Becoming a Stay-at-home mom is a very difficult decision to make. After you go work hard for years, develop your career, are making a good income, you’re faced with the decision of staying home with your children. Wouldn’t you be wasting your talents, education and skills? Would being at home be boring and lonely?
How will you be able to pay your bills on only one income? How will you ever be able to afford a nicer house and a good future for your kids if you don’t earn money? In today’s society of dual-incomes and keeping up with the Jones’, it seems impossible. But, I’m here to tell you that it’s not!
Why You Should Become a Stay-at-Home Mom
After I went through many years of longing for a family after losing both parents before I turned 19 yrs old while being an only child, I was delighted to finally become a mother.
After my mother’s death, I experienced depression, excessive weight gain and an overwhelming feeling of loneliness. My longing for family propagated as I entered my twenties and thirties.
I understand grief, loneliness, sense of not belonging to other families, and survival; I know the associated unrelenting pain. Having been faced with the choice to live in the face of adversity or throw my life into a downward spiral where I was the only one that would lose, I chose to live with the hopes that someday I would be happy. It took years but, I finally found happiness.
I didn’t meet my husband until I was 36 yrs old but, not for a lack of trying. A few years later we were blessed with a baby boy and I had to make a hard choice of whether to continue working and being away from my kids 10+ hours per day or become a stay-at-home-mom and learn to adjust.
Adjusting to being a sahm mom was very difficult for me. Our boys are only 17 months apart! They were in there terrible twos at the same time! It starts before thy’re two and lasts until they hit 4 or even later.
I longed for the mornings when I woke up to my alarm on a full night’s sleep and drank my morning coffee while reading emails in peace at work. It was a great life when I din’t have to hide in my pantry to eat something. Being with kids all day, every day certainly took getting used to.
When I was about one month from the delivery date of our first child, I toured a daycare adjacent to my workplace. I cried during the entire tour. I also knew in my heart that I would not be able to leave my newborn everyday.
That’s when I knew leaving him was not an option for me. Nonetheless, I made a hard decision that left me feeling anxious about what would become of my career after leaving the workforce for a few years.
I asked myself: “Can women really have it all?”
I believe the answer to that is no. Because both a career and a family are so demanding, you can not fully focus on both every day. One will suffer and you have to decide which one is more important to you.
I’ve seen new working mothers falling asleep at their desks while the rest of the staff picked up the slack.
The decision to become a stay-at-home-mom was difficult because it was hard to leave my established career and all the comfort of familiarity. While still feeling guilty and anxious, I resigned my position at work and took on the role as stay-at-home-mom . We blissfully welcomed our first-born son and I was never so happy. Our next baby boy arrived seventeen months later. It took four years for me to transition from career woman to stay-at-home-mom but, I did it and so can you!
The Transition to Stay-at-Home Mom
It is very difficult to let go of my career and the comfort of my previous familiar lifestyle to become financially dependent on my husband while my kids depend on me for all else. I felt guilty that I was wasting my education, talents, and skills being at home.
Plus, being a sahm is very hard. It’s lonely and boring at times. It’s hard to let go of being fully in control of your life. But, I joined Moms’ support groups and found other moms to relate too. They too left their careers to be home with their kids. I scheduled a lot of play dates to keep my sanity.
I learned a lot about patience, altruism and multitasking. Hence, I learned how to be a mom.
In the last few years, I’ve really bonded with our boys. I feel an abundance of love to give and receive.
I wasn’t staying home because I didn’t want to work, I was staying home because I wanted to be with them. Because, I had to wait too long to start a family, I wasn’t willing to give up this time with them.
One day while I made a comment about motherhood being difficult, a mother of adult children told me, “You don’t know it yet but, this is the best time of your life! Everything changes. It constantly changes.”
She went on to explain that as soon as you adapt to one stage of your children’s development, it changes as they transition into the next stage.
Only weeks earlier, this woman’s 23-year-old daughter passed away. I realized that she was absolutely right. This is the best time of my life and I don’t want to miss any of it!
We are a happy, healthy family who enjoy each other. One day, they will want to spend more time with their friends than with us. Because we don’t know what our future holds, I want to spend as much time with our boys as I can.
Hindsight is 20/20
As I’m getting older, I am realizing how fast time passes. The last twenty years feels like ten. I’m now more selective of who and how I spend my time. Why do I have this strong desire to be with my children as much as possible?
Is it because I lost my only parent when I was merely 18 yrs old.? Am I forever scarred? Perhaps I just understand how precious the time is between a mother and her children and how it feels when it is cut short. Nonetheless, making decision to become a stay-at-home-mom is difficult.
Being a sahm mom is difficult but, it is so rewarding and fulfilling. No one can replace you like an employer replaces their employees. You mean everything to your kids.
Five years after making the decision to become a stay-at-home-mom and leaving my Information Technology career, I feel more comfortable with my decision and seeing the bond I’ve created with our boys. I see how they from being with their mom everyday.
Benefits of Being a Stay-at-Home Mom
I see how our whole family benefits from me being home. Here are some of the benefits I’m seeing:
- Our family is not stressed because I work outside the home.
- I have time to cook nutritious meals for our family.
- I get to see the first time they learn things i.e. how to walk, say mama, learn to read, learn to ride a bike
- I have time to spend with them doing fun things, not just feeding them and getting them ready for bed
- Our boys are happy.
- I have more time and energy for my husband.
- I have more time to do household chores that need to be done whether I work or not.
- I’m able to attend our kids’ class trips.
- I’m available for them when they’re home from school due to sickness, in service days, snow days and delays, school holidays, summers, and when my husband has to travel for work.
The gratification I once got from my career, I now get three-fold from my children. I feel very special to them. I’m their whole world. I’m an integral part of their emotional development. They need me to shape them, love them, all day, every day. They need me and I need them.
Maturing has made me realize how precious is our time. Having experienced loss, abandonment and longing for parental guidance as a young adult, has given me a different perspective on my life than it probably would have if I didn’t. Time passes and we can never get it back. Wouldn’t my mother have done things differently if she knew she was only going to be in her child’s life for the first 18 years? Wouldn’t any mother do things differently?
If you really want to be home with your kids, make a plan. Even if you can’t leave your job immediately, make a plan to pay off debt, make a budget and start working toward what you really want. Being a stay-at-home-mom may not be for everyone but, if you’re thinking about becoming a sahm, you can absolutely do it and be happy!
Here are some resources to get you started: