Mum labels. Here’s a definition list:
WAHM: Working At Home Mum
FTWM: Full Time Working Mum
PTWM: Part Time Working Mum
SAHM: Stay At Home Mum
TTSSM: Trying To Stay Sane Mum (okay, I made that up)
If I try and fit myself into the label categories it would look something like this: I’ve was briefly a PTWM, mostly a SAHM, recently a WAHM and always a TTSSM. Since becoming a mother, I’ve drifted from one category to another but to my kids, I’m always just ‘Mum’. They don’t care what label is attached to me! I’m not against the categories as such, but when they cause an obvious clicky rift or horrid generalised judgement, I can’t see them being a positive thing.
Below are two examples of noise that have come into my life about this subject.
FTWM: I heard a FTWM say this in regards to SAHMs on a radio program: “We are busy at 10am, not sitting in a beauty parlour getting our nails done!”
SAHM: I’ve heard a SAHM say that FTWMs are selfish and only want expensive cars and big houses.
How can one generalise so much about so many people if the particulars aren’t known? Sometimes to me, it seems like there’s an unseen battle going on and it should not be so. It should not be so. If, as women, we could take the time, the time, to listen to each other; to understand; and to appreciate each other for our differences. To take the time, the time, to be compassionate. To take the time, the time, to support one another in words and actions; let us not bring one another down!
There is power in women together, supporting one another. Believe it. When I visited a remote village in India, I saw the power of women together and the undercurrent of strength in that day never left me. I run a large Facebook page, and it saddens me when I, too-often, see mothers tearing other mothers down, all in the name of “It’s my opinion”. There is opinion and then there is narrow-mindness.
Being a mum is an immense challenge laced with incredible joy; it’s a labour of love. I acknowledge FTWMs have a huge challenge caring for children, managing a household and the rest. I acknowledge SAHMs have a huge challenge caring for children, managing a household and the rest. I acknowledge WAHMs have a huge challenge caring for children, managing a household and the rest. I acknowledge PTWMs have a huge challenge caring for children, managing a household and the rest.
Sure, the challenges are different but so are the differences from family to family and they are just as real to the relative person.
Throw out the labels. Shake judgement off; make a choice to. Let us see, really see, each other with compassion, and respect. I dare say, we all have days, or weeks, or months, or years when we struggle. We all have good times where the sun shines bright. And there’s power in women together, supporting one another. I’ve seen it.
If I have to have a label, I know what category I’m most comfortable in: MUM.