8 Truths About Being A Stay-At-Home Mom - Raw And Unfiltered
People have a lot of opinions about stay-at-home moms. Many might assume that they have it easy or they get a free pass for not having to work. They get to stay at home with their children and enjoy every minute with them.
I mean, what are SAHMs even doing ALL DAY LONG, RIGHT?
But being a SAHM is often not what it seems. There are a lot of unspoken truths about staying at home with your kids. Many unpleasant to admit or talk about.
I chose to be a full SAHM for the first three years after welcoming my first and then my second child. It was a decision I was happy about 99% of the time.
But what is life REALLY like as a SAHM?
There is still this stigma about stay-at-home moms who should never complain and always run around with a smiley face. How can staying at home possibly be harder than any other job?
I am sure it's true for some jobs. But it wasn't my truth.
On bad days I would tell my husband that he has no clue what it's like to stay at home with the kids every day. I would tell him that not once he has had the kids as long as I did every single day. No one besides a SAHM can really know what it means to do this day in and day out.
Disclaimer: This article is not a comparison between working mom and SAHM. It's not about who has it easier and who has it worse. It's not about what is better for your kids or your family. It's for the SAHM, who doesn't always feel good when at home. It's for the mom who is confused and doesn't know if her feelings about motherhood are normal. It's about showing other moms that they are not alone in this.
1. Sometimes You Are Over Being A SAHM And Say You'll Go Back To Work
Sometimes I am over everything. I am over my kids, my husband, and being a mother. Everything becomes too much. Days are out of control. Someone is constantly crying or whining. You don't get the kids to nap. And then your husband comes home and asks what is wrong.
And then all you want to do is run away. You don't want to talk to anyone, let alone listen. You don't want anyone to touch you or ask you one more favor. You just want to throw the towel and say:
You know what, I am going back to work. Why the hell should I do this undervalued job anyway? Why should I not be the working parent so my partner can stay home with the kids and see what it's like?
2. Even Me-Time Is Not Always Enough
Time for yourself is more important than ever when you become a parent. But there are days where no me-time is enough. This especially happens when you hit a rough patch: multiple bad nights, sick children. You are so sleep-deprived and low on energy that no me-time can make up for your mental and physical exhaustion.
3. You Lose Your Identity And Don't Know What You Want In Life
My life has never been fuller since I had my kids. But there were times when I asked myself:
"Is this all there is to life?"
I was doing everything on repeat. Diapers, naps, chores, playing with the kids. One round after another. Sometimes I felt as if I knew my life's purpose was to raise strong and happy children. But other days, I questioned the meaning of life.
It was my choice to stay home and take full care of the baby. And yet sometimes, this anxiety would build up that this cannot be it. I would end up not knowing what I wanted in life and started questioning everything. I was standing at the same spot while my partner, family, and friends were having careers and switching jobs.
Was my job even the right one for me? What do I want to do in the future? Will I ever work again? What about my career? What is my purpose in this life? What is my contribution?
4. You Feel Judged For Staying At Home
"When do you plan to return to work?"
I dreaded this question for quite a while. Deep down, I knew how important my work as a SAHM was. And while I was mostly proud that raising my kids was my full-time job, I also sometimes felt a little bit embarrassed about it.
There is obviously nothing to be ashamed of or embarrassed about being a SAHM. The load of work is REAL. But sometimes, you may even feel you don't deliver enough. You look around, and it seems that so many other women do 1 million things at the same time. They take care of their kids, go to work or have their own business and then post another pregnancy reveal video on youtube while you are like...how the hell are they doing it?
And when you are around people, and everyone talks about work, you sometimes feel judged about staying at home with the kids and not working. You feel insecure because you don't bring home money like your partner. There is this perfect image of a mother in our society where she does it all with a smile on her face. And you wonder why you don't.
5. Some Days Are Really Boring
I was never really the person who needed to be busy all the time. But when I had kids, I got out as much as possible. It made my transition into motherhood much easier. And now, with two young children, I often feel that meeting other families and being out and about makes life much easier.
But there are also days when no one is available, and you are with your kids by yourself ALL DAY LONG. These days can be incredibly long and BORING AS HELL. Some days I would watch the clock all the time, waiting for my husband to come home from work. Only to find out that only 15 minutes had passed.
I mean, obviously there is always something to clean or to play with the kids, but you are just over it. Your boredom has reached a level where you don't want to do anything anymore and simply drag your body through the remaining day.
6. Your Mental Health Gets Tested On A Whole Different Level
I learned so much about my mental health after I became a mom. All my past experiences came back up, and I was working so much towards healing and understanding certain behavioral traits I had grown into.
Childcare will make you face your demons and triggers in ways you didn't think of. Suddenly you understand what pushes your buttons. And you are exposed to them all day, so this can be really tough to handle.
There is something about raising kids that will connect you with your inner child and may open old wounds you thought healed. This especially goes for mothers who have experienced past trauma.
If you think you are struggling with depression, don't hesitate to consult with your health care provider for professional help.
7. You Feel Resentment Towards Your Partner
As a SAHM, you will sometimes develop more resentment or anger towards your partner. You feel like you have to take care of 100 things simultaneously while your partner only has to think about work. You are always the one who has to make dinner even though you would love to have someone cook for you, too. Your partner gets a break from work, and you continue to clean and cook long after he is officially done with work. It just feels unfair and leads to resentment and anger.
8. You Are The Last One To Speak Up About Needing Help
For me, this one hits hard. And it couldn't be more true. It's hard to tell people that you need help, that you feel lonely or overwhelmed. You feel like you have to do it all by yourself. So often, you think you just have to suck it up in front of your partner, friends, family, other moms, and society.
Even though I am now working again, I will never forget the raw experience of being a SAHM and what it really means. It is a privilege to be able to stay at home, but that doesn't make it easy.