Being a stay at home mom is no easy task. Society has this perception that stay at home moms have it so easy. All they do is walk around Target drinking Starbucks, play with the kids, hang out with other stay at home moms and keep the house clean. Society is so wrong.
For me, choosing to leave my full-time job and become a stay at home mom was a no-brainer. It was something I had always wished I would be able to do when I had kids of my own and finding out that my husband was just as supportive really sealed the deal for me. Yes, we have made sacrifices and yes we have made tweaks to our lifestyle, but all of those minor changes are allowing me to raise my son how I, as his mother, believe is best.
I have read multiple articles and other blog posts listing all these things that moms had to give up to be a stay at home mom. All of them were negative. Why is staying home with children viewed as such a negative experience? Why do it if you don’t want to?
I have been reflecting over the last year of my life, the first year of my son’s life, and decided to write about what I gave up when I became a stay at home mom.
Anyone who has had a baby knows exactly what I am talking about. Beginning with the doctors appointments, all the way through the glamorous spread-eagle pose of childbirth and continuing into their childhood years. Modesty has become a thing of the past in my life. Do I miss it? No. Looking back, I was too modest. To the point where I wouldn’t even change in the same room as someone who could see me. I formed insecurities in myself that were irrational. Through the process of realizing that modesty is good in certain situations, there is a point where you learn to accept your body as it is and embrace every moment that you have, even if your toddler is watching you pee.
Flexibility & Spontaneous Plans
I am a homebody. I love to be home probably more than I should. I am also a major planner. Once I had my son, I learned quickly that kids function best when they are on a schedule which allowed me to be home quite a bit to keep him on his feeding and nap schedule. It was a win-win for everyone in our house. The baby was happy and so was mama. The days that we strayed from his schedule were significantly more stressful due to Aiden being the fussy and cranky (and maybe me just a little bit, too). When I became a stay at home mom, we began planning activities around our schedule which gave up a large portion of the flexibility during the day. This benefited me because I would plan our day in the morning and was able to accomplish everything that needed to get done and do fun things all while working around the schedule that worked best for us.
Going Out to Eat
Before my son was born, my husband and I would go out to eat easily 3-4 times a week. During my pregnancy, I was totally obsessed with Olive Garden’s salad and bread sticks, so often times Olive Garden was on the menu more than I’m sure my husband wanted haha! We had gotten to the point where we would rarely cook dinner at home and would “conveniently” run through a drive through or grab something easy on the way home. After I had Aiden, we started planning out meals a little better and started eating at home more regularly. After losing one full time income, we began to live a little more frugally and focused more attention on our finances. Looking back at how much we had been spending on eating out at restaurants shocked us! That had become one of the most expensive parts of our monthly expenses! Becoming a stay at home mom allows me the time to focus on cooking healthy meals for my family which in turn allowed us to save a significant part of our expenses we shouldn’t have had to begin with and eat a lot healthier!
When you make more money, you tend to spend more. That is just how the average person operates. Once we had given up my income, we started focusing on our budget and found so many ways that we had been overspending. In the last few months, we have started to embrace a minimalist mindset. We are so over all the “stuff” that you accumulate over time. If you haven’t used it in a few months, you really probably don’t need it. I have made it a point to get rid of a few things on a daily basis and it is such a great feeling. We have stopped our overspending and are living a much more happy and content life. This will reflect in my son who sees us happy with what we have and not focused on the material things in life.
Hearing about Milestones
How do you feel when your baby takes their first steps when you aren’t there? How do you feel when your baby says their first word when you aren’t there? It happens every day. I have not missed one milestone. I have been there for every “first”. His first smile, his first attempt to crawl, his first step, his first word. Nothing is more important to me than watching my child grow up. To see this human that we created, develop. To watch this blessing from God, grow into such a good little boy. I don’t hear about milestones from a babysitter or the daycare. I experience every one of them.
Well, real pants anyways….All joking aside. I don’t have to set an alarm to get ready for work. I have ditched the dress pants and embraced the leggings full time.
Time away from the people that matter to me most
Time is important. You only have so much time on this earth. Embracing those relationships and learning not to take anyone for granted is so important. I don’t miss spending time with my son or my husband. I am here when my son wakes up and I am here when my husband comes home from work. I am here when Aiden gets a boo-boo or when he gets scared. I am here when he does great at swimming lessons and I am here when he is proud of an accomplishment. I am here and that is something he will remember as he grows.
I gave up myself. I gave up all of me for my son. Motherhood is not a place for selfishness. Motherhood is a place for growth. For learning. For thriving. Becoming a mother has been the best thing that has happened to me. I truly lost myself the moment I met him. He has changed me for the better. He has made me patient and kind. He has made me compassionate and caring. He has changed the way I look at the world and he has changed the way I will live my life going forward.
I have personally gotten to know my son for who he is. He is not just another daily responsibility. He is not just another “something I have to take of “. He is my son and by making a few changes to our life as a family, we are forming a relationship that is so special and that I will cherish for years to come. I beg anyone to spend a week in the shoes of a stay at home mom and let me know how your viewpoint changed. Stay at home moms are rock stars!
Thanks so much for taking the time to read this post. This is just to shed a light on the positive sacrifices that we make on a daily basis for our children. I understand that being a stay at home mom is not for everyone and that is totally fine, don’t force it upon yourself if is it not something you are passionate about it. However, if it is something you are considering… please see that this can be a positive experience for everyone and such a great time to bond with your kids. Life goes by way to fast. Enjoy every moment <3