Baby, Motherhood

7 Things I Learned About Being a Stay-at-home Mom

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As a woman in her late twenties, I was brought up knowing that I would go to a four-year college right after high school. After that, I ended up going for my master’s while building my career as a state employee. I didn’t truly know what I wanted to do, but I knew that I needed to put in the work to really get far in this life.

During my focus building myself professionally, my husband and I also decided to grow our family. While we struggled for some time to make this dream come true, the moment that we did find out we were expecting, my whole focus changed.

From my experience, you’re “supposed to” build yourself up professionally before starting a family. That way, you can support your new family when you to return to work. This was always my goal to return to work after maternity leave and continue growing my career. Then, I saw the most incredible thing- the miracle of birth that gave me my son.

After having my son, I could not emotionally consider ever leaving him. It was hard to think that he wasn’t even three months old when I would go back to work and that realization broke my heart. Once my husband and I made a decision to change our current living situation and ultimately our lives, we agreed that I would be a stay-at-home mom for the time being.

While being a stay-at-home mom is a job in and of itself, not a lot of people recognize or consider how tough it actually is. Below is a list of seven things I learned about being a stay-at-home mom:

1. It is hard.

Before having my son, I will sheepishly admit that I was naive in thinking that stay-at-home moms had it easy. My imagination told me the complete opposite of how hard it really is being a stay-at-home mom.

The list of duties is endless and ever changing. Your baby (or babies) have you working around the clock and there are no lunch breaks or down time. You are working 24/7. It is hard and it is exhausting. You also constantly question yourself as a mom and wonder if you’re raising your child correctly. The truth is, you can only do your best and that’s what really matters.

2. It can be lonely.

You may think that this one is an oxymoron because how could you be lonely when you’re with another human being all day? But honestly, being a stay-at-home mom can become lonely.

Throughout your day, you’re focused on nourishing and caring for your little one all while attempting to clean up the house and cook something for yourself and your spouse/partner. It is easy to become entrapped in your own mind when you don’t have anyone else to talk to. Your focus is on meeting your baby’s needs and completing those tasks doesn’t always leave a lot of room for you to go out for playdates or have a coffee date with a friend.

3. You look forward to your spouse/partner coming home.

Continuing from number two, you look forward to some adult interaction when your spouse/partner comes home. You ask them what the world looks like outside of your home and if cars are starting to fly yet!

While they may indulge in conversation with you, they are also focused on winding down from their day at work or looking forward to interacting with the baby (this isn’t a complaint, just a point of view from experience). It melts your heart to see your baby with their other parent, but you get a little miffed that your adult conversation gets cut shorter than you’d like.

4. You never knew how good a long, hot shower felt at the end of the day.

Ahhh the simple things in life! A nice, hot shower never felt so good as after a long day tending to someone else’s needs. This might just be my own personal preference, but the shower is my happy place. It calms, relaxes, and brings me back to my center. I have heard of many moms saying that showers become less important when in the thick of caring for a baby and I completely understand how hard it is to sneak one in some days. But this one is non-negotiable for me and my husband knows how important it is for me to have that time to myself. We work together every night to make this one thing happen for me after all our baby’s needs have been met.

5. You don’t get to clock in/out.

As previously stated, there are no lunch breaks or down time when you’re a stay-at-home mom. It’s constant work, constant caring, and constant stimulation. This “job” has you on-call everyday, every weekend, every holiday, and all hours of the day and night. It’s a rush and sometimes you are truly running off pure adrenaline.

6. You love watching your baby grow.

As difficult as this job is, it is also extremely rewarding the way that you get to watch your baby grow day by day. Sometimes you don’t see how much they truly grow until you find yourself scrolling back through all those pictures and videos you’ve been taking and ask yourself where the time has gone. As tired as you are, you can’t help but smile when you see how far you both have come and realize just how precious these days are with your little one.

7. I would not have traded that time with my baby for the world.

Although my time as a stay-at-home mom came to an end, I would not have traded any of that time with my son for the world. Of course, there were days when I longed to be free of my duties as a mom and just be me again. But that time I was able to spend with my son day in and day out watching him grow, watching him learn, and watching him become his own little person are days I will cherish forever. He’ll never be that little again and I’ll never get those days back. My heart is happy knowing that I was able to stay with him for as long as I could.

To the mamas out there struggling with their stay-at-home mom job, hang in there! This time goes by too quickly and soon we’ll wonder when did they get so big.

Always,

Samantha‚̧

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