Whether home or office bound, every mama deserves to send their kiddo to childcare – without fear of judgement! Let’s champion choices, end the whispers, and support the stay-at-home mums.
By Charlotte Cruz
Stay-at-home mums in are often judged for their choice to stay home with their children, rather than going back to work. They are often told that they are lazy, that they are wasting their education, or that they are putting their families’ financial future at risk.
But what many people don’t realise is that being a SAHM is hard work. It is a full-time job, and it is one that is unpaid and undervalued.
Stay-at-home mums deserve childcare, just like working parents do. Here are some of the reasons why:
1. Stay-at-home mums need a break
Being a stay-at-home mum is a 24/7 job. There are no sick days, no holidays, and no breaks. Stay-at-home mums need time to themselves to recharge and to take care of their own mental and physical health.
2. Childcare helps children learn and socialise
High-quality childcare provides children with a safe and stimulating environment to learn and grow. Children in childcare also have the opportunity to socialise with other children and to develop important social skills.
3. Childcare allows stay-at-home mums to pursue their own interests
When stay-at-home mums have access to childcare, they can pursue their own interests, such as volunteering, studying, or starting their own businesses. This can help them to feel more fulfilled and to maintain their own identity outside of motherhood.
Why are stay-at-home mums afraid to ask for childcare?
There are a number of reasons why stay-at-home mums may be afraid to ask for childcare. Some of the most common reasons include:
Fear of judgment
As mentioned above, stay-at-home mums are often judged for their choice to stay home with their children. They may be afraid that if they ask for childcare, they will be seen as lazy or as not being committed to their role as a mother.
Childcare can be expensive, especially in Australia. Stay-at-home mums may be worried that they cannot afford to send their children to childcare.
Lack of awareness
Some stay-at-home mums may not be aware that they are eligible for childcare subsidies. They may also not be aware of the different types of childcare that are available.
What can be done to help SAHMs access childcare?
There are a number of things that can be done to help stay-at-home mums access childcare:
Increase childcare subsidies
The Australian Government currently offers childcare subsidies to families who meet certain criteria. However, these subsidies are often not enough to cover the full cost of childcare. Increasing these subsidies would make childcare more affordable for stay-at-home mums.
Make childcare more flexible
Childcare is often offered in blocks of hours, which can make it difficult for stay-at-home mums to access. Childcare providers should offer more flexible childcare options, such as hourly childcare or occasional childcare.
Raise awareness of childcare subsidies and options
Many stay-at-home mums are not aware that they are eligible for childcare subsidies or that there are different types of childcare available. The Australian Government and childcare providers should do more to raise awareness of these things.
Stories from Australian stay-at-home mamas
Here are some stories from Australian stay-at-home mums about why they need childcare:
Sarah: I am a stay-at-home mum to two young children and I love being a mum, but it is also very hard work. I am constantly exhausted and I don’t have any time to myself. So I would love to be able to send my children to childcare for a few hours a week so that I can have a break and recharge.
Emily: I am a stay-at-home mum to a child with autism. My child requires a lot of care and attention, which means that I don’t have any time to myself or to do the things that I need to do to look after my own mental and physical health. I would love to be able to send my child to childcare for a few hours a week so that I can have a break and to take care of myself.
Jessica: I am a stay-at-home mum to three young children. I am also studying part-time to get my degree. It is very difficult to juggle my studies with being a stay-at-home mum. I would love to be able to send my children to childcare for a few hours a week so that I can focus on my studies.
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