The stay-at-home mom life you’ve always wanted is finally happening. Just you and your sweet baby. At home. Together. It’s perfect. Or is it?
I recently had a conversation with a couple of new parents, and we were discussing how being a stay-at-home mom (or SAHM) isn’t always what you expect and spoiler alert: it’s truthfully not for everyone. We talked about how most Mom’s spend their pregnancy dreaming of those glorious days at home playing, napping, cooking, baking and tossing in laundry between reading books and singing songs. It’s the perfect stay-at-home life new parents dream of. You’ll love it, you think. But what happens if you don’t?
The reality is that most new mamas spend their days at home exhausted, unshowered, behind on laundry, and counting the minutes until their spouse gets home for a little support. For some moms, that’s perfectly fine. It comes with the territory and they wouldn’t have it any other way. But for others, it's not what they envisioned and they’re counting down the days until they get to head back to work and feeling 100% guilty about it.
But if you're one of those moms, I'm here to tell you that you shouldn’t feel bad, because here’s the truth; being a SAHM isn’t for everyone, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that!
I was a SAHM after I had our second child. I also started my freelance writing business in there as well, but it didn’t take off right away so essentially, my only job at that time was 'Mommy'. I would be 100% lying if I said those years weren’t some of the toughest on me. My oldest son wasn’t quite two when we had our youngest and let me tell you, some of those days I found myself wondering if heading back to work would have been better for my sanity. But overall, I am absolutely positive it was the best choice for my family. But that doesn’t mean I think it’s the best choice for EVERY family. There are lots of reasons being a stay-at-home mom might not be right for a family:
Finances – Some families NEED that second income, so one parent staying at home isn’t even an option, whether they want to or not.
Career - I remember talking to a mom friend of mine who was pregnant at the same time as I was, and she said she had no interest in staying at home after maternity leave. She loved her career. She wasn’t willing to give it up.
Mental Health – Some parents are simply not cut out for staying at home all day, every day. Some need that adult contact on a daily basis to keep them feeling lonely or sad. That's okay! Be honest with yourself and your needs. A happy and fulfilled mommy is important - don't put yourself last.
Honestly, I think it’s great when parents can say “It’s not for me and I know that.” I think it takes a lot of strength to know that about yourself and to admit it. It's perfectly okay to admit that being a SAHM is not for you, even if you thought it was.
So, if you’re in that stage right now, and unhappy at home and you’re wondering if you made the right decision - it’s okay to admit you were wrong. It’s okay to make the decision to go back to work if that means you’ll be a happier, healthier parent for your child and partner for your spouse.
I think all parents need to remember this; do what’s best for YOUR situation. We’re all different, and whether you stay at home or work outside the home, it doesn’t mean you love your child any more or any less. We’re all parents, we all love our children, and we’re all doing our best.
And that’s all we can do.