By: Josephine Anderson, Better as Us
An original version of this post can be seen on betterasus.com.
We all know that being a stay at home mom has quite the stigma surrounding it. What do you do all day? Is it as glamorous as it seems? Because of this, so many moms are starting to step forward sharing their day to day activity so that others can accurately understand what goes into it.
When people ask me if I like being a stay at home mom, or if it's a decision I am glad I made, I honestly don't know what to say. My answer changes on a daily basis. Overall am I happy that I am a stay at home mom? Yes. Are there days I wish I could change it? Yes. It is for everyone? No.
The moms who often ask me this question are thinking about becoming stay at home moms themselves, and I honestly never know what direction to steer them in. It is honestly such a personal decision not only each mother has to make, but your spouse has to make as well.
Because I can tell one thing that is for sure, being a stay at home mom is one of the loneliest things you will probably ever experience, and if you have a spouse that isn't supportive of it, you might as well just give up now.
You will spend your days taking care of everyone else around you, with little to none of that in return.
This is a shift that happens whether you work in or outside of the home, but once you become a mom, you take on the role of care giver to literally everyone in your house including your spouse and yourself. And who is at the end of that list? You guessed it: YOU!
This was a major shift that I struggled with for a long time. In fact it started literally the day my daughter was born (more on that here). It's something that I still struggle to get a handle on, and some days are better than others.
Sure you will get certain days that you get pampered, like mother's day if you are lucky. But for the most part you better get used to thinking about everyone else's needs before your own.
Your brain will turn into mush from too little actual conversation, and too much "talk" with your little ones.
This is why 'mom brain' exists.
When my husband comes back from work and tells me about the drama in the office, I actually get JEALOUS sometimes. All I did all day was sing baby shark and try to teach my daughter the letters of the alphabet. I'd kill for some good old entertainment.
You will all of the sudden be in charge of everything around the house.
This is a fun one. You not only are now in charge of everything you used to do, like making dinner every night, or laundry, but you will also assume the responsibility of all the stuff your husband used to do around the house. Because you're home all day. What else do you have to do?
You are exhausted 24/7. Even on the days that you spend cuddling with your kids because they are home sick.
Being a stay at home mom is the most exhausting job that I have ever done, and I used to rangle 120 eight graders everyday for a living.
And not only is it physically exhausting, but it is even more emotionally exhausting. There is no 9 - 5. There is no clock to punch out. There is no 'end game'. You will worry about your little mini mes every second, of everyday, for the rest of your life.
Finances will probably be a struggle for a long time.
Like I mentioned earlier, I used to teach for a living. This isn't the most well paying job out there. So when we decided it was best for me to become a stay at home mom, I honestly didn't think loosing out on my income would make that much of a difference.
As you can imagine, I was very, very wrong.
In fact, that first year of becoming parents, we struggled A LOT financially. And the truth of the matter is, we STILL struggle.
My husband had major surgery that year, my daughter had unforeseen medical issues, and by the end of the year, we even had to consider moving out of our home just to make ends meet.
It was one of the scariest times in my life. But, fortunately my husband got a promotion just in time, we went on a very tight budget, and we made it work.
Why It's Worth It
You get to witness your child grow and reach milestones.
This is one of my favorite parts of being a stay at home mom. Right around the age of two, my husband would start coming home from work and screaming to me various things like, "She knows how to undress herself now!", and "She just talked to me with real words!". And I get to respond back with, "I know. She's been doing that for weeks now."
You get to be someone's entire world.
You will be the person your kids get the spend the majority of their time with. You will be their comfort, their best friend, the apple of their eye. And let me tell you, there is nothing cooler than that.
You will form a bond with your kids that is like no other.
You will know all their ins and outs. Why they are the way they are. What makes them tick. You get to plan outings and experience things only you will experience with them. You get to have inside jokes and secrets that only you will be able to have with them.
You will be more aware of problems and issues that arise.
I experienced this even as a teacher (and I know many working moms will disagree with this) but the truth of the matter is, you will have a better idea of what is going on with your child because you see them more often.
You will have a better grasp of whats going on in and outside of school, what's happening with their social life, their grades, sports, etc.
And because you will probably sense the problem sooner, you will hopefully have an easier time correcting it.
You get to spend your days bonding with your child.
Sure, you get sick of playing with stickers for the 5,000 time that day. But, you get to see how your child's brain works, what makes them tick, what makes them smile, and what they are motivated by.
You get to forge a bond that is unlike any other bond that they will have with anyone else in their life, ever.
You get to do the most rewarding job out there.
You literally get to shape a human into the person that they become in life. It doesn't get any more amazing (or stressful) than that!
Read more from Josephine on her blog, Better as Us where you can find weekly tips that help you rock motherhood, recipes to keep you fed, and affordable shopping finds to keep you and your children stylish on a budget! Join her tribe of moms at betterasus.com, or on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest.