I love the stigma that being a stay-at-home mom is easy, that it’s not a job of its own, and that SAHMs just sit around all day and play with the baby/babies. Because to think that, means that you have absolutely no idea what stay-at-home moms do.
Moms stay at home for many reasons: they can financially afford to go back to work (because we all know daycare is not cheap), they want to be fundamental years, they have multiple babies, etc. Whatever the choice maybe their choice worked best for their families and that’s what matters.
But to think staying at home is less work or not as demanding is a pile of poop.
My personal journey of being a stay-at-home mom started in March 2020. At first, I absolutely loved being at home with my then 5-year-old son. He was not in school yet so, I felt as if I was getting back all the time I lost putting him in daycare to work. I was truly able to be there for him whenever he needed me. Then school started and it was a complete mess because I had no idea how to schedule out his day on top of me working from home. And I will be the first to admit, I was a terrible teacher. No patience whatsoever and I couldn’t wait for school to open back up. It was a lot and a bit more than I could handle.
By the time I established a rhythm with my oldest, it was 2021 and I was pregnant with my daughter. She was born in August right when school started so, while out on maternity leave, I was able to create a schedule (I knew better after 2020). After having my daughter I was so optimistic about how I would handle everything, how I could stay at home and work, do drop off and pick up, go to the grocery store, and do EVERYTHING.
Because let’s be honest being a stay-at-home mom you end up doing EVERYTHING. You are in charge of the house. You are in charge of the kids. You are in charge of dinner and grocery shopping. You are in charge of keeping up with plans and events. Then you wake up and do the same thing every day until you’re like me, and your body/brain shut down.
After my 2nd baby, I went through an episode of postpartum depression/anxiety. And having to deal with my mental health on top of still caring for my children was extremely difficult. Learning how to get through my PPD was tough and it wasn’t until around 4/5 months I got a hold of things and was able to talk to my fiance about what I really needed. And then, BOOM! I was pregnant with my youngest.
Back to managing the household, taking care of a baby, handling school affairs and practices/games, cooking dinner most nights, the laundry (Oh the dang LAUNDRY), and all while being pregnant again which was exhausting. I finished every day beyond depleted. Just to wake up and do it again.
I had my youngest in October 2022, making me a stay-at-home mom with 2 under 2. (Which is a beast of its own nature, to be honest.) And as much as I organize, plan out, and schedule, there are still times when I’m just overwhelmed. But in reality, being a stay-at-home mom is just overwhelming as hell.
And no one tells you that part. When you’re staying home with your kids and handling all these things, your mental and physical are impacted. The lack of social interaction, the agony of keeping up your house, the crying, the never-ending care your providing, the lack of alone time, the constant touching, and then the repeat.
Being a stay-at-home mom is the most lonely, demanding, and an over-stimulating job I have ever had. But don’t get me wrong, it is also the most rewarding, heartwarming job I’ve ever had. And I wouldn’t change it for the world.
The time spent with our babies is time that we don’t get back. And even on my darkest days I still feel lucky enough to get to be home with the every day and watch them grow up. I’ve never missed their first step, first words, or the first day of school. And who knows maybe one day I will miss them wanting to be held all the time. 🥲
To my mamas who may be considering staying at home, or already do but struggle here is my best advice:
- It’s OKAY to ask for help. You are not superwoman and you do not have to do everything
- Take a break, you deserve it
- Go outside with your kiddos, they love it and so will you.
- Schedules and routines bring order to chaos
- “This too shall pass” – whether it’s good or bad, it will not last forever
And I think one of the most important things to remember is that you are not alone. There are a ton of stay-at-home moms that are just within digital if not physical arms reach of you. Facebook groups, physical mom groups, and even just mom friends. We’re all experiencing this journey together, so we’re all here for support.
XOXO – A Busy Mama