Deciding to become a stay-at-home mom is a very personal decision, and not everyone’s reasons for it are the same. There is much debate over what is easier, but none of it is easy. Also, what works for one mom, doesn’t work for another. Parenthood is all about adapting. We’re constantly learning and figuring out our kids before they change again. It can be exhausting, but so can understanding how other moms do it all.
Many people have preconceived notions about stay-at-home moms, but so many of them are wrong. We’re all individuals, and so are our experiences. Here are my observations from being a stay-at-home mom for over six years that other stay-at-home moms may be able to identify with:
I did it because I didn’t want to be separated from them.
I was working a full-time job when I became pregnant. I fully intended to go back to work, but once I started thinking about daycares, I just couldn’t imagine leaving my tiny baby with someone else. I even interviewed a few in-home places, but nothing seemed right. I couldn’t bear to be separated from her. She was too important, and soon, I was following my own mother’s footsteps into this stay-at-home world.
I also did it to save money because daycare is crazy-expensive.
Daycare prices are completely insane. If the thought of being away from my baby all day wasn’t detrimental enough, the thought of how much time I was putting into work just to pay for daycare sealed the deal.
It drives me batty sometimes.
I adore my kids, but sometimes being home with them all day does drive me crazy. Everyone has bad days. There are plenty of good days in there too.
Sometimes I wish I could just send them to daycare or school for a while.
Now that my kids are older, I do some work from home. It can be really difficult to get the time I need to finish everything. Some days I wish I could send them off for a few hours just to get ahead on stuff, but I certainly wouldn’t want them gone all day every day.
I never want to go back to a traditional job again.
I do not miss having to go to a traditional job. I have no desire to do it again, nor do I even miss it. I have enough to do now that is far more fulfilling than just wasting time at a job that I hated. Being home with my kids is so much better. Plus, now that they’re older, I’m able to do some of the things that I love again, like writing. This is seriously what I always wanted for myself. I worked hard to get here, and I’m not going back.
I lost myself for a while.
Motherhood is like nothing you’ve ever experienced before. With a newborn, you are living your life in two-hour increments. It is hard to keep up any semblance of a hobby. It is hard to get any time to yourself with a demanding baby. For a while, you go into survival mode, and that’s all you can handle for a bit.
Then, I found myself again.
Each stage is challenging, but once my kids could play a bit more independently, I could find time for my passions again. The newborn stage is magical, but so is finding my way back to who I was before becoming a mom.
Sometimes naptime goes terribly, and I wish they were napping.
Naptime can be a real hit or miss in my house. Some days it really drives me crazy, and I’m so desperate for a break that I get really cranky when I don’t get one.
Sometimes naptime goes well, and I miss them.
On other days, naptime goes super well, and I have a bunch of time to myself. It’s great for a while, but then I do start to miss them and wonder when they’re going to wake up so that I can see their little faces again.
I haven’t worn makeup in over six years.
Let me preface this by saying that I have never been a makeup sort of girl, but when I was working, I did wear some. Now, I really don’t see the point. I’m not going anywhere fancy, so why take the time? Plus, then I have to take it off later. I enjoy just being able to wash my face a couple of times and call it good.
No, I don’t have as much time as you think I do.
Especially with working from home, I don’t have as much time on my hands as some people think I do. Having everything around the house done doesn’t happen most days. Either I’m writing, or my kids want to cuddle with me.
Cleaning is not my priority.
Of course, I clean, but a lot of the time, it isn’t high on my priority list. But instead of complaining, my husband just helps out and does what needs to be done.
I have gotten used to having no privacy.
After being a mom for six years, I’m used to not having any privacy. Little kids follow you around everywhere. It doesn’t even faze me when they follow me to the bathroom or want to talk to me in the shower. At least they’re not fighting or freaking out about something. If my 3-year-old wants to have a conversation while I’m washing my hair, it’s cool. Whatever.
I can be lonely and never alone.
Being with kids is much different than hanging with adults. I sometimes crave adult interaction during the day and feel lonely, yet I’m never really alone because my kids are here.
I’m grateful I am home with them, but there are moments when I need a break.
I’m so happy that I could make this my life, but I still need a break. It is so easy to get burned out.
I’m much busier than I realized I would be.
Sometimes I just want to sit and watch TV, even a kid’s program, but the kids want to do something else. I’m constantly setting things up for them, or they’re off playing. Sometimes I just want to sit down for a while but then I realize I have much more to do.
There’s nowhere else I’d rather be.
With all the frustrations and being touched out, there is still nowhere else I’d rather be during the day than with my kids. I had them, and they are mine to take care of. Spending time with them is more rewarding than counting down the minutes in an office when all I want to do is go home.
Being a mom is a constant battle of euphoric ups and debilitating downs. Add in being with your kids all the time, and these can be even stronger. The rewards are huge, but so can the sacrifices. Being a stay-at-home mom is no joke. I’m also a work-from-home mom, so trying to find the time to fit that in is challenging to say the least. Most of the time, I love being home with my kids, but sometimes it’s just hard, and that’s okay. None of it is easy, but I don’t want to be anywhere else.