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 It’d expire in ten days, and wouldn’t be renewed, to be superseded by the oh so much cheaper new provider.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.