Stay at home mums lack culture and lifetime experiences…

Recently I was accused of not having any culture by a friend who posted an image on her Facebook timeline of a strange meal as I happened to ask what it was she was eating.  I was told however, that I don’t get out much or have enough cultural experiences (mind you this came from a young single lady about to embark on a life changing experience of getting married). And while I stated my case of being a full time mother of seven, I was also confronted with being told that she had also seen mothers of 13 that still “know stuff” while managing to get out every fortnight for some culture, eg like taking a class or two to enhance their home keeping and child raising (I think she may need to pursue this website a bit more) 😉
 
And while I do agree with her, that perhaps I do not know much about about the world around me (yet), or various cuisines, however, in my defense I can honestly say that I have far more life changing experiences that anyone could possibly imagine and while each and everyone is different, we should not compare ourselves to others.  
 
A thorough definition of the word “culture” can be referred to here; however for the purpose of this post – I am probably referring to the following points such as “the quality in a person or society that arises from a concern for what is regarded as excellent in arts, letters, manners, scholarly pursuits, etc” and perhaps even broadening ones appreciation of different cuisines and such etc.
 

As a stay at home mum of seven and one that has had to be a single parent for most of my married life (almost 18 years) due to my husband having to work away from home or the occasional trip abroad, one would say that I probably do lack culture and many lifetime experiences.

Bringing up a family and having children is not something you can read about in a national geographic magazine or learn by traveling the world.  It takes countless wrongs and rights, ups and downs, success and failures, determination, awareness, sadness, grief and teamwork.  No degree or educational course can prepare you for parenthood – NONE whatsoever.  It requires experience that no parent has and in fact it isn’t fully learnt until after the children leave home and even then, I have my doubts on the subject.

And by all means eating at different restaurants will not open your horizons when it comes to bringing up a family; in fact it will teach you to avoid these venues as much as possible when you have smaller aged children.

On the subject of cuisine, parents can be quite unique when it comes to meals and cuisine including that life changing experience of trying to get a certain child to eat something gourmet (or anything you may have cooked and thrown together for that matter) or when a child is trying to feed themselves for the first time or even just taking them out to a restaurant (which I mentioned above).  These things can not be taught or learnt by expanding ones cultural experience in various restaurants around the world.  Manners and table etiquette needs to start at home. 
 

Of course in my defense, I even told her that I have had plenty of culture in my home, as it has known to have grown……..in and around my house or inside the kids school bags, or there was the time one child that didn’t like broccoli and unbeknownst to mum and dad (while going to the toilet during her meal) hid it behind the S-bend floor area of the toilet and it had grown into someone’s science experiment.  Prior to this find, I almost made a call to the local pest control service to inspect a potential infestation of dead rats within the ceiling cavity.  This is an experience that only a parent can fathom. 

Then, there was this comment  “you should take the family and live overseas for a year, it’ll do them good; educate your kids beyond ways you can imagine that you’d ever do in Australia – open their minds and eyes to the world“.
 
Of course just packing up the house and moving overseas for 12 months is not a priority and could you imagine the costs involved?  However, in saying this, by all means when the children are older, I would not discourage them to travel whatsoever, however with the way the world is today, I’d rather shelter them from it as long as possible – small children do not need to know of the violence and anguish going on in our society today.
 
As for traveling and broadening ones minds; just recently I have had to have my passport renewed and seeing it was well over 18 yrs since my last overseas trip (honeymoon trip to New Zealand)  I had to apply for another.  This was also far more difficult than I’d even imagine.  While I never anticipated the expense, just the running around one had to do to have it approved was phenomenal, so the thought of getting another 7 passports for my children is well and truly not on my list of things to do just yet.  
 

So getting back to the title of this post, where stay at home mums lack culture and lifetime experiences, may I point out some of the things I have learnt to do or have experienced in my role as a mother for the last 18 yrs:

  • experiencing the finer (and not so nice qualities) of nursing, nothing can prepare you for those gastro viruses that can plaque the household, the long nights of nursing a sickly child or having to do washing in the early hours of the morning.
  • then there is the role of a Doctor, having to diagnose many an ailment, bandage, dress or strap a wound or remove bee stings, splinters, bindi-eye, glass, or any other foreign  matter from either inside or out of the child’s body and if you have ever had a child with the flu or common cold, the amount of nose wiping can be very overwhelming.

 

  • then you have pest control problems, when you need to inspect the premises for tics or those blasted nits from one or more child’s hair or then there is the fatal of job of having to determine whether a particular child has worms, NO ONE can prepare a parent for when they need to inspect their child’s rear end with a torch.

 

  • toilet training, that is entirely an experience in itself as each child is different, this certain task requires A LOT OF PATIENCE and sanity (if you never had the experience of a child that has decided to go in their pants while in public, you truly don’t know what you are missing) – more details and a thorough explanation can be read here.… or how about having to remove a child and the remaining contents of pellets or a  floating cigar in the bathtub.
  • the countless hours of driving and taxi runs that occur as a parent is also phenomenal (imagine the profits we could make for each journey), or then there is the driving instructor in us all as our teen children become older (while driving us crazy), or that unexpected experience of  being a comedian while giving driving lessons all in the name of avoiding a freak out accident at 100 kph –  anyone else not a fan of spiders?
  • having to become a janitor after little boys have plastered the floor and wall tiles, the toilet seat and its surrounds, can make any domestic bathroom turn into the stench of a male public toilet.
  • what about having to sniff or peak into a babies nappy, to determine whether or not they need a change.  Or when they have a mega explosion and it ends up all over yourself, or up the babies back…..or when a toddler decides to remove their nappy themselves and either plays with their poop and/or plasters it all over the walls, bedroom and surrounds of their cot (and in some circumstances, they just might eat it too). 

So to sum up the above, I challenge anyone that has not had children to determine whether a stay at home mum, mother or mom really doesn’t have any culture or life changing experiences.  Or perhaps you can add to the points above (there might be something I may have missed).

What other experiences would you NEVER have thought possible or EVER expected you would do now that you have children?

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3 Comments

  1. Natalie @ Our Parallel Connect Natalie @ Our Parallel Connect
    11, December 2015    

    Oh I love the culture in your house, oh and school bag oh and I have it in shoes, in bins, in school hats. Culture is a funny thing.

  2. KookyChic KookyChic
    12, December 2015    

    Whose culture was she talking about anyway, hers? Yours seems fine to me.

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