This stay at home mom gig has been the hardest job i’ve ever done…and this is coming from someone who has taught 31 first graders (yes, really 31).
1. That I would be bored
My days fly by trying to keep a 2 year old entertained. Just trying to get everything packed up to get out of the house seems to take forever. I find myself constantly racing the clock to fit in everything I need to do each day around meals and nap time. Except for the hours between 3:30-5:30…time literally stands still. When I first started staying home I massively over scheduled us with baby classes, gym classes and plans with other moms because I was so afraid to be bored. Now I am really finding value in the days we do stay home and lounge because my kid needs the downtime too.
2. That I would relax when she sleeps
I maybe do this 1% of the time…. and in 2020 i’ve got some goals to sleep more (clearly I’m setting the bar high) SAHM life has caused me to keep some odd hours. As a teacher I was super scheduled and got up at 4:30 am every morning, but in this new we don’t actually HAVE to go anywhere if we don’t want to life I end up staying up til 1-2 am and not getting up until Taylor wakes up around 8:00 am. I thought I would spend every nap time sipping coffee under a perfect chunky blanket binging Netflix (ya know living my best mom life) BUT in reality I am actually trying to shower, pee, sometimes workout, shove a bagel thin down my throat and figure out what I’m making for dinner and typically by the time I start picking up her toys I hear her wake-up and we start life all over again…. Let’s bring back relaxing in 2020, who’s with me??
3. I would brunch with my perfect group of mom friends
Now this one sounds stupid….but who doesn’t love a good brunch?? But this one is actually probably the hardest for me because meeting mom friends is hard and i’ve gone through my fair share of them…because spoiler alert, you won’t click with every mom you meet and your kid will probably shove their kid down at the park at least once or twice. SAHM life is lonely. I was lucky enough in my teaching career to have really made some great co-worker friends while we were all in the trenches together. But then you leave your job, and suddenly the people you saw everyday are gone and it is isolating.
I have been really blessed to join MOPS this year at one of our local churches and have met some really awesome women there. My group typically meets every other Thursday for 2 hours..the kids goes to childcare and we moms spend time eating, connecting, playing games, and making crafts and it is seriously the BEST time. MOPS is an international organization, so if you are feeling like you need to get out and meet some people this is great place to start to find a group in your area. I also joined a gym that has childcare so a few days a week I drop Taylor off and go take classes. When I first started I spent my whole workout class stressed that they were going to come get me because my kids was screaming, but the more I went the quicker that feeling went away. Now she goes running towards the bubble machine and slide, and I get an hour to work on myself. It is really special protected time for me and I’ve met some awesome women while going (bonus…I’m down almost 50 lbs!)
I don’t think this is an area for me that is going to get any easier over time. All of us moms are just trying to juggle the 57 tasks we have going that keeping plans with other mom friends isn’t at the top of our priority lists. So I try to find outlets within social media and texting friends throughout the day, but it is HARD. If you are feeling alone in this mom life…you aren’t the only one.
4. That I would instantly become a better wife
This one is actually really hard for me to write about. When I was a full time teacher last year with an infant I made a LOT of excuses for everything I didn’t do around the house or for our marriage. I would tell myself oh when I stay home i’ll always do the trash, or the dishes, or our house will never look like this when I stay home. I’ll make sure I make his lunch and do all I can to make his life easier because I won’t be working…that will be my job now. I was really really really wrong. I’m only 8 months into this new SAHM gig, but I am really hard on myself. I never feel like I am doing enough (totally on me, not from my husband at all) I feel like if I am not teaching I should be thriving. If I could teach 31 kids and take care of my infant at home, why can’t I cook and keep my house clean now that I don’t work?? Because staying at home is a JOB. A really fricken hard one. She needs something every minute of everyday, and your needs as a person get put on the back burner. It truly is a successful day if we managed meltdowns and had some fun. I have had to lower a lot of my expectations because I am my own worst critic. I don’t know who needs to hear this today, but you are doing a REALLY GREAT job and people around you do notice.
5. That I wouldn’t enjoy not working
I am a workaholic, hustler in life. Before having my daughter I put in a TON of hours at work because I could. I was constantly figuring out ways to get better and do more things at my job. I cannot tell you how many people said to me, oh you’ll be ready to come back to work after a year of being at home…and you know what, I was genuinely scared of this.
I am happy to say I wouldn’t trade staying at home for the world. The connections I have made with my daughter are unreal, and I tell myself everyday that I am so lucky to have this time with her. We literally have the best time together and we are both happier people because of it. Staying at home has really had a positive impact on my marriage because my husband can now work overtime hours as he needs to without the stress of who is picking up the baby, or staying home with her when she is sick. I still really miss making my own money, but we worked SO hard to pay off debt so that I could stay home and I still have some great side gigs that bring me joy. I don’t regret one minute of this decision to stay home.
If you are embarking on this new SAHM journey or are on the fence about becoming one, or you long to be a SAHM, but don’t think you can swing it financially.. you can do hard things. You can have anything you want in life. Just make a plan. I NEVER thought I wanted this in life. EVER. I have 2 older sisters both with kids, but have very lucrative careers..very different from my current goals in life. We were spinning our wheels paying out $1200 in minimum debt payments each month (Check out my BUDGET BREAKDOWN) but as soon as I had my daughter a switch flipped and I had to do everything in my power to stay home. No matter what your choices are in life, YOU get to choose them.