Moms: Three experiences, Three types....and, Respect for all three!
A pointless battle around stay-at-home moms versus working moms (and now there are in-between moms too!) is never an outdated topic, as society relentlessly dish out stigma and prejudice. Even worse, there are serious mom-shamings among women to prove who is the better mom on parenting based on the role or profession she decides. (Btw, where are the dads?!)
FreakMagz interviewed three freaking awesome moms who are proud of their different type of role as moms and totally kicks ass with it. Oh, and they are all condemning the very uncool act of: mom-shaming.
How did you decide to be this-kind-of mom?
Putri Arvianti: My mom has always been a hard worker in her whole productive age. And I myself have been unconsciously embracing nurturing roles since my very young age. For instance, I used to voluntarily took responsibilities on house errands and took care of my younger siblings. And now, since I have the privilege to have a husband that is able to accommodate all of our financial matters, I am able to have the in-consent and conscious choice to focus on my preferred household specialty as a: housewife and mother.
Kamila Andini: I didn’t actually decide to be an in-between mom. I become an in-between mom simply because I want to be a filmmaker, and this profession allows me to have flexible working hours (some are crazy, and some can be chill). And sometimes, I also make alternative films, which have more liberation in many ways.
Irma Sakul: I realised that I love working and socialising with people. I also found out that my mom was unable to give me fruitful information back then, thus I learnt that I want to be more handful for my kids. And I know that someday my kids would be on their own, so I also think that it would be good for me to be occupied with work.
Does your partner and family support your decision and actually contribute on parenting?
Putri Arvianti: My husband is always 100% with me. He gives all the time and space I need to explore my roles. My mom, though, still make a fuss about me getting back to work and earning. But I take it as her concern towards my well-being and insurance, rather than a mom-shaming action.
Kamila Andini: Honestly without their support I wouldn’t be able to go and shoot my movies while I was pregnant and doing post-productions with a new-born baby. I dont think I can be productive in filming and able to raise an infant adequately, without my husband and family's support.
Irma Sakul: I have a strong support system, which mainly comes from my husband. He never limits my passion and we share the parenting roles. My extended family also supports me by offering their assistance in taking care of my kids. I think this is one of the strongest factors why I can be a working mom.
People put stigma to every mom. If you’re a stay-at-home mom: you’re labelled as non-independent, non-modern, submissive, not-ambitious. If you’re a working mom: you’re labelled as irresponsible, rebellious, unloving, greedy. And if you’re an in-between mom: they think it’s a simplified solution to all the dilemma around mothers.
How do you think about it?
Putri Arvianti: There's always two sides of a coin. If we see SAHM from the amount of the paycheck, the way we dress up everyday, tasks we handle, and path we've decided to take, then maybe those stigmas are relevant. But, if you take a closer look on how a SAHM takes a very good care of the family (esp. those who does everything without helper), the parenting philosophies they choose, every small and big decisions they make every day, and their parenting goals, then we can only say the other way around.
Kamila Andini: There is no perfect choice, every choice has its consequences. In my case the hard part is the feeling like I am there with my kids but actually my mind is thinking about work. And I spend a lot of time with my phone or laptop. My kids see me but hardly connects with me.
In some other times, I always feel bad with the people I work with (in this case my team) because I am not a hundred percent intact with work, being distracted with the kids. Most of the time I am actually confused on my priorities. Because everything is not as firm as a working or stay-at-home mom.
For me, whats most important is to know who I am and what I want to do. What is my profession and dream? Don’t do something just because you need to put everything together. Because really, in being a mom, nothing is ever put together.
Irma Sakul: People have the right to express how they think about something. But we must also be aware that everyone has their own personal reason to choose and to judge.
What’s the most insulting compliment you’ve ever received?
Putri Arvianti: The most insulting compliment I've ever received would be, "wow, you're the real champion for having yourself at home everyday. I would not survive a day if I were you. I'll be dead bored!" To be bored means to do nothing and my days as a SAHM are always filled with long to-do-list, and it is often still left unfinished. So, saying such things means accusing me for idleness.
Kamila Andini: I don’t recall of ever being insulted. But in many times, I am in dilemma in overthinking what others say about me, like, “you can make films later, now you need to focus in taking care of your kids”.
But I don’t think a person cannot and shouldn’t hide who they are. A writer will write something even when they are a stay-at-home mom. They are still a writer no matter what. A housewife will always be better on handling kids and the home even when they are working 9-5 to support the family. It’s all a profession, to which housewife is also a profession. You cannot hide who you are and you just need to be true to yourself.
Irma Sakul: So far none, since I have built my own strong support system to anticipate the gaps and to ignore the unimportant noise.
Mom-shaming is obviously not cool, how do you deal with it? Do you have any message you want to tell to the public?
Putri Arvianti: Most of the time, mom-shaming leaves me speechless. But in the end I always choose to remember that everything I do, no matter how simple it may seemed, gives value to my family. Anyway, people can think all they want and what's in their heads is never my business to mind.
Kamila Andini: “She's so lucky to be able to stay at home and does not need to work as her husband is rich.” “She’s pursuing her dream and does not need to manage the household and service her husband.” “She must be so grateful to have a family that supports her in taking care of the kids.”
These kind of thoughts create mom shaming.
What women sometimes forget is that not everything is just 'luck', remember as a woman we always have a choice to create and manage our lives as we want. We can choose with whom we want to live with for the rest of our life (we can say no). We have to surround ourselves with those who know who we are and support us for everything we love to do.
I choose to surround myself with the feminists, who does not stereotype women and who knows that I want to make films and support that dream in every condition.
Irma Sakul: Everyone has their target and dream, be it as a stay-at-home mom, an in-between mom, or a working mom. Whatever it is, stay focus on your own dream/ target, be nice to people, and be confident.
Inspirational, right? Each of these moms has their own reasons and there's simply nothing wrong with it. Now the question is, how about a single mom? Anyone want to share with us? Do not hesitate to send your thought to firstname.lastname@example.org. Cheers!