I always thought being a stay at home mom was the coolest “job” in the world. Getting to spend all your time with your kids. Having free time to volunteer at the school. Being able to cook, clean, run errands, and care for your kids without stressing about doing it before or after work. What a beautiful, amazing life that would be. Yeah….it’s nothing like I imagined. I have a love-hate relationship with being a stay at home mom. Some days I love it, some days I hate it. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining at all, just revealing the reality of it.
Just like anything else being a stay at home mom has its pros and cons. These are probably different for me than they are for everyone, but I’m sure we can agree on at least a few of them. It actually took a lot more work than I had anticipated to come up with a pros and cons list. What may seem like a con one day, will be a pro the next and vice versa. It depends on the day or situation. For example, volunteering at my kids schools. I love it and it’s a pleasure to be able to volunteer, but some days I really have to drag myself in there. Or being home alone while the kids are in school. The loneliness absolutely kills some days.
The things I listed as pros to being a stay at home mom are me time, running errands or going to the store alone, a clean house, and getting to volunteer and help others. Both of my kids are in school during the day so I am able to relax and have me time. Read a book, take a bath, binge watch Netflix, ya know whatever the day calls for. I am able to make self care a priority which is a huge plus. I also get to run errands or go to the grocery store alone without taking the kids in or telling them no as they ask for everything in sight. I get to clean the house and enjoy it being clean before anyone else gets home. Stare at the crumbless floor and the freshly vacuumed carpet with perfect lines. Weird I know, but it’s my favorite. Volunteering and getting to help others is another major plus for me. I love getting to volunteer at the school and help my family when they need me. It makes me feel good. Don’t get me wrong some days it feels like more of an obligation rather than a choice, but I wouldn’t change a thing.
The things I listed as cons are a clean house, lack of help, and the pressure to do everything. Yes a clean house for me is both a pro and con. I love having a clean house, but with that clean house comes a weird sense of loneliness. I’ve gotten used to the mess of having kids and everything that comes with it – shoes by the door, papers and books stacked on surfaces, fingers on the glass door, and toys on the floor. When I clean I put everything away and it reminds me that my kids are growing up and someday won’t live here anymore. A look into the future where the house is always clean and the kids are just visitors. The lack of help is probably just my family. My kids do chores, but they always act like I’m the only one that can clean off the table or take out the trash. No one ever wants to help because I’ve been home all day or I don’t work. They never realize how much I actually do. The pressure to get everything done kills me some days. From time to time when I volunteer I’m gone all day. It’s hard to make sure everything’s done when I have so much to do and it feels like there’s never enough time. I don’t just sit at home and clean, I do everything.
Loneliness gets its own section. The loneliness is good some days and other days it kills me. The loneliness is good when I need to focus on writing or working. It’s good when I’m determined to deep clean the house and I don’t want the kids or anyone else messing anything up. It’s good when I want to watch my recorded shows without being interrupted or trying to listen over the kids. Or even when I want to snuggle up and read a good book. Not every day is that easy though. The loneliness kills me most days. It feels like a lifetime before anyone gets home from school or work. It consumes me often causing anxiousness and depression. It’s just me, by myself. More often than not everyone I know is busy so I have no one to talk to. No one to listen. Just me. I hate being by myself.
I’ve been a stay at home mom on and off since I became a mom. The first time was when my husband was preparing to deploy. I was all my son had while my husband was gone. I couldn’t bare working then. The second time was when I found out I was pregnant with my daughter. I had a hard time finding a job that worked with my sons school schedule and my husbands work schedule, so I stayed home. The last time was after I quit my last job. I decided to stay home and take advantage of what time I was able to have with my kids. My husband worked full time, my son went to school on the other side of town, and my daughter went to preschool down the road from us. Everyone’s schedule was all over the place and I was the one left to take care of everything. I’ve never not worked while I was home. I’ve always helped family with whatever they needed, went to school online, babysat, did online transcriptions, and even tried network marketing.
I’m a stay at home mom now. I babysit a few days a week, volunteer at my kids schools a few times a week, work for a transcription company online, and I run this blog. I wouldn’t change a thing. I love being a stay at home mom. I might not love every minute of it, but I honestly wouldn’t change a thing. I have my whole life to work and only a few years left before I’m too embarrassing to be seen at the schools. I’m going to take advantage of every minute of it, good or bad. I love having time to volunteer, help my family, and be available in case of an emergency or sick kid. You wouldn’t believe how many times I’ve had to pick up a sick kid. I have no regrets. Being a stay at home mom isn’t for everyone. I wouldn’t expect it to be. Is being a stay at home mom right for you? I have no idea. You’d have to decide for yourself. It has its days, just like any other job would.