I’m Not Just A Stay-At-Home Mom

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We’re in the midst of moving house (FINALLY!) this week, so I am now most likely without time, energy or an Internet connection. Hence, I’m reprinting with permission, a guest post I wrote for Kim of Mama’s Monologues a few months ago. Enjoy!


A few months ago, my well-meaning brother said to me in an online conversation, that he was concerned that I may “lose my edge” because I am no longer the marketing ‘guru’ I used to impersonate. Instead, I am ‘wasting’ my acquired skills by being a stay-at-home mom to my baby (now toddler).

 Before y’all take your catapults out and ask me where my brother is located (hint: nearer to you than me, he lives in the States), let me say that I was not offended.

Well, maybe a little.

Okay, I was incensed. When I’d calmed down, I thought about what he said, and realized that of course, he had no idea what he was talking about. He is clearly not aware of the multifaceted roles mothers play. And I mean all mothers, not just stay-at-home ones.

So I’d like to share with you what I think are the skills that one employs at work, which we moms, exercise all the time.

Multi-tasking Skills

If you’re a mother, you will know exactly what I mean. We have children to feed, bathe, play with and entertain, put to bed. We have husbands to feed, play with and entertain, and er, put to bed. And if your children are school age, throw in lunch making, driving them to school and various activities. And laundry, who can forget the never ending mountain of laundry? If you blog, you have to factor in time to write posts, read blogs, comment, tweet, network!

If we mothers weren’t so good at multitasking, how do you think we manage all these tasks? Which mom doesn’t prep dinner, stick something in the oven and while it cooks, quickly checks for new posts to read and comment on? Which mom doesn’t feed the children while they sit in the bathtub? (okay, maybe just me) Which mom doesn’t play with the children and chat with the husband about their day? Which mom doesn’t fold laundry and catch up with the latest US Weekly issue?

Organizational Skills

All moms have superior organizational skills. How else do you think we sort out weekly play dates? Or figure out which child is due for their shots and dentist visits? Who is the one who schedules chores around the house? Or know who has violin lessons on Monday, football on Tuesday, ballet on Wednesday, swim class on Thursday and baseball on Friday?

Moms have to look after the household (bills, cleaning up, groceries), the children, the husband. Without organizational skills, said household? Will collapse.

Communication Skills

Moms, especially experienced ones, can convey messages to children without speaking. One look, and their child will shush. One look, and their child will know they have to pick up after themselves. One look, and their child knows they need to do their homework.

Yelling works too, I hear.

Also? The best blogs are written by moms. Fact.

Event Management Skills

Birthday parties complete with theme, homemade birthday cake and other scrumptious goodies, decorations, party favors, games, invitations, hosting, photographs – moms worldwide do that all the time. It is no mean feat, especially when your ‘client’ is a headstrong child who knows exactly what he/ she wants.

Holiday dinners complete with an 8 course meal, invitations, gorgeous table setting, making sure the children are dressed properly, making sure said children are clean, the house is clean, and the drinks plentiful. Just writing all that down is making the vein in my head throb. But, moms everywhere do that, all the time.

In Conclusion

So, to my brother: I do not think that being a stay-at-home mom will make me lose my edge. In fact, it is going to hone the skills I picked up in the corporate world, thankyouverymuch.

A note about husbands and fathers: in no way is this piece making your roles in the household small, not at all! All great moms need great pillars of strength and support. So thank you.

What other skills do you think moms have/ must have?




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  • October 13, 2011 Julie

    I overheard or read someone making the “just a stay at home mom” comment the other day and I got so mad my ears began to steam.

    I could write a BOOK on multitasking. While I’m ironing. And stirring dinner.
    Julie recently wrote…My least favorite firstMy Profile

    • October 16, 2011 Alison

      I think that you manage to pull off amazing meals for someone who has an active toddler to look after, kudos to you!

  • October 13, 2011 Ann

    I don’t know where I’ve seen it, but if they salaried out a mom – she would be making the BIG bucks based on all the jobs she does!
    Ann recently wrote…Pork with Caribbean Rub & Mango SalsaMy Profile

    • October 16, 2011 Alison

      Oh yes, I read that too. We’ll be gazillionaires!

  • October 13, 2011 Kate F.

    Yep. Motherhood should definitely be a resume builder and not a negative connotation. Multi-tasking, communication skils, advanced organizational abilities… I see that as an added resume benefit don’t you? 🙂
    Kate F. recently wrote…Acknowledging a Career in Motherhood?My Profile

    • October 16, 2011 Alison

      Oh yes, absolutely.

  • October 13, 2011 JamieAnne

    I’ve never understood why being a stay at home parent is often considered a non job.

    I have learned more tolerance, more problem solving skills, more patients from motherhood than I ever learned in my corporate life.
    JamieAnne recently wrote…My life as Band Mom….My Profile

    • October 16, 2011 Alison

      Moms are CEOS, really. 🙂

  • October 13, 2011 My Inner Chick

    —Dear, Mama A.
    What some people do not realize is that stay at home moms have one of the hardest jobs in the UNIVERSE. I mean, we are molding and forming human beings (Perhaps, even the next President or Prime Minister!)
    I believe moms who( stay at home & working outside the home ) deserve big ass checks for being doctors, educators, psycologists, maids, cooks, librarians, …. etc… X
    My Inner Chick recently wrote…8 Things I loath and Love About BlogsMy Profile

    • October 16, 2011 Alison

      Oh yes, all that. Wish I’d thought of those 🙂

  • October 13, 2011 Bruna

    I remember this post! You sure told your brother now didn’t you! We do deserve big ass cheques for being all those things rolled into one. Amen to what My Inner Chick wrote above!

  • October 13, 2011 Courtney

    Loved this post then and love it now!
    Courtney recently wrote…Pain is Pain (no matter how long you’ve endured it)My Profile

  • October 13, 2011 Kimberly

    Loved it then and love it still! Whenever I hear the ‘just a stay at home mom’ comments I want to throat punch them. We are so much more than that!
    Kimberly recently wrote…Drying His TearsMy Profile

    • October 16, 2011 Alison

      Haha, throat punch, good one!

  • October 13, 2011 Kiddothings

    I hope your brother read this. I’d like to add that moms have counselling skills too. I seem to be counselling my kids a lot on behavioural issues 😉
    Kiddothings recently wrote…Picnesday #8 – The Latest “Mango”My Profile

    • October 16, 2011 Alison

      Yes, counselors, absolutely. We moms are awesome!

  • October 13, 2011 Dave

    Well, if you mothers and wives would quit making it *look* so easy, we dopey husbands, brothers, fathers and friends would know better! My wife ran her own business for years and finds mommy-hood ( 3 kids – 5 and under ) rewarding but just as busy as keeping her company organized and running.
    Dave recently wrote…Bugaboo Cameleon StrollerMy Profile

    • October 16, 2011 Alison

      Hahaha, good one, I like that. Yes, we do make it look easy, don’t we? Good on your wife, looking after 3 kids and running her own business.

  • October 13, 2011 Catheryn

    Bravo for this great post Alison!

    Thank you for justifying our ‘job’ 🙂

  • October 13, 2011 Nellie

    Well, when you say it like that, its pretty amazing what we do! The “SAHM” term encompasses so much! Although I do not stay at home, I know I probably couldn’t handle it. So kudos to all the women that do!
    Nellie recently wrote…"Chelsea Settles", an Instant Reality Hit!My Profile

  • October 13, 2011 By Word of Mouth Musings

    We will have the last laugh when we take over the world 😉
    By Word of Mouth Musings recently wrote…Fall Favorites by Kelly of Mom Got BlogMy Profile

    • October 16, 2011 Alison

      We are slowly taking over the world already.

  • October 13, 2011 Dwija {House Unseen}

    I loved this post back then and love it even more now! It’s fun reading something after getting to know everyone even better 🙂
    Dwija {House Unseen} recently wrote…Darth Vader Mood ChartMy Profile

  • October 13, 2011 June

    Well said. If I may add to that already comprehensive list: negotiation skills and crisis management skills. There’s just so many opportunities to hone these, don’t you think? 😉

    • October 16, 2011 Alison

      Yes those are skills we acquire and require!

  • October 13, 2011 Kimberly

    I am not going to lie…
    Before kids I thought that stay at home moms had nothing to complain about. I never understood when I would go to my sister in-laws house and it was messy. I would think “WTF do you do all day besides watching Oprah”…
    Then I had a kid.
    Open mouth insert foot.
    This job is a bitch. Not gonna lie.
    Kimberly recently wrote…How Can I Help You?My Profile

    • October 16, 2011 Alison

      You know, me too, to an extent. I actually thought SAHMs must be bored out of their minds, haha! Stupid us.

  • October 13, 2011 Andrea

    I’ve never fed my kids in the bathtub, but I have brushed their teeth in there. I also once read the nighttime book while they were splashing around, definitely counts as multitasking!
    Andrea recently wrote…Is Santa Lying To Your Kids?My Profile

  • October 13, 2011 MommaKiss

    OMG, I swear, stay home moms work SO hard, and are totally underpaid. All those skills, while keeping the kid happy? Not easy at all. you’re CEO of the house, don’t you forget it.
    MommaKiss recently wrote…AwarenessMy Profile

    • October 16, 2011 Alison

      I also have to make sure others don’t forget it, specifically the male species in my family 😉

  • October 14, 2011 Stasha

    So true. Between kid, toddler and horse I am definitely a waste disposal expert if you know what I mean 😉
    Stasha recently wrote…WalkaboutMy Profile

    • October 16, 2011 Alison

      Haha yes, waste disposal expert, good one!

  • October 14, 2011 Elena

    SAHM’s have my respect. Big time! So many skills necessary – all that you listed and then some!
    Elena recently wrote…MIITO’s in British ColumbiaMy Profile

  • October 14, 2011 Leighann

    I could never be a SAHM. Being on Maternity leave was stressful enough.
    It’s a HARD job! I commend every mom who does it.
    Leighann recently wrote…When You Turn 31…My Profile

  • October 14, 2011 JDaniel4's Mom

    I love this. Being a mom at home has made me a better person. I think I still have to master some of these skills though.
    JDaniel4’s Mom recently wrote…Passing Down Costumes Cousin to CousinMy Profile

  • October 14, 2011 Kelley

    Amen!!! I think I read this the first time, because your words sound familiar. They were awesome to read then and awesome to read now!
    Kelley recently wrote…The story of my sonMy Profile

  • October 14, 2011 Kyla

    You got that edge, girl!
    Kyla recently wrote…Whoa..during the day?My Profile

  • October 14, 2011 Minivan Mama

    Here, Here!
    Minivan Mama recently wrote…Little Mouse Goes To TimeoutMy Profile

  • October 14, 2011 Missy

    Professional development skills – how else do we help our children find their interests and encourage them to pursue them??? 🙂
    Missy recently wrote…Big News! Fun Announcements!My Profile

    • October 16, 2011 Alison

      OH yes, absolutely!

  • October 14, 2011 Coffee Lovin' Mom

    I hope your move goes smooth! I bet you used your skills to coordinate everything that went along with that too. I offer to “let” my husband to the holiday shopping/prep almost every year, he will never take me up on it..
    Coffee Lovin’ Mom recently wrote…10 Things – Never to Ask Your SpouseMy Profile

    • October 16, 2011 Alison

      Thank you, it went pretty good, considering we had so little time. I have to give credit to my husband for pulling his weight. That was me delegating 😉

  • October 14, 2011 Jamie

    Skills I work on still… a work in progress!! And I did want to hunt down your bro immediately! ha!
    Jamie recently wrote…call me crazyMy Profile

    • October 16, 2011 Alison

      Hahaha, I don’t blame you!

  • October 14, 2011 Sarah

    Being a Mom is more than a full-time job! I work part time and I can tell you being a Mom is a way harder job than my “real” job. Anyone who disagrees obviously hasn’t tried!
    Sarah @ made in usa challenge
    Sarah recently wrote…Bestie: The Best of Etsy- The Artwork of Kristen SoleckiMy Profile

  • October 15, 2011 Shell

    I was told by my stepmother that I was wasting my degree and my life by staying home. Yeah, she’s really charming.

    I think we learn a lot by being a mom.
    Shell recently wrote…Things They Can’t Say: Vinobaby’s VoiceMy Profile

    • October 16, 2011 Alison

      Oh wow, that’s so NOT nice. Yes, we do learn a lot!

  • October 15, 2011 Kim

    I definitely think being a mom has taught me a ton.

    If/when I head back to full time employment, I’ll have a whole lot more tools in my pocket.

    (But I do get tired of being asked what I do all day and if I get bored by my old co-workers.)
    Kim recently wrote…Marathon MamaMy Profile

  • October 15, 2011 Hilary

    You should ask your brother to trade places with you for one day and see what he says then. I think the work a parent does is not obvious to an outsider because a lot of it is character building rather than an obvious external skill. After raising a kid, you’re pretty much capable of handling any stressful job.
    Hilary recently wrote…Utopia Systems CRM HostingMy Profile

    • October 16, 2011 Alison

      I think he won’t last 5 minutes!

  • October 15, 2011 Mama, Hear Me Roar

    Yeah, my blood boils whenever I hear people saying stay home moms are wasting their time and skills. They know nuts.

    As I’m typing this, I’m breastfeeding my baby at the ungodly hour of 5.55am, planning the next day’s meals in my head, sleeping with my eyes open, and thinking of all the other multi-tasks that I have to every.single.day.24-7 even when I’m fighting a dastardly viral infection, without any options of medical leave.
    Mama, Hear Me Roar recently wrote…Fighting viralMy Profile

    • October 16, 2011 Alison

      You are super mom!

  • October 15, 2011 Asianmommy

    It’s only after you become a mother that you can really understand these things.
    Asianmommy recently wrote…Sushi DonutsMy Profile

  • October 16, 2011 Jessica

    Seriously, teaching is a hard job that also involves a lot of multitasking and very few breaks. And still my one day of teaching a week is SO MUCH easier than my four other days at home alone with my two small children and my whole household to run.
    Jessica recently wrote…Cures for the Common BluesMy Profile

  • October 16, 2011 Amanda

    Event management, yes! You have the right cofidence and motivation to keep you going. You can easily make this list longer…:)
    Amanda recently wrote…Physical therapy assistant schoolsMy Profile

  • October 17, 2011 Lady Jennie

    Feeding the kids in the bath. WHY DIDN’T I THINK OF THAT? And now it’s pretty much too late. 🙂

    Yup, you haven’t lost your edge.
    Lady Jennie recently wrote…Filet Mignon of PorcMy Profile

    • October 17, 2011 Alison

      Aw, thank you!

  • October 17, 2011 Robin

    Fantastic post. Does your brother read your blog?

    This reminds me… I totally need to republish old posts when I’m stuck…
    Robin recently wrote…When a Brochure Isn’t EnoughMy Profile

    • October 17, 2011 Alison

      Thanks Robin! No, he doesn’t read my blog – which suits me just fine hehe.

      Do the old posts!

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