7 common misconceptions about SAHMs

If you’re a homemaker, a typical day is way more than just cuddling with your cutie on the couch!

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You’re taking a big step ― making the move to become a stay-at-home-mum, or SAHM.

You have to consider a host of factors. For instance, are both you and your husband on the same page? Is he on board with your plan to stay home with junior? How will it affect your relationship? How will the chores at home be divvied up, if you do become a SAHM?

Plus, there are the financial concerns: Will your husband’s salary be able to support your family? Do you have a financial safety net ― what happens if your husband falls ill, is unable to work, or loses his job? Will you be able to afford luxuries like a family vacation?

You’re also making a huge personal commitment. Are you ready to put your career on hold and let your kids take priority? Then, you’ll also have to deal with the inevitable judgments people make about your new status.

Indeed, many unenlightened people hold certain perceptions about stay-at-home mums ― from what they do all day and how “free” they are, to what they want in life. But many are myths, rather than facts.

These are the most common misconceptions:

1. “Your husband must make a lot of money.”
While the husband certainly has to make enough to support the family on a single salary, making the switch meant making financial sacrifices, says Hilda Chee-Yosako, a mother of two.

It was “an educated choice” to become a stay-at-home mum, Chee-Yosako adds. “We had to put a lot of thought into how much we had to give up for me to stay at home.”She says that they considered the amount of money they would save in terms of childcare costs and hiring a domestic helper, and tightened the budget when it came to running the household.

 

“All the money we spend is now accounted for, and we slowly save up for our family holidays. We didn’t do this when I was in the workforce!” She adds, “So, when people say my husband must be rich, I laugh!”

I deal with crazy tantrums, crying toddlers and I lose my temper on a daily basis, just like any other mum would!”

2. “You must be really good with kids.”
Being with your kids for the better part of the day is pretty much makes up an SAHM’s job description. And whether junior is a baby, toddler or an older kid, they all require a fair amount of attention.

“One thing I get told a lot is that it must come naturally to me,” says Yvonne Ong, mum to Kevin, 2, and Kayla, 4. “I assure you, it doesn’t!” says Ong, who used to be a computer engineer before quitting her job when her second child arrived.

“I don’t think I’m any better with kids than mums who work. I deal with crazy tantrums, crying toddlers and I lose my temper on a daily basis, just like any other mum would!” Ong laughs.

3. “Aren’t you wasting your education?”
“I have a friend who once said to you, ‘You got your MBA to manage your kids’, and she laughed,” recalls mum of two Lee Yun Ni. “But it’s not easy to be a SAHM. There is a lot of sacrifice. You give up on your career, your finances and your personal time.”

Diana Fang, mum to three Primary school kids, says that managing her family accounts and coordinating her kids’ schedules is even more demanding than some jobs out there.

“I used to work in HR, and I spent most of my time at my desk in the office. Now, I’m running around, sending kids to school, enrichment classes, while managing finances and doing chores. This is more deserving of my education than my previous job!”