Just a stay at home Mum

As our car insurance came up for renewal I finally managed to a bit of price comparison online, and secure a better deal (winning, I know). I called up my existing insurer, who I won’t name and shame, and we ran few a few details to cancel my policy. It’d expire in ten days, and wouldn’t be renewed, to be superseded by the oh so much cheaper new provider. 

“Is everything on your policy still accurate?” They asked. Explaining it was still highly important for the remaining ten days cover I obliged and pointed out my job was still listed as project manager. I’m no longer a project manager, I explained; I’m at home with the kids. (The irony staring me in the face that I am still basically a project manager).

“Just a stay at home mum then, I’ll tick that box”.

Sorry? What the hell? Is there a car insurance demographic now for Just-stay-at-home-Mums? Nice one, thanks for that.

I’m not going to lie, I was less than impressed with the customer service from the Just-an-insurance-telephone-operator (low blow, I know…but come on, deserved?).

It gets better.

“Okay I’ve amended your policy for the remaining ten days. There will however be an additional payment of £2.80 as that modification alters your insurance cost.”

Wow. So just-stay-at-home-mums are worse drivers too now? And, to add insult to injury that I’ve just told you we are now a one income family, you are going to rinse me for £2.80. For ten sodding days of insurance. Same car, same address, same person…just three days less of commuting to work, in exchange for the odd run to soft play.

And if I had changed my policy at the start of the 365 day period, would you have charged me an extra £102.20? For what reason exactly?

Angry didn’t even cut it. But no amount of ranting convinced the operator to waiver the £2.80 fee, which probably cost more in her time and the phone call than the actual value of the payment. Just a joke.

And so, there it was; one more blow to just-a-stay-at-home-Mum. I think it’s time someone gave us a break, stopped treating us like inferior versions of our old self, and appreciate that we are the same person we always were.

For some it’s a choice, for some it’s a necessity, and for some it’s the way it happened to all pan out. There’s no’ just’ about it. It’s the hardest job I’ve ever done, and it’s challenging in ways I never really appreciated.

I have total respect for parents that work full time, part time, or not at all. I’ve always believed there is no ‘easier option’ they are all god damn hard in different ways. It’s just a case of working out what works best for your family and your situation, and going with it. It saddens me that not everyone can have this attitude and gets hung up about what is better, worse or any other form of shaming.

A friend and I were at a toddler group (standard) some weeks back and when someone asked us what we do, she answered “we’re just stay at home Mums”. I couldn’t help but cut in and correct her – we aren’t just stay at home Mums, we are both educated women with respectable careers under our belt, but we are taking time out to raise our children and save money on astronomical childcare costs while they are little. ‘Just’ a social worker and a scientist, who happen to be frequenting church halls for £2 for a while.

Defensive? Maybe. But sometimes I need to remind myself of that too, as we continue to feel downtrodden by society, sometimes ourselves, and sometimes car insurers.

I am many things, but I will never be ‘just’ a stay at home Mum.

x MMT

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59 thoughts on “Just a stay at home Mum

  1. Laurel Reply

    I loved the part about not treating us as inferior versions of ourselves!
    http://www.craziesanddaisies.blogspot.com

    1. MMT Reply

      Thanks, I’m guilty of it too sometimes… writing this post made
      Me realise that! Time to change.

  2. Lucy At Home Reply

    Aaargh I say this all the time and I get so annoyed at myself. I say “oh I’m just at home with the girls” – the words just fall out of my mouth. I hate being asked what I do because I feel I need to justify myself. It’s totally my choice to be at home – I do it because I feel passionately about it and because I want to give them the best start that I can (and for us as a family, that means me being the one to take care of them), and yet I feel embarrassed when people innocently ask me “what do you do, then?”. You’d think after 6 years, I’d have come up with a better answer by now… #MarvMondays

    1. MMT Reply

      I know exactly what you mean Lucy. It’s so easy to get drawn in to a self depreciating response to that question! My textbook answer is to say I was made redundant and I’m still figuring out what I want to do. It’s partly true but in all homesty we also made a decision that for now, this is where I want to be.

  3. nowmynameismummy Reply

    My eye was drawn to this immediately now I’m ‘just’ a stay at home mum, it blooming hard work! I’ve been infuriated loads of times when I’ve told people, even friends who’ve exclaimed, ‘oh god! What are you doing to do now then?’ when I’ve told them I’m not going back to work. ‘Erm, I’m going to look after my child?!’ I may be seen as an inferior form of my old self, as you say, but actually I’m happier now I’m not in a job I dont love and my husbands happier that he doesn’t have to rush around anymore than normal! So it works for us! Great post #marvmondays

    1. MMT Reply

      Thanks Claire! It’s funny isn’t it because looking after someone else’s child would be seen as a respectable job! I wish there could be a better term for Women like us, I think the SAHM one has a bit of a bad rep… but think it’s not going anywhere!

  4. beautybabyandme Reply

    Love love love this! It’s bad enough when we falter and say we’re just stay at home Mums let alone when others say it too! It’s not the easy option and people should be more aware of that! I am not inferior just because I no longer work in an office – none of us are! A great post as always chick and one I needed to read whilst I’m having a mummy meltdown this morning! xxx #MarvMondays

  5. The Squirmy Popple Reply

    I’d love to know how the insurance provider could justify charging extra for stay-at-home mums – where’s the logic in that? Being a SAHM is by no means a walk in the park – after doing it for a year while on mat leave, I can confidently say it was the hardest job I ever had. #marvmondays

  6. franbackwithabump Reply

    How bloody dare they?! Being a SAHM derserves a medal, I’m not sure I could do it! Thanks for joining #marvmondays x

  7. New Mummy Blog Reply

    Oooooh how annoying!! What about part time SAHMs who do both… Commuting is so much more ‘dangerous’ in theory and then they have xxx days doing exactly the same as us SAHMs! Oh I’d be furious too! Well written and of course I identify with every point… ‘just’ should be banned it’s a terrible word, L x

  8. Rice Cakes and Raisins Reply

    I totally agree with this. We’re certainly not ‘just’ stay at home mums. I feel your frustration! xxx #MarvMondays

  9. iamzoewatson Reply

    I saw an article once about how much “just a stay at home mom” would be paid in the US if they were to add up all the things that they do. It’s crazy how good the pay would be. Lucky for hubby I do it for free! hehe! #MarvMondays

  10. ccono0 Reply

    YES! Go you! So ridiculous how we’re spoken about. #bigpinklink

  11. Mary @TheHeartyLife Reply

    What an absolute joke haha as if it changed in price! Maybe they know how distracted we are with screaming nagging kids in tow!!
    I have often said “just stay at home with the kids”, when In reality I chose this as to me being at home would be valuable to them. It felt right though it meant we would have less money – to me the trade off is priceless! I think its more other peoples perception of it that makes you feel awks and add the “just” in – I should own it more. x #marvmondays

  12. alisonlonghurst Reply

    I feel your pain and frustration. When I was a SAHM, the word used was, ‘housewife’. Can you imagine? It was so derogatory. I’ve been put off being a ‘wife’ for life! Alison x #BlogCrush

  13. Mom Of Two Little Girls Reply

    That is ridiculous. And you can’t go back if you’ve said is, just to save yourself the stress and money because they’ve probably got it all on tape!
    You are also so right about how you were a Project Manager, and now you’re a SAHM, so did you suddenly lose all ability to be a Project Manager when you changed career? Do people who move from one career to another suddenly forget their previous skills?
    No! Why is it assumed that we do?
    #BlogCrush

  14. Heather KeetHeather Keet Reply

    That is pretty terrible that they ended up charging you more money for a lousy 10 days. And they wonder why they lose customers to other companies. #BlogCrush

  15. Naptime Natter Wendy Reply

    There is no JUST to being a stay at home mum, it is 24hour 7 days a week position with near enough no holiday time. So stupid your insurers charged you more ..I bet you’re glad you changed to someone else xx thanks for linking up to #BlogCrush

  16. Nicole Reply

    I love this post SO MUCH!!! You’ve said everything I feel and want to say on this topic, and beautifully at that. The ‘just’ needs to stop and become something on the lines of “Wow, you’re a stay-at-home-mum! Hats off to you!!!”
    #coolmumclub

  17. Rouge Reply

    Oh no, this is exactly what has been worrying me for months! I am 29 weeks pregnant and was lucky to take voluntary redundancy in January. I am already being treated like someone without a brain (even sometimes by my husband). I know it might be (a) hormones and (b) baby brain kicking in, but I am petrified that everyone will forget the years of corporate career and university education and just see the dribble stains on my collar in a few months time.

    I too vow to never, ever, be “just” a stay at home mum. Thanks for an amazing post! #coolmumclub

  18. Collette | Family life and me Reply

    I can not believe the cheek of that insurance company!! Disgusting. Nobody is “just” anything.I wish the stigma around stay at home mums would do one it’s so annoying. I’m a part time working mum (I work two days) but on my “days off” I apparently just sit with endless mugs of coffee and cake in my nearest soft playcentre having a jolly old time with my mum friends! It actually couldn’t be further from the truth. #coolmumclub

  19. Peachy Reply

    That’s interesting. I know one of the things my insureance company looks for is how far I drive to work. They figure that the further the commute, the more likely an accident will occur. Ever since going on maternity leave (14 months ago) and then quitting my job, I have been meaning to contact them to make the changes thinking that it would save me money as I no longer have any commute. Now I’m starting to rething that phone call. Could my procrastinating actually have worked to my advantage? #coolmumclub

  20. Rainbowsaretoobeautiful Reply

    I agree. And I’m guilty of it too. I seem to justify it a lot when I don’t need to. I should take more pride in … Well me I suppose. Thanks for reminding me. #coolmumclub

  21. beautybabyandme Reply

    Stopping by again from #coolmumclub – you already know I adore this post it’s so important xx #coolmumclub

  22. Laura Beresford Reply

    Anya really annoys me when she says she wants to be ‘just a mum, like you’ when she grows up. I have 3 jobs. I have a BA (Hons) and an MSc. But then I think maybe she thinks motherhood is the ONLY job that matters and content myself with that #coolmumclub

  23. franbackwithabump Reply

    Loved this post, back for #coolmumclub

  24. kerry Reply

    Bloody cheek of it!! £2.80!! and surely if your not working, your car will probably be used LESS! well mine is anyway. I hate the “just” part of it all You should of said ahhh are you “just” a receptionist!

    #coolmumclub

  25. Helen Reply

    I’m mad for you! It’s thoughtless to say the least. Why do insurers even care?! I don’t understand what difference your job makes in the slightest, unless you’re a safari ranger using your fiesta to feed the monkeys! Ridiculous. I’m surprised they didn’t lump on a £25 admin fee for the delight of being insulted! #coolmumclub

  26. Chilli Regina Reply

    Completely agree with you. Sometimes even words are not necessary as you see them judging only with their look! Of course we have to get a bit defensive then! I went to school and studied for the first half of my life, worked so many jobs and gained so many experiences, so who are you to judge me, if I chose to be a stay at home mum? Arrrggh, so annoying! #coolmumclub

  27. Mayflower Blogs Reply

    Eurgh! What a ridiculous thing for someone to say! I’d have had to call them out on the “just” bit!!!!
    #coolmumclub

  28. itsmeanniebee Reply

    This is a good read, I’m always down playing myself “What do I do? Oh nothing, I just look after the children” I’d love to do nothing!!!
    #coolmumclub

  29. motherhoodtherealdeal Reply

    RAHHHHHHH how dare they!!!! I think the gang from #coolmumclub should go and pay ’em a visit en masse! xoxo

  30. Busy Working Mummy Reply

    OMG I mean I know car insurance is silly but that is absolutely insane!!!!! I don’t blame you for being defensive…I would have probably had a few more words to say to the guy on the end of the phone #coolmumclub

  31. Something About Baby Reply

    Wow, what lovely customer service, I bet you’re glad you’re moving to someone else now! Some people really don’t realise the hurt they can cause by a throwaway comment – I work full time which I find incredibly difficult at the moment, but I know that even if I was a stay at home mum my life wouldn’t be easier, just different. #coolmumclub

  32. susielhawes Reply

    Such a good post!! I’d have been so annoyed too. It’s so true, I feel I can be defensive but why should I have to? like you i’m well educated and had a great career and I’m taking time out. No ‘just’ about it. I’m going to try stop using that word too! XX #BlogCrush

  33. Aleena Brown Reply

    That word “just”… I’m so sick of it! For a long time I was guilty of thinking of myself like that – I was this and now I’m just that. But when I really thought about why I felt like that, it was because I knew that other people viewed me like that. Regardless of my qualifications, successful career history, personal achievements, I am just a mum. I don’t really want to be defined by any of it if I’m honest! none of us should be defined by the job that we or do not do, whether we are or aren’t parents… #CoolMumClub

  34. Cheryl @ Tea or Wine Reply

    I’d have to write a letter of complaint to the insurance company! It really does get my goat. You’re right. Working full time / part time or being a mum at home, there is no easy option. They are all hard work! #CoolMumClub x

  35. Annie Reply

    I went through exactly this renewing my car insurance just after I’d become a mum! On a par with, “oh is your husband babysitting?!” No! He’s parenting. It’s not like he has a job and I don’t, we’re both parents, both his job and me being a mum are hard work! No ‘just’ anything about it. #coolmumclub

  36. Mum in Brum Reply

    Yes Sarah! I’m so glad that you argued your case on the phone to just that telesales adviser – even if it didn’t get you anywhere. Someone asked me what I did at the swimming baths the other day and to be honest I felt uncomfortable and unsure of how to answer – I was annoyed (at myself) that I’d felt like that. As you say we are still the same people we always were and yes, parenting is by far the hardest job I have ever done. #coolmumclub xx

  37. Briony Reply

    I say it about myself all the time, oh I just work part time, I just blog a bit, I’m just at home keeping a small human person alive today. I really need to stop! I would be enraged of someone else said it though. #coolmumclub

  38. Erica Reply

    Yes! Perfect! Just this! We all deserve respect no matter our choices and it’s the hardest job I’ve done too
    #coolmumclub

  39. […] #BlogCrush is Just A Stay At Home Mum by Mum Muddling […]... https://lucyathome.co.uk/blogcrush/blogcrush-24th-february-2017
  40. Amy & Tots Reply

    Definitely loved this post. Being a mum is a hard enough job itself, never mind whether we go to work or stay at home! #coolmumclub

  41. Surrey mama Reply

    I love this post! So true, it is not ‘just’ staying at home-we are raising the future and childminders are not ‘just’ childminders etc. #coolmumclub

  42. Tubbs Reply

    Just a stay at home mum. Words fail … How rude! No one is just anything! #coolmumclub

  43. Heather Keet Reply

    That word JUST can cut you to the core. It’s a terrible word. #BlogCrush

  44. Jessicah Reply

    God that was so rude!!!we are so much more #blogcrush

  45. mrsbidders Reply

    Could not agree with this more! I’m a stay at home Mum – I’m not a ‘just’ anything! x #coolmumclub

  46. RaisieBay Reply

    I’ve done it all, SAHM, full-time working mum, Study at home mum, and it’s all just as hard, all have their challenges. The most important thing is that we are still the same person no matter what we are doing and should be treated with respect, especially by ourselves.
    #BlogCrush

  47. Mrs Mummy Harris Reply

    “Just” eurgh… how demoralising! I hate how insurance companies take the piss with any excuses for more money. you are not just a stay at home mum – there is more to that and more hard work than any job could bring. its non-stop and you dont get a break until bed time and even if they sleep, no doubt it wont be straight through!!! #coolmumclub

  48. Angela Watling Reply

    You did well not to say something. So inadvertently offensive! It’s even more of a slap in the face when it comes from a woman who may well find herself in similar circumstances one day. Also, that’s shocking that you had to pay more. Anyone who thinks looking after children all day is a ‘just’ job needs to give it a bash for a week. Man it’s tiring. Tiring to the extent my 2.5 hour round commute on work days in a rest!!! (Yep, standing in someone’s armpit on the Victoria line is a rest. What has life become – haha 😉 ) #CoolMumClub

  49. Rhyming with Wine Reply

    Rude rude rude! I think I’d have had to take around 45 minutes to find my debit card to pay the £2.80. Making sure that I excused the very loud Peppa Pig theme tune and finding it very difficult to manage with the reading of the card number and the understanding of £2.80 – you know. Because I’m just a stay at home mum and so clearly am incapable of anything quite so challenging. If you’re going to pay 280 pence for the privilege of such patronising service you might as well ensure that you get your money’s worth! Hurrah to this and hurrah to you! #blogcrush x

  50. Intrepid Bebe Reply

    I know this feeling-I hate the *just* implied or spoken. Most relentless job I;ve every had, and the Union needs to get the whole no holiday/24 hour shift/lack of private toilet breaks thing sorted!!

  51. Helena Reply

    This post has me seething, well the insurance company that you’ve said goodbye to. How dare they! #coolmumclub

  52. Lisa Pomerantz Reply

    Superb post my dear, and my Mrs., the SAHM, would love it. I gotta say tough, as the working mum, provider in chief, oh how I could reverse the tides. Like you said, no matter how you slice it, it’s hard. And fabulous too! #BlogCrush xo

  53. Hattie Reply

    Bloody right too! I just so happen to work but that’s the way the cookie crumbled for me. I wish it was possible to punch people through the phone! #coolmumclub

  54. Lucy At Home Reply

    Just popping back again from #blogcrush. It’s so frustrating and I can’t believe it costs more for the insurance of a SAHM – ouch!

  55. crummymummy1 Reply

    This post is shocking & brilliant in equal measure! I hope you’ve shared it with the company in question – I’d have named & shamed! #coolmumclub

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