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How to Survive as a Full-Time, Stay-At-Home Mom

Published June 05, 2012        by Sarah

Image by lindsayshaver on FlickrEvery mother is a full-time mother, whether she is at home or at an outside job. She spends her time working to build a strong family, caring for her children, and loving them every minute of every day.  Whether she is a SAHM, WAHM, or WOHM, she provides for her children. That being said, there are some challenges of being a mom who stays at home.  How can you overcome these challenges and give your child – and yourself – the best experience possible?

So, what are the most difficult aspects of being a stay-at-home mom?  While every mother is different, here are some common issues:

  • You do not feel as though the work you do is valued.  Being a mother is the hardest job – but tell that to those who think you lounge around all day in your jammies.  This is the most thankless of jobs, and while your child does provide you with ample rewards, the others in your life may not.

After all, if you can take a nap when your child does, what could you be complaining about?  They do not realize all the work that goes into raising a child and how tiring it can be.  Even your spouse or partner may say he’s “tired from working all day” and can’t do bath time or story time.  You are truly overworked and often underappreciated.

This can lead to low self-esteem and even depression; others make it seem that anyone can raise a child, and you may start to buy into it.  Investopedia recently calculated how much stay-at-home moms were “worth.”  It’s almost $100,000 for services rendered. Be assured you are worth far more.

  • You are bored.  You love singing to your baby, you love reading baby board books with your toddler, you enjoy going to story hour and doing crafts. But there’s a limit to how much a grown woman can take!  Goodnight, Moon is just not stimulating enough, and if you have to play one more game of peek-a-boo…it definitely gets old.
  • You miss adult conversation and interaction.  Is it possible to forget how to talk with other adults?  Can you hold a conversation without discussing teething, bedtimes, or potty training? Do you remember how to go out on a date?  Do you remember what a date is?
  • Then there’s the money… or lack thereof.  It is often a sacrifice to stay home with your children.  While most mothers are fine with this decision, there is another money matter that weighs on their minds. Many people – men and women – associate bringing home a paycheck with contributing to the family.  What if, then, you do not get a paycheck at the end of your busy week?

Most stay-at-home moms find themselves confronting these issues, and unless you take action, you’re likely to keep staring them down for years.

  • Respect your job. You do have one.  You need to know that and not let other people’s views influence your decision. This is hard; you may have to repeat some mantras to yourself, but drill it into your brain.
  • Delegate responsibilities.  When a mother decides to stay home, the father may think he got himself a housekeeper as well.  It is common for the other partner to stop doing chores, but this is not a fair situation.  Instead, work out which chores each of you will handle.  If he cooks, you do the dishes. If you do bath time, he does bedtime.
  • Give each other time off.  Both parents work hard, and both deserve a break.  Schedule time off for yourself; if time allows, it could be a whole day (even if it's NOT Mother's Day). If not a whole day, it could be several hours. You are off the clock; you are free to nap, exercise, shop, visit friends, or run from the house and do cartwheels in the park. Do this each week.
  • Feed your mind.  Read, study, learn, sign up for online classes, take up a new hobby.  You can take advantage of the time when your child is playing independently or napping to find stimulation in these pursuits.
  • Find other people in your situation.  You can commiserate and appreciate each other.  Visit friends, go on play dates, go to story hours, or hop on the Internet.

As a stay-at-home mom, you are paid in smiles, first steps, and cuddling time.  Your baby appreciates what you do for your family; you should as well.

Related Articles:

  1. Mommy Time - A Needed Break!