“But you don’t work.”
It’s a common insinuation that stay-at-home mothers have to fight–the idea that because they’re home all day, they don’t work. Every day, I see countless posts on social media sites sharing articles written by exhausted and exasperated mothers explaining just how hard they work. I get it, and I’m right there with you! But this isn’t just about being a stay-at-home mom. There are tons of people who stay home all day instead of working conventional jobs, and let me tell you, it’s hard work.
Writers and artists can all sympathize. Sometimes when you aren’t sitting at your desk, you’re working harder than ever. Sometimes you never stop working. Almost every moment of the day is filled with problem-solving and studying, planning and working through things in your head. You may only spend half an hour getting your hands dirty with putting pen to paper or paint to canvas, but you’ve been working, believe it.
For me, I’m hit with a triple-whammy when people say it to me. “You don’t work” is a phrase that makes me stare in disbelief. It’s right up there in the “I can’t believe you just said that” category along with another favorite, the dreaded “What do you do all day?”
I work. I work harder than you realize. I keep house and tend a baby all day, while being a writer slogging my way through a second epic fantasy novel, and being a small business owner. I work almost every waking moment of the day, so when I hear those phrases, all I can do is gape.
It’s difficult to have a profession where a great deal of your work is invisible. People don’t understand how much effort goes unseen, and they also don’t realize that creativity isn’t just difficult, it’s exhausting. It’s a never-ending shift at a job that often doesn’t pay. But at the same time, it’s incredibly rewarding to see your efforts come to fruition at the end of all your struggle.
Believe me, it’s worth it.