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Making the decision to be a stay at home mom is a tough decision. Some of the reasons why it could be a difficult decision could be related to finances, mental health, and the fact that it is a big change.
It’s rough going from two sources of income to one. And this is especially true if you both work.
Maybe you’re tired of working to pay for daycare and missing all the little moments with your baby that the extra money really isn’t worth it.
Or maybe it’s not even about finances. Maybe you work mostly for your mental health. So you might be wondering where your mental health will stand being a stay at home mom.
Choosing to become a stay at home mom is not an easy decision for many moms.
And as a working mom who transitioned into being a stay at home mom, I can name a few things that you might want to consider before making that choice.
Is it worth becoming a stay at home mom?
Only you know what is best for yourself and your family. As a graduate nurse who worked 3, 13 hour shifts on a busy telemetry floor at a hospital 25 minutes away from home with a colicky baby, the decision was pretty easy at the time.
I would wake up around 4:30 am each working day to get myself and my baby ready. I’d drop my baby off at a friend’s house who was watching her at the time. At every drop-off, my baby would ballistically cry and my heart would be shattered from the moment I left my friend’s driveway and throughout my shift as a new nurse.
As a brand new mom to a colicky baby who never stopped crying unless she was on her mama and a brand new nurse going into a new career, I was torn.
But looking back on my decision, I knew I made the right choice for myself and my baby. And I’ll tell you exactly why as you keep reading.
1. Your routine might not be as routine-y.
When I was working, I had a set routine on days I was working and days I wasn’t. And stay at home moms definitely get in their rhythm and ultimately end up with a “routine”.
But it might not be as routine-y if that makes sense. You’re not always going to sleep or wake up at the same time each day. And when you’re at home with your little one(s) more things tend to come up since you’re at home which can get in the way of a routine.
The great thing about that is that your only obligation is to be there for your baby so you don’t have to work around your work schedule or request off for appointments and other things.
2. You still won’t always have the time to pick up around the house.
Being a stay at home mom is not easy. And don’t ever let anyone tell you that. Especially those moms that have never been a stay at home mom before and might have some bitterness in their soul.
There will be days where your day was absolute chaos from running your baby to a doctors appointment, different stores to run errands, and add in several melt-downs. You will be too exhausted to pick up toys off the ground, vacuum, wash the dishes, do a load of laundry, fold laundry, and anything else that was left on the to-do list for the day.
But guess what? You have the next day or the day after to pick up for a chaotic day or even days in a row.
3. People will think you’re lazy and dependent.
This drives me nuts. Because whoever said being a stay at home mom wasn’t a full-time job is literally crazy and has never been in the position.
Even for the women who have been in that position, there are plenty of mothers who have extremely difficult babies, special needs children, and might even be a caregiver for a family member.
No one should ever call a stay at home mom lazy or dependent. Because it truly is not for the weak.
4. You’re going to feel like you’re suffocating at times.
After just a few weeks into becoming a stay at home mom, I was explaining to my husband that I felt like I was suffocating being a stay at home mom.
I felt trapped, foreign to my own self, and felt like the chaos was neverending. It didn’t help that my baby was extremely colicky, exclusively breastfeeding around the clock, and my husband was a drill sergeant, always gone.
When you feel like you’re suffocating, this is when you need to get out of the house, go to a park, and get some fresh air. Or reach out to someone close and vent to them.
And last but not least, if you feel that your mental health is taking a toll, reach out to your healthcare provider and exhaust all of your resources.
5. People will automatically assume you have no career, education, or drive to do anything with your life.
I kind of touched base with this in number 3. There is such a negative stigma around being a stay at home mom and we need to fix this.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with a mother who chooses to be selfless and raise their babies, putting their life and goals on pause to be there for every moment of their growing baby’s life.
In fact, there’s a large number of stay at home moms that return to work after their kids begin school. And also many stay at home moms either have a degree (or two like myself) or take advantage of this time to attain a degree from home.
It’s degrading for anyone including both men and women to assume the worst of stay at home moms because they chose to be there for their babies.
6. It can get pretty lonely.
It’s a thing being a depressed stay at home mom with no friends. And believe it or not, it’s hard for moms to make mom friends.
This can especially be hard during times of the pandemic with everyone wanting to stay home more often. But a great resource has been Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter where these social networks help connect moms with various things in common.
7. You’ll live in your pajamas and dread getting ready.
I live in a large sleep shirt with my undies and glasses. Oh, and my hair pulled up in a big jaw clip. Nevertheless, I look a mess and I dread getting ready for anything.
This has become my new norm and I actually have enjoyed this so much. If you’re not much of a bum look type of woman, then this might irk you a little bit. But it’s nothing playing dress-up can’t fix!
8. Your husband might expect more out of you.
So I guess becoming a stay at home mom meant that I was going to have an unlimited amount of time and energy to fix up all of the meals, have a spotless house, and no laundry that needed to be washed or folded.
Although I definitely did have more time more days than I did, that still did not mean I had the energy or willpower to get all the above done on a daily basis. And that’s something a good old fashion communication helped my husband to see and understand.
9. Money won’t be as plentiful.
I talked about this earlier in the post. When you made the decision to go from a working mom to a stay at home mom, finances were going to be one of the determining factors.
Although your income might not be nearly as much as it was with two combined salaries, that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of work opportunities for stay at home moms.
In fact, with our advanced technology and everyone working and living straight from their phones or laptops, it’s become easier than ever to make a few bucks to a whole salary right from your home.
10. You’ll make some of the best memories with your baby(s).
Seriously. Some days, when I felt down about my life (like career-wise) and lonely (husband was always away and I lived far from my close friends), I just replayed a timeline of special moments with my baby in my head.
I would have never made some of those memories with my baby girl if I was working, exhausted, stressed when I came home. And those days I was working, I’d come home and it would be my baby’s bedtime.
I thought of us not having my income as buying an abundance amount of time with my baby when becoming a stay at home mom. When we know you can’t actually buy time. And our babies are only babies once and for a short amount of time.
Becoming a stay at home mom was seriously the best decision I made for not just myself and my baby, but also for my family. As a first-time mom, wife of an active-duty soldier, and mom of 3 dogs, living in an area where we knew no one and were away from family, I knew I needed to be at home.
I have gotten to witness my baby’s first steps, first words, first everything because I have been by her side for all of those big first moments that I knew would only happen once.
And no amount of money could replace that for me. We were fortunate enough to be good financially living on just my husband’s salary. And now that I have been working on Lifting Motherhood for a little over a year, I have been making a little bit of money to help out financially (thanks to my readers aka you!).
I have zero regrets in making my decision to be a stay at home mom and I hope this post helps you make the right decision for you, your baby, and your family.