I’ve recently passed the 1 year mark as a stay-at-home mom (SAHM) after spending the first two years of motherhood working full time.
This year has been amazing and flown by incredibly fast. It had been full of changes and adjustments as my son continues to grow and I try to figure out my new role.
While I have loved spending this time home with him, I can’t say it has been quite what I expected either.
Feel free to mock my naïveté… I certainly do now.
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1| SAHM’s houses are cleaner
Somehow, I had imagined that stay-at-home moms were able to keep their houses pristine.
It’s actually laughable how wrong I was about this. It is probably more of a testament to my poor housekeeping skills, but if anything, my home is more of a mess than before.
When I worked, there were many days that we barely spent any waking time at home. Now, we’re in it all day every day.
Every meal is prepared and eaten in our kitchen. I can’t even count how many times I wipe down the counters each day.
The toys that used to only get pulled from their adorable little storage containers on weekends, are constantly flung around the living room.
In many ways it was actually easier to keep the house clean when we were doing less of our daily living in it.
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2| SAHMs have more free time
Haha! What was I thinking?
To be fair, this really depends on how you look at it.
In some ways I do actually have more free time than I did when I worked, but it is definitely different than I expected. In other ways, I had far more freedom during my work time than I do at home.
At work, I was able to manage my time, eat lunch, and use the bathroom on my own schedule. I realize that I used to undervalue my ability to run an errand on my lunch break or right after work. Getting out of the house sans kiddo is much harder without regular childcare.
Like most moms, my “free time” is naps and after bedtime, because really anytime that my child is awake can not be classified as free. I often end up using this to do things that are just plain easier to accomplish without a toddler’s “help” like cleaning the bathroom.
Somehow, all of the free time I imagined for scrapbooking and reading, hasn’t materialized.
3| Being a SAHM is boring
Many people warned me that I’d be bored out of my mind sitting at home all day. What with my clean house and tons of free time, I had wondered myself if this life would get boring.
Between my messy house and lack of child-free time, it seems that we are always busy.
There is literally always something that needs cleaning and an endless supply of laundry. We have daily routines, which I suppose some people find stale, but they keep us on track.
We also try to get out every day, find new places to explore, and discover fun things to do.
4| SAHMs are able to handle it all
I guess I thought that by dropping all of the time and responsibility of work that I would never feel overwhelmed. This could not be further from the truth.
Staring at the growing mountains of laundry next to a pull-up explosion in the washing machine can be overwhelming.
Sitting up all night with a sick kid wondering if this merits a trip to the ER can be overwhelming.
I have come to realize that the overwhelming part of my life was not my job… it was parenting.
Worrying about our kids can be consuming. While I love that I can focus on my family now, I’ve found that sometimes just motherhood alone is overwhelming.
5| SAHMs don’t need breaks from their kids
This was a huge surprise because it was so hard to even imagine while I was working. I felt like I was away from my son so much at work, that I didn’t want to lose a single second of our time together.
But now? I. Need. A. Break.
Seriously, now with two kids, a trip to the store alone or even a trip to the bathroom alone is a treat. When my husband offers to take our son so I can have some time to myself, I used to be reluctant, now I am relieved.
As much as I love spending my days with my sons, I have realized that I still need occasional adult conversations and a few moments alone to maintain my sanity.
If you’ve read about My Journey from Career to Stay-at-home Mom, you know that I wanted desperately to be able to stay home with my son.
While the grass is not always greener on the other side, I must admit that I am much happier at home and I think consequently I am able to be a better mom.