It sounds like a joke, doesn’t it?
Though there is quite an irony here.
While all of these roles have a similar structure grammatically, only one of them is an actual term used in everyday social contexts. One of them is them is socially accepted and used.
One video that randomly appeared in my Youtube feed one day is this Ted Talk, a title I never really thought or expected to see. My feelings about Ted Talks are a mixed bag, though I don’t mind it at all, they give platforms to all sorts of speakers with different views. I just care about ones with interesting ideas and more factual approaches.
Especially this guy. Ben Young.
Check out his talk on the stigma inflicted against Stay-At-Home Mums!
To summarise his views, whether or not you’ve watched it – he points out the obvious social discrimination against Stay-At-Home Mums due to society’s toxic views on valuing economic success over any other type.
This is something I’ve visited as a topic several times on this blog and really, it makes me happy someone else is noticing it and can talk about it on a platform. My approach may be slightly different, though I would basically reiterate his entire point if I was in that stage. I am very encouraging of support and acceptance towards Domestic Women, whether you are staying at home for your children, for you and your partner, anything.
However, I also support women’s choices overall. Wherever you want to go, go! Each choice will bring its own results and only from there would you know if it was the right one or not.
One thing I have to stress too though – is that idea Ben postulates with economic success.
This is why Stay-At-Home Mums are an ‘other’, their non-economic earning characteristic needs to be highlighted and often, discriminated or looked down on.
It is a sign of an overly materialistic society, one that still very much embodies the spirit of ‘keeping up the Joneses’ when it only counts economic growth as the only type of growth worth measuring and being proud of.
If you’re at home, not working for a company or earning actual money, you are an ‘other’ – that’s why the Stay-At-Home part needs to be stressed. So you do not have (socially accepted) economic success? You’re an ‘other’.
The world isn’t only physical. It is also mental, emotional – whatever you prefer to phrase it. There is the material and immaterial. As a Domestic Woman, I like to think that I dabble in both – I technically work full time, except one work role is on a material basis where I earn material things such as money. The other is immaterial, where what I earn is something immaterial though no less valuable, time.
This is something I am weary of in this world, that we are losing the balance between material and immaterial, we care more for the former when both are important. You can’t measure everything you are just by what you own and earn in physical material, it’s also how much you have and make use of the immaterial. Time, personal growth, the intangible things in life that matter more emotionally and mentally.
Living in a Western society, I just find it another irony that many people are ‘spiritual’ and care about wellbeing and a lot of new age/environment/natural things, yet they don’t leave much time in their lives to just…enjoy. To have more breathing space.
Sometimes all you need is some more time. To enjoy the simple things. Our society puts a lot of onus on being ‘busy’ and economically rich (or comfortable, though people from third world countries would definitely call it rich) rather than being rich beyond the material.
My point is to not pick on a stereotype, it’s simply to relay the message that taking more time for yourself, not participating against the Joneses and just setting standards for your own personal development and caring for the people you love has its own value, too.
Which is why sometime who stays at home as mum, is just a Mum. A full-time Mum. A domestic partner who works outside part-time is just a partner with different types of work roles. Still a full-time partner.
They’re not any less, even if they don’t make a big pay check.
You can’t trade a pay check for time.