Why I LOVE being a stay-at-home-mom (SAHM)
Since leaving my job, I’ve frequently been asked if I like being a stay-at-home-mom. To me, the question generally feels tinged with skepticism as if they are expecting me to answer with regret. The truth is, I have never in my adult life been happier.
Choosing to become a stay-at-home-mom was one the best decisions I’ve ever made. I have less stress, more time with my sons, and am convinced that we are doing what is best for our family.
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Being a mom is a full time gig, whether or not you are otherwise employed.
Mom’s are on duty 24/7. When I worked, I felt like I had two full time jobs constantly vying for my attention. I couldn’t give more to one without giving less to the other. The stress of being torn between the two weighed me down. There was never enough time as we rushed to daycare, to work, back home, and to bed.
I no longer have to feel guilty about taking another day off because my son is sick again or scramble to get that last minute assignment done before daycare closes. Now we can slow down. Now I don’t have to split myself, I can give 100% to my family.
I love the flexibility we have to live on our schedule. We don’t have to rearrange everything for play dates, shopping, and doctor’s appointments on weekdays. My husband still work crazy hours, but it is so much easier to make time for us now that we only have to plan around one schedule. We have time for date nights even if they’re just take out in our living room. With more time available, I am able to let go of the guilt I felt about taking time for myself, something I also neglected when I was working. I now make time to read, craft, and am teaching myself to sew. I am finally able to focus all of my time and energy on the things that are most important to me.
I love spending all day with my son.
I hate that I missed so much of his first years. I’m still sad that when my son took off walking for the first time in our living room, I couldn’t help but wonder how long he had been practicing those first steps at daycare. Once those early moments are gone, I can never get them back.
I love hearing each new word he says and each new sentence he puts together. I love seeing him learn. When he tells me his truck is red or the cat says meow, I know that I taught him that. We sing together, take walks together, and read stories together. I love that our days are intertwined with shared experiences.
No matter how wonderful my childcare situation, no one else cares for my kid like I do.
This certainly doesn’t mean that no one else can provide adequate care, because they absolutely can, but it will always be different from my care. Whether it is not putting their bib on or using too many wipes during diaper changes, every parent seems to have some complaint, even if it’s minor, about their child care.
While I was generally happy with our daycare, I am much happier being in complete control. I like that I get to choose what he eats or if he watches tv. I’m able to modify our daily schedule based on what works best for my son and myself instead of the room’s routine. I know that he’s getting opportunities for independent play as well as one-on-one adult interaction.
This also allows me to be more flexible than I was before. I can push back bedtime without worrying that it will mess up tomorrow morning. I can offer up a treat, since I know he didn’t already have cookie at daycare. Having more control gives me more freedom to parent how I want.
For me, the pros far outweigh the cons.
It’s not all arts and crafts, sing-a-longs, sunshine and rainbows at our house. There are plenty of days I still fall short of my mom goals. We have messy days with tantrums, yelling, and tears from both my toddler and myself. There are days when I miss having a moment to myself to go to the bathroom alone or eat without sharing my chips. There are days I feel like nothing more than a cook and maid to a tiny tyrant. Those days I miss feeling like I’m doing something important. But I know that this is important too. It just doesn’t have an easy metric of success. For now, I take comfort in knowing that our good days outnumber our bad ones.
Becoming a stay-at-home-mom was a difficult undertaking, but has been completely worth it. Perhaps the struggle to get to this point makes me appreciate it more. I fully believe that becoming a stay-at-home-mom has made me a better mom than I was before. This isn’t anything against working moms because I have nothing but respect for you all. It is for no other reason than that I am happy. Being a happy mom makes me a better mom.
Want to read about the other side of things? About the benefits of being a working mom? Read Jo’s post here!