need to go out shopping or order for groceries, and vegetables, and so much more! They need to make certain that everything is in order at home. With so much do, is it fair to ask, are stay at home moms lazy?
Childcare & Overall Development of Kids | SAHM’s Responsibility
Caring for the kids is one of the primary duties of the stay-at-home mom. For infants and toddlers, she has to practically be there all the time, whether it is to bathe the child, feed her, play with her, educate her, and so on.
For adolescents and teenagers, the mom has to pack their tiffin, make their breakfast, lunch, and dinner; drop and pick from the school or the bus stop, see them through their extra-curricular activities, ensure that the kids do their homework and give enough time to studies; discipline them; monitor their digital time; monitor the content that the kids are watching on the TV, and the smart devices, and ensure that the child learns the right manners, and behaviours, tackle their emotional and physical issues, and more. The list is endless!
SAHMs Manage the Meal Planning & Health Management
Mealtime is a special focus of SAHMs. They are responsible not only for cooking but also to take care to prepare healthy and nutritious food for all members of the family. She needs to pay special attention to ensure that everyone’s needs and desires are addressed!
More the members, more the work! Since her entire world revolves around her kids, she takes special care to ensure that the children have the right food, follow a healthy schedule, sleep on time, exercise, spend time outdoors, balances their digital time, and so on.
Managing Social Relationships Is Primarily Done by SAHMs
The woman of the house, in India, is also the one who is majorly responsible for keeping in touch with the close ones – near and dear family members, relatives, and friends.
This additional duty is supposed to be the domain of her work. And, she is often blamed in case relationships within the extended family sour up. The stay-at-home has to work extra hours to ensure that family members from either side of the family (husband and her own) are placated, enquired about, and kept in touch.
Any social event needs to be elaborately planned by the SAHM. Be it the birthday party of her kids, or the anniversary of her parents-in-law, or a marriage in the family, she is expected to lead from the front in arranging and organizing things.
SAHMs Manage Financial Planning & Budgeting
Most of the time, the finances of the house are in the hands of the SAHM. With the limited resources, she needs to ensure that the basic needs of all members of the family are met happily.
She budgets for all the monthly expenses and run her household often at times on the shoestring budget.
With kids around, she ensures that the rising demands of her kids are met relevantly from the money that she has in her hands.
SAHMs manage the Savings and Optimise Expenses
While budgeting is one of their important job roles, stay at home moms are often responsible for saving up and not indulge in expenses that are not too relevant. They are expected to save from the money that they are handed over for household work.
Expenses like eating out, ordering for outside food, shopping for herself, buying things for the house, are certain things that the stay at home mom handles suitably and saves money.
The fact that she does not earn any money is like a mammoth burden that she carries around on her delicate shoulders, all the time. The fact that she has to ask for money even for her expenses, can at times, force her to overlook her needs and desires.
Her primary goal, therefore, is to ensure comfort for her kids and all family members, often, at times, neglecting her wishes and cravings.
Shopping for Everyone at Home is Managed by SAHMs
Managing the shopping for groceries and replenishing for all other household needs is primarily taken care of by the SAHM. Looking for best deals for clothes to shoes, taking care of birthdays and special days of the entire family and having everything replenished is not an easy task to do a month on month and SAHMs manage that almost single-handedly and with lot of elan.
SAHMs Entertain Guests
Just like the primary responsibility of maintaining social ties and relationships lie with the SAHMs , so does the task of entertaining guests at home.
Be it a child’s play date or a teens’ friends get together, be it your spouse’s colleagues or just your group of friends coming over to the house, SAHMs do manage everything from preparing the house to formalising the menu, from decorating to cooking.
Managing their Own Work Projects | A Priority for SAHMs
Apart from handling al the above projects, SAHMs do handle another major area which is their own work commitments. More and more SAHMs are getting into side hustles & Mompreneurship.
So day to day handling & operations as well as strategic decision making are also significant things that SAHMs handle these days.
If you are a SAHm wanting to start your career journey again, have a look at these resources that are of utmost use to you. From SAHM Jobs to work from home options, from mompreneurship to ideas to starting up on your own, we have it all covered up for you.
SAHMs Maintain the Overall Vibe of the House
More thank anything else, SAHMs are the backbone of any family and manage the vibes of the entire house and moods of every member in the family. She is the thread that binds all the buds together in the family garland. And this by no means is a small task.
SAHMs help Everyone Else at Home Shine in their Roles
The most important role of a SAHM is to facilitate all other members to achieve their goals and win in their roles. They make the overall environment conducive to home for each member.
It is not Easy Being a Stay at Home Mom
So, just like a paid employee is expected to a list of work every single day, the stay-at-home mom is also expected to do her job of maintaining the house in perfect order, care for her kids, look after the meals and ensure that there is overall harmony in the household.
This is a 24-hour job that she is doing, without breaks and pay! To think that all this does not take effort is wrong. It does take a lot to manage all this and more.
Her family and friends are ever ready to take her down every time her house is messed up, her children are dirty, the laundry is not done, she is on the phone or asks for help with household work.
Let’s not take away her due by questioning, time and again, ‘are stay-at-home moms lazy’?
Stay at Home Moms are Always Busy
We often think that the stay-at-home mom has plenty of time on her hands to do things for herself. Like, pursue her hobby, or host lunches at home for friends, go out for coffee with her social circle, exercise, and gym, go to a spa, get beauty treatments, get a hair spa work done, and so on.
The truth is that most stay-at-home moms do not get the time to cater to their personal basic needs of even going to the parlour for a threading work.
Yes, some do manage to take a morning or an evening walk, but for the majority of stay at home moms in India, household work and child care are the focus of their lives. As a result, they tend to ignore and postpone their work.
SAHMs need to let go of many of their desires and dreams, partly for their kids’ and family’s sake, and partly because of the tight domestic budget and their financial dependency.
Stay at Home Moms are Not Lazy!
A close look at the job profile of the stay at home mom shows that she is doing the work of an administrator, dietician, cook, cleaner, accountant, event planner, and childcare – all in one. Is that easy or being lazy?
Certainly not! We all accept that being a mother is not an easy task. It is one of the hardest and most difficult jobs. Stay-at-home moms are also doing the same work. Yes, because they are home, they have more hours on hand to complete the housework and child care duties compared to working moms, but to say that SAHMs are lazy would be a terrible mistake.
Working moms probably have it a bit harder because they need to do many of the same tasks along with managing their careers outside the home. However, the financial independence of the working moms can help them hire domestic help or even demand help from their better halves!
One difference between the working mothers and the stay-at-home mothers is that working moms need to live with a guilty mind with their kids spending a lot of their time at daycare.
I have been a working mom for several years and I understand the emotional turmoil that you always need to encounter being a professional.
For a stay-at-home mom, things are probably better because they have the kids right in front of their eyes; they are involved in the day-to-day upbringing of their kids. Their conscience is much more at peace and contented where their kids are concerned.
The question, are stay at home moms lazy’ is misplaced and without any basis. The point is that every mom is working hard each day.