“You know you’re a stay at home mom when your kids ask where you are going when you put on jeans.”-Unknown
When I had my daughter and my husband and I talked about how we were going to afford childcare and both of us work with only one car, we knew that the best thing for our family would be for me to stay home.
Growing up, my mom stayed home with my sisters and I and I truly always felt so lucky to have her there with us everyday. She was always in the pick up lane after school, waiting to take us home for a snack. She took us to every appointment, dance class and cheerleading practice. She was able to come to things at school and be a chaperone on our field trips.
I always knew I could count on seeing her beautiful face and deep down inside, I hoped I would be able to do the same when I became a mom.
Needless to say, I was so excited that I was being given the opportunity to stay at home with my daughter and watch her grow every single day.
I was there for her first steps, her first words, her first scraped knee and the first time she used roller skates. Whenever anyone asked me what I did all day or how I felt about not working and staying home, I put a smile on my face and told them how much I loved it and how blessed I was.
What they didn’t see, and what I didn’t show, was the pain I was feeling inside.
See, I was lonely, unfulfilled, bored, grateful and happy all at the same time. Confusing right? I had so much inner turmoil that I only told my husband about. (Cried to him about is more accurate!)
Because you know what? There are SO many things no one tells you about staying home with your babies. And so many things moms don’t talk about because they don’t want to be judged or feel like a failure.
So I want to share with you 8 things no one warned me about before becoming a stay at home mom, things I wish someone had told me years ago before embarking on this beautiful and messy journey!
1. Being a stay at home mom can be very, very lonely.
Like, really lonely. And the strangest part is that you are never actually alone. As a stay at home mom, you spend the majority of your days caring for, playing with and raising your little ones. But even surrounded by your little beauties, it can be so incredibly lonely. Get out of the house and interact with people, even if that is just the cashier at Target!
2. Resentment is real.
I bet you are thinking to yourself, why would I feel resentment at someone for leaving the house and going to work each day? Let me tell you something my friend, resentment is real. And it can be overpowering if you let it be. Just remember why you are doing this and that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side! Re-focus your energy on that and you will be okay.
3. Some days will be amazing and others will make you feel like you are failing.
Just like with any other job, you will have good days and you will have bad days. You will have days where everything goes right, the kids don’t fight over every toy and your house is spotless. You will also have days where you are a referee, the clothes in the washing machine stay there until bedtime and your house looks like a bomb went off. Take it day by day and accept that not every moment will be wonderful.
I promise you, you are not failing!
4. It can be boring.
There, I said it. I was honestly bored out of my mind when I was a stay at home mom. (Judgement free zone, remember?)
I love my little girl more than life itself but I remember thinking that if I had to sit through another episode of Bubble Guppies or have one more tea party with Barbies, I would scream. There are only so many times you can vacuum the floor, take a walk outside or use the swings at the park. Try and switch up what you do each day, like what games you play, what gets cleaned that day and what TV shows are watched, so you don’t feel like you are in the movie Groundhog Day.
5. Have something away from the kids so you don’t lose yourself.
This is something I didn’t do when I was a stay at home mom until my daughter was about 4 years old and she started taking dance class. I had nothing outside of being a mom and definitely lost a huge part of myself and forgot who I was. Even if it is just a friend who you meet for coffee or a painting class you take once a week, do something that gets you out of the house and lets you just be you and not always mom. The more you are able to fill up your own cup, the better and more present mom you will be!
6. You will love your children with every once of your heart and need to get away from them at the same time.
Our children are the greatest treasures we will ever have in our lives. With that being said, they can also be the most frustrating and draining and it’s okay to admit that! You will look at those little people that you are raising and love them with everything you have. You will also need time away from the whining, fighting and diapers. Do not, I repeat do not, feel bad about feeling this way! We have all been there and if someone says they haven’t, don’t believe them!
7. Stay at home mom depression is SO common and SO real.
This is something I wish I had known six years ago when I was just starting out on my stay at home mom journey. The amount of women who go through a type of depression as a stay at home mom is astronomical. And you know what the sad thing is? So many stay at home moms don’t talk about it. They keep it inside, fake a smile and the depression grows until they burst or breakdown. I was one of them.
Mama, please don’t be ashamed if you are feeling depressed, sad or unfulfilled. Reach out. There are so many women who are feeling the same or are now on the other side of it and support is there. You don’t have to feel this way alone!
8. When you look back on these years, you will miss this.
One day, when that little baby isn’t so little anymore and you are in a different stage of parenting, you will look back on these days with fondness. You will remember the little kisses, the smiles and laughter and let go of the failures. Because, we all fail.
I promise you, one day, you will miss this. And you will be grateful. These years are hard and tiring but they are gone in the blink of an eye. Before you know it, you are watching those little ones walk into their first day of school or walk across the stage with a cap and gown on before receiving a diploma.
Soak it all in. The good, the bad and the ugly. Every last drop. And always know, you can do this and it WILL get better!
If you are in this place and are having a hard time finding the joy in being a SAHM, I am here to talk! Please feel free to reach out! XOXO