Justice

Stay-At-Home Mom's Post Shuts Down Instagram Commenter

Anna Strode is a mother of three whose Instagram page, bubs2bikins—dedicated to her life balancing fitness and motherhood—has 78,900 followers. And her popularity continues to grow. Just last month, the Melbourne, Australia native was featured on local news.

Given that her Insta is an amalgam of cute babies and self-betterment, it should come as no surprise that most of the comments she receives are largely positive. But five days ago, Strode felt compelled to post a response to a not-so-positive comment, writing, "It cut me pretty deep and while I do my best to remain positive - this hurt."

 
 

A post shared by Anna Strode (@bubs2bikinis) on

 

The post paraphrases the offending comment as, "'I wish I got to stay at home all day and exercise with my child, instead I have to go to work and do WORK...'" But Strode, like many stay-at-home parents, feels that parenthood should be recognized as the work it is, even if it isn't compensated by the conventional economy.

Strode dives into a typical day, showing that while motherhood doesn't take place in an office, it's work nonetheless:

"I certainly DON'T spend all day exercising. My days are spent changing shitty nappies, dealing with tantrums, playing cars and trucks, making food that gets thrown on the floor before it's even tasted, walking the streets trying to get tired, grumpy children to nap, attempting to teach two little humans to SHARE instead of bite, pull hair, scratch or push each other, pushing swings, climbing up and down bloody forts that shouldn't even be in kids playgrounds because they are so damn unsafe, singing the alphabet, going for adventures to keep the bubs happy, vacuuming 3 times a day because of all that food that I worked so hard to cook wasn't even considered eating, oh and did I mention the constant battle of playing referee ALL day between two little cheeky monkeys that guess what DON'T 'just play happily and entertain each other all day!'"

 

A post shared by Anna Strode (@bubs2bikinis) on

Her post was well-received by her followers, stay-at-home parents and otherwise:

fitmumtobe: "A-fricking-MEN preeeeachhh 🙌🙌 work is a break! You are some woman ❤"

mrsmb125: "Go momma go! From One stay-at-home twin mom to another, you rock that MOMLIFE! I wish I could go to work sometimes to get a break. But I would only be looking at my kids pictures while I was there!!!! so let's just be honest here. ❤"

likads: "I have never been a STHM, but anybody who thinks that it is easy taking care of kids 24/7, I feel bad for their daycare teacher or anybody who is caring for their child while they work. I am most certainly grateful for the daycare and school teachers of my children. You have twins and you are pregnant. It IS a job! ❤️ "

 

A post shared by Anna Strode (@bubs2bikinis) on

But the comment isn't an isolated incident. 

The debate over stay-at-home parenting as "work" has been going on for quite some time. And parents — moms in particular — are pushing back on the gendered assumption that homemaking is easy or lazy. Just last year, Rhyshell Castleberry's emotional tribute to stay-at-home mothers went viral, garnering 400,000 shares and upwards of 700,000 likes.

And it's becoming increasingly clear that stay-at-home mom's live increasingly varied lives in the 2010s—not just vaccuming and cooking, as per the stereotpye. In a study conducted by Laura Vanderkam, author of "I Know How She Does It," the author writes, “Our respondents' lives were incredibly diverse,” she wrote. “One mom spent the day substitute-teaching. Another milked goats and spent five hours building a tool shed."

Mother and Child

And the hard work isn't the only hardship faced by stay-at-home parents. 

Babycenter.com identifies loneliness, alienation from society, and depression as the key difficulties faced by stay-at-home parents. Stay-at-home dads can feel particularly lonely, since there are so few of them. And once your kids are older, stay-at-home parents can face difficulties reentering the workforce. 

In the meantime, posts like Strode's are slowing helping to change the perception that stay-at-home parents do not work. 

Read Strode's full post below. 

 

A post shared by Anna Strode (@bubs2bikinis) on

Last week someone made a comment on my page and you know what, it upset me. It cut me pretty deep and while I do my best to remain positive - this hurt. It basically said 'I wish I got to stay at home all day and exercise with my child, instead I have to go to work and do WORK...' Work?! You think I don't WORK?! You think I sit at home all day and twiddle my thumbs? You think 2 x 22 month old toddlers just let me kick my feet up all day after I've done my morning workout? You think I'm beaming with energy as I grow a new baby and frantically do my best to keep up with twin boys that run rings around me?! Just to break it down... I exercise for 20-30 minutes a day. Sometimes stopping 20 times throughout to fetch toys, bring food, stop hair pulling, break up fights over toys and some days, stopping 2 minutes in because it just ain't happening that day! Other days we're so busy or the boys are so CLINGY / CRANKY (eg: this photo sums it up) the best workout I can get in is some squats, push ups and tricep dips while they eat or while we practice new words, counting to 10 or all the body parts we've learnt. I certainly DON'T spend all day exercising. My days are spent changing shitty nappies, dealing with tantrums, playing cars and trucks, making food that gets thrown on the floor before it's even tasted, walking the streets trying to get tired, grumpy children to nap, attempting to teach two little humans to SHARE instead of bite, pull hair, scratch or push each other, pushing swings, climbing up and down bloody forts that shouldn't even be in kids playgrounds because they are so damn unsafe, singing the alphabet, going for adventures to keep the bubs happy, vacuuming 3 times a day because of all that food that I worked so hard to cook wasn't even considered eating, oh and did I mention the constant battle of playing referee ALL day between two little cheeky monkeys that guess what DON'T 'just play happily and entertain each other all day!' For the record, TWINS don't do that!!! Maybe when they're older, yes! I hope so anyway ~ but for now, no - I literally for most of the part can't take my eyes off them! Cont. in comments 👇👇

Featured Image:Instagram/@bubs2bikinis