Let me start with a disclaimer: The purpose of this blog is in no way to convince you to stay at home or to not stay at home with your kids.
You know what is best for your family. I simply want to share some truths about being a stay-at-home-mom (SAHM).
I became a SAHM by default. Before my first child was born, I couldn’t decide whether I wanted to continue working or not.
I didn’t know if I would love staying at home or if I would be dying to go back to work. Those first few months after the baby was born, I experienced both feelings, which further complicated things.
I continued doing my job from home for the first six months until I finally gave in to being a SAHM.
In blogs and from friends, you probably hear a lot about the challenges of being a SAHM, like the frustrations of raising children, the loss of a separate identity, the loss of income, the loss of adult interaction.
Those are all true, but there are also many good things that balance out, and even outweigh, the challenges.
Here are a few things you may not know about stay-at-home-moms:
Most of us really love our jobs. I feel like I’m letting the cat out of the bag here. You rarely hear a SAHM say this. Maybe we think that somehow by not admitting to loving our job we can avoid the stigma of being a SAHM, avoid becoming one of “them.”
Maybe we are afraid if we admit to liking it people will assume it must be easy or that we are not interested in a career.
Maybe we’re too busy fighting misconceptions to verbalize how much we enjoy what we do.
For whatever reason, we don’t say it often, but the truth is that we love our jobs. It isn’t easy, but it is motivating, rewarding and challenging.
Many of us work. This sounds like an oxymoron, but after examining my large network of SAHM’s, it is true that many and perhaps even most of us – work. Some work from home, others work nights or weekends.
Doing part-time work makes it possible for many moms to stay at home with the kids. Others do part-time, flexible work in order to do something they are interested in and to stay connected to their career path, making it easier to rejoin the workforce when the time comes.
We have a social network. It is true that one of the things that you give up when becoming a SAHM is the adult interaction that comes with a work environment. It is also true that the adjustment to becoming a SAHM can be lonely, especially that first year when the baby is not old enough to talk.
However, it is possible to connect with other SAHM’s and have a vibrant social network. Right now I have more friends and a stronger support system than ever.
If you are a SAHM and are feeling disconnected, let me fill you in on a secret: Mom’s groups! There are tons of local groups that meet weekly or monthly during the day, which is a great place to connect with other moms and build friendships.
Here’s another secret: Play dates! These are fun. They give you a chance to give you kids some social interaction with their peers (which they love and is very good for them) and gives you a chance to chat with other the moms, get advice, share concerns, laugh and have an adult conversation.
Being a SAHM is fulfilling. Fulfillment and satisfaction are that elusive elements that we look for in a job. We try to find work that fits us, that uses our talents and abilities to the greatest degree and gives us the satisfactory filling of accomplishment.
Motherhood offers this opportunity, and being a SAHM amplifies it.
I’m not going to be a stay-at-home-mom forever. With my first child only two years from kindergarten, I’m beginning to realize what a short season this really is.
To all moms, staying at home or not, let’s make the most of whatever situation we are in.
Let’s find a way to enjoy the work we have in common, the work that we only get one opportunity to do—the work of raising our children.
let’s make the most of whatever situation we are in.