“What do you want to be when you grow up?”
Every child is asked this repeatedly growing up and to be completely honest, I had no idea what I wanted to be. I still don’t, however I always knew I wanted to be a mom.
I am very lucky that I am able to be a stay at home mom but that doesn’t mean it has always been smooth sailing. I have been a stay at home mom (SAHM) for seven years now. I wish someone had given me a little insight into the real life of a SAHM, so I have compiled a list of five things no one tells you about being a stay at home mom.
1. It is lonely but you’re never alone.
SAHM’s face a totally different kind of lonely. You will never be physically alone but emotionally it is extremely lonely. There have been days that the only adult I have talked to was my husband. No one really understands the loneliness of being a SAHM except SAHM’s. Finding someone to talk to, even if it is only on the phone is crucial. My best friend lives over two hundred miles away but we talk all the time. I don’t know what I would do without her and our conversations.
2. It is an endurance test.
Between rushing kids to school and extracurriculars, cooking dinner, budgeting the household, cleaning the same messes over and over and over again on top of little to no sleep, will push anyone to the breaking point. In these moments, you forget that you are a person with needs too. Taking time to take care of yourself is not only necessary but it needs to be a priority. It doesn’t need to be a major thing. It can be as simple as taking a longer shower or doing your make up. Self care is important. I mean how can you take care of everyone else if you don’t take care of yourself too.
3. It takes self-discipline.
Children make messes. They are little demolition experts and can undo hours of work in seconds. Self-discipline is necessary in this SAHM gig. You will be cleaning up the same messes day after day. Sometimes hour after hour. When I have to battle the monotonous messes in my house, I pour a cup of coffee, crank up the music and dance my way through it. Try to make it fun because if you don’t handle it, no one else will!
4. You will feel under appreciated.
In the workforce, your hard work is rewarded with a paycheck. As a SAHM, there is no paycheck. There are no sick days or vacation time. You will find yourself feeling undervalued, overwhelmed and overworked. Shifting your perspective is critical in these moments. Your paycheck is the love of your family. They might not say thank you all the time or understand all that you do but know that what you are doing is giving your family a home to come to. You are creating a place of love and safety for your loved ones to live at. You are a fostering a foundation for your children to be able to handle anything the world throws at them because they know that no matter how hard the day was, they always have love at the end of it.
5. You are not just a stay at home mom.
Being a SAHM is a labor of love. You are not just a mother but a nurse, a taxi driver, a maid, a chef, a tutor, an accountant, a referee and a cheerleader all at once. There is no one that can do what you do for your family except you.
So remember you are not just a SAHM, you are Wonder Woman in yoga pants with a messy bun.
Being a SAHM is tough but you are tougher. You will never regret being at home with your children. Years from now, you will be so thankful that you made the choice to be a stay at home mom. The workforce will always be there but your children won’t. So from one SAHM to another, you’ve got this mama!