Being a stay at home mom has its ups and downs but there’s nothing else that I would rather be doing.
I’m incredibly grateful to be able to stay home with my son, even through the tantrums, the food being thrown on the floor and cleaning the same room six times a day.
I have been a stay at home mom since my son was born almost 20 months ago and these are five of the things that I have learned on my way:
1. Being a stay at home mom is harder than I thought it would be
This is not to say that I thought it would easy, but I wasn’t expecting it to be the hardest job that I ever had.
Being a stay at home, your job is 24/7 and you wear many different hats: you’re a nanny, a cook, a maid, an accountant, an event planner, a secretary, a personal shopper… The list goes on.
While there is physical labour involved, the weight of the mental load that it takes to keep up with your family’s errands, laundry, meals, appointments, happiness etc. can be heavy at times.
2. Not everyone sees the value in a stay at home mom
In today’s go-getter, career-driven society some people feel that if you’re not contributing to your family financially then you’re not really contributing at all.
When people ask what I do for a living and I tell them I stay home with my son some real remarks and questions I’ve received are “but you’re going to go back to work eventually, right?” , “oh, I could never just be at home all day” and my personal favorite “what do you do all day?”
There seems to be a common misconception that stay at home moms spend their days relaxing and spending their husband’s money and if you stay at home with your kids then you know this can’t be further from the truth.
Both working moms and stay at home moms are extremely valuable, the only difference is that working moms are generally more acknowledged for their work and dedication.
3. You need to take pride in your job as a homemaker
This kind of goes hand in hand with point #2. Even though you may not always be appreciated for your efforts, you have a very important job and you should take pride in it the same way that someone who gets paid for their job does.
Homemakers create a comfortable, safe space for their family. Their daily routines ensure that their family is fed, warm, clean, happy and healthy. A homemaker is the foundation that supports their family and allows them to thrive and for that, you should celebrate yourself.
4. My time management skills have really been challenged
Before becoming a stay at home mom, I thought my time management skills were on point. It turned out that when I had a million things on my to-do list, was pulled in several different directions at any given moment and had a baby that needed my constant attention, things got very chaotic and my time management skills went out the window.
After months of overwhelm and a few more breakdowns then I would like to admit, I finally started getting into the groove of being a stay at home mom.
I found having a daily routine (even a flexible one) and prioritizing your tasks really helps to make the most of your time and get things done without having your mom brain get frazzled and forgetful.
I also learned that sometimes I wouldn’t get everything done and that was okay. Some days my son needed more of my attention than usual or I just wouldn’t get around to certain tasks. If some tasks did fall to the wayside from time to time I had to learn to be easy on myself and remember that I’m a human and not a machine.
5. Taking care of yourself is just as important as taking care of your family
Being a stay at home mom and a homemaker is a 24/7 job and it can be really easy to neglect yourself when you’re busy taking care of your family.
Making sure you’re getting the right nutrition and fostering your mental and physical health needs to be a high priority. Not only will doing this make you a happier person but it will ensure that you’re capable of taking care of your family in the best way possible.
I still struggle with prioritizing my self-care but even small things like doing my makeup in the morning or finding a moment to have a tea by myself can do wonders for my well-being.
Finding a community of other stay at home moms has also been beneficial. I don’t know many in real life but I’ve found a few facebook groups of stay at home moms that I can relate to.
Being a stay at home mom can be lonely at times not only due to the lack of adult interaction but also because it can be hard to relate to others in the workforce that don’t understand the struggles of staying at home. Having a community of other stay at home moms helps me to feel understood and supported.
Are you a stay at home mom? What have you learned on your journey?