Moms who choose to stay at home without working are thrilled they can concentrate on their children 100%. And because it’s often just for the first years until school starts, they can look forward to getting back into the workforce again fairly soon – or not.
However, spending every day in the trenches caring completely for your family unit can be draining in ways you can’t even understand until you’ve tried it.
What attracts a mom to becoming a SAHM?
When you’re the primary caregiver for your children, you are going to be the one to witness all their firsts. When your baby rolls over for the first time, you won’t be hearing about it from a daycare worker.
The safety of your children is entirely up to you. You can baby proof their environment as much (or as little) as you like. You decide what they might be exposed to on TV, and which people spend time around them.
Time with your kids is plentiful. Most working moms have only an hour or two at night with their kids. And that tiny bit of time includes shepherding them through dinner, a bath, and bedtime.
When you’re a SAHM, you can decide how your day goes. You set the routine and guide your children into it. You’re the captain of the ship, and everyone gets what they need to be happy and healthy, because you’re the one in charge of eating, sleeping, learning and even pottying.
And the fact that you can do it, you can raise these little people, is empowering and fulfilling.
If it’s so great, then what’s so hard about being a SAHM?
Well, personally, I find it difficult that so many of the things I do every day are simply repeating what I did the day before, and they don’t actually lead to a bigger goal. Emptying the dishwasher, vacuuming, laundry – those things all need to be done day in and day out. You never get ahead. Other than having a clean house, there really isn’t much fulfillment in those tasks.
And with children, it often feels like the house is never entirely clean anyway.
Plus, your husband gets to leave for the day, so he doesn’t notice his clothes lying around. But you have to walk past them all day (or pick them up – but do you really want to start doing that?) Maybe it’s having the same scenery day after day that wears on you.
Then, after a while, you realize you need to start providing a lot more outside stimulation to your child than was necessary at first. It can be tough to tote around a baby to your preschooler’s activities, if you’ve got children at different ages. You start to feel like you just don’t have enough time for all the things you started out wanting to do as a SAHM. And that maybe you really aren’t the kind of SAHM mom you thought you should be.
It’s also easy to feel isolated as a SAHM, since you spend most of your day in your home.
But, all said and done, being a SAHM mom is for me – for now.