Let me start by asking you a question- is cheerleading a sport? Some might say yes, but some might say no. This is a very similar question to- is being a stay-at-home mom actually a job?
If you are already a stay-at-home mom, it probably drives you crazy when people wonder what you do all day long. And if you are a soon to be stay-at-home mom, then you are probably wondering how hard it is actually going to be. If you are not a stay-at-home mom at all and never plan to be, then you might think that staying at home with kids is easy work.
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I have been at stay-at-home mom for two years now, but this was never actually my plan.
Before I had kids, I knew people that were stay-at-home moms, and I remember always wondering, “how they could be so busy.” Like what were they really doing all day long?
When my husband and I decided that I was going to be a stay-at-home mom, I thought it was going to be a breeze.
I know, I know, feel free to roll your eyes at me.
I thought that my house was always going to be clean, my kids would be super well behaved, and I would even have more free time for myself. *Insert laugh here*
This was not the cause at all! My house constantly looks like a tornado went through it. My kids have meltdowns just like any other child. And I have even less time to myself…like seriously NONE!
Yes, Being A Stay-At-Home Mom Is A Job…And One Of The Hardest Ones
So back to the question- is cheerleading a sport? Any cheerleader will say yes, and they will probably continue to explain how hard cheerleading actually is. However, someone who has never been a cheerleader in their life, might think that it is too easy to be considered a sport.
This is the same situation for being a stay-at-home mom. Someone who has never been a stay-at-home mom will never understand, but I am going to try and make you understand today.
Staying home to raise kids, might seem like a breeze to someone that doesn’t do it every day, but let me tell you, it is no walk in the park.
As a stay-at-home mom I am constantly on the move. If one kid doesn’t need something, then the other kid does.
If the kids are content, then the dishes are in the sink collecting mold, and if the dishes are clean, then the huge pile of laundry starts to tip over as it is waiting to be folded.
The list of things that needs to be accomplished every day is never ending.
So here are some job titles that stay-at-home moms should have.
As a stay-at-home mom, the cleaning to-do list goes on for miles.
The dishes and the laundry are what I like to call the neverending story. I have two kids under two, and I have to do at least one load of laundry every day and one load of dishes every day.
Then comes picking up after the kids. My (almost) two year can destroy his room in the matter of seconds. I’m not just talking about toys everywhere.
He thinks it’s a good idea to completely empty his toy box, and then flip the toy box over. He will then continue to pull everything off of the shelves in his room. And don’t even get me started on what can happen if he opens his closet door.
Then we move onto cleaning up after breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It’s amazing how much of a mess a kid can make with such a small plate of food.
Don’t forget to add in small things like: the flooded bathroom every time you give a two year old a bath, all the accidental (and purposeful) spills, etc.
Wait! That’s not all. Stay-at-home moms have to change every single dirty diaper all day long. And potty training can be a full time job in and of itself.
All of this isn’t even including daily household chores, like: cleaning the bathroom, kitchen, counter tops, floors, etc.
As a stay-at-home mom, it seems like I am always cooking or getting snacks.
You have to cook a meal, serve the meal, and then clean up after the meal, three times a day.
If you have young kids, this can be even more challenging, because you might have to help the little ones eat the food too.
Or if you have a baby, you will definitely have to feed the baby, baby food. Then you will also have to either breastfeed, pump, or spend time preparing and warming up a bottle.
Now I really hate to say that stay-at-home moms are nannies, but let’s be honest, they do all of the duties that a nanny would do.
Stay-at-home mom have to look after the kids, and make sure they are safe, fed, changed, clean, and everything in between.
You take the kids on outing to the park and to gym and music classes to get socialization, and then make it back home to deal with the naptime battle.
If you are a stay-at-home mom, then most of the running around will fall into your lap. You will go grocery shopping, clothes shopping, and going to pick up any odds and ends.
A stay-at-home mom will be in charge of scheduling and going to haircut appointments, doctor appointments, and dentist appointments.
You will be a chauffeur for the kids extracurricular activities and playdates.
This is one of the most important jobs of a stay-at-home mom. If you do not send your kids to daycare, you will never want your kids to be behind, so you will spend hours every day teaching your child something, no matter what age they are.
It doesn’t matter if you are teaching your baby to crawl, walk, or talk, or teaching your toddler the colors, letters, and numbers.
You will spend even more time teaching your kids how to interact with other kids and how to use their manners, because they are not in a daycare everyday where they are learning this from other kids and adults.
Make sure to read: 13 Ways To Get Your Toddler Talking At A Young Age.
Now this may only apply if you have multiple children. But if you do have multiple children, then you know what I am talking about.
It doesn’t matter what age your children are, they are bound to fight about something. You might be thinking…no, not my kids! I don’t care who you are, what you are teaching your kids, your kids ages or gender, you are wrong! You’re kids will fight.
Like I said, I have two kids under two- one boy and one girl. I knew they would argue one day, but I figured it wouldn’t be until they were older. I also figured it wouldn’t be as bad as it would be with two of the same gender.
I was wrong!
My son is 23 months old, and my daughter is 9 months old. They wrestle each other, hit each other, and climb on each other. I spend so much time every day making sure they don’t kill each other.
If you are dealing with the terrible twos, like I am, check out Tackling The Terrible Twos.
Also check out, Why I Don’t Make My Kids Share.
If you are a stay-at-home mom, you have the entire day to fill. Sure you have chores, playdates, naptime, meal time, appointments, and so much more. But how do you fit it all into one day?
What is most important on your to-do list today? What activities are you going to plan for your kids today?
Because your kids stay home all day, it is important to give them educational activities, so they can use their creativity and imagination. This can be challenging, because to create activities like this, you need to use your own imagination and creativity.
If you are not a stay-at-home mom, you might think that moms that stay home to raise their kids, get to sleep in, and lay around on the couch all day with their feet up.
If you have not gotten the memo yet, this is not at all what a day is like for a stay-at-home mom. For your day to run smoothly, you must plan everything. If you don’t have a plan, nothing will get done, the kids will be cranky, and you will probably lose your mind by 11 a.m.
Being a stay-at-home mom is not the same thing as being a working mom that works outside of the home. I am by no means saying that working moms have it easy.
Working moms have to deal with being a mother and keeping a job. They also have to spend a huge chunk of the day away from their kids, which must be super hard.
Working moms have to deal with their own set of challenges- some more challenging and some less challenging.
I am not saying that one is better than the other; however, I am saying there are many differences.
- If you are raising kids at home, you and our kids are home all day long. This means more time is spent at home to make messes. This also means you are eating every meal at home, so once again more messes and dishes.
- Stay-at-home moms tend to plan all of the appointments and errands during the day, which means doing them all by yourself. Working moms will probably get more help from dad will appointments and errands when they are both off of work.
- Kids that stay home during the day, usually only have one adult to learn from, and that is you. Sorry to put the pressure on you! Kids that go to daycare learn from teachers and other kids.
- Although working moms never get a break either, stay-at-home mom never get a break from their kids. You can probably imagine how exhausting this can be.
The Disadvantages Of Being A Stay-At-Home Mom
You might be surprised to hear that being a stay-at-home mom does have its disadvantages.
It Never Ends
Like I mentioned before- you never get a break from your kids. You have them all day, all evening, and all night.
You do not get sick days or vacation days. It doesn’t matter how sick you are, or how bad you want to stay in bed- you can’t!
When you are with your kids all day, you never get any privacy. You have kids barging in the bathroom every time you close the door.
You will also never get your own personal space. Someone is constantly climbing, hanging, or sitting on you.
It Can Get Lonely
As a stay-at-home mom, there will be some days where you will just crave some type of adult interaction.
You will spend your day singing songs about going to the bathroom, cleaning, and eating.
Your day will be spent talking about the ABC’s, characters from the coolest kid’s TV shows, and what sounds animals make.
It Can Be Hard To Separate Work And Play
I spend many hours eat day working with each of my kids on new things they are learning. Each week I spend hours creating homeschooled preschool activities for my two year old. I look at teaching my kids as my job.
I try to take the evening and weekends off from homeschooled preschool activities, just like any child going to daycare would get. This can be challenging.
It’s hard to go from being their teacher, to their mom.
It’s Mentally, Physically, And Emotionally Exhausting
Dealing with kids crying, screaming, and making messes all day is mentally exhausting. Sometimes I just want to lock myself in a closet and scream, but I know that I cannot do that!
Running around playing, sitting on the floor playing, carrying kids everywhere, and breaking my back cleaning every day is physically exhausting. There are many days that the first time I sit down is when my kids go to bed at night.
Constantly having to be there for other people really tests your emotions. I always strive to be the best mom I can be, and some days I do really feel the mom guilt. I go to bed wondering, did I spend enough time with each of my kids today? Did they learn something new today?
It’s Hard To Let Anyone Else Take Over
For those of you that do work, imagine you are working on a huge project at work. You need to take a few days off, and you have to let someone take the project over for a few days.
This might be hard for you. What if they mess it up? What if they work on the project differently than you?
That is what it is like to leave your kids with someone else when you are a stay-at-home mom. You spend every waking seconds with your kids, and it can be really difficult to trust anyone else to watch your kids.
Plus, you are so used to doing things for your kids all day every day, it becomes second nature, and you do it automatically. This can make it difficult for your husband to help you with the kids when he is home, because you just do things without even thinking about it.
People do not understand all of the work that goes into being a stay-at-home mom. A lot of people will ask for favors because they think you just sit around all day and have free time.
You might also notice that people will think you have no education and are incapable of getting a job.
I am 25 years old, have a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan, and I am perfectly capable of getting a job. With that being said, I have had people ask me, “What are you going to be when you grow up.”
I have also had people ask me, “So, are you still changing diapers for a living.”
I find this to be super disrespectful. Being a stay-at-home mom is not for everybody, but that does not mean that it is not hard work.
If you are wondering how your family can live off of one income, check out How To Save Money For The Stay-At-Home Mom.
The Advantages Of Being A Stay-At-Home Mom
You Get To See Your Kids All Day Every Day
You will never miss anything. If you stay home to raise your kids, you don’t have to worry about missing your kids first steps or first words.
You will be there to watch your kids learn and grow every single day. There isn’t anything better than this in this world.
You will get hugs, kisses, and cuddles all day long!
You Don’t Have To Send Your Kids To Daycare
I am sure there are awesome daycares out there, but I just do not trust easily. So many awful things happen at daycares and schools, and if your kids are home, they are safe from all of this.
Plus, you don’t have to pay for daycare, which is very pricey.
Most people work an 8 hour day, with an hour lunch. Let’s say you have a half hour commute to work every day (including the drive to drop your kids off at daycare). That’s 10 hours a day you are away from your kids.
My kids both sleep at least 12 hours every night. If you want to learn how to get your child to sleep through the night read The Ultimate “How To Get Baby To Sleep Through The Night” Guide.
This would leave me 2 hours a day with my kids. Then you have to count in bath time, bedtime routine, and dinner. This would not leave me enough time with my kids each day.
It’s Easier To Teach Your Kids
Imagine you are learning to to skate. If you practice once a week, you will not learn very fast, but if you practice every day, multiple times a day, you will learn much faster.
If your kids are home with you, you can work with them every day. You will have an easier time teaching them things, because you can work one on one with your kids every single day.
If you are potty training your kids, it is much easier when you can spend every single day focused on potty training. But if you send your kids to daycare, you can only work on potty training in the evenings and on weekends. Only working on potty training part time, with take your child much longer to learn.
You Will Share A Special Bond With Your Child
Your children will grow up spending the majority of their life with you and only you. They will look up to you, learn from you, and have a better connection with you, when they spend every moment of every day with you.
You will have many more happy and fun times with your kids, just because you have that extra time to spend with your kids. They will remember this, and have even more love for you.
If you are having a bad day, and don’t want to get out of your pajamas, then you don’t have to.
You don’t have a boss looking over your shoulder telling you to move faster or work harder, and you don’t have to worry about being fired.
As a stay-at-home mom, you get to make up your own rules and schedule.
The more time you spend with your kids, the more of an impact you can make on their lives.
I am a stay-at-home mom and I am proud of it!
What did I forget? Do you think being a stay-at-home mom is actually a job?? Tell me below!