Stay At Home Moms
I became a stay-at-home mom for the first time in 2013 when our daughter was born. Before that, I had worked as a public school teacher and had been growing increasingly dissatisfied with my job. By the time our daughter was born, I had been resigned from my job for three years and had been running my tutoring business during that time. I returned to the profession in 2015 and became a stay-at-home mom again in 2018 because of events that I will discuss later on in this post.
With that said, during my time as a SAHM, I have heard so many misconceptions and misunderstandings of moms who stay at home –what they do, what they want, and why they do it. In this post, I will give my perspective on five misconceptions about stay-at-home moms.
SAHMs don’t need a babysitter/help
So many people have this idea that just because you choose to become a SAHM, you don’t need a babysitter, a nanny, or help. After all, all you do is take care of your kids at home…right?! Taking care of your children and serving your family is a full-time job. We love it…most days, but it is a JOB!
(Also, fair warning, I will likely overuse exclamation points in this post.)
We may not require or need as much help as parents working away from the home, but there are times that we do need a hand. Additionally, some SAHMs are working from home in addition to caring for and serving their families. Staying at home does not exempt us from exhaustion or burnout and there are times that having an extra hand comes in…well, handy! Especially during the early days of the newborn stage when you are learning your baby and your baby is learning EVERYTHING else. When sleep is nonexistent, but you still need to sleep so that you can care for your little one. And let’s not even bring in the breastfeeding factor! There are so many variables to the lives that SAHMs lead, that it is impossible to lump us all into the same SAHM box. For me, staying at home has not been the vacation that tons of people think it is. For most my daughter’s life, I did not have any family nearby to help me get adjusted to mom life and when my husband had to return to work, I had to figure that ish out QUICK! By the time our son was born we had moved to a new state even further away from family. We don’t know very many people here and the list of people I trust with my children es muy pequeña. Also, most of the people I have gotten to know here, work full-time.
Just like when people are given loads of responsibility on their jobs, they utilize the art of delegation to get things done in a more efficient, timely manner; stay at home moms would like to be able to delegate some responsibilities as well to lighten our loads a bit.
SAHMs have open schedules
Contrary to popular belief, SAHMs do not always have flexible schedules and open availability. If you are anything like me, I have my day, my week, my month scheduled down to the hour. I take scheduling very seriously and both my children are accustomed to living by a schedule. Even though my toddler can’t tell time yet, he can tell you what’s next on his schedule at any moment. When I schedule my day, it frees up my brain to attend to other tasks and I don’t have to waste time thinking about routine events.
It really is annoying when people think that because you are a stay at home mom, you can just drop whatever it is you are doing and prioritize their wants and needs. How inconsiderate?! When you try to make your emergency my issue, you are potentially disrupting my or my family’s time or taking time away from some other task that I already have scheduled. I’m not always able to drop everything and attend to new tasks and most times I don’t. However, it is very presumptuous for anyone outside of your immediate household to believe that what they want comes before you or your family.
If you would like something from me or my family, please do us the courtesy of at least a 24-hour notice.
SAHMs don’t need time away from home
Why do you need a vacation away from your family?
Please excuse me while I roll my eyes…HARD!
Don’t you need a vacation away from your job and all those lovely people with whom you work? Okay, there’s your answer.
I recently took a momcation and it was so good to get away. I love my family and I love serving and caring for them. However, for someone with a nomadic spirit, the same routines in the same environment day in and day out can be a bit stifling. It can be stifling for creativity, clarity, and purpose. Becoming a mom doesn’t stop you from being an individual. I don’t know any individual who can thrive and fully develop by staying in the same place all the time –not even moms.
SAHMs choose to stay at home because the cost of daycare is so high
While the cost of daycare is a huge factor that many families consider when deciding whether or not a parent should stay at home, that wasn’t my story. It is, also, not the story for lots of other families as well. When I decided to become a SAHM for the first time, it was because I was already working from home and I wanted to continue working from home. By the time we moved to our current city and state, I was ready to work away from the home again and I would for two years. Some unfortunate events involving my daughter’s day care would later lead me to staying home again.
At one day care, my daughter’s teacher, literally, didn’t see her when she ran out of the building into the parking lot. Luckily, I had not left the site yet because I was adjusting my radio, but it could have been terrible. I took her out of that day care and placed her in a private preschool program. At that program, my daughter’s teachers did not see her (in the sense of her as an individual –her race, her differences, her uniqueness). She would come home as a four-year old and we would have to talk about racial issues…at FOUR! I wondered how that would affect her self-identity and confidence. Needless to say, we decided that it would be best for me to homeschool her until I felt comfortable sending her out into the care of people we did not know. When our son was born, I wanted to continue homeschooling our daughter, but postpartum depression ruled that possibility out. We made the difficult decision to send her to public school and it turned out to be the best decision for all of us. Her teacher was fantastic and she had the best school experience of her little life that year.
So while many families are indeed making decisions based on the cost of daycare, many families are also making decisions about the QUALITY of care that day cares provide.
SAHMs don’t want to work
The final misconception that I will address here is a biggie. Many people think that SAHMs become stay at home moms because we don’t want to work. While this may be true for some parents, it isn’t true for all. Some of us do want to work and even continue to do so, just in a different way. Some of us have decided that for a time, we will devote the majority of our time and energy to raising our children and serving our families. I believe that the formative years for children are some of the most important years. These are the years that you get to pour into your children and become that initial imprint on their lives. Of course, you will continue to be an invaluable, important part of your children’s lives as they grow, but those initial years really allow you to see who they are and allow you time to help shape and mold their little minds.
In short, many of us would actually rather work away from the home and have adult conversations on a regular basis, but there are just so many factors to consider when it comes to your home, your family, and your goals.
So In Conclusion…
This is just my perspective and I know there are so many varying opinions on the roles of SAHMs. Every person’s story is different, and it is impossible to contain all of them in one 1500 word post. However, I hope that I have shed some light on a topic that is so often SO misunderstood.
Are you a stay at home parent? What led you to that decision? What misconceptions have you heard? Let me know by leaving a comment below.
Thank you for reading and as always Happy Journeying, Good People!