Stay at home moms have both their hands full, whether people believe it or not. Women who choose to stay home and raise their children sometimes end up having to explain themselves to others “I have a lot to do, I promise”. Regardless of how difficult their work at home is, people will always look at the fact that it’s easier to do that than to go to a 9 to 5 job. Here, we speak to stay at home moms so that they can give us a little insight about what a “job” it really is.
DAILY ROUTINE: Running Rampant
A typical day with kids in the house means that you wake up at an unnatural hour of the day, see your kids off to school, do house chores, finish errands and try to fit in any ‘me time’ before the clock hits 3. That’s when your time is up. At least that’s how Rana Noaman, a mother of two, feels. This was similarly felt by Menna Lotfy, who added that her day involves being a fulltime chauffeur, dropping/picking the kids to and from daycare and school, taking them to ballet, swimming and football classes, all of which have different schedules. Dania el Banawy, who also devotes her time to her baby Camilia, says “this has got to be better for her. I’m sure she cares that all my time is devoted to her”
CHALLENGES: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
When asked about the biggest challenge she faces, Doaa El-Husseiny said that it was while she was working that she struggled, “you end up unable to do anything; you’re too exhausted”. According to Rana, the best thing about being home all the time is this, “you don’t miss a thing, and enjoy every detail”, she tells. Dania believes that mothers who leave their kids find that they pick up things you wouldn’t want them to learn. This was confirmed by Menna Lotfy, who claims that the best reward is when your kids “surprise you”. She even has a story regarding that, “Tamara once got a certificate for being kind hearted to her friend. I was so happy. I felt like there’s a point to everything I’m doing”. It’s not all rainbows and butterflies, though, “it gets very boring, though, all day long I’m folding laundry, and cleaning up. It’s a full time job”. When questioning Rana about that, she tells us her experience, “I don’t find time to get bored”, claiming that her real problem is in time management, “all I want is some peace and quiet. Some coffee time to enjoy myself”, she tells. That’s not to mention the lack of sleep from waking up early with the kids to staying up late with your husband “I don’t want to feel like I’ve grown old”, she shares with us a fear that haunts her daily.
BEING JUDGED: because that’s what Egyptians do
It’s easy to pass judgment when you have no clue what’s happening in someone’s life, a lesson Rana learnt the hard way, “sometimes I’m judgmental, thinking all women have to try to do something for themselves, until I stayed at home and I realized that those who stay home work even harder”, she explains. In the end, the biggest problem is when your community judges blindly. Menna agrees, saying that she would sometimes start doubting herself, “all the pressure I got from people made me start thinking why have I done this to myself”, she says. Dania, who likewise felt the pressure, suffers constantly, “I always get a strange look when people find out that I don’t work It’s true that I don’t have a job, but I do a lot of effort”.
Now that we’ve seen the whole story, it’s apparent that it’s not up to us to decide what a mother should or should not do with her life. And that being a stay at home mom is not a walk in the park, but rather a fulltime job.