Don’t tell me I don’t do enough – the story of the unappreciated stay at home mum

Don’t tell me I don’t do enough – the story of the unappreciated stay at home mum

Once upon a time there was a young(ish) woman. She was married to her best friend and together they had two beautiful sons. Her husband had a very important job that took him away from her and their boys for over 40 hours a week. His job was demanding and sometimes stressful and he often came home tired and agitated after a busy day at work.

Whilst her husband was at the office earning the big bucks, the young(ish) woman stayed at home and did nothing. When the baby woke crying for her in the morning she just pulled the covers over her head and pretended not to hear. When their 4 year old son woke up ravenous and demanded breakfast appear in front of him like magic, she would just point him in the direction of the kitchen and sit on the sofa watching trashy tv instead. As the hours passed she would just do whatever she wanted and let the kids run feral around the house, too engrossed in scrolling through Facebook to really interact with her children at all.

Or so her very busy husband and the rest of the world sometimes thought, anyway.

At the end of the day her husband would come home after another 8 hours of non stop graft. He was always hungry but there was never any food in the fridge, let alone a meal actually cooking in the oven. He would grumpily have to go to the shop and buy food before sulking off to the kitchen to cook dinner for the four of them. He was angry that his wife did nothing all day while he worked hard to support them. He told her she didn’t do enough, that she needed to do more, that the house was a disgrace and he was fed up of it.

The very busy husband and  the rest of the world were wrong though. So. Very. Wrong.

The young(ish) woman woke every morning to cries from her baby. She would drag her tired body out of bed, retrieve the baby from his cot, change his nappy and give him some milk from her magic boobs. Then, when the four year old woke up demanding breakfast she would take him downstairs, give him his food and then spend the next half hour encouraging him to actually eat it.

After wrestling clothes on to the baby and helping the four year old dress she would then grab a shower herself, if she was lucky. There would be no watching of This Morning or binge watching of Netflix, if the TV did go on it would be for her son to watch Peppa Pig or some equally annoying children’s programme so she could have a reprieve from his demands for 10 minutes.

Her days were not spent doing nothing or living a life of luxury, sitting around being lazy and enjoying her freedom from the evil world of employment. She would read to her sons, play imagination games with them. She would brave trips to the local soft play centre and toddler groups, she even enjoyed doing crafts and baking yummy treats with them too.

During the days sometimes the house got neglected, the cleaned laundry wasn’t always put away and sometimes the dishes from lunch were left to pile up in the sink. The floor could go a week or 2 without seeing a hoover and the toilets weren’t religiously bleached every Sunday. The kitchen was cleaned multiple times a day though, the surfaces anti bac sprayed to within an inch of their life. The food thrown on the floor from the heights of the baby’s high chair was always promptly cleaned up and any spillages of squash were instantly dealt with. The house wasn’t pristine or glistening, it was lived in but it wasn’t dirty. The children didn’t play in filth all day, their bath water wasn’t brown by the time they were finished with it. The house wasn’t perfect but they were happy.

unappreciated stay at home mum

While the very busy husband got to wee in peace at work, have adult conversations and drink his coffee and eat his lunch without little hands trying to steal it, the young(ish) woman was having to wee with a baby sat on her lap and sacrifice her last piece of toast to the ravenous four year old. There were days the only conversation she would have were babbled nonsense with her baby or debates over Paw Patrol with her eldest son. When she was in the company of adults all conversation surrounded the topic of ‘the kids’ and the young(ish) woman was worried all her pre children self would soon be lost forever.

The young(ish) woman would always make sure there was food in the house, she would bravely voyage through Asda with two children in the trolley. While stocking up on healthy food for her brood she would have to pacify a grumpy baby who loved nothing more than to throw his dummy on the dirty shop floor and stop her eldest child having a melt down over that Lego set she refused to buy him. On the days she couldn’t face cooking, her busy husband would take over the culinary reigns, more than happy to hide in the kitchen with youtube for company while she tried every trick in the book to keep the kids happy during the witching hour.

Every day the young(ish) woman was busy raising a family, her hands were either full of cuddly bodies, toys to put away, clothes to be washed or dishes to be cleaned. On the rare occasions the to do list was complete and the children were sleeping or at school she would spend time trying to grow her business. She would busily type away, trying to master working from home so her busy husband didn’t feel the full force of the financial strain. The young(ish) mummy felt like she didn’t ever stop.

On that fateful day that the busy husband came home from work to a messy house and told the young(ish) woman she wasn’t doing enough, the young(ish) woman completely lost her shit. She  told him he had no clue what it was like to feel like you are always cleaning and tidying and yet the house is still a tip at the end of the day. She explained that looking after children all day leaves very little time to get the hoover out or don the rubber gloves and do some deep cleaning. She raged that he dare say she should do more when the baby slept, the one single hour she has every day to try and get some work done and maybe, if she dare, have a cup of coffee that’s actually hot.

The young(ish) woman felt angry and unappreciated as a stay at home mum. She loved her husband dearly but was upset that he could accuse her of not doing enough when some days she barely had time to breathe. Through anger tears fell down her face and the busy husband realised he had over stepped the line. The very busy husband apologised for making her feel unappreciated, he wiped her tears and said sorry.

The young(ish) woman decided to forgive her very busy husband this time. He had never been a stay at home parent so had no idea how difficult and demanding her days at home could be. Ignorance is bliss as they say. The young(ish) woman accepted her husbands apology but warned him that if he were to say anything so stupid again she would hand him over to the wicked witch in the forest who would happily turn him into a toad (or whatever it is that happens to the bad guys in fairy tales).

The end.

Are you a stay at home parent, do you ever feel unappreciated? Maybe you are a working parent who doesn’t really understand what us stay at home parents do all day. Share your stories below!

p.s – Oli if you’re reading, of course I wouldn’t let a witch turn you into a toad. Love you!

You can find this post linked to some of these amazing blog link ups –

Maternity Mondays | Marvellous Mondays | Posts from the Heart | #MG | Big Pink Link | Twinkly Tuesday | Dream Team | Tried and Tested | Blogger Club UK | Best and Worst | Family Fun | Cool Mum Club | A Blogging Good Time | The List Linky | PoCoLo |For the Love of Blog | KCACOLS  …and of course #BlogCrush, the linky I co host every Friday.


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  1. September 24, 2017 / 1:11 pm

    I completely adore this post Wendy. So honest and moving. I can relate to everything you’ve said – everything. It’s about time we shook off this horrible stigma that stay/work at home mums do nothing. I’ve done full time, part time and at home and the latter is by far the hardest. Brilliant as always xx

  2. September 24, 2017 / 3:44 pm

    Such a brilliant post. As a fellow stay at home mummy, I think you’ve described my life! Haha. I don’t think people have any idea how hard is is until they’ve tried it. Fab post!
    Lucy At Home recently posted…Blogcrush Week 32 – 22nd September 2017My Profile

  3. September 25, 2017 / 8:45 am

    I think that this is true in most households, although my husband is the exception, he was a single dad having custody of his son before he met me, so he was pretty much already trained up to the fact that when our son was born he wanted to do everything #familyfun@_karendennis

  4. September 25, 2017 / 10:15 am

    I have got so much respect for stay at home Mum’s. You rock! Great post.
    Rach recently posted…Top 10 Songs: Year 2002My Profile

  5. September 25, 2017 / 12:00 pm

    Oh I know this too well. I love the sarcasm with which this delivered. #AnythingGoes
    Mama Grace recently posted…Where’s Your Shoe?My Profile

  6. September 25, 2017 / 8:30 pm

    Omg I am in love with this. I think it’s one of my favs ever. I am sure so many of us can totally relate to this. Despite he content tidying and cleaning it never seems clean enough and entertaining two small ones really does take up most minutes of your day – until you’ve done it I don’t think you can appreciate it like you say. Let’s hope busy husband won’t need to be sent off to be turned into a toad anytime soon. Thanks for joining us at #familyfunlinky

  7. September 25, 2017 / 9:50 pm

    I am a single mum and I work full time. I do the cleaning and cooking. I pay the bills, I refurbish our flat. I can honestly say that the hours that I spend at work (I work a 40 hour week) are by far the easiest. I do go to work for a rest.

    I have the utmost respect for you. You have two children (so twice the amount of work) and you also have your husband to clean up after and look after too – this is additional work, even though your husband may think it isn’t. Trust me, I know, I saw my task list drop when I left my now ex.

    In my view, you have the hardest job of all. It is non-stop, 24/7 and emotionally as well as physically challenging. I take my hat off took you.
    Pen x #AnythingGoes
    Pen recently posted…The one about my anxiety attack over a cello caseMy Profile

  8. September 26, 2017 / 9:01 am

    I can so appreciate this post. Although Mr Lighty doesn’t tend to say it out loud, I can tell that he’s thinking it. That one hour of nap time is so precious isn’t it? And yes, cleaning all day and the house still looking like a tip just drives you insane doesn’t it?! Fab post xxx #DreamTeam
    Mrs Lighty recently posted…Babywearing and Going Buggy FreeMy Profile

  9. September 26, 2017 / 12:18 pm

    I think you’re totally right – it’s hard to appreciate how much SAMHs do unless you’ve done it yourself! I work now, but I know from my stay-at-home days that there are days when it’s just not possible to clean, do laundry or do much else but survive. #dreamteam
    The Squirmy Popple recently posted…Let’s be honest about part-time workingMy Profile

  10. September 26, 2017 / 1:16 pm

    Love this. I’ve said it to you before and I’ll say it again. I could not be a stay at home mum. You’re doing fab lovely x

  11. September 26, 2017 / 7:08 pm

    This post is beautiful in that it is so raw, so honest and as a fellow SAHM, I can vouch that every word is true. Most days, you just want to get through the day – who has time to hoover or cook a meal from scratch?! The house will NEVER look perfect with kids living in it, and the to-do list will never get over. Nap time is SO PRECIOUS, and probably the only time you get to blog, or just take a breather.

    I’ve had similar arguments with my over-tired, over-worked husband. I guess it’s a catch-22 situation. They are tired and stressed as well, and would like to come home to a hot meal and a welcoming house, but being a SAHM is a full-time job too, although unpaid and unappreciated. Hubbies HAVE to realise that…

    Mums rock, and don’t ever think you do nothing!


  12. September 27, 2017 / 11:36 am

    Love this post, and I can relate to it completely. As a stay at home mum there have definitely been days where my partner has returned to more mess than when he left. No food/dinner/mountains of washing and moaned that I haven’t done anything. Now my little girl is at preschool a few mornings a week it helps me bring the house under some sort of control. #dreamteam
    Ky recently posted…Life Lately – A Quick UpdateMy Profile

  13. September 27, 2017 / 2:19 pm

    Ah such a lovely post as I really feel your pain! It is hard being a stay at home mum just as it is hard to be a working parent. We just need to see that whatever you choose there are shit days and amazing ones. Have a good week. #dreamteam
    oldhouseintheshires recently posted…The Working Parents dilemmaMy Profile

  14. September 29, 2017 / 12:50 pm

    I think that both people in a relationship should be aware of what being at home with the babies is like. When my hubby has a day off work I’ve sometimes left him with the girls while I’ve gone out to do the shopping. #bigpinklink
    Helena recently posted…Autumnal Activities With The KidsMy Profile

  15. September 29, 2017 / 11:08 pm

    Oh the perils of being at home! It does have its plus points though. Lack of stress being one. I noticed when I stopped working to be at home with my kids that my stress levels plummeted and I could focus on building a family unit. Love the picture of you both after your car journey. Hope the prosecco was cold! #FamilyFun

  16. September 30, 2017 / 4:02 pm

    Love this post! If I had to choose which day involved more work, I know which one it would be: Hint – it wouldn’t be the 8 hour work day. And I say that as someone without children. I really admire stay at home parents, they do the hardest job in the world all day every day
    Thanks for linking up to #AnythingGoes 🙂
    Random Musings recently posted…The Secret: A Short Story with A TwistMy Profile

  17. September 30, 2017 / 7:27 pm

    Oh my word, I’m on maternity leave at the moment and can completely relate! It was like reading my life (well, with one child – two is beyond my comprehension right now!) and the endless arguments my husband and I have when he frequently insinuates that I don’t know what it’s like to be tired/do work/not be lazy. He literally has no idea how much I try to fit into each day! #bigpinklink
    Muffin top mummy recently posted…Toddlers, teething & toothbrushes with Brush-babyMy Profile

  18. September 30, 2017 / 9:48 pm

    I am a stay at home mum now and oh dear god, going to work is so much easier! I wouldn’t change it for the world right now but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t days where I long for my old colleagues and routine! This is such a gorgeous post lovely. SO honest and raw. Thanks for linking up with #TwinklyTuesday

  19. October 1, 2017 / 3:31 pm

    Luckily Misery Guts knows how hard it is & often says ‘I don’t know how you do it’. If he said I wasn’t doing enough I’d rip his head off!! I think you’ve taken it rather well… #familyfunlinky
    Crummy Mummy recently posted…#MySundayPhotoMy Profile

  20. October 2, 2017 / 7:20 am

    Brilliant post lovely, I think people always misunderstand life as a stay at home Mum, I know when I was on maternity leave and even when I returned to work part time we would regularly have conversations like this one between you and your Hubby. Luckily, now he looks after the children a day a week whilst I’m at work he fully appreciates how much work it is!! This is so beautifully written lovely, thank you for sharing with #bigpinklink x
    Hannah Jane recently posted…Big Pink Link #78My Profile

  21. October 2, 2017 / 9:24 pm

    Such a great post. I feel much the same on a daily basis at the moment! it seems the older my toddler gets the more hard work it is. When I first came a stay at home mum last summer and she was 18 months old and still napping I actually got the steam cleaner out one day. Yeah – that doesn’t happen anymore!! I would love to see my husband do it for a month, even a week, and see how he feels!! You’re doing a great job though, we all are xx #DreamTeam

  22. July 22, 2018 / 6:50 pm

    Being a SAHM is not just mentally but also physically exhausted. You’re also not entitled to coffee breaks, wee breaks, never mind lunch breaks. And what you’d give to be able to start at nine and finish at five. I think every SAHM should go away for a spa break for 3mights and leave working partner to cover… They’d be beginning for their day job back and certainly not complaining about the lack of hoovering after that #blogcrush

  23. November 1, 2018 / 8:54 pm

    Loved this post on the first time of reading, and love it just as much now! Whenever I try to justify to people why I’m overworked as a stay at home / work at home mum, I can never think of examples – I think to myself, “What DO I actually do all day??”, but you capture it so perfectly here – it’s not just a case of “giving them lunch”, it’s coaxing every single mouthful. And it’s not just a case of “cooking dinner,” it’s cooking dinner with a baby wrapped around your waist and a toddler destroying the living room.

    Such a fab post and it has been, deservedly, chosen as someone’s BlogCrush this week. Hurray! #blogcrush
    Lucy At Home recently posted…11 Hidden Issues That May Affect Your Child’s BehaviourMy Profile