Perceptions are strange things

Perceptions I find, can be strange things.

We are all guilty no doubt of having a perception of someone that turned out to be so inaccurate you feel embarrassed and a little stupid for missing the reality.

We make assumptions about people often based on very few facts.

I have been on the receiving end of these multiple times. These days I’m much better about not caring. People can, think whatever they like after all. The reality is that what other people think of me is none of my business.

When the children were younger, someone asked me one dayย “so what are you doing this afternoon, coffee with friends whilst the children sleep or is there something good on TV? ”

Now I have to say at the time, because I didn’t think anyone would actually think this, I thought this person was joking at first … but it seems it was not a joke and it made me wonder if lots of people had the same perception of mothers.

Firstly, I don’t drink coffee, but that is being a little pedantic. I don’t remember the last time I sat down and watched TV. An episode or two of a DVD box set once or twice a week is more the norm.

I feel like having some flyers printed. At the time, those flyers would have read like this:

  • Woke up with a toddler on my head
  • Breastfed baby
  • Had a shower and got dressed (hoping toddler was not sat on baby)
  • Changed two nappies
  • Dressed baby
  • Dressed toddler
  • Did eldest child’s hair
  • Prepared breakfast for 4 children
  • Fed baby
  • Cleaned up baby and toddler
  • Tidied up from breakfast
  • Loaded dishwasher
  • Loaded washing machine
  • Checked emails and responded to anything important
  • Loaded car with school stuff
  • Loaded children into car
  • Out for school run
  • Returned home via post office
  • Breastfed baby whilst reading or playing with toddler
  • Changed two nappies
  • Made a drink
  • Baked flapjack with toddler with baby in baby carrier
  • Reheated drink
  • Put the bins out
  • Completed a home learning sack with baby and toddler
  • Reheated drink
  • Unloaded and reloaded dishwasher
  • Unloaded and reloaded washing machine with ‘help’ from baby and toddler
  • Completed another home learning sack with baby and toddler
  • Made lunch
  • Responded to new work links
  • Fed baby lunch
  • Cleaned up baby and toddler
  • Hoovered floor
  • Changed two nappies
  • Put toddler down for a sleep
  • Breastfed baby whilst emailing and writing
  • Finished the ironing whilst doing squats
  • Made packed lunches
  • Wrote a bit more
  • Hoovered rest of house
  • Woke toddler up
  • Changed two nappies
  • Loaded toddler and baby into car for school run
  • Collected older children from school
  • Drove to guitar lessons
  • Amused three children whilst one has a guitar lesson
  • Breastfed baby in car whilst replying to emails
  • Collected child from guitar lessons
  • Drove four children to karate for two to take part
  • Made dinner
  • Bathed children
  • Put three children to bed
  • Breastfed baby
  • Made grown ups dinner
  • Ordered food shopping
  • Wrote some more and checked diary for the next day
  • Put the recycling out
  • Ate dinner
  • Put ironing away
  • Blogged
  • Breastfed baby

raising boys

Does it matter that this person has an incorrect perception of me? No, not in the slightest, but it left me wondering if they have this view of every mum.

The majority of mums I know juggle lots of different things at once. We spin several plates at a time and most of the time we are really good at that.

I don’t know many whose days revolve around coffee, cake and watching TV. Do you?

Have you ever had the wrong perception of someone or had someone make an inaccurate perception about you?


  1. I agree completely that most people’s perception of a SAHM is that they do nothing all day. The amount of people that i’ve spoken to think that staying at home must be easy. There’s always comments such as “well I work so I don’t have time to do this and do that” and I swear my husband thinks I sit on my arse all day. That is until I have a one day strike and he comes home to a messy house with no chores done, which then reminds him to be careful of what he says. The comments in the press recently by Katie Hopkins don’t help this perception! Us SAHM’s work too, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with no day off. I wouldn’t change it for the world but a bit of appreciation for what we do wouldn’t go a miss. Especially as I don’t want a stranger bringing up my child and telling me that they said their first word, took their first steps etc.

    1. Thanks for your comment Claire. I try to work and take care of the children and home and blog as well. I think some people just don’t understand the juggle sometimes do they? I saw a great youtube video a while back you would like. It’s a job interview and they read out the job description and then explain there is no pay and no days off. The job is for a mum! It’s very clever ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. I work part time as a freelance journalist and copywriter and am juggling that, and a little blogging!, with bringing up my two kids. This week I’m also juggling chickenpox which is not fun for any of us!
    I totally agree that the constant plate spinning can be exhausting and it’s little things like OH leaving plate by sink instead of dishwasher or person making comment about ‘how it must be nice to chat to friends over coffee all day’, that really puts your back up!
    I’m not sure about the stranger bringing your kids up point though. If you mean childcare Claire lots of mums don’t have a choice and all the staff at the nursery my children spend a couple of days a week at are absolutely lovely and have certainly added a lot to their lives. I think as mums, whether employed in the ‘traditional’ sense or doing the very tough full time job of raising a family, we all do an amazing job so I think whatever choices we make if right for us and our families are good ones.
    I’ve also found that second time around I care much less about others and their occasional ‘well meaning’ comments!

    1. Sounds very similar Sarah . I’ve done chicken pox with two right after I started my business, but the two little ones are yet to get it. I’ve done the nursery and full time job with one and then two children and it’s hard but they gained a lot, as well as lost a lot. With four children that doesn’t work, but working from home and trying to juggle everything is the best for the four of them. Thanks so much for your comment and sharing your experience ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. So many of us make assumptions based on very little, I think it’s human nature, but I am trying to take myself to task over it, not make those judgments. I definitely think that the perceptions people have of others says more about themselves than the other people though.

  4. Life is a juggle as soon as you become parents! I get fed up of people judging other people. We all do what we do for whatever reason and if we darn well want a cup of coffee (or hot chocolate in my case), then we are allowed. Not that I ever get time to do that hehe! Thanks so much for linking up with #TwinklyTuesday

    1. Thanks Debbie – I guess I am a WAHM and have been since 2009, prior to that I worked full time and the children were in nursery. I think you are right … few would survive.

  5. I’ve been a working mum and a stay at home mum, and they are both really hard! The misconception that you can sit doing nothing as a SAHM drives me mad though, I run around more after my toddler than I ever did at work ๐Ÿ™‚ #sharethejoy

    1. Yes very true. I have worked from home and had the children with me since I started my business in 2009. It is a juggle but the best option. There is certainly no sitting around though.

  6. I agree with this SAHM perception sometimes, but actually it’s such a hard job. It’s interesting seeing them all listed like that. It’s so tiring at times. But ultimately so rewarding. x

  7. Oh I totally feel your pain. Some people can be so thoughtless and a little deluded! I juggle ALL the time, looking after Baby and working at the same time. Your certainly have your hands full x

    1. Thanks for your comment. It is almost amusing to me that the point of this article was that people get things really wrong and then lots of people have read this and assumed I am a SAHM. I never refer to myself as that. I am like you, what is often referred to as a WAHM. I work and take care of the children and home. My point of writing this was not to say one is harder than the other. Just that all mums are busy and juggling all manner of things at any one time and that does not involve feet up by the TV etc. Firstly, thank you for reading properly and for your considered comment. Like you have said before you rarely sign off for the day before 1am – that’s me too xxx

  8. Yep I am totally with you on this but super impressed that you do all this with 4 kids and find time to exercise!!! And squat!!! Impressive .

  9. I am so impressed that you are managing to breastfeed a baby whilst looking after 3 other children and blog. You are clearly a superhero. You deserve to be able to relax in Starbucks and have a nice hot chocolate or to sit and watch day time TV. I am sorry to say that life just isn’t like that and you may never get the chance even when all of your kids have grown up and left home.

  10. I love this. People don’t realise this! I think my favourite part is the unloading of things with “help” which means it takes four times as long and things get broken!

    Thanks for linking with #effitfriday

  11. As a grandma, and being retired, I can thoroughly enjoy my grandchildren without the stress of โ€œjugglingโ€ workloads or having the ultimate responsibility of raising the children. As a mum, I too experienced the day to day struggle of running a home, caring for the family as well as working, all in the days of โ€œterryโ€ nappies, very little child care provision and little or no opportunity to work from home. Previous generations had even less choice being expected to run the home and raise very large families without any of the modern conveniences. I think there is no easy answer to motherhood be you a SAHM, or a WAHM or a go out to work mum. Motherhood is special whichever generation you hail from, I salute Mums everywhere. So ignore the comments of those who have no understanding of what they are talking about and enjoy doing what is right for you, at least we are lucky enough to have choices today. It is hard at the time, but it whizzes past and before you know it, you too will be enjoying the pleasures of being a grandma. BUT watch out for those people who have the perception that because you are retired you have nothing to do all day.

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