As a stay-at-home mom, there are some things I’ve come to realize. Some were certainly easier to accept than others, that’s for sure. For instance, it can be lonely. Only spending time with tiny humans can leave you aching for an adult conversation. Or, boredom is a thing. (Who would have thought?!) But it’s actually a really good thing! (I’ll explain more later.) Oh, and did you know that it is actually possible to feel like Supermom? Yep. It is.
Anyway, here are 10 things I’ve come to realize about my role as a stay-at-home mom. And of course, some of these apply to working mamas, too!
- It’s easily the most misunderstood job in the world. Sure, you may get to wear yoga pants all day, but it’s not a vacation. Instead, you spend your day making meals, cleaning up messes, rocking crying children, reading books in funny voices, setting up art projects, tackling temper tantrums, wiping poop from places poop shouldn’t be, tickling your giggly kids, and about a million other things.
- Your home will be a disaster and that’s okay. Every single day I pick up the house and do laundry, and every single day there’s another mess and another load ready to go in the wash. When you are home with your children, the house is lived in. There are toys and art projects and stacks of mail and piles of clothes and quite frankly, it never goes away. Give yourself some grace and know that the mess = life.
- You will have good days and bad days and so will your kids. One thing I constantly struggle with is understanding why my kids have bad days. I mean, I made them their favorite breakfast. They got to go to story time at the library. Heck, they even had dessert for a snack. Why are they still so cranky? But then I have to remind myself that they are human, too. Just like me, they can wake up on the wrong side of the bed. The good news? A bad day can be fixed. (See number 5.)
- It can be a lonely gig. Sure, you’re never really alone, but not being around other adults can take somewhat of a toll on you. Make it a priority to find community. Whether you get together with other moms for playdates or meet your spouse for lunch, being around adult humans can help.
- Fresh air and good music can fix almost any problem. When it’s only 9 am and all of my kids have already melted down and I’m about to scream, I do 1 of 2 things. I either pack everyone in the car and go for a drive with the windows down or I turn on some music and attempt a dance party. 9 times out of 10, it works and we can hit “restart” on our day.
- You will want to pull your hair out. When I worked full time, I longed to be a stay at home mom. I envisioned a perfect, happy life, at home with my littles. But the reality? It’s the hardest gig ever. My children drive me crazy sometimes. I feel like screaming every once in awhile. When I’m ready to pull my hair out, I’ve got to take a minute by myself in another room and breathe deeply. Then I put my good mama hat back on and go give my kids some grace.
- Some days you’ll do it all and some days you won’t. Believe it or not, there actually have been days where I have showered and put on clothes, cleaned the house, done the laundry, made dinner, and did something awesome with my girls. There have been plenty of days when I felt like Supermom. But there are certainly other days where I don’t check off everything on my to-do list. Life happens and sometimes the laundry gets put off. Kids get hurt and we miss a playdate. Naps get refused and the world falls apart. That’s just part of it.
- Boredom happens and it’s a good thing. Staying home all day can get a little tedious. Kids get tired of their toys. You run out of ideas. You’ve watched that movie too many times, etc. When boredom sets it, creativity does too. It’s kind of amazing to see what my kids come up with after a few minutes with “nothing to do.”
- Happy mom = happy kids. When I am in a funk, it’s almost always because I haven’t done a good job taking care of myself. To be the mom I want to be for my kids, I’ve got to take time for myself, too. Whether that means a nice shower and a hot cup of coffee each morning or some alone time perusing the aisles at Target, I’ve got to recharge and refuel so that I can be the mom my kiddos deserve.
- It’s the best gig around. I may not always realize it now, but this job is the best one in the world. Years from now, I’ll look back on the years I was able to stay home with my girls and will be so very thankful. Even though it’s difficult and downright exhausting, it’s a blast, too. I’m so thankful to be able to spend my days with them.