People hate the term "Stay at Home Mom", and I think I know why. There is no "work" included in that title. Work Outside the Home Mom? There it is. Work at Home Mom? Oh that's right, there's the word work again, of course. But the mom whose main job is the kids and the home? No work there. Just "STAY" and "HOME". The main acknowledgment in the term is that you do NOT work outside the home, and therefore your "work" is not necessary in your job description. We all know that SAHMs don't actually stay at home. They are everywhere- playdates, doctor's appointments, the grocery store, classes, activities, events, soccer games, practices, school pick up and drop off, the list goes on and on. There are many, many aspects and facets involved with raising children full time and I can attest to that since I was a "SAHM" for four years.
Now, this is not a call to debate who has it harder, "working moms" or "stay at home moms", this is more of a
rant discussion about why we can't, or don't, just use working mom for ALL moms. We all work. If you're a mom and you take care of your children, you are working. If you are a mom and you also have a job outside the home, you are working. If you are a mom and you have a job that you do from home besides also taking care of children and family and home, you work. WE ALL WORK. (Get it?)
Personally, if I was a dad, I'd be a little annoyed at the fact that it's just moms that get to include their parent status in their job description. If someone asks a father what they do, have you ever heard a man say "I'm a working father"? Or "I'm a banker dad". No. It's just for moms. But dads do work at home as well. Parenting is a job, it is work, it can be hard, and it has tremendous value. No matter if it is your "full time" job or your "part time" job, you are a full time parent. You are a parent from the minute you wake up till the minute you go to sleep (till the minute they wake you up in the middle of the night because they puked on their bed). You don't switch off the parent clock.
One suggestion is to just eliminate the "Stay at Home Mom" term altogether (unless you are of course a hermit, then...there's that). When someone asks you what you do for a living, tell them you are a working mother, your job is to take care of children and family and home (feel free to spice it up with any of your own personal job descriptions as well of course).
The other option is to simply let go of trying to find a "job description" for it altogether. Being a mother is a life experience, not a "job" (no matter how much "work" goes into it). It can never be contained nor explained with one term, there will never be a term that moms will be okay with, because it's impossible. Being a mother extends way beyond any hours or salary, and there is no way to separate being a mom into the "mom" parts and the "work" parts. The reason why we get bent out of shape with the label of stay at home mom is that there is no way to accurately describe the experience of being a mother, and fitting it into a label you can tell people at parties or write on a form is impossible because it is so many different things, and is a different experience for everyone.
So if we bump into each other at a party (I go to them sometimes) and you want to tell me about your job, that would be great. If you want to tell me about your kids, also great. If you want to talk about Downton Abbey or Real Housewives, that's great too. I love all of you mamas, keep on going...xoxo