I have found that being stay at home mom has a certain stigma attached to it. Often times but not every time, people think being a stay at home mom is easy or something you should just do for a certain period of time.
When I first made the transition from a full time teacher to a full time stay at home mom well meaning people would always ask me, “how are you enjoying not working?” or “are you still staying home with your baby?” Let me just tell you that those type of comments made me want to spit!
Becoming a stay at home mom was an absolute privilege but that doesn’t mean it is always easy. I’m here to tell you being a stay at home mom is hard but things worth doing usually are.
I’ve been reluctant to write this post purely because I never want to come across as ungrateful for the opportunity to be a stay at home mom or for my amazing son. I’m beyond grateful that I get to stay home with my son. There is nothing else in the world I’d rather be doing. That being said…
After much thought and consideration I’ve finally decided that I need to talk about the pros and cons of being a stay at home mom. Because it’s normal to have ups and downs but I convinced myself that if I say them out loud I’m some how a bad mom and that’s just not the truth.
My hope is that this helps other moms making a transition. That she reads this and knows that she is not alone and that it’s normal to have some pros and cons to whatever mom journey your are on.
Because wether you choose to be a stay at home mom, a working mom, a work at home mom, a helicopter mom…whatever the label may be, I believe that all moms are heroes! There’s not one right way to be a mom and thank God for that.
This is just my story and experience of becoming a stay at home mom. It has been an amazing journey that I’m so thankful to still be on. It was the absolute best choice for me but, there have definitely been some pros and cons!
I want to start with the cons because I like to leave things on a happy note, so I’ll save the pros for last.
Pros and Cons of Being a Stay at Home Mom
Cons of Being a Stay at Home Mom:
This feeling was definitely the strongest when my son was a newborn and I had just made the decision to be a stay at home mom. I always knew it’s what I wanted to do but I never realized how lost I would feel.
I went from being in the classroom for eight years. Where I knew exactly what I was doing everyday. I knew how to have success and do a good job every step of the way.
Then all of a sudden I was a mom. I was responsible for another human and I had absolutely no idea what I was doing!!
It was just me and Foster everyday. There were no two days a like and that means I could never predict what was going to happen next.
In the beginning I felt very lost!
Remember at the beginning of this post when I talked about the comments that made me want to spit?! That’s where those come in.
Once it was public knowledge that I had resigned from teaching to be a stay at home mom I felt like all eyes were on me. Then there were the judgy comments:
“You’re so lucky you don’t have to work!”
“What do you do all day?”
“Ohhhh, you stay at home now?!
All of these comments would come with disapproving glances. If you’re a people pleaser like me then you know that words and looks like this are like daggers.
This is a pretty big one for me. I went from seeing a classroom of kids and colleagues everyday to it just being me and my son for eight to ten hours a day.
I tried to join mom groups when Foster was a newborn but none of the playdates were appropriate for such a young baby. Plus I was super nervous about meeting new moms. Moms who I was sure had it more together than myself.
Then there was the fact that Foster could not stand being in the car, so actually going anywhere was painful. So, most days I would stay home by myself and that’s gets lonely after a while. Even for an introvert like myself.
Knowing What to Do
Despite the fact that I read all the parenting books, took all the classes and talked to women who had gone before me. I still felt like I did not know what I was doing!
When he was a baby we were not on a schedule. I didn’t know when he was going to sleep. When he would cry, I didn’t know how to calm him. I didn’t know why he would scream for an hour, the same hour everyday. I was not sure if I was ever going to sleep again or be able to wear a real bra.
I did not trust my “mom gut” or even know that was a thing. To say I was lacking in confidence would be polite.
Lack of Affirmation
If you’ve read The 5 Love Languages you know that there are five different ways that you feel loved. My number one way is by getting words of affirmation.
As a teacher I was constantly getting affirmation. My kids would say sweet things to me or make me the cutest cards. I would get “atta girls” from my principal or other teachers. The parents usually (you can’t please everyone) loved me. So, I was getting plenty of affirmation.
Then I became a stay at home mom. Like I’ve mentioned I was feeling lost, judged, lonely and confused! There was no one else there (besides my baby) to talk to let alone get affirmation from.
So, I started to feel inadequate and like I didn’t matter.
Ok, now that you are nearing depression. Let me stop you and say there is a light and you need to walk towards it! Because here come the pros that make it all better and so worth it!
Pros of Being a Stay at Home Mom:
I get to be the #1 influence on my son (at least for now). Since I am with him every day I get to teach him how to communicate, handle his emotions, be kind, stack blocks, not hit and eat his greens(if I’m lucky).
Every day is not glamorous but every day matters. I’m convinced that the biggest influence happens in the small moments that take place over and over again.
I’m so thankful that I get to be an influence on him before social media, friend cliques and sports teams. I know this time is fleeting, so I strive to focus on the time we have now but of course some days are more challenging than others.
I pray daily that I’m the influence he needs. That I’m able to show him love kindness, compassion and discipline in a way that equips him to go out into the world because unfortunately I can’t keep him in a bubble, although, Amazon should sell those.
Related: Teaching Children to Care
The bond we have formed over the last two years is so strong. My relationship with my son is like none other. Through the ups and downs of each day we have learned to trust and respect one another.
A relationship with your child takes time and is something you don’t always have as soon as they are born. Even though you’ve been carrying your baby 9ish months it’s just not the same as having them in your arms.
Once my son arrived it took some life experience to form a relationship with him. For me to know him and him to know me.
Thankfully, with time and trial and error you grow together in so many ways. Including in confidence in your relationship. It’s definitely not always pretty but relationships never are.
Being a stay at home mom has allowed me to make new friendships with other moms that get me, although, making friends took me a while.
When you’re new to being a stay at home mom and you don’t know the cool places to take your baby (because you’re new at this). You don’t know where to meet people, but give yourself time.
You can go to MeetUp groups or you can just start visiting your local library and stalking other moms(in a non creepy way).
It took me a while but the friendships that I’m forming now are so special because we are on this imperfect motherhood journey together.
This is another thing that took some time and you can not force. After two years I can say with conviction that being a stay at home mom has made me a more confident person.
I remember the first time a vacuumed while wearing my newborn. Ya’ll, you would have thought I just won a marathon. I felt so accomplished. It sounds silly but now I know why I was so proud. I was learning how to do things in a new way.
As you relearn to do life with a child you gain confidence with each success. Of course it’s been knocked down plenty of times with failures (like when my son fell out of a shopping cart but that’s for another day).
Overall being a stay at home mom has taught me that I am capable of far more than I thought. The confidence that comes with this is a game changer.
Being a stay at home mom has allowed me to be a mom boss. This is basically a woman who is raising a family while starting a business.
Starting your own business while staying at home can definitely be a pro (not easy or quickly successful but still a pro). It’s tricky finding a balance between business and baby but with time you find it and then you lose it but then you find it again.
I work hard to find times throughout the day (usually during nap time or before he wakes up) to work on my business.
Staying at home with my son has given me the time and purpose I need to start my business that I’m passionate about.
Like I mentioned, before having my son I was a teacher. Now that I am a stay at home mom my direction has shifted. I am no longer a teacher of classrooms. I am a teacher of my son. My number one responsibility is to make sure he is taken care of and provided for.
Then the next direction that was born was this blog. Starting a blog/my business has given me a new passion and that is to help other imperfect moms like me.
I know becoming/being a mom can be hard. It’s easy to feel like the world’s expectation is perfection.
That’s why I want to normalize being imperfect. There’s so much pressure on us to do it all and have it all together. I call shenanigans on that. I want other moms to know that they are doing a great job no matter what!
So becoming a stay at home mom forces you to take a look at yourself and see what you are most passionate about and how you can hep others.
Tips to Make Your Transition to Stay at Home Mom Easier
Find an activity that makes you feel like yourself:
For me this was hiking. I hiked a ton before Foster was born. It’s something I always loved doing and brought me peace. So one day I whipped out my baby carrier and decided that we were going hiking.
And guess what…he loved it!! And I felt like Zena the Warrior Princess for hiking with my baby!
Related: Baby Wearing Saved my Motherhood
Make sure you have a way to get some affirmation. I found that I needed reminders all around the house because my poor husband needed me to stop asking “how am I doing as a mom?” a million times a day.
Baby Carriers Help
I have several baby carriers and one stays in my car at all times! I started out with an Infentino when he was a new born. Then when he hit about fifteen pounds I upgraded to an ergo baby because I needed more back support.
These were not always the most successful groups for me but it was my fault. I would sign up for play dates or library time and then never go. The introvert in me took over hard core.
But, this is a great resources! I still get updates on meetings and plan to go one day. Maybe we can encourage one another?!
A Few Links on How to Afford Being a Stay at Home Mom
Suzie is the creator of Start a Mom Blog. She created Blog By Number to walk moms through the process of how to actually start a successful mom blog. She is like a beacon of light in the sea of blog information. Plush she’s making major bucks monthly though her blog.
I took this course and it gave me a great deal of direction, clarity and confidence.
Some affiliate links included (only because they’re products I love and add no additional cost to you).
If you search Pinterest for “how to make money with surveys.” You’ll have a lot of different posts like this one pop up. There are some legit surveys that will help you bring home so extra cash.
User Testing – you get paid $10 for reviewing different web sites. This is not an affiliate link. Just a good way I’ve made a few extra bucks here and there. This is just one idea. There are tons of other websites like these that will pay you.
I’ve never been a huge coupon mom. But, I started to dabble when I realized it could save us enough money to stay in our budget. Here is what I did 8 Basic Tips for Beginning Couponers
There you have it mama. Whatever your journey may be on my hope for you is that you show yourself grace, love and realized that it’s okay to have pros and cons. But mostly, that your pros always outweigh your cons.
Go get ’em mama,