Being a stay-at-home mom (SAHM) has many upsides, but it can be challenging as well. More time with children can be great, but the emotional and financial strain can be tough to cope with for some. Cooking meals, changing diapers, taking the kids to practice – the list goes on.
With this in mind, it’s easy to see that being a stay-at-home mom isn’t for everyone. It has nice moments, but is also incredibly difficult both emotionally and financially. In this article, we’ll go over some of the pros and cons.
The acronym SAHM stands for Stay-At-Home Mom. This is a mother who chooses to care for her children over pursuing a career. Instead of working, a mom with this job spends her time raising children and taking care of household chores.
It can be difficult to give an exact definition. It’s is not just about staying at home and taking care of the children. It is a full-time commitment that requires a lot of work.
What Does A SAHM Do?
A stay at home mom has a long list of responsibilities. Many people think this is an easy job that requires nothing both a television set and a pair of pajamas – not true. The responsibilities can be endless, especially when children are young.
Obviously, the role is different for everyone. But generally speaking, these moms are required to:
- Cook Meals – Traditionally, moms with this lifestyle will cook all of the meals that that household requires. This includes breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, and anything else that is needed. If you love cooking, then this might be the job for you.
- Manage Schedules – Stay at home moms are responsible for planning around sporting events, ballet practice, doctors appointments, etc. The list is virtually never ending. This is typically the most exhaustive part of this job.
- Finances – These moms obviously aren’t paid, however, they usually manage all of the finances for the household. This includes bills, budgets, and everything in between. Many couples will set up a shared bank account in this situation.
- Manage the Home – Grocery shopping, home repairs, etc. are the responsibility of the mom in this scenario. Grocery apps like Instacart are helpful for this.
- Support the Family Emotionally – If someone in the family needs to talk, you will typically be the one they go to. However, many moms see this as a positive rather than a negative.
- General Childcare – Obviously, the mother is the primary caregiver in this scenario. This includes bathing, feeding, and anything else that is needed.
Cooking meals as well as managing schedules and finances are all in the job description. In other words, these moms play a key role in shaping the lives of their children.
Dads can be stay at home parents at well. However, according to a study done by PEW research center, only 7 percent of Dads are stay-at-home parents.
The Pros of Being a SAHM
More Time with Children
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A big benefit is the ability to spend more time with your children. You can be there for all of their milestones, from their first steps to their first words. In other words, you can be more involved in their daily lives.
This role frees you up to do everything you’d miss otherwise, from helping with homework to attending school events. Not to mention, your child will love having their mother home.
Flexibility in Managing the Household
The stay at home mom schedule also allows for more flexibility in managing the household. You can schedule appointments and errands during the day, leaving evenings and weekends free for family time. You can also take care of household tasks, such as cooking and cleaning, without having to rush or feel overwhelmed.
By staying at home, you can save money on childcare costs. This can be a big expense for working parents, and this lifestyle can reduce that financial burden. Additionally, you can save money on work-related expenses, like transportation and work clothes.
The Cons of Being a SAHM
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One of the biggest challenges of this lifestyle is the financial dependence on a partner. In many cases, this can cause strain in a relationship. Always be open with your partner about finances and have a plan for managing them.
Obviously, this isn’t an issue if you work remotely, and there are many stay-at-home jobs available in 2023. Call center, customer service, and data entry jobs are a few examples of jobs for stay at home moms.
Being a stay at home mom can also be isolating, especially if you do not have a strong support system. You may miss the social interaction that comes with a workplace environment. It can be hard being a bored stay at home mom, so it’s important to find ways to stay connected with others.
Whether it be through playdates with other moms or joining a local mom’s group, find something to blow off steam. It can also be helpful to join a stay at home moms forum. It’s important to create a stay at home mom schedule that works for your needs.
Lack of Recognition
This lifestyle can also lead to a lack of recognition for your hard work. It can be easy to feel undervalued, especially if you were used to receiving recognition at work. It is important to remember that it is a valuable and important role.
You need to find ways to acknowledge and celebrate your accomplishments. For example, instead of spending time with a babysitting, your child will enjoy staying with mom instead. The bond that will be created by having mom home will be incredibly rewarding.
When you are the one that the family depends on the keep things going, it is easy to feel burdened. There is a lot that goes along with this job, as you can probably see by now. Normal things like enforcing nap time, getting kids to brush their teeth, and holding down morning routines and a daily schedule can be crushing.
Not only that, but it’s easy for others to overlook how hard the job can be. In fact, a 2019 study showed that if moms had a salary, they would be paid $178,000 a year.
There is a lot of stigma attached to this label. Many people think that this is a luxurious lifestyle. As long as you can make peace with knowing that you work hard, it doesn’t matter what others think.
Doing the same thing over and over again can be hard for some people. The tasks involved with running the house can get mundane, especially when you are always on-call. Working outside the home breaks up the day, and it’s important to realize this.
Is Being a SAHM Right for You?
Consider Your Personal Values and Goals
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The decision to stay home comes down to your personal goals. Some women may feel fulfilled and happy, others may feel unfulfilled and miss having a career. Remember to reflect on your own goals to figure out what will bring you the most satisfaction.
Evaluate Your Financial Situation
Before making a final decision, take a look at your financial situation. Can you afford to live on one income? Do you have a plan for managing finances and saving for the future?
Have a clear understanding of your financial situation. Always have a plan in place before making the final decision.
Consider Your Mental Health
Being a mom who stays at home can be emotionally and mentally challenging, especially if you are prone to feelings of isolation. This is also true if you have a history of mental health issues. Always consider how this may impact your mental health. Remember to build a support system to help you cope with any challenges.
How To Be A Stay At Home Mom (Successfully)
Find a Support System
Having a support system is crucial for being successful. This can include other moms, family members, or friends. People like this can give emotional support and help with childcare. It is important to reach out and build relationships with other moms in your community.
Set Realistic Expectations
It is important to set realistic expectations for yourself. You may not be able to do everything perfectly, and that is okay. Always prioritize what is most important to you and your family. Remember to be kind to yourself and to ask for help when needed.
Create A Schedule
Creating a schedule is important both for moms and for children in this situation. Creating a plan and sticking to it each day will make each day go smoother. This will relieve stress for mom and create a healthier environment for children. It will also make you feel more productive – like you are getting things done.
You can also incorporate things to break up the routine. Trips to the museum, park, or zoo are all great ways to do this. The stay at home mom schedule can be fun if done right.
Find Ways to Stay Connected
To help with feelings of isolation, try and find ways to stay connected with others. This can include joining a local mom’s group or even just scheduling regular phone calls with friends and family. No matter what, make an effort to stay connected with others.
Be Open With Your Significant Other
No one expects you to know exactly what to do on day one, so it’s important to communicate with those around you. This includes your partner. Shutting them out will only increase stress. Try and create a schedule to communicate how you are feeling to your partner.
If you are planning on becoming a stay at home mom, try and prepare for it while you are still working. Create a plan, test out a daily schedule on weekends, and refine your routine so you can transition more smoothly.
If you try the stay at home mom schedule, and you find it’s not for you, you can always go back. Talk to your partner about it and let them know your plans. Tell them that you want to try it out, and that if it’s not working, you’ll simply go back to work.
Being a stay at home mom is a personal decision that you should think about carefully. Try to weigh the pros and cons and think your personal goals before making a decision. With the right mindset and a little help, this lifestyle can be extremely fulfilling.