I have been fortunate enough to be a stay at home mom (or, technically, a work at home mom) since having my son in October 2013. I have always worked part-time and full-time off and on, and because of that, I would be lying if I said I didn’t struggle with a lot of doubts. Am I doing the right thing sacrificing extra income to stay at home with them? I have struggled with a lot of self doubt and feelings of worthlessness because I have not contributed a lot financially. I’ve struggled with loneliness and a lot of stress that comes along with staying at home with two babies (18 months apart) and rarely getting a break. But now I can say I am 100% happy and confident in my decision to be a stay at home mom. How did I get there?
Photo: Allison Hilyer Photography
How to be happy as a stay at home mom:
Make other stay at home mom friends. A lot of mothers either stay at home with their kids, work from home or work part time and stay home with their kids the rest of the time. Becoming friends with other stay at home moms who understand what it is like has saved me! It is so nice to have other women who can relate to how wonderful and stressful it is at the same time. My blog friends have also been awesome because they totally get how demanding and time consuming it is to be a full-time blogger and stay at home mom. It’s comforting to have people around you who get it and can relate to your life.
Take pride in the fact that you are raising your children. Stay at home moms are the minority in our world. As the cost of living continues to go up, a lot of people just don’t have the option of staying at home with their kids. Even though sometimes I feel like I am missing out on the opportunity to contribute more to our finances, I have learned to be proud of the fact that I am able to raise my kids at home.
Remember why you made the decision to stay home with your kids. For me, I knew I wanted to raise my babies. My mother was a SAHM and I wanted to be that for my kids. She was the greatest example. She taught me how to work hard, love, and tried her hardest to teach me patience (bless her heart). She was amazing and I want to be involved and present for my children whenever they need me.
Find a hobby you love and do it as often as you can. My hobbies are obviously blogging, running and reading. I am a bit of an introvert, so reading is really enjoyable for me because I can escape to another world while I relax. Running helps me clear my head, stay fit and feel healthy. Blogging is now my job, but it has always been such an awesome outlet for me. It is something I look forward to every day. It allows me to do three of my favorite things: write, photography and social media! I also love working with brands and amazing companies and small businesses as well as other bloggers – many of which have become good friends.
Go on playdates with other moms. I have done a much better job of this since having Sophie and since one of my friends (also a SAHM) moved back here and formed a little playgroup from our church. We have also had other playdates with friends from college that have been really good for our children. They also allow me to have some adult conversation during the day which is really nice.
Remember to ask for help and take breaks every once in a while. To me, there is a fine line with this one. I see so many millenials abusing their babysitting privileges and it kind of makes me sad. Your children still want and need you, but it is important to take breaks every one in a while. Everyone needs a break. Mothers don’t get them often, so it is important to remember to take time for yourself. Just don’t get in the habit of doing it every single weekend. Family time is important, too.
Are you a SAHM? What tips would you add to this list?