Brown Don't Frown Podcast

Season 5: Ep 39 - Navigating “mum-guilt”, anxiety and life as a stay-at-home mum

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Episode notes

Katie Pearson is an old classmate from Sixth Form. She talks frankly about life as a stay-at-home mum,  the societal stereotypes and stigma associated with it, “mum guilt” and how she manages her anxiety and negative thoughts. 

The negative perceptions of stay-at-home mums have been created by women. We are the gatekeepers of this narrative.  It often feels like whatever women do, they’re not good enough. If you’re a working mother, you’re neglecting your children, and if you’re a stay-at-home mother, you’ve failed to achieve your full potential. A lot of women calling themselves feminists are part of the problem of this women-shaming. We ask, do we have a problem with internalised misogyny? 

Raising children is one of the most undervalued roles in life. Author of Invisible Women, Caroline Criado Perez, says “Women’s unpaid work is work that society depends on, and it is work from which society as a whole benefits[...]The unpaid work that women do isn’t simply a matter of “choice”. It is built into the system we have created – and it could just as easily be built out of it”. ONS analysis of time use data shows that women put in more than double the proportion of unpaid work when it comes to cooking, childcare and housework. I ask Katie whether this resonates with her and she shares her typical day of taking care of her children, and working around the house.

We round off with Katie sharing the best thing about being a mum, the hardest thing and a piece of advice she’d give to expectant or new mothers: be kind to yourself.

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