Thursday, June 14, 2012

What is the point of you?

A couple of months ago, we were at my Mum's house with family, and Georgie was playing with her cousin Hamish, who is four years old. Or, to put it more correctly, Georgie was following Hamish around, getting into his things and just generally annoying him as only a toddler can. Hamish eventually got so frustrated with her that he exclaimed "Georgie, what's the point of you!?" It was quite funny, and we all laughed. But lately I feel like that question is just hanging over me.

"What is the point of you?'

At times I feel like I am a less valuable member of society because I am 'just' a Mum, and I don't work. I feel like I don't contribute, don't really add anything to the world. Instead I feel that to the rest of the world, we stay at home mums are the toddlers of society. Not good for much, except for whining and complaining and getting in the way, and they have no idea how much they are looked after or how good their lives are. I don't know how much of it comes from the image of the 'stay at home mum' that is perpetuated by the media, and how much of it comes from my own feelings, but... it gets to me.

When you think about it really, what is the problem with Mothers? I must admit that at times I read blogs where women who are Mums speak about their struggles with depression, with motherhood, and you almost get a little desensitized to it, you know? I understand why people poke fun at Mummy bloggers. I know before I had kids I used to hear so much about how hard it is to be a mother.... and though I'd never admit it, in the back my mind I was a little like 'Really?' It's a bit of 'Oh your poor rich woman with too much food so you worry about being fat, with your beautiful home and healthy children.... it must be so hard for you to live.' (insert sarcastic tone here)

But here's the thing. It is hard. At times being a stay at home Mother is the hardest thing I have ever done. It's not like I have the stress of being in charge of a huge multi-national corporation, and sometimes I do get to hang out with my friends and drink coffee. But at the same time, often it is so incredibly mind-numbingly dull.
I love my children, so much it hurts sometimes. But I don't love the mess they make. I don't love washing the same dishes, cleaning the same toilet, washing and folding the same clothes, mopping the same floor, making the same beds, feeding, changing nappies, fighting the same fights.... every damn day.

And it's not necessarily the everyday tasks in themselves that get to you. After all, cleaning is a part of life. But it's the fact that it feels like the sum of those tasks, is are all you are worth. The feeling that you're not good for anything else. Plus, having children really messes with your mind. The constant worry, the responsibility, the pressure. It never stops.

Why does he throw tantrums? Is she too attached? Will this house ever be clean? Sleep (oh sleep!) Are they growing enough, eating enough, eating too much? Is she talking? Will she ever stop talking? Do my kids watch too much TV? Are we playing enough? Reading enough? Will they be ready for school?  Will they make friends? What if they don't make good friends? What if they do drugs?  Dear God, what if I don’t get my kid into a good enough school and my child ends up being a creepy forty year old man who still lives with his mother? 

I want my life to mean more. Be more. I don't want the fact that I got all my folding done, or enjoyed a really great cup of coffee to be the highlight of my day. But, this is a season. I will not always be the Mother of small children. This particular hard will not always be my hard.

So it's true. Mothers do complain and moan and go on and on about the difficulty of Motherhood. We probably do act like toddlers at times. And yes, it gets a bit much.... our constant outpouring of thoughts and feelings that all say the same thing. I get that. But, we don't do it forever. And in the meantime, we are still important members of society. Even though we live in a world that constantly devalues children and the raising of them, this, raising tiny people, is valuable. And if blogging and talking and writing and communicating about it all, helps get Mums through the day, then it matters.


  1. It sucks that society doesn't value us doesn't it. I don't even value myself half the time. That has to change. Thx

  2. I just decided to stop measuring myself on how clean, tidy and organised my kitchen is. For whatever reason in my mind I thought 'this makes me a great Mum' doesn't! Last Friday faced with the same boring after school routine I decided to take all the boys to Freedom...we sat on every chair/sofa/bed and pretended to have dinner parties at every table. It killed some time, was fun and we will be doing it again! I do love routine but have decided from now on to make it more fun!

  3. Oh this really resonated with me today. I've been feeling a bit like that recently. Having moved country in the last couple of months I am now officially a SAHM - which part of me is loving and part feels really strange that I don't have a job to go back to any time soon. And you are soooo right that it can be dull - and then I feel mean for feeling moany because it's not their fault. Anyway... onwards and upwards. The precious moments still outweigh the bad ones. x

  4. A great post, articulating a lot of how I have felt over the past 4 years. I try not to wish away these early years, but it really is hard on the mind.

  5. We are contiruniting, because in being home and investing in our kids, we are giving them a solid foundation for life. We can share our family values and morals in a way that we couldn't if we had to work, and that's a good thing.

    But I get it. Somedays, it is so incredibly mundane, and thats when I break the routine. Take them to Maccas for breakfast, or a trip somewherre exciting. It's amazing how refreshing it is for them and you when you just do something completely spur of the moment and different. Xx

  6. Mothering is hard! sometimes I feel like i'm cracking up because its so hard. I just try and take it one day at a time,pick my battles and let some stuff go. Oh, and I drink A LOT OF TEA.
    Passing by via #FYBF. Have a great weekend x

  7. Loved this Robyn, and it's always a joy to meet another Christian mum in the blogosphere.
    You wrote this post so well. I can relate to so many of the sentiments your expressed - the desire to 'be' more, to 'do' more, the frustration at the repetition of seemingly mundane tasks and most of all, the constant anxiety for our children. But yes, this is simply a season. It will pass before we even know it. And I'm thankful to God every day that He has blessed me with a family, something I hope to never take for granted.
    Ronnie xo
    p.s. So lovely to visit here from FYBF!

  8. I was nodding in agreement all the way through this! I so hear you and it also frustrates me how mothers are undervalued in society.
    It IS the hardest job EVER but I'm glad you understand that it's a season. I think the trick is to try and live every day as it comes and just accept that things are hard. But I'm hopeful that things will get easier. And in the meantime, your love for your children will remain unwavering. That's what counts the most.
    You're doing a GREAT job x

  9. I just found your blog through FYBF, and yep, I'm hearing you. As a new stay at home Mum it is a whole different thing to get your head around. The monotony of daily tasks, I loathe cleaning, and then you feel like you clean so much, but everything is still messy, no reward for cleaning effort there!
    But someone wrote to me today 'Investing in the life of one child changes the world-- yours, theirs, and others' I think that is very true, the little people we are raising could be people who impact the world in a way that right now we can't even imagine!

  10. Motherhood is such a contradicting existence. It baffles me daily, but I wouldn't have it any other way.

  11. A great post about knowing your value no matter what and an insight into your experience. So wonderful. So, so wonderful. Thanks for sharing. :)

  12. I am sooooooooo agree with you Robyn we share the same sentiments. We mothers always want more, to do more, to do better, to raise good kids and at the same time we worry about everything. Their health, going to school and etc. I am also a stay home mum and no regular job, just a freelancer writer, blogger, VA and data entry. Being a single mom is really tough. You have to think, plan and budget on your own. There's no help around.. worry what you can do tomorrow for your kid, if he can continue to go to school, what to eat, hope his always healthy and so are right, this never stops....We just hope that society will value as more...This is a great post and We mums have an important rule in this world...with great responsibility, 24/7 job, no day off. The bonus we get is the smile we see from our children the love we get from them, from the people we love, seeing them happy and healthy feeling the love even if I am a single mum, knowing son is ok and happy, I am on top of the world :)

  13. Gosh, this blog took me back. I was a stay-at-home Mum for 12 years and it was hard but very very rewarding. Those years really taught me how to live on very little money and my kids went everywhere with me so learned how to behave in all situations (I had no family nearby). My children are all now adults and all are very appreciative of the values instilled during that time - even though they are now just as materialistic as all their twenty-something friends, I live in hope that they have more internal resources than some of their friends and will be able to adapt as they form their own families. Apart from being there for my kids, my memories of those years are of very strong friendships with other Mums as we supported the community through child-friendly volunteer work - I look back on those years as some of my happiest despite the hardships. Being a parent is hard all the time, even when they are grown up, it is just different at each stage, so I would say count your blessings and enjoy the time with the little ones - you are making a bigger difference to them than you think, and you ARE doing the right thing!


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