I didn’t choose the SAHM life, the SAHM life chose me! Just kidding. I chose it 100% and wouldn’t have it any other way. Some days I may wonder how on earth I could make that previous statement because trust me, it isn’t always butterflies and rainbows! Staying at home with your kids comes with its ups and its, but this is truly what I want in life. I want to be real with y’all and talk about what being a SAHM is really like, the good and the bad!
I’ve partnered with my friend Kristan at Belles and Bucks to talk about the down ‘n dirty and sugary sweet sides of motherhood. We both come from very unique perspectives. I went back to work part time after giving birth to my first child, then became a full time stay at home mom after having my second. Kristan was working full time and finishing her college degree from the time she was 4 months pregnant until her daughter’s 18th month of life. She didn’t even take a real maternity leave. (Talk about superwoman commitment y’all!)
Deciding to Stay at Home
When I became pregnant with Chloe, I was working full time Monday to Thursday as a personal trainer, fitness instructor and wellness coach. I loved my job and everything I did. Helping people to become their healthiest, best version is exactly what I wanted to do. I even quit my desk job to pursue this career just a few years prior. The thing is, when I made my career change, I knew that one day I would stay at home with my kids. I decided to set up a work schedule that allowed me to work two days a week after Chloe was born.
I went back to work 8 weeks after Chloe’s birth on Mondays and Wednesdays. I’m here to tell y’all it was HARD! A physically demanding job at an emotional time of my life came with a lot of ups and downs, but I’m glad I went back for a year and a half. After we moved to the suburbs, I transitioned to one day a week until Brody’s birth.
Only working one day a week was a game changer! I looked forward to my days out of the house. Seeing my clients and students in my class topped some of my week’s highlights because I cared about them so much. While I loved my job and the people I worked with, I knew I had to resign just a few week’s before Brody’s due date. The time had come and I needed to gracefully bow out. Free childcare gets harder when you have more kids! As hard as it was to leave my gym, I know it was the best decision for our family.
Reasons I Love Being at Full Time SAHM
I get to be at home and raise my kids.
Since I’m home, I have the opportunity to be with them daily: to cherish, nurture, teach and focus on my children. I am directly supervising my children’s care to make sure it’s the environment that I want them to grow up in. I get to be there for special moments and milestones that happen in the day to day and rarely miss out on anything. I’m not saying that working moms miss out on everything, but being around all the time definitely means you don’t miss much.
I have a flexible schedule.
Work schedule restrictions are a thing of the past! I do have to worry about my children’s commitments like school, gymnastics and swimming when planning out our week. Luckily, besides school, activities can be rearranged and make ups scheduled if needed! A flexible schedule makes it easy for us to travel, plan play dates and just do what we feel like.
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I can connect with other stay at home moms.
Since I don’t have coworkers to talk to and become friends with, I need other adults to interact with throughout the week! Enter stay at home mom friends. Having these women that are going through the same phase of life as me is so helpful. Many meaningful relationships have come from my mom groups that I’ve found over the past few years! I recently joined a MOPS group which is great for meeting other moms of preschool aged children. Walking through phases of life with other women makes the journey much more fun.
It’s easy to volunteer and say yes to my kids’ activities.
When you are at home with your kids, it’s much easier to say yes to things like volunteering at your kids school or planning a weekday activity. I don’t have to wait until I get home to volunteer or take Chloe to gymnastics. Instead I can show up at the school when needed or take her to an activity in the middle of the day. (This will obviously change when she goes to Kindergarten!)
The Downside to Being a Full Time SAHM
I never have a break from my job.
I understand the perks of working because you have the opportunity to step away from your kids and come home to them in the evening. Your time at home in the evening with family is cherished time. As a stay at home mom, by the evening I’m begging my husband to take a child with him. My work never ends because parenting never ends! There have been days when my husband comes home and I break down into tears out of sheer exhaustion, frustration and a whole slew of emotions that I can’t always explain because I just need some time away.
Staying at home is exhausting.
Speaking of needing some time away, at the end of the day, I’m completely beat. Chasing after kids all day is physically tiring, and parenting all day is mentally tiring. When a working parent leaves work, most of the time, that work is left there until the next day. For me, I never leave because this is my home, duh. That means the stress and exhaustion from my work day tends to just carries on. The majority of the time I feel relieved when my husband gets home, but some days are rough!
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I’m not bringing in any money.
I’m fortunate enough that my husband makes enough money to support our family without me working. I love that and I’m thankful for his hard work. I know that I am so fortunate to be financially able to stay at home with my kids. Sometimes though, I feel like I’m not doing enough since I’m not contributing financially. In fact, I’m the one spending all of our money! I know that I don’t necessarily need to be making money, but sometimes I feel guilty that I don’t. (No, he doesn’t make me feel this way. It’s just a guilt thing for me.)
Staying at home can feel isolating.
It’s lonely when you’re not surrounded by adult company. I don’t have coworkers to talk to, and some days I don’t talk to another adult until my husband gets home. It can be isolating and draining. (Cue exhaustion mentioned above!) While moms groups and playdates help to combat the isolation, it’s hard to make plans with people every single day!
I wouldn’t have it any other way.
While there are definitely ups and downs to being a stay at home mom, I wouldn’t have it any other way. For me, the positives outweigh the negatives. This is just what works for me and my family. Every family is different, and motherhood looks different for every mom. The most important thing is that you’re happy in whatever career path you choose.
Not all moms can or want to stay at home. There is good and bad to every side, so make sure you pop over to Kristan’s blog to read about the pros and cons of being a working mom! I can say from experience that it’s hard to being a working mom too!