I’m going to start this out by saying-
I don’t think every mom is cut out to be a stay at home mom.
Oy vey. Heavy, but true.
There are days where I question what I have done to myself (home with 3 kids under 6.)
I didn’t know what I was in for. Truly. Nothing could have prepared me for the insanity, the exhaustion, the boredom, the joy, the fullness of my heart, the intensity- of being a stay at home mom.
If you’re considering it, I think it’s worth really examining your WHY and your HOW.
Why do you want to be a stay at home mom? Search your soul and find a gleaming WHY, one that will be your star in the dark times.
How are you going to be a SAHM? Are you going down to one salary? Will you try to find a job where you can work from home? You need to figure out the logistics and talk it over with your significant other.
There are positives and negatives to being a SAHM but at the end of the day? The good outweighs the bad.
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Let’s dive in to the reasons to be a stay at home mom:
You Are The One Raising Your Kids- Not Some Other Person
This was a no-brainer for me (personally.) I just did not like the idea of someone else raising my kids for me 8 hours a day. Bedtime comes quick and if you’re working a 9-5, how long do you really get with your kids? Especially if you’re cooking dinner too!
This is not bashing working moms. I WAS a working mom. But luckily, my husband and I worked opposite hours so it was always one of us watching the kids and I felt more than okay with that.
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You’re There For All Of Their Firsts
I would never want to make anyone feel bad for missing their child’s first anything. That isn’t the point of this post- to make anyone feel bad.
Some moms genuinely cannot afford to stay home or they don’t want to and I don’t think that’s a bad thing.
But it is a question you need to ask yourself- are you okay with possibly missing their first steps? The first time they clap, or smile or say their first word?
If you answered ‘no’ then maybe you should bite the bullet and figure out how to be a stay home mom with your kids 🙂
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Managing Family and Work Is HARD
Working any job while raising kids is hard as hell. Whether it’s a traditional 9-5, evenings and weekends or sporadic part time work.
It all comes down to the same thing- you have another place to be, something else to worry about, another time to figure out childcare, etc.
I worked at a pub on and off for the first 4 years of having kids. So my husband would get home at 3:30 and I’d be out the door till midnight. We didn’t have to figure out child care but I didn’t get to see my husband.
It’s difficult to go to work and then come home… to work. Food still needs to be made, chores need to be done and don’t forget to spend quality time with your kids! There is not enough time in the day.
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Childcare Is Expensive
Honest to God, how in the hell are some people affording full time childcare? Maybe if you’re making an incredible wage it might be worth it. But for more than one kid in daycare and a lower paying wage? How??
After you’ve paid for the day care and driven them back and forth all month, you might only be earning an extra 200$ (or whatever amount). Is that 200$ worth it or would it be easier to have them home and cut expenses elsewhere?
You’ll Never Have This Chance Again
Being a stay at home mom isn’t easy. It really, truly isn’t.
Neither is spending the rest of your life wondering if you should have stayed home with them while you had the chance.
Kids grow up SO fast. There will be other jobs, there will be time to do the things you want to do.
But your kids only grow up once and they become independent so heartbreakingly fast.
If you are at all considering being a stay at home mom, listen to your heart and understand that it will come to an end and you will have time to go back to work when they’re in school full time.
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Being Home Means You Have Less To Be Stressed About
Yeah, you’re still stressed. Laundry, cleaning, keeping track of appointments, pick ups and drop offs, activities, cooking.
When you have a job, you get to go to work AND worry about all that stuff too. Fun!
(I am speaking from experience here- I worked in between all of my pregnancies and maternity leaves. It’s so stressful to leave a messy house and come home to a messy house after working for 8 hours and still need to clean and cook. So freaking hard. Working moms- I see you. You’re amazing.)
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You’ll Never Regret Staying Home With Your Kids
As long as you decide that YOU are a priority too. It’s very easy to get swept away in the tidal wave of children but it is imperatively important that you prioritize time for yourself.
Maybe some moms do regret being a stay at home mom because they didn’t prioritize themselves.
Do NOT let that happen to you! Find hobbies, things you’re passionate about and make time for them. It will honestly help you keep your sanity when you’re neck deep in kids with no end in sight.
You can be a SAHM who runs marathons, makes money from home, keeps up with the latest fashions and wears a full face of make-up every day or takes online courses to sharpen your skills. It can look different for every mom- do what’s best for YOU and YOUR fam.
Also- being a SAHM doesn’t have to be forever! You can change your mind. You can go back to work if you find it’s not for you! Or you can find something part time just to get out of the house and socialize if you need to. Again, do what works for YOU.
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Reasons NOT To Be A Stay At Home Mom
You Might Go Crazy
You might end up going a bit nuts. Staying home all day with small kids is exhausting, repetitive, boring and sometimes frustrating.
So, make sure you have plans to break things up! Go OUT, even for a short walk. Have another mom friend where you can go to each other’s houses to let your kids run around while you talk.
I very recently (reluctantly) put my kids into daycare 2 times a week for 2-3 hours. I felt SO GUILTY.
But now? It’s MAGICAL. We ALL need a break from our kids sometimes and they need a break from you! That’s not a bad thing.
The YWCA offers childcare, you could hire someone to come into your house to play with your kids or you could find an inexpensive home daycare a couple of times a week.
Don’t feel guilty about needing time for yourself.
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It can be very lonely if you aren’t proactive about getting yourselves out of the house. And honestly, it can be hard to make new friends when you have young kids.
I’d highly encourage you to look for other mom friends or childless friends that you can see once in a while. It’s important for your sanity.
And seriously, if you’re needing someone to talk to- EMAIL ME! Not kidding- I would love to chat with you about the craziness of kids
It’s Not About You Anymore
You just don’t come first anymore. That can be hard, when your needs are always dead last and you’re running on empty.
My advice would be to put yourself first sometimes and not feel guilty about. Make sure you have time to do things that make you happy and replenish your SOUL so that you are not pouring out of an empty cup.
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Going ANYWHERE Is Straight Up Insanity
Honestly, I found this to be true with 1 kid, 2 kids and now 3 kids. I think it’s because when you’re a new mom with 1, that is crazy to you! And then when you have 2 you’re a bit more practiced but it’s still nuts.
And now, finally, with 3? I KNOW how freakin crazy it is to go anywhere so I try not to LOL. We go to a gym drop in once a week , the library if we feel like it, and try to go out for walks around our yard or go to the park if it’s nice. That’s IT! My husband grabs groceries on his way home (thank you husband!!).
There Are No Breaks For SAHM’s
Until another adult walks in the door, you really don’t have a break. There is no coffee time, no hour off at lunch. Nap time, you might have some time but if you have multiple kids then you know the chance dwindles.
There is no paid sick leave. There is no paid vacation time. There is no ‘leaving it at work.’ You’re on 24/7/365.
My kids watch TV. Sometimes, it’s a lot. Sometimes, it’s not. I don’t feel guilty about it. I love that I have SOMETHING that will give all of us a much needed distraction sometimes.
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Sometimes It Feels UNrewarding
Everyone talks about how rewarding it is to stay home with your kids and I agree-
To a point.
Everyday life with kids can be pretty monotonous. Sometimes you don’t reap the rewards of your hard work until months or years after something has been taught.
There is no bi-weekly monetary compensation. There is no boss watching you saying “Hey, you handled that melt down really well today. Thanks for all your hard work!”
Being A SAHM Isn’t All Sunshine And Rainbows
What you need to keep in mind is that life isn’t a damn highlight reel from social media. We are in a time where we think that everyone else has a family life that looks like an episode of Modern Family.
REAL life isn’t like that. There are moments of beauty, moments of pure joy, laughter and love. But those moments are not the majority of every day. I think sometimes we are forgetting that EVERYONE’S life is like that- parent or not.
Do you remember your pre kid days? Were you bouncing around loving everyone and never being grumpy?
No! No one is like that 100% of the time.
Let go of unrealistic expectations and you will be fine. You and your kids are learning together. They need to learn how to deal with negative emotions just as much as positive ones.
Say you’re sorry if you snap. Explain why you’re grumpy. And give them grace when THEY snap. Let them explain why THEY’RE grumpy. Make mistakes and learn together.