Stay at home mum.
Say at home disabled mum.
Conjures an image up in your mind, right?
So you just claim benefits? Rely on the state?
So have you never worked?
So you just stay home all day?
Such harsh stereotypes.
Take me back even just 5 years ago, you’d see someone working hard in a good job having worked since the age of 15. Someone with two degrees and worked and lived independently around the country and although walking with a cane and suffering from various ailments was seen as a functioning member of society.
Most people who know me now will never have met old me. All people see is a stay at home mum. They don’t know what I have achieved. They don’t know the disappointment I feel within myself. They don’t know how my career had to come to an abrupt halt due to my condition. A condition that looks invisible. A condition which can vary day to day. Nope. Just a mum that doesn’t work.
It seems that if you aren’t able to work, society looks upon you differently to working mums. You’re classed as lazy and having it easy. ‘You’re so lucky, you get to spend time with your children.’ People seem to forget that you don’t get to have adult conversations, you don’t get a chance to switch off. You are constantly being mentally drained especially in the early years.
Yet if you are a working mum you hit a whole new set of prejudices against you so it seems as a mum we can’t win. ‘Oh you’re more interested in money than spending time with your child.’ Etc. Being a mum is hard no matter your status.
When you throw the word DISABLED into the mix, well of course, that’s now your label. Disabled stay at home mum. Nothing else. People seem shocked to find out that in fact before I became a mum and too poorly to work, I had many different jobs. Just because this is our current situation, doesn’t mean it’s always been that way. Because of this I don’t want to be seen as weak, don’t want to be classed as lazy, i will continue to do things even though they cause me great pain. I don’t like to accept or ask for help. I don’t want to feel defeated.
Treat other mums how you wish to be treated. Put yourself in their shoes. We all have our own issues and problems behind the scenes.
We are the best support network and the harshest critics.
Stay at home mum or disabled stay at home mum. They aren’t labels, they are just part of who we are and we should embrace it. Our kids are such amazing creatures, be proud to be a mum no matter what sort of mum you are.